Friday, May 14, 2010

FlashForward canceled; at least I can now watch Community

Well, I've just found out that FlashForward has been canceled.

I watched it weekly, but man, the show was a mess.

Had they been able to cut the fat by not introducing some of the minor characters from the show, or having them appear very rarely, the show could have more effectively focused on the plot that every seemed to care about. At the start of the show there was far too much emphasis on Lloyd and his son interacting with Olivia. Even with this heavy interaction I, along with quite a few others, don't buy their relationship. I feel like the introduction of savant Gabriel McDow (James Callis) was thrown in there to try to convince the audience that their contrived relationship "had" to happen.

They really should have decided at the very start whether or not the show was going to:

1. Have a time line that could not be changed.

Pro: Characters would all end up where they saw themselves. Possible chance to "trick" the auidence with twists such as Demetri being unconscious during the blackout instead of being dead.
Con: Show could become predictable with the knowledge that things can't be changed.

2. Have a time line that could be changed.

Pro: Characters could make assumptions that turn out to not be true, the future would be unpredictable.
Con: The auidence will not see the end results of where they were on April 29th the way they saw it at the start.

3. Have a time line that can be changed, but have "destiny" play a part in keeping events as close to the "way they were supposed to be" as possible.

Pro: Keeps flash forwards or potential flash forwards as close to what the auidence saw, even if major changes occur.
Con: The constant nagging that everything will always turn out a certain way, and that destiny is forcing people to do things or "fix" events that were supposed to happen. If that is not done correctly the show becomes a muddled mess.

4. Having people see events happen slightly differently in each of their flash forwards.

Pro: It would immediately introduce the possibility of different universes and an infinite combination of futures that could happen. It would work best if most of them were about the same, but slightly different such as Mark wearing a red tie in one person's flash forward and a blue one in someone else's or Olivia being on the couch while Lloyd is on the couch in another.
Con: This could be incredibly confusing.

The problem is that the show couldn't decide where it wanted to go.

I honestly think that now, after seeing where the show went, things would have been better with the knowledge that "nothing can be changed" (option one). They could fight their hardest, but that every action they took always made sure that the event happened the exact way it was supposed to (none of this "Final Destination" garbage).

Heck, let's just forgo that conversation at the moment. What else could they have done differently?

The first few episodes where they went case-by-case introducing guest characters like they were a patient in an episode of "House," where they investigate this one-off character's flash forward and slowly add to the main story, is how the show should have gone through the majority of season one. The show could have kept momentum, remaining pretty consistent in the story they were telling, and had ended the season on a cliffhanger months before April 29th even occurred. Having Demetri shot would have made a pretty good cliffhanger. Season 2 could have delved directly into the conspiracy behind the blackout and could have covered the remaining weeks leading up to the blackout.

The plus to doing it slow and methodical would mean that it would have been far less serialized in their first season. People could tune in and out without missing much of the overall storyline, even while they slowly introduced the blackout conspiracy. This could build momentum and a loyal fan base, without immediately neglecting the simple nature that people want something more stand-alone. Once that base is built up, they could jump into the meat of the storyline involving government double agents, secret societies, and rogue scientists full on, and actually have the base to support that kind of show. Basically, I'm talking about making it like the early years of the X-Files.

Lost did the standalone/serialized mix pretty well, even if the show was heavily serialized in season one, you could conceivably miss a few episodes in it's freshman season and not feel like you had completely dropped the ball. You just couldn't do that with FlashForward.

Heck, my blood sugar was so low one night I passed out in the last 15 minutes (not aware I actually missed the end or anything important) the following episode they talked about one of their agents dying... I had no idea what they were talking about! Another episode I walked to the kitchen to get some food, I missed about 5 minutes of the show, and I couldn't follow what the heck was going on later (they even had a flashback that no one watching could remember seeing, even though it happened earlier in the episode).

The show was a jumbled mess. I'll miss it, mostly because of the potential it had.

No comments: