I first tuned in to FlashForward, mostly out of desperation. With Battlestar Galactica gone, Doctor Who soon to lose the greatest doctor ever in David Tennant, and Lost becoming increasingly stupid, we need something to carry the sci-fi fire on television.
This past week FlashForward resorted to its first lesbian makeout session. It was also the first time I really remember enjoying the show since I first started watching it and, of course, I was enjoying it for utterly juvenile reasons. Once the frenching was over Flash Forward went right back to being the bore it’s always been. It’s a brain-dead science fiction show, it’s time travel for 2-year-olds, a playschool version of Lost and it’s time to let it go.
The mysteries are, plainly stated, a bore. In its very first episodes Lost gave us a mysterious plane crash, an insane monster lurking in the jungle, and the magical healing of a cripple. In Flash Forward the entire world took a brief nap and, though theoretically this caused global problems, a few days later everyone feels pretty much fine with it and everything goes on as normal. A few FBI agents still seem kind of hung up on it, but mostly the world seems to have moved on so why shouldn’t the show’s audience?
The truth is that Agent Mark Benford has mugged one too many times at the camera, been yelled at by his superiors for doing the right thing far too often, and forgotten to shave so that he can look mysterious and dangerous one day too many. How many scenes can these hacks write in which someone presents conclusive evidence and a superior pretends as if it never happened? How many more advertisements for Mosaic must we put up with, before someone on this show realizes it was better the first time when it was called Facebook?
Despite the lesbian make-out session this week really was the last straw, when the show’s marginal sci-fi premise dissolved into an episode about political maneuvering and we all sat through a bunch of closed door meetings. Meanwhile that marginal premise has been dumbed down beyond all possible value. Sure Benford tossed the bracelet his daughter through into the fire, but no one seems to have considered any of the implications of seeing the future. For instance, when is someone going to stand up and wonder whether by investigating the future they’re changing it? Probably never, not on this show.
They’ve reduced a global disaster to a boring, police procedural with a dash of even more boring political maneuvering. I can get that watching CSI or whatever passes for The West Wing these days.
I really don’t care if Agent Benford takes a drink, and when he does I won’t buy it anyway, since Joseph Fiennes is one of the worst actors on television. Joseph Fiennes drunk and Joseph Fiennes sober are pretty much the same thing. It’ll involve staring at the camera and mugging. Sure John Cho’s Demitri is great, in the three minutes of sidekick screen time he gets every week, but that’s really not enough to justify tuning in.
Television needs science fiction but this Duplo blocks time travel soap opera is only a few episodes in and already out of steam. It’s time to let FlashForward go.