Flash Forward – ABC – TCA Advance TV Review


The realization of “Flash Forward”, as it was screened at the ABC TCA Press Tour, was the fact that the essence of what has been discussed: a successor to “Lost” in intention of the mythology is there on a basic level. Unlike that earlier incarnation which had the ability of coming out from nowhere, this series has to deal with the criticism of being compared, notwithstanding the fact that two of its actors, most specifically Dominic Monaghan, were or are characters on the aforementioned show (Sonya Walger plays Penny).

This show begins with a bang in actuality and very nicely sets up the premise much like the plane crash but in a much broader sense. Most people don’t remember that when “Lost” started, there was a lot of exposition that took some people time to integrate. There was a bit of impatience and catch up involved in that for some of the audience.

This series has the ability and maybe the weakness to become much more dense because of the breathe of the event portrayed in the pilot. The question is the balance between intimate and epic. From the beginning moments when Joseph Fiennes’ character Mark is running through traffic in the aftermath of said event, you get that feeling of confusion and the immediate influx of questions.

The key to the pilot and the cause of discussions is the “flash forwards” which have the date of April 29, 2010. Everybody sees this specific time part of the future and the key is how do they get to that point, and more importantly can it be changed or do they want it to change. Like “Lost” the beauty here works in the inherent flaws of the characters where they don’t want to give away or even say the real truth and, in addition, neither do the writers. It is great because (again like “Lost”) it places the audience in the know slightly more than the characters. This gives the ability to keep the material really fresh but a balance needs to maintained.

There is definitely a cinematic element as the moment of this “blackout” happens. The mythology does play as the epilogue alludes to with a reveal that is much more mystery than answer. There are multiple characters throughout (including a cameo by uber-animator Seth McFarlane) although the focus revolves around Mark, an FBI agent (Fiennes), and his wife Olivia, a ssurgeon, played by Walger. In all, the pilot teases enough and keys into that sense of wonder and darkness that makes the show it will be undeniably compared to a valid companion.

While it is always hard to take away the aspect of one episode, much less one told in one hour as compared to the two hour running time of the premiere of “Lost”, “Flash Forward” does possess many of the great qualities needed for a show like this to succeed. The only drawback in some of the episode was the lead back nature of some of the matter-of-fact dialogue. However when the aspects of witholding information begin to take place (again like most of the characters eventually on “Lost”), the feeling of the show takes on a subversive but ultimately emotional (but not saccarine undertone).

“Flash Forward” is a cinematic possibility that shows ABC recognizes the ability of this range of show as evidenced in many parts of this pilot. When the moment of the blackout jump cuts you into oblivion, you are there for the ride. It is just a matter of being kept strapped in.

Posted on September 2, 2009, in Television Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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