Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Lost v. FlashForward

I've made no secret of the fact that I've been disappointed by FlashForward. We had been told that FlashForward would be the next Lost, and it certainly has a number of similarities with it. There's the unexplained phenomena, relationships created by unusual circumstances, and a crisis of epic proportions.

And I've enjoyed FlashForward, but it leaves me a little cold. It doesn't have the same heart as Lost. The biggest difference between the two? The characters. What made me addicted to Lost was not the science fiction or the adventure, but the weekly focus on a character. Almost every week, the show shines a spotlight or a microscope on someone. We learn something about that character, their flaws, their motivations, their passions. Even when the character is doing something you abhor, because we've learned something about that person, we've sympathized with them, we feel like we've known them. The nuances of each person are so clearly drawn and acted that even the most improbable behavior makes sense. Heck, those flash backs and flash forwards have even made me like Kate!

So far, we don't know the characters on FlashForward very well. There is no sole focus on a character - each week is an ensemble week. Mark and Olivia are clearly the primary characters, but we don't know them well enough to understand them. Why isn't Mark telling Olivia that he saw himself drinking in the future? Mark told his sponsor (whose name I still haven't learned) that Olivia would leave him if he drank. But that doesn't fully explain his silence to me.

Don't worry. I'll keep watching. I figure I am more disappointed in FlashForward because of how much it was built up to be like Lost. But I know better. Each show should stand on its own. And I need to let FlashForward do just that.

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