You might argue that FlashForward was ill-fated to begin with. Surely, it had a stellar cast, some fine people in the writer’s room and a pitch to end all pitches: the entire world blacks out at the same time and gets a glimpse of their future.
So how was this ill-fated? The thing was marketed as “the next LOST”, which is sure to make you catch a shit storm: LOST fans are the most annoying fans of a TV show ever. After that, it all just went downhill.
I remember watching the pilot and being pretty much blown to pieces by the initial 20 minutes. There was so much going on: a car chase, an operation, a guy wanting to kill himself… And then they all went limp. When they came to, I found the episode to be focusing on too many people. As if they were biting off more than I can chew.
Twenty episodes later, I can only confirm my initial fear: there was too much packed into this thing. Too many characters. Too many flashforwards. Too much info addition in the flashforwards over time: “Hey, I remember this formula on the mirror that I didn’t before.”
But that’s not where the problems end. Throughout the entire “series” (which it is now, technically, as the sheep’s been shot), you’re left wondering who those people are. Who are you watching? Olivia (played by Sonya Walger – she is just drowning in her role here) is on the road with an FBI agent for two entire episodes, and we do not find out anything about their personal relationship towards each other. Who are they and why are they working together? The only redeeming quality was the side-plot concerning Bryce, the guy who was going to kill himself. And even that story had a very incredulous ending characterwise.
The list goes on like that and you’re left wondering but one thing: who are these people and why should I care about them? And that’s what ultimately killed Flashforward. It’s not the sometimes harebrained plot or the continuous retconning. If you want to make a crazy science fiction series, be my guest. I’ll gladly watch it. But be sure to think of the one good reason some science fiction series work and some don’t: the characters.
This one didn’t work. What a shame. What a waste of a good pitch.