How "FlashForward" Went and Fucked Itself, Part I

First Fuck-Up - Deicide

What network in its right mind lets someone create an entertaining, highly promising show...and then leave?  What if Joss Whedon had ditched Buffy after Season 1?

Second Fuck-Up - Hiatus

Four months?  Your show takes off for four months and expects everyone to remember everything and pick right up where you left off?  Uh...no.  Hell, I was looking forward to the return of Demetri and Zoey--eagerly-- and yet even I couldn't remember the day or time the show was supposed to come back on or what all was supposed to be going on.

Third Fuck-Up - Star Trek Villain Syndrome

"Flosso" was a joke; his name only confirmed it.  The actor was terrible.  His dialogue was atrocious.  His subplot was bullshit.  His death...a possible remedy.

Fourth Fuck-Up - Segregating Innovation from Cliche

The longest fuck-up.  Take notes, kids; there's gonna be a quiz.

Now, when last we looked, the show pissed viewers off with the sudden and unnecessary death of Al Gough, but then went and redeemed itself magnificently by having one of the most beautiful, delicious men alive join the cast.  Having Michael Ealy come onboard as CIA Agent Marshall Vogel was a stroke of genius in that 1) he was yet another actor of color on a show which swore up and down it would have more "diversity" (*retches violently at overused term*), 2) he's a good-looking-as-hell actor, and 3) he's actually a good actor!

In the meantime, we still have John Cho portraying the sexy, fiery, smack-talking Demetri Noh who looks positively lethal in jeans.  Special Agent Noh, if you all recall, is engaged to one Zoey Andata, portrayed by the stunning Gabrielle Union.  He also reports to FBI Assistant Director Stanford Wedeck, portrayed by the bad-ass Courtney B. Vance.

Reppin' our gay siblings is Christine Woods as the tough-but-amusing Agent Janis Hawk.  She's neither feminazi butch nor lipstick chic--she's just normal.  And may she quickly return to her sizzling relationship with the gravely underappreciated, but no less astonishing, actress of color Navi Rawat.

Now about the aforementioned: their casting, their acting, and even their characterization has been nothing short of stellar when you take into account prior casting and characterization of POC and homosexuals on American TV.

Ahhh...but therein, of course, lies the problem.

We actually, genuinely like these characters, but apparently, we weren't supposed to.  We're enthralled by Demetri and Zoey's relationship; they've developed a cult following.  They piqued the audience's excitement and curiosity.  In the meantime, we find Director Wedeck absolutely hilarious.  Janis's baby issues and her tenuous (and interracial) relationship make her more than just some stereotype or statistic.  These characters are, in fact, breaking down stereotypes; they've got endless potential, and they are drawing in audience members who would've otherwise ignored the show altogether.  They bring new face and flavor to American TV and when FlashForward returned on 3/18 and whited them out--literally--from most of the 2-hour premiere, it's no shocker only 1.9 million cared to tune in.

In the meantime...we've got the White Folks and their Seen-It-All-Befores.

For starters, they're noticeably separated from "everyone else", and even though "everyone else" is the main reason most folks are watching FlashForward right now, the writers chose to focus on these guys and their poor, weak, far-beyond-tired-and recycled plotlines--which viewers bitched about the very first few weeks of the show (four months later and still no one at ABC's listening?).

Joseph* Fiennes as Agent Mark Benford is the boring and cliched lead white guy who's battling alcoholism and on the verge of losing his precious all-white family because of it--seen it.  His wife, portrayed by the luscious Brit Sonya Walger, is an all-American woman who's got the job, the cutesy daughter, and the tantalizing threat of an affair lurking just beyond the horizon with another white guy--uh...seen it.  In essence, we've got the dreaded love triangle drama--seen it, hated it, writers who use it should promptly be killed.

And while we've also got the exceptional Jack Davenport as a convincing Dr. Lloyd Simcoe, he's lately been overshadowed by Dominic Monaghan's used-to-be-menacing-and-relevant Dr. Simon Campos.  Monaghan went from being manly and mysterious right back to being Meriadoc--seen it.

And then we have a list of people the show could more than do without:

Irish actor Brian F. O'Byrne is being thoroughly wasted as Agent Benford's AA sponsor.  His subplot was almost interesting, but then the writers seem to have forgotten what to do with him.

Zachary Knighton is bland and predictable as the borderline emo Dr. Bryce Varley (aka "Asian Fetish Man") who should've been left alone to shoot himself on that bridge in the first episode.

Actress Peyton List is 23, she plays 19-year-old Nicole, and looks 30.  She serves as the pseudo-tragic, melodramatic vanilla [supposed] eye candy whom people are supposed to care about for some reason.

Fashion Tips from Moi

1) Writers, get your shit together.

2) Start listening to viewers...what's left of them, anyway.  The subplots which ought to have been resolved somehow by now are dragging on waaaaay too long.  No one gives a fuck about Mark and Olivia Benford.  Get over those two already.

3) Stop trying to force the audience to care about the boring and irrelevant.  We don't give a fuck about Nicole.  Dr. Varley is dull and asexual; I don't see a woman falling for him, much less two.  It's time for Aaron Stark to go somewhere and never come back.  Axe these motherfuckers already.

4) Use your goddamn imaginations.  Fuck...I've shit way better plotlines than these.  To hell with Campos and Flosso.  No one cared about them.  I'm still waiting to find out what the hydra has to do with anything, and why the hell Mark would go all Crip vs. Blood on Demetri.  Did the show's creator take off with that info too?

5) For the millionth time, stop hiring actors of color to play scenery and fetish candy.  And stop fucking leaving them out of episodes you know good and well they ought to be in (did anyone else wonder where the fuck Gabrielle was last week?  You're telling me after that major drama in Hong Kong she wouldn't rush to see her man?  Negro, seriously?).

You are not dealing with a bunch of third-rate bitch-asses here.  You've got some the hottest folk from the colorful end of the spectrum--John Cho, Gabrielle Union, and Michael Ealy--are you shittin' me?  Not to mention our more distinguished folks; in addition to Vance, guest star Shohreh Aghdashloo as the mysterious Nhadra Udaya is all sultry and finesse, and we definitely need some more of her.

In Conclusion....

Your casting agents clearly did their damn jobs correctly--writers, now do yours.  These folks need lines and action, all the time, every time.  Cho and Union need more nekkidness, and I expect Ealy to be tappin' someone soon as well.  Like it or not, believe or not, they are your fucking lifeline, your bread and butter.  You need them.

Pushing them into the background and falling back on rehashed storylines will be your first-class flight to cancellation.

(By the way...FlashForward talked a big game about "diversity" (*retch*).  Um, WTF is wrong with this pic?)


*Thanks, Angel!

Comments

  1. I watched this show until episode 2 only. I've found the love triangle too boring, and I've had my share of this on the 4 seasons of Lost I had seen before I gave up the series completely.
    It was an interesting story, but it would be better if the main character had his wife killed instead of letting Demetri possibly die at the end of it.

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  2. Everything you pointed out was extremely well said. I haven't actually seen the newest episode yet but I didn't have much hope for the show. I think I may have even lost a little bit of interest with the way so many of these tired cliches are going.

    Also, I just wanted to point out that it's Joseph Fiennes, Ralph's younger brother, that's in the show as boring main character guy.

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  3. Thanks again, Angel.

    The premiere on 3/18 was toxic. I've noticed that when viewers complain about FF, a lot of them say the same thing; they're "always waiting" for something to actually happen. At first I was cool with all the suspense, but now...after a 4-month hiatus, the writers don't have the luxury anymore. Stuff needs to happen and it needs to be written well.

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  4. I really liked the first show back. Mark wasn't all annoying and emo (the fact that he didn't have too many scenes helped). On the downside, Dimitri also didn't have that many scenes, and I find him more interesting than Mark. My ears perked up when Marshall told him Zoe might be marrying someone else, and Dimitri punched. Foreshadowing? I hope not. I would like some more focus on Dimitri and Zoey's drama (and yes, thinking your fiance's going to die counts as drama, writers).

    The Benford drama became so damn tired because they were both lying to each other, and...it's just boring. Every damn chance Olivia has had to get rid of Dylan, she's kept him in that hospital.

    I didn't know that both of the heads of the show had left. As Davenport said in the interview you linked, they still have the same writers. Then again, that won't matter if the new ptb has White colored glasses. *Sigh* I really don't want this show to go the way of Heroes.

    And thank you for introducing the Zoey and Dimitri's lj community! I'd been searching for something just like that.

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  5. Omg...Benford? is it? Needs to die already. His wooden acting test my nerves. And i definitely did not forget to tune in. Lol...been waiting for the show to come back. Hopefully it picks up cos its my current addiction.

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  6. Omg...Benford? is it? Needs to die already.

    Bwahahahahahahahahah!!!!

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  7. IMHO. They packed the show in with too many subplots of the other characters. My BlAsian bias would've wanted a show focusing on just Zoe & Dimitri. I accept the tragic ending of their relationship and Dimitri's. But what they showed before that was what happens in BlAsian relatioships. Yes, if the screenwriters et al had wanted to keep milking the BlAsian subplot they would have shown them getting married, having kids, and living as a couple - just like many white couples, Black couples, and Black-white couples of other prior T.V. shows. Instead, it ended with no other show taking its place or any inkling from the producers or others that a future FlashForward or similar BlAsian themed show would happen. Yes, all this and bullshit like Romeo Must Die is why I turned into an author and probably a screenwriter soon. I am going to write the stories that these folk hesitate to develop and often fail to write.
    http://blackwomanasianman.wordpress.com

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  8. They packed the show in with too many subplots of the other characters. My BlAsian bias would've wanted a show focusing on just Zoe & Dimitri.

    I hear you.

    I am going to write the stories that these folk hesitate to develop and often fail to write.

    And we will read them.

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  9. I am frustated like you. In North America,I am sorry to say POC have to write their on stories if they want to be taken seriously like Bill Cosby did on TV or Spike Lee in the Movies. Without Spike in recent years there would be no Denzell or Will Smith as leading men. Even as leading men you'll never see them on romantic roles unless it's a black production.

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