Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Are You Watching Flashforward or Three Rivers?

Cast photo from Flashforward on ABC Thursday nights at 8 p.m. Eastern.

Are you watching Flashforward on ABC? If not, do it, and do it now. It’s based on a novel, loosely based, according to Wikipidia, on Flashforward written by Robert J. Sawyer, a Canadian science fiction writer, in 1999. I won’t recap the synopsis of the book, but instead of following the scientists, the TV show follows the common man, or as common as TV likes to make man. A cop, a doctor, lawyer, FBI agents, ambulance drivers, children, etc. So far, in its first two fabulous episodes, we are mesmerized, at least I am, by two FBI agents played by Joseph Fiennes and John Cho. We're also intrigued by the premise, which uses a disaster to pull in the audience to the characters' plight. And although there is some grumbling about it's similarity to  ABC's Lost, it appeals to me much more than Lost ever did (I couldn't get through the first season). I don't think Lost ever knew the identity of its bad guy, and this show knows exactly who the villain is...and that makes a difference in how you write characters and create conflict, I think. (Anyway, this blog post is not about the reasons I couldn't watch Lost.)

In a nutshell, Flashforward is about the world’s population going unconscious at the same time for two minutes, but they dream, or see, their futures – six months in the future to be exact, in fact I think it's April 29 (isn't that sweeps?). The glitch for some is that they see nothing, while others see life-altering scenes, or then there’s the guy who was in the toilet, which just cracks me up. 
Anyway, I'm going to keep watching because it started out so good, so expect me to write about it again (whether it continues to thrill or disappoint). And speaking of disappointment? My biggest disappointment – Three Rivers with Alex O’Loughlin. 

I’ve had a thing for Alex O’Loughlin since Moonlight. I was/am one of his rabid fangirls as some like to call us, and absolutely adored Moonlight (even if it was mediocre vampire fare). But as rabid as I am, I won’t be watching Three Rivers much longer, not unless it gets a complete overhaul. No decent characters to care about – they look pretty in their tight bright blue stretchy, pull-over doctor uniform tops (yes, seriously).

But I could have endured all sorts of nonsense if Alex was acting his ass off, which he isn't. He looks bored, his acting is boring, and the script is without passion. The reason people watch medical shows has nothing to do with procedures (yes, CBS, you can’t make a procedural doctor show, why?)…it’s because everyone gets sick and what the viewer cares about is the conflict of the doctors – between the doctors, their families, their lives, their goals, their loves and hates, and folks, it’s clear, CBS has no clue how to put together a character driven show! So I hope this one dies fast, so Alex can find another show. Oh! I just read that Alex could have been on NCIS-LA? That show is damn decent, but I’m not sure he would get along with L.L. Cool J, you know what I mean? lol.
Finally, I had an absolutely amazing weekend, which I needed desperately, for reasons too self-indulgent to list here. However, having a blog already crosses a few self-indulgent lines, wouldn’t you say? Nonetheless, I did have a superior time in Philadelphia, and am settling in – mentally and physically – for a few changes in the way I approach doing the things I do – but that’s not the point here. I want to write about how lucky I’ve been. By making a commitment to writing, I’ve been able to meet in person and on-line some of the most generous writers on the planet. I believe it’s the nature of our demon – having to write – that makes interpersonal connections so important.  

On the other hand, when I mentioned my weekend to a friend, he made the point that the successful writers – book or TV - I've met, in particular, don’t need to be critical, snippy or unkind in general.  Success is their friend and their enemy, and just as I appreciate a weekend away from the day-to-day, they appreciate an opportunity to meet people who are as in love with what they do as they are. Okay, I get that. Common ground helps fuel relationships. But I’d like to think the women and men I’ve met who write are so much in love with what they do that they can’t help but give off the most positive energy and good vibes possible. And I like that!


  1. I'm watching Flashforward for exactly the same reasons you stated. It's a fascinating premise, beautifully handled so far. I'm already intrigued by the main characters and the mystery of the blackout. I hope the writers can keep up this level of tension.

    I so wanted to like "Three Rivers," but in a one word synopsis, it's flat. Too bad, O'Loughlin is pretty. Oh, well, John Cho and Jack Davenport are, too!

  2. Hey Naomi,

    Yes..."Three Rivers" has the pretty boy cast hands down, but first episode? Just too much snooze-factor for me.

    And "Flashforward," I, too, am keeping fingers crossed that the writers don't punk out on us:)!




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