Pimp My Stereotype: The Racialicious Roundtable For Flashforward 1.15

Hosted by Special Correspondent Arturo R. García

keiko1

When did Tim Kring start working on this show?

Yes, Byron Balasco and Timothy J. Lea are listed as the writers for “Queen Sacrifice,” but the mind-numbing absurdity of Keiko’s subplot in the episode stank of Heroes-level caricature. Here’s the recap:

So, newly-arrived Keiko is looking for a job around L.A. when she happens upon an auto shop. As she ventures in, we see several people dancing to generic “hip-hop” like rejects from a Kid Frost video and cars randomly going all LowRider Magazine. That’s the opening image. From there, Keiko – who has never shown either professional or personal interest in cars – talks herself into a job at the shop. After speaking to my ex-mechanic flatmate, I’m thinking this is also wonky; her degree doesn’t exactly translate into this career path. Later, Customs raids the place and busts seemingly everybody for being undocumented workers. Well of course they do. Gang, anything I missed?

Mahsino: Don’t forget the “Ninja” comment.
jen*: How come all the brown people have sad flashforwards or their future changes to make it not come true? I’m not dying for Keiko and the intern to get together, but if that’s what she wants, why does she end up in a paddy wagon while the intern gets a candy striper??
Arturo: To be fair, there’s plenty of angst to go around: Mark’s getting stalked in his office; Nicole’s getting choked to death; Lloyd is taking crap from Mark and can’t even enjoy the afterglow with Olivia; I think Bryce and Keiko are among the few principal players with happy FFs.
jen*: Ok, so the Benfords split, and Lloyd is hopelessly Lloyd. (is Steve hopelessly Steve in every role?) I get that part. I guess this episode’s focus just seems a lil heavy on the misfortune for Keiko and Emil, while Bryce gets a Nicole-shaped consolation prize.
Arturo: “Is Steve hopelessly Steve in every role?” made me smile. And yes, he is.
Diana: Didn’t we see Emil on the bus with Lloyd’s kid way back when? Is this the writers’ lame attempt to fit characters back in when they had been forgotten? The Keiko storyline popping up like that was just odd. She could have been in LA a long time ago.
Arturo: Actually, that was him! Good eye, D!

emil1And then we get the speech where she’s “part of the family.” Seriously, I know Emil meant well, but I’m surprised we didn’t get a “La Cucaracha” ringtone in the middle of the scene.
Mahsino: Hey, I’m just surprised they didn’t have him wielding a knife. That whole storyline from the Asian-ish sushi restaurant to the Car Shop was full of stereotype-fueled headdesk
jen*: Mmhmm. At least they didn’t end with Keiko pulling out some martial arts to get away from the ICE – that would have blacked out the bingo card. On a completely different note – why does Emil only have half of a goatee? I noticed it and then I couldn’t stop looking at it.
Andrea: The goatee didn’t bother me at all. I thought Emil was full of rawr, and I like that he and Keiko dug each other–seeing a Latin@/Asian American pairing is about as rare as seeing an African American/Asian American pairing (I see you Demetri. Keep it in your pants ’til you see Zoey.) Unfortunately, the rawr and the sparks were in service of, as Mahsino wisely stated, “stereotype-fueled headdesk.”
Diana: Jen, on another note, Keiko seems like the type who would have her ish together. She’s an engineer–she could have gotten a visa in a heartbeat; instead, her character is treated as being undocumented just because it’s expedient?
Arturo: Here’s a chilling thought – what if Emil’s the guy choking Nicole in her flash-forward? I really hope I’m wrong on this.

Y’know, I think we’re bad luck. Check this excerpt from the Hollywood Reporter:

On ABC, FlashForward and V had nearly even odds for a pickup during their four-month hiatus. Now that they’ve returned, FlashForward is considered highly unlikely to get a second season, as its ratings having dropped below the 2.0 threshold in the key 18-49 adult demographic on Thursday nights.

Mahsino: and yet the pile of excrement that is Smallville continues…
jen*: Is Heroes officially cancelled? Cuz if it’s not, umm … wth? FlashForward is *just* getting good. Oh well.
Diana: We’re not bad luck. Clearly if the writers were reading our round tables and listening to the fans, they could make the fixes to keep the shows viable. But apparently they are victims of their own mediocrity.
Arturo: Actually, there’s another twist to the story: E’s Kristin Dos Santos says there’s rumors the show might get a second season because it does well overseas. Is John Cho the next David Hasselhoff?
Andrea: And your tongue hasn’t cleaved to the roof of your mouth yet, Arturo?
Diana: David Hasselhoff and John Cho in the same sentence is just… no, I can’t handle it.

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Gotta give Marcie credit – she went out like a Tarantino hero. And was I the only one who smiled a little when Seth McFarlane was shot?
Mahsino: Nope, you weren’t the only one. I gotta say, I love how they do celebrity cameos on this show.
Arturo: I wonder if the whole “I play RPGs” thing was supposed to be some shout-out to his fanbase. Because, you know, making fun of people who are still watching this show is a smart idea.
jen*: Yeah, there’s that moment of “Is that..?” and then, “It is!” I think I was thrown off by his regular voice. But who was the person Janis shot on the motorcycle? I would’ve thought someone would have gone over to pull the helmet off – especially since we could see them breathing.
Diana: When Janice caught Marcie I was like, ok, girl fight in a fountain — that’s original. The FBI version of spring break?

janis1
I’m not convinced Janis isn’t playing with Simon the Hobbit’s head with that reveal, but the look on her face was GOLD, no?
Andrea: Was it me or did Simon the Hobbit look actually aroused by Janis’ reveal? ::shudders::
Mahsino: That was the second oh shit ending in as many weeks. But I feel like there would be a lot of leaps of logic for that reveal to be true.
jen*: I am rooting for the bad guys now – Janis just became awesome! At the same time though, I’m with you Mahsino, I think there are some holes in that story. However, I can’t wait to see whether they get to fill them in before cancellation time.
Diana: She just became awesome again. [I really liked Janis at the beginning of the season up until she got shot and then they started playing her a little too weak.]. Andrea, we still are not 100% about the baby daddy.

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Open Mic!
Mahsino: So Bryce and the CandyStriper. I couldn’t help but think the writers of Flash Forward took the scene from Community to heart when Shirley said “two cute white people should be together, it just seems right”.
jen*: Doesn’t look like Demitri and Janis hooked up after all – yay! And Agent Danforth Crowley is kinda hot, no? I wonder if he *actually* works for Benford. Either way, I could stand to see Danforth more often. On the flip side, I could go without hearing Michael Ealy sing..oh..for the rest of my life. I wonder if that was supposed to sound like that.
Andrea: His singing is Exhibit A-Z on why he needs to go back to barbering. :-D
Arturo: “Danforth Crowley” has to be the worst name ever, though. I know Englebert Humperdinck is taken, but there’s no need to go all-out for some random dude. Unless, like you said, Jen*, he’s not a random due. Cue the ominous music!
Mahsino: Aw, come on, Danforth Crowley sounds dignified and mysterious, you can imagine him solving crimes in his study while smoking his pipe…
jen*: I’m definitely getting some British/Sherlockian vibes from the name Danforth. And I wouldn’t be sad to see him featured a bit more prominently when it is revealed that he’s working for Vogel and not Mark.
Diana: I agree Ealy shouldn’t sing. I still advocate a story line where all he does is stand around and look good. Is that sexist? Oh well.

Top image courtesy of IGN
Other images and bios courtesy of FlashForwardWiki