Sunday, May 30, 2010
FlashForward is gone, but I can't say that I'll miss it. The writing was on the wall for quite some time. Maybe I'm still a little surprised that V made the cut and FF didn't, but never underestimate the power of cheesy 80s nostalgia.
Serialized drama is hard as heck to pull off these days. Lost and 24 left some awfully big shoes to fill. FlashForward's premise was strong enough to get 12 million viewers to tune in for the pilot, but not compelling enough for them to stick around on a weekly basis. At one point, Vampire Diaries was pulling better numbers in the 18-49 demographic. The show was never able to find the right balance between sci-fi conspiracy thriller and character-driven drama.
Honestly, the only compelling character to me was Agent Demetri Noh (John Cho). Unlike most people, his flashforward revealed only darkness, suggesting an inevitable death. He's in a race to solve his own murder before it happens. Sounds like a good central character to me. But no, the powers that be decided to have everything revolve around Agent Mark Benford (Joseph Fiennes), an incredibly unlikable character. Even the kind, beautiful wife and cute kid failed to warm me up to this hotheaded, sullen protagonist. Maybe if he had a dog?
The supporting characters and subplots added up to a lot of fail. Who cares if the Doctor hooks up his Japanese love? Mark's AA sponsor going to Afghanistan to play Rambo? Will Mark's wife sleep with a handsome scientist in a moment of weakness? Who's side is Janice on? And who's her baby's daddy? Can Demetri's fiancée be any more annoying? What's that Campos guy up to now?
The conspiracy itself was muddled and uninteresting. The winter hiatus didn't help matters, nor did the game of musical showrunners. If only I could have flashed ahead to the see the unsatisfying finale. I would have found something more interesting to do with my time...