Last Night’s TV – FlashForward

by Lynn Connolly

I’m so disappointed in this show. It was so hyped, so well promoted, and it had the success of Lost as a blueprint, and it’s been a total let down.

Episode one was brilliant, but we’re now on episode three and it’s going downhill exponentially. Last night’s episode largely centred around a Herr Schultz who entered into a “game of chicken” with Agent Benford, promising that he had information that could provide the answers to the big question, ‘why’.

It turned out he was just a really good poker player, but there was initially the promise of something Lost-esque in Schultz’s insistence that the 137 Sekunden – seconds, as in the total amount of blackout time – of the episode’s title were important to the whole shebang.

As visions of Easter Egg hunting and adding, dividing, multiplying 137 into every mathematical convolution danced in my head, I got all excited, anticipating that Fibonacci and hidden meanings in algorithms would become important. I was wrong.

The plots that would appear to be adding to the larger overall narrative pot simply aren’t providing any truly dramatic value; they’re just thrown in, or at least that’s how it feels. The whole storyline seems to lack the underpinning of a truly substantial design and instead, it’s rather like the poor cousin of Lost.

It’s trying to be intriguing, it’s trying to be dramatic, and it’s trying to have us on the edge of our seats, but unlike episode one – which did deliver those things – I’ve been sliding further and further back on my seat ever since.

I’m beginning to lose interest in whether Agent Noh lives or not and I’m beginning to wonder how the storyline of Aaron’s dead-or-is-she daughter can be played out without resorting to Bobby Ewing-like turns-up-alive in his shower routines.

Mark’s wife Olivia is too perfect, their daughter too cutesy, their not wanting to press her for answers over her flashforward a bit too PC and the cryptic is becoming just a tad boring. We’re at once overloaded with enigmatic and convoluted characters while the basic premise for the whole story still hasn’t embraced the fact that for a global ‘incident’, there’d be a few more people involved and not just one office full of folks in the States.

And then there’s the frustrating issue of self-fulfilling prophecies because many of the characters are planning their lives based on their flashforwards. For instance, Demitri’s fiancé said she saw their wedding day in her vision, whereas of course Demitri didn’t have a vision and we know he’s due to be murdered.

Given those two conflicting reports, one might assume that he manages to get out of being murdered, but if so, then how come his fiancé’s vision of the future changed to accommodate his living rather than dying, but his did not?

And to harp on again about Lost, we’ve always known from the get go that when it ends, it’s going to provide us with a satisfying ending – otherwise, there really would be a global ‘incident’ – but I fear that FlashForward is simply going to skirt around the ‘awkward’ issues regarding the timeline.

That would be a cop out and it’s already shown us that it’s not afraid to do that by writing in logic loopholes, or perhaps more accurately, not writing in logical sense and expecting us viewers to overlook it. Well, sorry FlashForward but I can’t, and I’m sure many others can’t either.

I’m undecided about tuning in next week, which is a shame because I’d been so eagerly anticipating this show, but it set itself up for a fall by giving us a great pilot episode then dropping the ball for the next two shows. I’m not sure I have the patience to stick with it until something really interesting happens.

What about you? Are you disappointed with FlashForward or are you loving it? Please do let us know.

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.