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Review of ABC's FlashForward

Pilot Watch: FlashForward

The networks have announced their Fall schedules, but which series will actually be worth watching? Throughout the Summer, as I watch the pilots, I'll be posting my first impressions. Note that a lot can change before a show actually makes it to air, so these aren't reviews, just quick thoughts on how the shows look now. Today's pick is ABC's highly anticipated FlashForward, which I was lucky enough to see at TCA last week.

What's it about? The world is turned upside down when everyone on the planet suffers a blackout at the exact same time, immediately causing devastating car accidents, explosions, and deaths. Once that smoke is cleared, it becomes apparent that during the blackout, each person got a quick glimpse at life six months into the future.

Who's in it? Joseph Fiennes, John Cho, Dominic Monaghan, Sonya Walger, Gabrielle Union

The good: The pilot has a little something for everyone. It's full of action, suspense, and mystery, but it's a character-driven show at heart. There are solid performances from familiar faces, and by the end I was asking myself the same ethical questions the characters were about whether I would change my future if I could. The pilot picks up momentum quickly, ends with a cliffhanger, and raises many questions — I'm already on the edge of my seat for more.

The bad: Of course we're supposed to take the show with a grain of salt, but there were still a few things I didn't buy. For one, many of the characters seem surprisingly calm after their apocalyptic episode. It felt a bit self-involved that they're more concerned about what their visions mean for their personal lives than why the event occurred or what it means for the world at large. I'm also a bit worried about all the comparisons between FlashForward and Lost. The creators and cast do their best to separate the two, but it feels like everyone is counting on the new show to be another cult favorite — and that's a heavy burden to carry.

Will I watch? Absolutely. Besides Glee, this is easily the show I'm looking forward to most.

To watch a preview of the show and see more photos, just read more.

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Photo copyright 2009 ABC, Inc.

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