FlashForward Season 1, Part 1 DVD Review

FlashForward Season 1, Part 1 DVD Review

It’s felt like an extremely long time since we last watched a new episode of ABC’s freshman drama FlashForward, hasn’t it? Since December 3, to be exact. The show will return with all new episodes on March 18.

In order to allow fans to pass the time through the long hiatus – and to introduce some new fans to the series – the studio has released the first ten episodes of the season on DVD as of February 23, 2010.

At this point, we all know the premise of the series, don’t we? In case you don’t, here’s a short refresher:

FlashForward Season 1, Part 1 DVD ReviewChaos reigns in Los Angeles after a mysterious event causes everyone in the world to lose consciousness at exactly the same moment. Was it an act of nature? Something man-made gone wrong, or something even more sinister? Whatever it was, every person on Earth blacks out for two minutes and seventeen seconds and sees a series of events from their own future, taking place on April 29, 2010 at 10:00 p.m., Pacific Time. For some the future will be joyous and hopeful; for others, shockingly unexpected; and for a few, it simply doesn’t seem to exist.

Knowing their fate will alter each person’s life in one way or another and poses the questions: Can destiny be changed? And by changing just one destiny, what effect would that have on those of others? Viewers will be able to catch up on the first ten episodes of ABC’s thrilling new drama ‘FlashForward’before it resumes airing in March 2010.

‘FlashForward’stars Joseph Fiennes as Mark Benford, John Cho as Demetri Noh, Jack Davenport as Lloyd Simcoe, Zachary Knighton as Bryce Varley, Peyton List as Nicole Kirby, Dominic Monaghan as Simon, Brían F. O’Byrne as Aaron Stark, Courtney B. Vance as Stanford Wedeck, Sonya Walger as Olivia Benford and Christine Woods as Janis Hawk.

I was really excited to watch the pilot episode of this show before it aired on television and enjoyed it. The series was built up as a sort of LOST orphan – a sort of sci-fi show with an overarching mythology that would serve to wet the appetites of LOST fans both before and after its final season aired in 2010. Heck, it even starred two LOST alums, Dominic Monaghan and Sonya Walgar.

Don’t misunderstand me, I like the show, but it’s no LOST. After the initial excitement, the series started to drag. The problem was that the mythology was playing out slow as molasses. That’s a fine way to tell a story, assuming you have something else to distract the audience – namely, strong and interesting characters. This, of course, is something that LOST excels at. After all, what other show could literally keep piling on question after question with no answers in sight for five years?

The problem with FlashForward was that while the cast is populated with fantastic actors, the characters were under-developed and, at times, unengaging. This may have also be due to the flashforwards themselves. Some of them were interesting – like that of John Cho’s character, Demetri, who realized that he had no flashforward because he would be murdered in the near future – but others – such as Sonya Walgar’s character, Olivia, who looked like she had moved onto another man or was cheating on her husband – just wasn’t that engaging. Not the fault of the actors, of course, just the circumstances that they found themselves in.

Several middle episodes dragged. Every time the characters hit a dead end in trying to figure out what caused the blackout and how to prevent the future from occurring, the audience hit it with them. Fortunately, that changed in the fall finale episode, where things started to get very interesting. The story started progressing and, as TVOM’s Jon says, the episode was a “game changer”. We learn more about Simon’s experiment and how it relates to the cause of the blackout and the entire storyline pace picks up. Things are starting to happen now, so I for one am interested in tuning in when the story returns on March 18.

Should you tune in on March 18 whether you’re an old or new fan? Absolutely. Should you check out these episodes on DVD? I would say yes, especially since, if your memory is anything like mine, you need a refresher on this show.

The special features are, admittedly, a bit weak. Of course, that’s probably to be expected with a mid-season DVD release. There’s a featurette on a behind the scenes look at creating the blackout (a clip of which is included in the first video below). The features also contain an over four minute preview of the next new episode, including a longer version of the sneak peek contained below (check out the second video).

The studio was kind enough to include a $15 coupon that you can put towards the purchase of the full season DVD when it’s released later in the summer. Does that make up for a mid-season DVD release, which are generally reviled by fans? Well, it’s your money, so I’ll leave that up to you.

However, it looks like the show is about to get interesting again. It’s always had a premise that fascinated me, so I’m eager to see what comes next. You should be too.

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