Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Three Fs: FlashForward and Fringe

I was frankly skeptical when I heard that Executive Producer Marc Guggenheim had raved on Facebook about the FlashForward pilot. After all, Guggenheim was a creator of the earnest but mediocre Eli Stone, which had a great premise but poor execution. I'd also read Robert Sawyer's book Flashforward and seriously doubted the premise would translate to television.

I'm happy to report my skepticism was totally misplaced.

In fact, after watching the first episode, I wouldn't be surprised if I enjoy the show even more than the book. Sawyer's novel is less of a mystery -- the source of the blackout is revealed early on -- and more of a character study of the scientists who caused the event. Also, the flash forward therein catapults human consciousness 21 years into the future, instead of a mere six months. Obviously, these elements wouldn't make for much of a weekly show.

So, the TV version wisely changes things, making the cause of the flashforward a mystery and focusing upon FBI agents trying to piece together what happened. Indeed, while the pseudo-scientific premise -- particle accelerator malfunction -- may remain the same, the motive and identity of those responsible will probably be very different. My guess is that some sinister corporation has been experimenting with such an accelerator to time travel or affect probability.

The shorter jump makes sense, too, though I would have made it a full year. Six months is an awfully compressed time frame. Mark's vision of the Mosaic investigation and men with laser-sighted guns will probably occur in the first season finale. But such a major reveal should really take place later in the series, like season two or three. What I don't want is for the show to start each season with a similar flash that sets up the storylines for the year.

Still, that's a minor and speculative quibble. As I say, there's plenty to love about this show, including top notch writing and acting. Brannon Braga wrote "Cause and Effect," a classic Star Trek: TNG episode that takes a cool and unconventional approach to time travel. And David S. Goyer penned "The Dark Knight," one of my favorite films of any genre, ever. I'm less familiar with Guggenheim's work (besides Eli Stone) but know he has plenty of fans, too.

Jospeh Fiennes and Sonya Walger are both totally believable as husband and wife Mark and Olivia Benford. John Cho is also great as Mark's partner Demetri Noh, who doesn't have a vision and assumes it's because he'll be dead in six months. I buy Courtney B. Vance as their dapper and baritone FBI superior. Even Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane is solid in his cameo as an agent on their team, though my first reaction was: "this guy's getting a little overexposed."

For some time now, ABC has looked in vain for the "next" LOST. Time will tell, but I think they may finally have found it in FlashForward.

Great shows usually grab me from the very start. I knew I would enjoy the Wire, Dexter, and Battlestar Galactica after the first episode or two. I was sold on LOST after the first promos. (Plane crashes are a major fear of mine.) In the case of Fringe, it took me a full season to fall in love.

I originally panned the show as too derivative of the X-Files, but you all everybody urged me to give it another chance. So I caught up on Hulu in time to watch the mind blowing season finale. And I'm not talking about Leonard Nimoy's freaky guest spot as the elusive William Bell, or the revelation that Pacey is from an alternate reality (which I already suspected). When they pulled back to reveal the twin towers of the World Trade Center...

Let's just say, as someone who was in Southern Manhattan and saw the towers fall with my own eyes, it was a powerful and disturbing image. It also illustrated brilliantly, on both literal and metaphorical levels, the mythology of the show. There is more than one of everything, including an alternate reality that differs in important ways from our own. One lingering question from the finale: are the towers standing because 9/11 never happened or is the alternate reality behind our own in time?

My casting concerns were overblown in retrospect. Pacey is more palatable than I'd imagined. And the writers have wisely toned down Lance Reddick's character, Agent Broyles, making him the quietly authoritative figure Reddick played so well on the Wire. Anna Torv is as adorable as ever -- I love Agent Dunham's bemused look when people try to BS her. Walter Bishop continues to be the most compelling character on the show, though the mysterious Nina Sharp is giving him a run for his money.

This season has gotten off to a slow start with stories returning to the show's X-Files roots. The possession of Agent Francis is an intriguing development. But his method of communicating with the mirror universe is a little cheesy. It would be creepier -- and make more sense -- if we could actually see another pair of hands typing in the mirror. I'm confident, however, that the show will regain steam once the focus returns to the engrossing main story arc.

Right now, my guess is that the two realities are unstable and destined eventually to merge into one. The coming battle is between "living receivers" (to borrow a phrase from Donnie Darko) like Agent Dunham whose special talents will facilitate the merging process. The winners of this inter-dimensional conflict will decide which version survives when alternate realities collide.


Elizabeth said...

It took me the full first season to appreciate Fringe, too.

Greg Tramel said...

i'm just EXCCITED about all the sci-fi on TV these days and the interplay between, quantum physics, transhumanism, time travel, CERN, multiverses, science, philosophy, mythology, literature, religion and life, the universe and everything

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

I'll need to watch Fringe if they are still using the alternate reality angle. I've only seen the first reference to it (the human cumbustion episode, right?) on Hulu. The way everyone was talking after the S1 finale, I thought that was that. 9/11 was different for me, I worked a block from the Sears Tower and Board of Trade. We were evacuating at the time the towers fell, when I got to my transfer point at Midway, planes were landing every half minute or so, and this was directly across Cicero Avenue from the bus terminal.

I did enjoy FF, and the commercials held to my expectations. What I like most is that most everyone experiences a mundane FF (not the main characters, of course), it's not as if everyone sees themselves any different than they are now.

Anonymous said...

"One lingering question from the finale: are the towers standing because 9/11 never happened or is the alternate reality behind our own in time?"

I think we can safely say that it is the same time in the alternate reality. If you notice the New York Post on William Bell's desk in the finale, you'll see it shows Obama and his family moving into the White House.

Screencap here: http://i37.tinypic.com/10s7imh.jpg

A version of this paper was also given out at Comicon this year, it shows the date as May 12, 2009.

Comicon newspaper here: http://i37.tinypic.com/2cpb1no.jpg

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

To add to anonymous, Olivia (?) saw those two buildings in Boston in flames. I assumed that meant that the planes originated at Kennedy and were hijacked to Boston. This was the episode involving spontaneous combustion.

Greg Tramel said...

short video Fringe: The Observer

Greg Tramel said...

our friend Therese does a nice job of tying together Lost, Fringe, FlashForward, Predestination Paradox, Schrodinger's cat & multiverses along with a good dose of snark

FlashForward: What Did You See?

looking forward to more

Greg Tramel said...

Fringe Theory: Alternate Realities, Parallel Universes, and Mutliverses

Bigmouth said...

Anonymous: Good catch! But wasn't there some suggestion last season that one of the realities was slightly ahead of the other in time -- or at least more advanced? Maybe ours is the one that lags behind.

Wayne: Do you mean that 9/11 happened in Boston, rather than NYC, in the mirror reality?

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

You all everybody have to help me out, is the episode I mentioned (the combustion ep)the first reference to the other reality? As I watched it, it seemed that the subtleties like Reddick's desk being moved was a very new thing for Olivia to be experiencing.

Back to FF, I agree with what Big sd about hoping each new season doesn't start with a cliffhanger/flash forward vision type thing. For me, that would allow the show to denegrate into what HEROES was as of S2. Tonight's episode might show us the pace of the show, after getting all the needed info front-loaded in the pilot episode.

Capcom said...

Oh no, I wish that I hadn't read the FF part of the post, but I kind of guessed that anyway. :-(

Wayne, I can't remember when the first hint at alternate realities began, but it could probably be found easily enough at the FringeTelevision site, along with many eastereggs like the NYPost copy and Walter's lab notes from last season which are fun.

Olivia began to have weird head trips after continuous dunks in the isolation tank and hooking up with John's dead brain. John's brain sort of melded with hers, and she began to see weird things also. There may have been something else that happened to her as well that caused the visions that I'm forgetting. Then she began the brain power thing due to Jones encouraging it, with the light box and the bomb planted in the building that looked very much like the building that Batman and Joker had their final showdown in, in the last Batman movie.

I still haven't warmed up to Olivia yet....she ain't no Scully. :-) And I wanted the hands to show up in the mirror too. Otherwise, what's the mirror there for?

Capcom said...

BTW, who is Pacey?!

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

Mann, I thought I had Fringe-Olivia wrong when I realized there was a FF-Olivia, but I now know there are both. Whew.

Thx for the info, Capcom. There is much more than what Big mentioned about the show, and reading up on the novel itself gives a lot away. Trust me, you'll enjoy finding out exactly WHAT and not WHO caused the blackouts. I'm not going to talk about tonight's episode until I'm certain that others have watched.

Big, that's exactly what I mean, Boston and Manhattan are mirrored, though for that to truly work I think the planes that hit Boston would have come from Newark, not LaGuardia. I think.

Thunderstorm said...

Pacey is Peter.
He played Pacey on Dawson's Creek.

I actually gave Fringe another chance tonight. (skipped last week) I liked it, Walter is really an enjoyable character. Although right at the very end, I got the serious tinge of Alien conspiracy.

Maybe I haven't followed closely enough (I've seen probably 60-70% of the episodes) but that's what it felt like. The govt/military project, the shapeshifting supersoldiers from the premiere...

It's a good enough show on it's own, I don't know why it seems to be so derivative of The X-Files. There isn't much new under the sun but they shouldn't be this blatant. Moving past homage and inspiration into downright copy-cat territory.

Wayne, aren't you an author? Do you have a rule of thumb for tasteful borrowing? I'm finding myself creating a negative bias towards the show because of it. I am trying to be objective. Big X-Files fan.

Oh, Capcom, Scully>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Olivia


Again, good stuff but man, they are getting into (can't remember his name, Mark?) Joseph Fiennes' flash early. Seems things are moving fast enough that they just might end up there by the end of Season 1.

So yeah, Wayne, I am actually thinking they will have a cliffhanger flash for next season. Hope I'm wrong, things are steadily progressing towards it after only two hours/episodes.

Anonymous said...

"There is much more than what Big mentioned about the show, and reading up on the novel itself gives a lot away. Trust me, you'll enjoy finding out exactly WHAT and not WHO caused the blackouts. I'm not going to talk about tonight's episode until I'm certain that others have watched."

Actually in tonight's episode they basically flat out said the WHAT that caused the blackouts in the novel was "ruled out" D. Gibbons.

So I think we can safely say that the facts have changed from the book to the show, which is essential to keep the mystery going.

Capcom said...

Tx Thunderstorm, I didn't watch even one ep of DC. :->

Tx Wayne for the encouragement on FF.

I agree Thunderstorm, I think that Walter might be the main reason why I like Fringe so much, aside from the great writing. Since I did the whole X-Files thing heavily, the paranormal thing is old for me. As long as the show doesn't become too much of "here comes another Walterism" or "this week's autopsy". I really like that old coot (as well as the play between Walter and Pete, and Walter and Astrid), and I'm partial to weird scientists as well having worked with so many. And I love Steven McHattie who played Colonel Whoever, I hope that he's in the show some more since he knows some things about the Pattern apparently. Speaking of which, for a sec there, the way they edited the convo between him and Broyles, I thought {{spoiler}} that Broyles was receiving the suitcase in the diner!

I know Thunder, I'm trying to accept Olivia. She is getting better to me. Especially since she was as gimpy as me for a while I could relate, haha. I REALLY liked how they made her courage to get the answers be the core and impetus of her healing last night, wow. Scully would do that, heheh.

Bigmouth said...

Thunder: Did you watch Season 1 of Fringe? By the end of the season, it felt less derivative of X-Files than, say, Warehouse 13. For example, Fringe doesn't force Olivia and Pacey into the Mulder/Scully opposition the way Warehouse 13 does with Pete and Myka.

Also, don't be put off by hints of an alien conspiracy. While it's not entirely clear what's happening, I get the sense these aliens aren't as sinister as their X-Files counterparts. My guess is that the Observers on Fringe originally created this alternate reality split by mistake. They're working secretly to undo the damage and prevent the "wrong" reality from winning. Ultimately, I think they'll be revealed as benign.

Anonymous (?): I noticed that, too -- D Gibbons seemed to rule out CERN as a cause of the blackout. Like you, I'm confident they've changed things pretty significantly from the book.

Bigmouth said...

Interesting...I was just checking out Anonymous's(?) screencap. The headline actually states that President Obama is moving into the "new" White House. Could this mean that, in the mirror universe, one of the planes hit the White House instead of the WTC?

Wayne: I think Ability (the one where Jones returns after escaping from prison) is the first episode to mention the mirror universe. I interpret the scenes of Boston on fire to relate to the pyrokinesis of one of the characters in the episode.

Bigmouth said...

Capcom: Relax! As I mentioned to anonymous(?) I think FlashForward has changed things pretty significantly from the book.

Capcom said...

Yay, tx Big! :-)

I agree about the Observers, Big. Someone seems to not want the connection closed though, to use it for their own designs perhaps, such as Jones had his own reasons for using it. I've been wondering why Belly chose to stay there in the Universe-2? I also wonder if some of the Observers might be working against the benign ones, for the above reason. {{Spoiler from preview following}} They did show in the preview Nina (I think) explaining the effect of U-1 and U-2 contacting with the snowglobes, which was very interesting {{spoiler off}}. But Walter sort of mentioned that last season too, without any visual aids.

Yes, the "new" Whitehouse thing was thought provoking and does make you think that. The WH is close to the Pentagon after all and the targets in U-2 might have been concentrated to one DC location.

Bigmouth said...

Capcom: Yeah, can't wait for next week's episode and Nina Sharp's explanation! What if Belly and Walter were originally from opposite dimensions? Maybe the Observers brought them together in hopes of making the merging process more peaceful.

Capcom said...

Ohhhhhhhh, I like that!

Thunderstorm said...

Cap, I saw DC minimally but apparently I saw it enough to know exactly who Pacey was. I resolve this (in my own mind) by telling myself I probably only watched what little I did, just to see if Katie Holmes would show up in a bikini.

I don't dislike Olivia, I just think Anna Torv is serviceable at best. Gillian wasn't Meryl Streep but she was better than serviceable. Also she served the skeptic role very nicely. Who would we say is the skeptic on Fringe? Peter? None? Is this a missing dynamic?

Also, Lance Reddick is being wasted in that role that they could have given to literally anyone else.

I actually disagree about the writing, not the concepts (which are usually very cool) but the dialogue itself. Often very cliche (again, not concepts, just how scenes unfold). Olivia crashing through the windshield? ACE! Most everything said after that? NOT!

BigM, I saw probably, two thirds, 65-70% of Season 1 (including the premiere and finale). And the 1st and 3rd episodes of Season Two. And I'll probably watch next week.

And I totally agree, they went from (wow, this concept is totally 'X-Files') to moving in their own direction. I saw the first 5 or 6 episodes and thought it was pretty average stuff. Then I saw an episode a few weeks later that just 'clicked' and I tried to keep up mostly from there on out. Pretty quality stuff, mostly. By the excellent season finale, I didn't feel the derivations 'bugging' me.

But wow, that Season 2 premiere just got under my skin. I'm not sure if JJ Abrams has a unique idea in his frakking head. (Thank God for Damon Lindelof) I counted no less than 4 blatant X-Files plot references/allusions in one hour, including Mulder splashed on the screen as if to say 'yeah we know, and no, we don't care'.

So I'll keep watching, I don't like coming off as a 'hater'. I am not a hater, I am just a critical viewer, and I am trying to be as fair and reasonable as possible.

I wouldn't watch it, if I thought it was 'bad', I'm just working past those X-Files hang-ups.

Big, is Warehouse 13 any good? I finally watched Eureka for the first time about a month ago. I actually thought it was a good episode, although I don't understand the character dynamics out of context.

Capcom said...

Heheh, about DC and KH. :o)

Ditto with me about the actresses Thunder. I thought that Gillian was pretty awkward at first. Then she really grew into a believable scientist. I'd be willing to say that it's just my prejudice that's keeping me from like Torv yet. She seemed a little stiff and in my mind I went, "That's it, I don't like her!" I get in my own way some times, haha.

Good point about who the skeptic might be. At first it might have been Charlie, but after a few of Olivia's freaky visions got them what they needed to find, he became a believer. Pete was the aggressive figure to counter Walter's craziness, but I love how Pete's working up to seeing things thru his dad's eyes as time passes, and vice versa with the apartment.

It would be hard not to get compared to the show that wrote the book on TV Feds chasing spooks, so Fringe had a lot to live up to, or down. I agree about this season's X-Files references, wow. That one ep had about 5 blatant X shouts, maybe they were just paying homage. Hey, Tarantino gets away with it all the time. But at least Fringe isn't making me as mad as Cloverfield did (OK throw the 'maters at me now!).

I thought that WH-13 was pretty cool, it has potential. I like the Steampunk angle to it as well, and I could see myself working happily at a place like that. But I felt that the first season of Eureka was better than the second. This season was kind of weak somehow, I can't put my finger on it. Kind of predictable maybe. But I'll still watch it if it comes back again. I wish that 4400 had a chance to finish.

Capcom said...

Zoinks, sorry about the long post!

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

Might've just been me, but watching the same scene in Utah twice, well, I might just be dense, but I don't get what the hell happened in the doll factory. I'll probably wake up at 3 AM and get it.

Anonymous anonymous (and Big), yes, it looks as if the show will take its own direction rather quickly. I was pointing out to Capcom that reading the blog entry shouldn't spoil FF for her. Whereas I'm that way with LOST spoilers, I've only seen three episodes of Fringe and maybe six of W13, and have no problem reading everyone else discussing them.

lostmio, I'm a writer, but I never want to be involved with Hollywood at all. And I know what you mean by tasteful borrowing, but it's more like certain writers tastefully borrowing their OWN ideas over and over, like King and whoever writes the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter books. In general, you can't borrowing tastefully from anyone else, because to do so keeps you from even getting noticed. I don't know if that makes much sense, but it's the easiest way to put it. Zombie books are huge now, but aside from Max Brooks' WORLD WAR Z and Robert Kirkman's THE WALKING DEAD, both of which read more like mainstream literature, not one of the twenty or so books on the shelves at Borders stand out at all. So its about trying to not borrow at all.

That said, Fringe I suppose will always be compared to X-Files, and the 'borrowing' part is more about what the network wants. Are the ratings slipping? Give the audience an X-Files episode. On-topic, using a show I watched, I liked INVASION because I thought the concept was cool, the town cut off because of an event caused by human nature. Its easier for me to see the uniqueness of LOST and FF than the other shows being discussed, so to me there is simply X-Files and post-X-Files (with Kolchak being the only possible pre-X-Files). This comment is way to long already, so I'm stopping.

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

I wanted to come back to this. Actually, what Capcom mentioned about W 13 steampunk angle is exactly what I mean re: the angle.

I know I'm being general when it comes to saying "ratings are down, do another X-Filesy episode." In fiction, its the agents that do that to the writer, in the mid-90s I spent an entire summer trying to pitch ST Voyager books because that is all my agent (and the sci-fi imprints like TOR) wanted, and that is one reason why I now have a different agent. Still happens though, my agent wants a zombie novel from me, but he'll settle for a cop novel. We still have to pitch with what are called 'log lines.' I HATE MY DVR is like David Halberstram turned into Optimus-Prime and fighting Chelsea Handler who has all the power of Skeletor, with Adam Sandler, Rob Schneider, and Andy Samburg as Cerebus. Seriously. And in about half the word count.

But Capcom's mention of steampunk is the uniqueness out of the shows mentioned here (aside from FF).

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

By the way, I read that FF review on Tubular (Greg's link). Help a guy out here, what does the Z in ZOMG and FTW mean, please?

Capcom said...

Heheh, I almost mentioned Night Stalker too Wayne as a springboard for the X-Files, but since I ended up talking about Feds vs Spooks, and Kolchak was a journalist, I erased that part. Great minds thinking alike, and all that. :-)

About the steampunk angle, I often wonder if some shows (and I guess that I mean mostly SF shows) don't quite make it because they don't have a strong visual anchor to hook the audience. WH-13 picked steampunk and that was a great choice, not only because it links the past with the future (Victorian/Edwardian, with adventure and futurustic SF) which aligns with artifacts and antiquities, but because even though the movement began back in the 1980s, steampunk is finally coming into it's own strength now as a genre per se. It seems like an obvious choice, but they still could have missed the mark and taken a different and less impactful visual avenue for the show. FWIW my underlying point being that since TV is mostly visual media (not that stories don't matter because they do), some decent show ideas don't seem to make it because the visual just doesn't click or isn't strong or interesting enough. And that may be why I'm still watching Heroes, because as an artist it's so visually fun for me that it helps me overlook the fact that the story doesn't make any damm sense to me a this point. :o)

I have no idea what those things mean Wayne, unless they are just from the trend of skewing up the webernet abbreviations. FTW = WTF, etc? At any rate that FF article is funny as heck!

Greg Tramel said...

ZOMG - the Z does not really stand for anything, i think it is kinda like a slur (in more ways than 1) of OMG so you pronounce it Zo My God, i think of it as a sardonic OMG, there's mythology on the web of its origins involving the shift key but it's taken a life on as it own so doesn't really factor in for me

FTW - For the Win, used after what you feel is a pithy provocative mind blowing statement or tying up a bunch of theoretical strings but at the same time it can be used ironically at least IMHO kinda like i figured it all out but i'm actually totally clueless

Greg Tramel said...

Capcom, i guess we'll never talk them into watching Dollhouse (that is if you still watch)

i'm about to watch last nights ep right now online while slurping my egg drop soup (i have the frakin flue but feeling a little better after a few does of tamiflu)

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

Greg, I might still watch DOLLHOUSE on Hulu. The weather is grim now, until April or May. Last year at this time I was up to my @$$ in ghostwriting assignments and watched little TV.

Big, going back to the statement you made re Fringe and the pyro twins, mind you, I only know the alt. reality from one episode, but isn't that a stretch that the spontaneous combustion caused the two buildings on fire? That's a stretch for me, and just sloppy writing. This might be why I'm not into the Fringe, though I might just need to park my ass and watch several episodes in a row.

Thx on the abbreviations, Greg. I recall years ago, a friend typing BTW and when he explained it meant By The Way, I was like how lazy do you have to be to not type 8 letters? This was in the 90s, mind you, back when I was used to the only abbrev. being IMHO or IMO.

Capcom, one of the first things I wrote in 1979 was STEAMROCK JOHNNY, a name suggested by the artist. We both were/are big fans of the Industrial Age and an early concept that went nowhere involved six men who basically had to sacrifice all memory of their existence in order to stop some worldwide disaster circa 1883. Couldn't sell either one back then.

Capcom said...

Heheh, I can see the shift/z thing on the ZOMG. Tx Greg for the definitions! Yow, hope your flu goes away soon. Someone must have brought that nasty bug into your library. :o)

I missed most of Dollhouse last night, I had to watch the end of the Ken Burns' series on the Parks. I caught a little bit though. Concerning that show's looks, I think that it has a good visual hook, but so did Angel which it is very similar to. It almost looks like the same building set even. "Grrr,Argh!"

Wow Wayne, that sounds like a interesting story.

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

For those who overlooked my confusion (and it might be staring me right in my face), what was the thing going on in Utah in FF? What was up with the hanging guy and what did he say? I'm sure that when one of you all everybody replies I'll slap my head and say sonuva...

Capcom, in my 1979-80 stories, it involved an artist, and he continues to stay in touch re: projects that never get realized. (His main gig is touching up the art on the Franklin Mint commerative plates, and he gets paid bathtubs filled with money.) So I soon learned to write my own work. STEAMROCK JOHNNY involved a plague, and I actually based it on AIDS, which was still HTLV at the time. HateLove, more or less, with the survivors all being under 17 because the adults rec'd a vaccine which killed them all. The young kids had to figure out technology on their own (this was set, well, present day by now). I completely forget the extent of the threat in 1883, and the project was called NOWHERE MEN, but the steampunk scientists (and a journalist) slipped into a fold in reality, so another angle was that they were still around in 1980. Ah, well.

Just watched the most recent Fringe over a few pizza puffs. Now for some crazy bread from Little Ceasar's and the pilot.

Capcom said...

I'm more than a bit iffy on the doll factory as well, that's why I didn't reply to your Q. Somehow they figured that the factory guy was also "awake" like the guy in the stadium, I think by nabbing his cell phone from the fire??? Correct me if I'm wrong someone. I'm going to rewatch the ep tomorrow to try to figure that out. Meanwhile, we need to find a FF blog like Dennis' Fringe blog.

Capcom said...

Oh, and Feinnes did see a polaroid of a burnt doll on the mosaic bulletin board in his vision. But you probably got that part.

lostmio said...

I'm trying real hard to emotionally and intellectualy invest in this show.
The plot stuff is kinda thin, and I've decided not to read the book so as not to tip that delicate balance.
The character stuff is way better but I'm still not totally on board.

Cho's fate seems to be sealed and that's sad..
I want to scream at the other folks "It's your live, people, if you don't like what you've seen, step up and take control!"
Olivia seems to be trying...

What bugs me is that the children's ff's don't match the adult's ff's. How did Dylan see and know and attach to Olivia, since he wasn't in her ff? How did Charlie see and emotionally attach to Dylan while seeing D.Giddings ( or whoever)?

Right now the people I truly like are the FBI head honcho girls. And Olivia.
Everyone else seems to be clueless.
I'm really trying to like this show.

Thunderstorm said...

I never really watched Stargate on TV (I saw the movie, when it first came out many moons ago).

And I have seen bits and pieces, probably totaling an hour or two of the entire TV universe of Stargate. Macgyver is in it, Jewel Staite is in one version of it...there are some cheesy aliens in one version of it, and some cool aliens in another. :)

So yeah, I don't know much about it other than the basic concept that could be extracted from the Kurt Russell?James Spader movie.

That said, I caught myself watching the entire 2 hour series premiere of Stargate Universe. And I'll be damned if I wasn't kind of impressed a little bit. I mean, it kept me watching...maybe I was bored but I was pretty intrigued.

There is a kind of BSG flavor in it (too much? hard to say right now), AND (as hard as it might be to imagine) sort of a LOST flavor as well. I would go into detail about the similarities (we'll see how much they grow to bother me ;) ), but I figure if you want to check it out, you might enjoy it better flying blind.

Rambling Thoughts of Poohbear said...

Hey There. Thanks for the post Big. I'm luving FF. While I have no insight, I have a feeling that the female FBI agent that will be pregnant in 6 months, will be by agent Cho. Just a gut reaction after watching them interact after the Sherrif in Utah was killed.

As for Fringe, I tried when it first aired, but, I lost interest. It was the female lead that threw me off. I am willing to give it another try. Fringe is the type of show I love.

Hope all are doing well.... back to lurking....

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

lostmio, in the novel everyone sees a vision 27 years in the future, so the kid angle is new. Also, Dylan and Charlie might very well have been in the bedroom behind Olivia in their flashbacks, so D. knew Olivia and C. knew D.

That one was easy, but the doll factory still confuses me (thx, Capcom). Plus, it was hard to tell how the deputy was shot. I think my confusion lies in the elaborate setup once they got in the doll factory. I was thinking something simple, that there had been a fire, hence the melted doll. Also, the entire deal with the woman arguing on the phone in her FF was a leap, her mentioning pigeon and the fact that it coincided with the investigation THAT SAME DAY was crazy. I accept the limitations of network tv, though, they need the ratings as soon as possible. And I still like the show, so far.

What I hope that we will see is the fact that this is indeed a time travel story, everyone (alive) in April 2010 (assumedly) knew they blacked out in September 2009. This is why Fienes made that board, at least, I hope it is explained that way.

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

Oh, and hi, Poohbear. I'm giving Fringe a chance on Hulu. And I am enjoying it more if I watch two or three episodes in one day.

Thunderstorm, SU is on Hulu as well, so I may watch it. I never got into any of the spin-offs from the main film.

Capcom said...

Darnitt, I missed the SU premier. Hope that it's rerun again soon.

Hi Poohbear, I kind of like most of the females better so far as well. I like Cho a lot though, now that he's all Sulu-y. :o)

I can work out the dichotomy of the kids vs adults visions, as Wayne does. They could be in another room together, and Charlie could be talking about her mom to Dylan and they see her from the room, but she doesn't see them down the hallway in her vision. Or something like that.

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

Capcom, I watched Stargate Universe on Hulu earlier today over dinner. You can watch it, like, free, and with way less commercials. Now go. www.hulu.com

Greg Tramel said...

10 theories on what caused the flash forward in FlashForward

"He who foresees calamity suffers them twice over".

Capcom said...

Heheh, OK. :-)

Tx for the neat links Greg, and yay, an FF blog!

Greg Tramel said...

i suppose CERN was worried about a another backlash so they created a FlashForward website

Greg Tramel said...

maybe Feynman is bleeding over from Lost to FF


Capcom said...

Nice links! I like Prof Feynman.

Bigmouth said...

I love John Cho, but does anyone else think Daniel Dae Kim would have made a more believable Demetri?

Thunderstorm said...

I just feel like I need to see about 3, 4, 5, more hours of Flashforward before I start delving into the theories of the why, how and If. It's too open ended at this point. So, I feel like I am useless to that discussion as of yet.

Wayne, thumbs up, down or sideways on SU?

Agree BigM,
While Daniel Dae Kim has been saddled with a language barrier for most of his time on LOST, I have never once felt like this has created a wall between him and a the English speaking audience.

Mostly because it's not a caricature or the 'Stereotypical Asian Man as seen by daft Americans' but also because Daniel Dae has never tried to do more in that role that precisely what was required.

So yeah, he's probably just a better dramatic actor. Although like you, I like John Cho quite a bit.

Capcom said...

I would love to see Bruce Lee in Cho's spot, but alas..... If he was alive he'd probably be too old for the part of a newish cop though.