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FlashForward – The big day has arrived

'FlashForward's' penultimate episode proved to be a boring and overly dramatic character-driven mess, but I still have high hopes for the finale.

Throughout the first (and only) season of FlashForward there have been high points and low points. In fact, the show has gone from crappy episode to great episode so many times it really does feel like a roller coaster ride, only not in a good way. On the rails of that roller coaster, I’m afraid that I would have to categorize tonight’s episode as one of the lowest lows. When it comes right down to it there was just waaaaaay too much Mark Benford in this episode.

It’s really hard to watch an overly emotional, melodramatic scene between a father and daughter when all you’re doing in your head is wishing that the father would die before the end of the episode. Call me cold, but I’ve had more than enough of Mark Benford. How were we supposed to react to him wading through a crowd and returning to drinking? It was downright laughable. Really, some guy just pulls him out of the crowd and hands him a flask of booze because he looks like he could use it? Really? I found it to be absolutely ridiculous and lazy.

Aside from Mark, the melodrama was back big time for all the characters. Even with the over-the-top moodiness, I was still bored. Frankly, with two episodes left, I was hoping that we were going to be getting some more action and answers, not a bunch of whiny characters whining at each other. Character development is an important part of any big ensemble drama, but after 20 episodes of getting to know these characters, likable ones are hard to find. That, in turn, makes it really hard to enjoy an episode like tonight’s, where the characters’ personal lives take center stage. Demetri and his fiance fighting? Didn’t care. Olivia running away from Lloyd? Didn’t care. Mark falling off the wagon? Didn’t care.

With all that complaining being said, I still have high hopes for the big finale next week. It should be a strong outing for the show, and will hopefully have a couple of surprises in store for us. It will be interesting to see if the powers behind the show did anything to try to put an ending on the show, or if they simply didn’t have the time after hearing about their cancellation. One of the plots that I am most curious about is Nicole’s drowning. It is still unclear who would drown her and why.

By getting most of the character stuff out of the way in this hour, I’m hopeful that next week’s episode will just be a fun action outing. And who knows, if we’re lucky, maybe those creepy mask people will off Benford for us.

Photo Credit: ABC

Categories: | Episode Reviews | General | TV Shows |

5 Responses to “FlashForward – The big day has arrived”

May 21, 2010 at 2:05 AM

you say “Frankly, with two episodes left, I was hoping that we were going to be getting some more action and answers, not a bunch of whiny characters whining at each other”

well … they weren’t planning on having the show cancelled …

May 21, 2010 at 7:46 AM

Sorry, I should have been clearer. I meant two episodes left in the season — I had those expectations regardless of whether or not the show was cancelled.

May 21, 2010 at 11:26 AM

Which was worse: Dollhouse, or Flashforward?

May 21, 2010 at 11:30 AM

Not even a contest for me. I didn’t hate Dollhouse. Did I hate that it tried to be a procedural in the beginning with stupid “personality of the week” plots? Yes. Did I think Dushku had way too much screentime and was the weak link in an otherwise strong cast? Yes. When they ditched the case of the week and delved into the story of the Dollhouse itself, I thought it was a really good show.

At the end of the day, the things that bothered me about FF: poor acting, lazy writing, contrived and weak character development, uneven storytelling — those are systemic issues that are not easy to solve or overcome. A couple bad turns in the story or weak episodes I can forgive. Stale, boring, poorly written (and in some cases acted) characters I just can’t.

Which did you think is worse?

May 21, 2010 at 3:00 PM

Yeah, I’d have to agree with everything you’ve said. It almost makes me dizzy thinking about the wrong things that were done in both series. At the same time, both series had a few gems, Dollhouse more than FF.

Dollhouse had Dichen Lachman (Sierra) who’s performance as a psychiatric patient was excellent, Enver Gjokaj (Victor) when he adopted the persona of Topher, Olivia Williams (Adel DeWitt) who was great as the slightly evil but with potential to be good boss, and Summer Glau (Bennett) as the unhinged genius.

Flashforward had Jack Davenport and Dominic Monaghan as the angelic-demonic scientists partly responsible for the flashforward (a double act that should have been developed further), and James Callis as Gabriel McDow (the moment where he’s in the hospital bed talking about the contents of his burger is really funny).

So while I don’t really care that either series has been cancelled, I’m keeping my eyes open for these actors, as well as others in Dollhouse who were completely underused (Tahmoh Penikett and Michael Hogan).

Looking forward to the new BBC science fiction drama with Jamie Bamber, and to the return of Caprica, and for the spin off series, which according to Mark Stern, VP of Syfy, will possibly centre on the first cylon war (though it would be wierd to have a parallel series set decades after the other one…better to simply have a parallel series set on board the Galactica, with its army of cylons, off to crush the rebellious colonies) with maybe a few human cylons among the ranks descended from cylons that had decided way back when not to leave with the rest of the 13th tribe for Earth, but stayed behind hidden amongst the humans for whatever reason, maybe to help with God’s ultimate plan to bring humans and cylons together). Gods, I need some good science fiction. Suffering from withdrawals.

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