Thursday, September 24, 2009
Please stop "Flash"-ing me
Look, I'm as willing to eat my sheep food as the next person. I respond to hype. I jump on bandwagons. I can follow with the best of them. So when ABC kept shoving its new series "Flash Forward" in my face in the form of a massive ad campaign, I was right there with them, declaring the show a must-watch before I'd even seen it.
And now, I've seen it.
And, well, it's not bad but honestly? I don't love it. I know! I'm a bad sheep!
As anyone not living under a rock for the past several months knows, "Flash Forward," which premieres tonight at 8, centers on a massive, worldwide blackout in which nearly everyone on earth loses consciousness for about two minutes. While blacked out, they all have a "flash" of an event on a specific day, at a specific time -- six months in the future. The unconscious FBI Agent Mark Benford (Joseph Fiennes of "Elizabeth" and "Shakespeare in Love," ditching the tights for jeans) seems himself investigating the source of the blackout. He also sees himself drinking -- a major source of despair, as he's a recovering alcoholic. His surgeon wife Olivia (Sonya Walger of "Lost") sees herself with another man. And Benford's partner (John Cho) sees nothing. Maybe because he'll be dead in six months?
It's admittedly intriguing, but the pilot is all hype, no emotion. I wasn't invested enough in these characters to really care what happens to them in six months. And serials like this really depend on you being "with" the characters, don't they? Why would we follow these people down their twisty path if we don't care about them?
True, the pilot has a lot of glitz, lots of car crashes, helicopter crashes and other drama that occurs during the blackout. There's a healthy dose of melodrama and creepiness. Yet, underneath, I didn't feel much. I wasn't invested. But maybe that will change. There's enough good stuff on "Flash Forward" to make it worth a look, and I'm even willing to give it another shot.
After all, Dominic Monaghan of "Lost" is set to join the cast a few episodes down the line, and the story is interesting enough to keep me engaged for a little while longer. But it's not the powerhouse ABC wants me to believe it is. Sorry.