Tuesday, January 5, 2010

FlashForward shows only flash of ingenuity

    ABC's new show Flash Forward, while starting with an exciting and interesting pilot, has become mostly dull.  Maybe that's why it's rumored to be one of the shows facing cancellation soon.  Don't get me wrong.  There are still moments of excitement.  The show just needs to step it up.

     First, let's look at the plots that are exciting.  Demetri's (John Cho, Star Trek, Harold & Kumar) murder coming up in March, which was starting to drag, got a shot of adrenaline in the fall finale when Nhadra (Shohreh Aghdashloo, 24, House of Sand and Fog) revealed that his would-be killer is best friend and fellow agent, Mark (Joseph Fiennes, Shakespeare in Love).  It was also kind of cool that Demetri's fiance, Zoey (Gabrielle Union), actually saw his funeral, not their wedding, in her flash forward.  The other neat twist was when Al (Lee Thompson Young) committed suicide, proving that what everyone saw was by no means set in stone and could, indeed, be changed.  It was unexpected, and gave a boost to an otherwise boring episode.

     The problem is that the rest of the cast aren't sparking the same interest that those couple of agents are.  For instance, despite their desire to avoid ending up in bed, Olivia (Sonya Walger, Lost) and Lloyd (Jack Davenport, Swingtown) can't seem to stay away from each other, and that was before the kidnapping at the end of the fall finale.  Aaron's (Brian F. O'Byrne) plot involving his daughter has unfolded so slowly that it is hard to keep interest.  Ditto pregnant lesbian Janis (Christine Woods).  Even the much-publicized arrival of Simon (Dominic Monaghan, Lost, The Lord of the Rings) failed to add to the intensity much.

     Flash Forward still has a chance.  Thus far it has allowed itself to get caught up in the too many characters with too much going on syndrome, but Lost escaped it, and so can this show.  If it gets it's act together quick.  It is probable that if it doesn't return from break strong right away, it will not live to see a second season.  More likely, flash forward to the handful of loyal viewers finishing the drama during a summer burn-off of the last few episodes.

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