Archive for September 25th, 2009

Another weird dream

I had a weird dream this morning (not my first, not my last). I spent the first part of my dream trying to protect a massive octopus, who was apparently a God. He had a book that I kept for him while he was captured by bad humans. There were pictures in it from my genealogy and my village in Greece. I tried not to read its text, but my eye did caught a prophetic verse that was something like this:

10:25 AM to 11:00 AM: Humans are standing up
11:01 AM to 11:04 AM: Humans’ best times
11:05 AM to 11:07 AM: The end of the humans

I felt the need to blog about it, and profess my belief for this octopus God, but at the last moment, my atheist self won out. In fact, my brother could not see him earlier, while I could. I thought that I might be getting crazy, so I gave up to the whole octopus God thing.

I then found myself at my village, between my father’s home and my uncle’s. I was in the middle of the street when I noticed that the sun had become huge, and there was another planet behind it too. It was burning and I could visibly see the fire around it. Suddenly I saw my mother, and I told her to run towards our house to protect ourselves from the solar flares. I tried to find my brother, but there was no time.

Just as we were running towards home, I stopped under a bridge. My mother continued running. I shouted at her to come back, but she continued running. I saw her bursting in flames.

At that point I lost all hope, and I prepared myself for the inevitable. I took some big stones tried to build a quick wall around me, under the bridge. Suddenly, this 40-something guy walks in under the bridge, and unlocks a door that have been there, but couldn’t see before. I followed him in, and there were some stairs, going deep underground.

It became obvious that this was a shelter: there was food, lots of water. Soon, more people arrived. I asked the guy who was he and how did he know about the flares and prepared himself. He said, he was the Octopus God, saving just a few of us. He said that the people that were going to be saved, will instinctively find the door under the bridge.

At this point I started begging him to save my brother. He said that only the chosen ones will be saved. I knew that there was no point arguing about that, so I gave up, and tried to help a few half-burning people that were coming in.

I tried to help a guy lying on the floor, who had been protecting himself with some cloth. I took the cloth away. And it was my brother! He had passed out, but he was not visibly burned. I started shouting at the octopus God to help him!

My heart started pounding fast, and I had trouble breathing seeing my brother lying there not moving. That was when I woke up.

Review: Flashforward

“LOST” is in the end of its life (last season starts this February), so ABC is hard at work trying to find the show that will replace it. Apparently, while “LOST” doesn’t have as many viewers as some other shows, it is very consistent with the 18-49 demographic, which is what brings money in to TV networks. Plus, its DVDs sell very well, despite being one of the most torrented shows in the world, and all its episodes being available for free HD viewing on abc.com and Hulu.

So the show that is set to supposedly replace LOST in the the hearts of us geeks, is “Flashforward“. The first episode aired tonight, puts forward the story for a strong mythology, mysteries, conspiracy and other theories, and of course, personal drama. The first season storyline is building up on the fact that the whole Earth population blacks out for 2:17 mins, and during that time they have a lucid vision of themselves 6 months in the future. The main hero, an FBI agent, tries to put the pieces together.

At this point though, the similarities to LOST are too great to ignore:
- The show starts with a major catastrophe, with the first scene being the main character waking up in this chaotic situation (just like Lost’s Jack woke up in the jungle and ran towards the fallen plane).
- Just like the polar bear on Lost, Flashforward features a kangaroo! A kangaroo out of nowhere running amok in downtown LA.
- Towards the end of the episode, a guy in black, shown to be unaffected by the universal blackout. This guy is the equivalent of the “smoke monster” on Lost, also shown at the end of the Lost pilot episode.
- Two Lost actors have been recruited on Flashforward (Lost’s Penelope and Charlie).
- The show asks philosophical questions about destiny; Lost has dealt with the concept greatly too.
- Heck, there was even a big sign of the Oceanic Airlines in the beginning of the episode, ABC’s way of paying homage to LOST!

Unfortunately, Flashfoward’s pilot doesn’t come close to Lost’s pilot in terms of sets, directing, intensity. It’s a good pilot, but not a masterpiece. The main problem is that apart the main character, the rest of the characters are not as interesting or strongly defined as Lost’s — they feel flat. There’s no Sawyer, there’s no Hurley, there’s no mysterious Locke sitting at the beach not talking to anyone and only smirking away! There are just a bunch of people acting as they would in any other drama. LOST on the other hand, clearly defines its characters from the get go — they feel unique.

Additionally, the main cast seem to be comprised by 14 people, the same amount of actors as in Lost’s first season, however, Lost has a gazillion of supporting actors via flash-backs/forwards/other, enriching the show greatly. Flashforward instead, seems to rely mostly on these 14 characters and very rarely is going to add any more important characters to it. This can make the show feel “smaller” and its plot less significant than the global ramifications it should actually communicate to the viewer. The story should be more epic.

Another thing that bothered me was that the show was not as smart as Lost. For example, when the main character lied to his wife that “he saw nothing else in his vision”, the director/editor shows (again, for a 3rd time in 30 minutes) the part of his vision where he relapses and becomes an alcoholic again. If that was Lost, the viewer would have to figure out what was what in that scene and what was insinuated, rather than having the editor spelling it out for us like we are 5 year old. There were 2-3 more such scenes that Lost would have dealt differently in terms of writing/directing/editing.

Overall though, the first episode definitely made me want to watch more. It is the best new show I’ve watched this fall season so far, and I expect it to stay that way until LOST starts again in February. However, many viewers already complain about how to sustain this plot and keep it interesting: apparently, its writers have said that they have already plotted away 5 seasons for the show. They know where they are going, and most importantly, they have an end date: which is super-important in serialized shows like this (as Lost proved).

I only pray that the show doesn’t become too much of a drama — as was hinted by one of its actors recently — and retains the mythology, action and mystery.