Without a doubt, FlashForward (FF) is heading for cancellation this year, gathering fewer than 6.5 million viewers per episode (a show of that class needs at least 10 mil just to stay afloat). And it’s a damn shame, since the writers said that they need at least 3 seasons to tell their story.
So why did it fail?
An editor at AirLockAlpha, one of the sci-fi news sites I read daily, wrote that it’s probably LOST’s fault. The kind of expectations created by LOST over the years for that type of a show has lead to FF’s demise, since FF is more traditionally constructed.
Personally, I don’t agree with this assessment. Instead, I put the blame on the show’s creative team. From the writers, to the directors, to the film editor, and who ever picks these non-fitting music tracks sometimes.
A few months ago I was discussing this with my husband and I mentioned that the FF implementation sucks, that the people behind it are simply not as talented as LOST’s team. He replied, “naaah… they probably just don’t have LOST’s budget“. However, as the series progressed, we both saw small tidbits in the put-together aspect of the show that rubbed us the wrong way: the interleaving of scenes not following a chronological order that makes sense, the constant flashforwards that we’ve seen a thousand times already (which makes us feel that their editor thinks viewers have Alzheimer’s), to unfitting music tracks on quite a few episodes, to the unrealistic reactions of people to things happening or about to happen, to logic errors, to the unexciting pacing of it all. Personally, I don’t care about any of the characters on that show (except maybe a bit for Lloyd, since it seems to be the only person that has a conscious on that show). And really, how many times do I need to see & hear the opening intro about how people blacked out for 2:17 minutes? If potential new viewers don’t already know that from other sources, then they would never give a chance to the show anyway.
So the problem with FF is rather obvious: it is not as polished as it should have been — at all levels. From the boring and often convoluted writing, to contrived acting, to editing. FlashForward was a great idea that was implemented badly. There is nothing more into it. The professionals involved with the show are simply not as good as it is required for the “epic” show that it should have been.
I only hope that ABC completely reboots the show in 5-10 years or so, and gives it to the proper team that has the ability to hold that weight on their shoulders. Big projects require big talent. You can’t just offload a big idea to an inexperienced or mediocre team. It won’t work, no matter how much money you pour into it.