RIP Flash Forward – We'll Miss You!

FlashForwardNow - RIP Flash Forward – We'll Miss You!

FlashForward – From HBO to ABC to RIP

Flash Forward TV SeriesFlashForward was a made-for-television series, based on the 1999 novel by Robert J Sawyer.  It premiered in September, 2009, and had its’ final episode in May of 2010.  Flash Forward was originally developed at HBO.  HBO decided that the show would fare better if on a regular network and sold the concept to ABC.  Considering that this show was, at times, difficult to follow, presenting it on HBO without commercial interruption would have been a much better move, in my opinion.

The foundation of the show was difficult for many, including me, to grasp in those initial episodes.  In fact, I almost gave up watching the show because I couldn’t understand some of the aspects of the show’s presentation.  The “infiltration” of the FBI team (all of the stars of the show) was hard to fathom.  It wasn’t until much later that we learned that the “infiltrators” were dual agents, assigned by the CIA to work in the FBI.  I don’t think the writers handled that part of the layout very well.

So, the premise continued, an unexplainable and mysterious event caused everyone on the planet to simultaneously pass out for two minutes and seventeen seconds (“137 seconds”), regardless of what the people were doing (driving buses, flying airplanes, performing surgery, etc.).  During the time everyone was “passed out” or what was come to be known as “THE BLACKOUT”, people are able to see visions of their lives approximately 6 months into the future.

The focus of the show is on the “team” of FBI agents assigned to a special taskforce charged with the Robert J Sawyermission to determine what happened, who did it, and will it happen again.  As part of the show, we see different parts of each of the main characters “flash forward” and how it affects their everyday life.  We also see how people may choose to change their actions if they “know” what the future holds.  One of the characters committed suicide in order to prevent his vision from coming true.  [Sadly, in August 2013, this same character committed suicide in real life].

The final episode was filmed before the cancellation notice was delivered, so the show ends at a cliff.  Viewer defection from the show was the official reason that the show was cancelled, although there is much debate as to what caused the defection.  Schedule changes, delays and more are believed to have hurt those who followed the show.  Some believe, as I do, that the writers did a poor job of roping in the viewers in the first 3 episodes.  If you didn’t “get it” by then, chances are you stopped watching.

FlashForward is one of those shows that could be revived with better writing and input from people who actually enjoyed the series.  As a viewer, I often wonder what causes writers to “go off the deep end” with their writing, and cause people to desert the series.


June 10: The Real Blackout Happened

On June 10, 2010, fans staged a world-wide blackout for 2 minutes and 17 seconds.  You have to watch this compiled video!

“FlashForward’s” central premise, fans of the show will gather in front of ABC network and affiliate offices in New York, L.A., Chicago, Detroit and Atlanta on June 10 and stage a blackout of their own.

For two minutes and 17 seconds, fans of the show are going to pretend to be passed out in front of ABC offices (and other places around the globe).



From London:

Supporters of the cancelled TV show converged on London’s leafy Wandsworth Common last night to stage a mass “blackout.” Pretend blackouts, lasting for 2 minutes and 17 seconds, mimicking the opening of the show, also took place simultaneously in Edinburgh, […] Continue Reading…

The Houston Chronicle agreed with me: Slow Down!

3. I wish FlashForward would slow the plot down a bit. Part of the reason the character development is lacking is because we simply don’t have time to get to know anybody before someone is yelling about having found another clue and everyone goes tearing off in the direction of an underground suicide club or Hong Kong or a doll factory. SLOW. DOWN.

4. I wish FlashForward would not save the most interesting plot points of the episode for the final moments of the episode. Mix it up a little. As it stands, within 15 minutes of watching an episode, I’m already thinking about fast forwarding to the end to get on with it already.


From:  http://blog.chron.com/tubular/2009/12/flashforward-bah-humbug/


And there was a lot of ‘splaining to do. FlashForward […] Continue Reading…

Time Comments on the Beginning

A time critic watched the previews, then commented later as the show progressed:

The Show: FlashForward, ABC. (Yes, evidently it is spelled one word, no space.) As Fox did with Fringe last summer, ABC sought to get the buzz rolling with a private in-house preview for critics today; a review version will be released closer to the premiere. PR reps, and executive producer Jessika Goyer, laid out a reasonable set of no-spoiler requests, but there was no NDA, so I think I’m free to describe it here. (Note: I’m abiding by their requests, and then some, but if you want to be totally surprised by this pilot, then obviously don’t read this post.)

The Premise: Lost fans have probably already seen the trailer, but to recap: […] Continue Reading…

The Guardian Comments on the Finale

The Guardian has a episode-by-episode commentary at http://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/flash-forward that I hope they will keep active.

Their comments:

But it was at least a payoff in itself to have reached the moment of flashforward, and seen the enduring power of the future (with a little help from the characters who’ve spent so long thrashing against that power). The idea of the flashforward really is – I still believe – a powerful and engaging concept, even if the way in which it all played out wasn’t as satisfactory as we might initially have hoped. But the fact that it was explored – with all its flailing arms of flabby characters, plot, tangents, red herrings, loose ends, and rolling game of ‘how many Brits can you squeeze into an […] Continue Reading…

Another Opinion: “Why I hated Flash Forward”

It goes without saying that pretty much every work of fiction begins with the “what if” question. “What if I knew the world was ending tomorrow?” “What if my wife was secretly plotting to kill me?” “What if this article wins me the Pulitzer?” What separates the great (or simply enjoyable) work from that which cannot be accepted is a second level of consideration: actually thinking about the “what if” and seeing if it has any real value, any weight, beyond that first fleeting thrill that comes with the High Concept. FlashForward, the ABC TV series or the 1999 novel by Robert J. Sawyer upon which it is loosely, loosely based, is a perfect example of exactly that: the cool but ultimately unsatisfying idea […] Continue Reading…

The Author Responds to “Why was Flash Forward Cancelled?”

Over on Quora, someone asked why FlashForward was canceled, and someone else replied with an answer that was partially right but significantly wrong. That answer:
The Lost curse. In the 6 years that Lost was on the air, ABC failed at using that monster hit to launch any new shows. The term “Flash Forward” was first used in the third season finale of Lost, and the show featured Lost alumni Dominic Monaghan and Sonya Walger.ABC launched FlashForward as well as a remake of V (with Lost‘s Elizabeth Mitchell) as shows that would take on Lost‘s audience after it ended. At the end, it was reported a choice between FlashForward and V over which one would continue, and ABC went with V, which only lasted one […] Continue Reading…