Friday, September 25, 2009

'Flashforward' has vision, but have we seen it before?

Flashforward, the first of the fall season's new hopefuls (hoped by me anyway) aired last night, and I'm a little torn.

The show sports a killer premise, an A-list writer/producer, and an uber-capable cast -- kudos to the ever-underrated Joseph Fiennes for maybe the best American accent from a Brit ever. Not to mention a bulletproof pilot that had me bumping it to near the top of my DVR timer queue.

But it's "near the top" because Lost still sits higher and, more to the point, got there first.

Comparisons to Lost are invited: Dark Knight writer David S. Goyer is the power behind Fastforward, and he freely admits he's a "huge, huge" fan of the Splash-proclaimed greatest TV drama ever.

The good news is, he understands what makes Lost tick. The pitfall becomes merely following the template. (Flashforward's kangaroo moment felt cheesily close to Lost's polar bear for me.) We've been down this road before, so those hairpin turns don't take us by surprise anymore. Meanwhile Lost is still barreling down the unmapped parts of that road far, far ahead.

So I guess I'm saying it might be a lightning-in-a-bottle deal. Lost's fan-based viral video and web sleuthing aspect sprung up organically, FF comes prepackaged with it, which rarely works.

And most of the fun last night for me came from the apocalyptic mushroom cloud hanging over the Event. Unless they sustain that, as opposed to the Prison Break-like whodunit this has the potential to become, we have another problem.

Or maybe just chalk it up to my own impossibly high standards. Compared to NCIS: Los Angeles the other night, this is the best show ever.

Encore showing of the pilot runs tonight at 8 p.m. on ABC. Check out the promo below.


Flash said...

Great post! To keep up with the latest about the show, join FlashForward on Facebook:

Anonymous said...

Alas, another network drama, Splash?
This one smells a little fishy, as if Space Aliens will figure into it on down the road.
Combine fancy cinematography, "As the World Turns," and a little "X Files" spritzed in, and you have "Flashforward."
What about the folks asleep on the other side of the world? Blacked out college frat beerdrinkers? They noticed nothing amiss! --CI Photog

Splash said...

It was a worldwide phenomenon, which is why the globe is on fire, CI. The only human so far confirmed "awake" was the shadowy figure caught on a security camera at a baseball stadium, moving ominously toward an exit though the sleeping mass of people. [Cue Twilight Zone music.]

Could be be aliens. Doubt it, though, since they arrive in November with the remake of 'V,' which looks pretty good to a child of the 80s like me!

Anonymous said...

I sat through one episode of "Defying Gravity" (ABC) because the glimpses I had gotten of it prior showed it was about exploring the solar system, and had good SPFX, so I gave it a chance. I ended up wasting an hour on a soap opera set in space. Such a dirt-tosser of a disappointment.
That's why I've had it with these dramas. They always boil down to two females arguing over a man or a frozen embryo.
--CI photog

Anonymous said...

"Paranormal Activity" is being touted as the new "Blair Witch Project."
Judging from this trailer, I have seen some of these elements before. A mixture of "Blair Witch," with nervous camera, "The Exorcist" with "gotcha" ghoulish faces flashed on the screen, things flying around, and the bit with the teens in the audience reacting is straight from the old "When a Stranger Calls" trailers.
I've seen this before, but I'm up for a good Halloween romp.
I got a kick out of "Blair Witch."
--CI photog