Friday, May 28, 2010

In My Lousy Flash Forward I Saw the Crappy LOST Finale

I’m amazed at the number of fans LOST had until the bitter end. Far fewer people seemed to be satisfied with the one-season wonder, Flash Forward. (Based on my highly unscientific occasional skimming of Television Without Pity.)

But while the former show may have had the edge in some areas - a few individual characters more fully fleshed out in writing or acting - when it came down to it, both were muddled messes.

 The main problem? The creators of these shows, and others of the ilk (e.g., The X-Files), shows of the multi-character, sci-fi mystery, Big Myth genre - didn’t seem to know their final destination back when they started the journey.

 So instead of a clearly defined path, with a few interesting scenic side-trips, we got one of those road-trips from hell, where daddy refuses to look at a map, and mom has a permanent migraine and Billy is dangling Jenny’s pet hamster out the window. (Play along with me, my metaphorical family took their bleepity-bleep hamster on their vacation, OK?)

These shows are more infuriatingly coy and self-satisfied than every reality show diva on the planet combined. They provided fewer straightforward answers than a Family-Values senator or preacher who’s just been caught wearing diapers with a hooker or taking a rent boy to Europe.

Oh, they tease us with their shiny new toy of a premise. Only for us to find a few weeks or years after we started playing with the toy that it was filled with Grade A Chinese lead.

I stopped watching Lost regularly sometime while they were all still on the island (or dead, or whatever they were) the first time. Before some of them left, or came back, or flew sideways, or whatever. Then this year I got into the habit of flipping over to it in between other shows, keeping it on for background noise while I cyber-surfed.

But I didn’t really know what was going on. Which means I could’ve been one of the writers.

Ba-dum-bump.

And then there’s Flash Forward. I’ve read the novel by Robert Sawyer, the Canadian writer of science-heavy science fiction.

It’s a hell of a premise, a great twist on the sci-fi theme that’s been a favorite fantasy of mine since childhood - time travel.

In fact, my recent movie script, Do Not Delete, is a time-travel theme. I’ve also dabbled with other time travel plots. And read a zillion short-stories and novels and seen numerous movies and TV shows utilizing the topic.

So Flash Forward, the TV show, naturally grabbed my attention. But oh, what a hot mess it was from Episode One, FADE IN. Right through the Calvalcade of Cliches that was the abrupt and unsatisfying season/ series finale.

Take that last episode. S’il vous plait. Bitte. Please.

I don’t have the faintest clue what was supposedly going on with the building blowing up, or why the Bad Guys With Guns were also there. But everything in those scenes was so clich├ęd it looked like a parody:

  • The “ruthless” gunmen jittery, jumping the trigger at just the sound of a cell phone ringing.
  • Ralph‘sLessTalentedBrother hiding behind a shuttered closet door and not one of the Bad Guys glancing that way as they entered the room.
  • And Die-Hard, the Dork Version, with Our Hero running in shampoo-commercial Slo-Mo toward the window as the building explodes.


Joseph Fiennes spent most of Flash Forward 
searching for a consistent American accent.

Plus, why was the threat to the building a surprise. Didn't all of the law enforcement people (including the extras) see themselves there in their FFs. Or not see themselves, in the case of the ones who were mowed down just before 10 p.m.


And then there’s the silly Oh she wasn’t being drowned, she was being saved. Oh, she wasn’t dead, just has a really thready pulse. Oh, oh, oh …

The only characters I found the least bit interesting were Janis, and to a lesser extent, Lloyd. (I know, I know, but I like his English accent and puppy-dog eyes.) Oh, and the savant, whazizname.

I did have one happy association when I watched a few of the last episodes, though. Every time the show mentioned April 29, I remembered my fun trip to an ice show in Canada on that day this year.

Until I realized, if there’d really been a (second) worldwide blackout on that day, I might’ve driven off the Ambassador Bridge.

Ew, I’ll probably dream that now.

And my five-second dream will be more interesting than Lost Seasons 2-6 and Flash Forward, Season Everything, put together.