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No Future For You: The Last Racialicious Roundtable For FlashForward

Hosted by Special Correspondent Arturo R. García

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FlashForward sold itself on the promise that it could become the next Lost. Instead, it bowed out as ignomiously as Heroes, canceled after only one year, and guilty of the same major sin: failing to capitalize on a multi-cultural ensemble.

But this show actually blundered on a greater scale than Heroes – not only was it created by sci-fi faves Brannon Braga and David S. Goyer, but its’ primary POC players – John Cho, Courtney B. Vance, Gabrielle Union, Michael Ealy and Barry Shabaka Henley – were already known quantities going into the show. In a disturbing omen, you had Cho coming off Star Trek and two successful Harold & Kumar movies, but still in second-banana status behind Joseph Fiennes, who hadn’t had a hit in any medium in more than a decade. Fiennes didn’t do himself many favors with the mostly listless character of Mark Benford, who only seemed to come alive until after his marriage dissolved sloooooowwwwwlllyyyyyyy over the course of the season. Worse yet, the creative team chose to shunt these actors and their characters to the background and burn screen time on nothing characters like Aaron Stark; a pair of Magic Autistic Saviors; and star-crossed, bird-brained near-lovers (more on them later), among others.

chobenford1Not that the series finale, “Future Shock,” didn’t try to redeem its’ ever-beleaguered protagonist, as Mark went into Army of One mode and
ohbytheway finally solved the riddle on his wall – that the show and the series would end with a second flash-forward. In this regard, he got something denied to his his counterparts on more-ballyhooed contemporaries like BSG and Lost – a sense of agency. Here, Mark chose to literally walk into the assault he always knew was coming, and to fight his way out. Similarly, you had Wedeck figure out why his flash-forward had him, literally, on the toilet – because and Vreede chose to go in and save Mark’s ass. (Wedeck, by the way, got the episode’s only “F-CK YEAH” moment in shooting the guy in the bathroom). Continue reading

On Target: The Racialicious Roundtable For Flashforward 1.19

Hosted by Special Correspondent Arturo R. García

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Not to say “Course Correction” was perfect, but it was definitely pretty good. If this is to be FlashForward’s only season – and there’s still a chance it might not be – then at least the creative team appears headed toward a stronger finish than we could’ve expected. In a very nice touch, we got both callbacks to Al’s suicide and another fresh team-up for Demetri, this time with the returning Fiona (between this ep and her guest stint on Doctor Who, it’s been nice seeing Alex Kingston on a regular basis again). This freed up Mark to finally break thru on one major clue while resolving another. So, fellow Roundtablers, where was this ep in the first half of the year?

Mahsino: Probably with the rest of the straws they were grasping at.
Diana: Couldn’t say it better, Mahsino.
Andrea: Ha! Get it, Mahsino.
jen*: Word.

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Interesting to see that the more you pull Mark away from the rest of the ensemble (save Wedeck; Fiennes and Vance have developed some chemistry) the more it benefits everyone. Case in point: Demetri & Fiona just work as a team. And the callbacks to Al really resonated through these two characters. Your thoughts?
Diana: I miss Al. Demetri and Fiona do make a good team. I like Demetri with just about anyone other than Mark.
Andrea: Well, it just goes to show what we’ve been saying all along: Joseph Fiennes and his character really doesn’t –and can’t — serve as the show’s center. As much as I love looking at the man, I know he doesn’t have that leading-man “it-ness.” If anything, Al and his suicide seems to hold the show because it continues to play against the wall of his suicide and if it really changed people’s fates. Now, if the writers can actually get with that, this show just may sweep May.
Mahsino: I agree, Mark doesn’t act as a good lead character, and I don’t think the show needs one main character to constantly save the day. My favorite episodes so far have been the one’s where they mainly focus on one character and let the others act as supporting stories. The better episodes remind me of Heroes: Season 1, the Mark-centered ones are more reminiscent of Heroes Season 2: Benetrelli Boogaloo.
Diana: LOL, Mahsino. Benetrelli Boogaloo = Mark “Meh”-ness
jen*: I definitely prefer episodes that decentralize Mark’s story. I almost feel like the savant is our voice inside the show – “you should be with Lloyd! Not that other guy.” Continue reading

The Racialicious Roundtable For ‘Flash Forward’ 1.9

Hosted by Special Correspondent Arturo R. García

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By now, dear reader(s), you’ve probably heard that ABC has given the turkeys at Flash Forward an extra-long Turkey Day hiatus in order to give the writing a punch-up. Of course, if you read this space, you know we could solve the problem for the creative staff in four words: MORE CHO, LESS FIENNES. And it’s not just us who are off the Bedford bandwagon. As AfterEllen notes:

But honestly, Joseph Fiennes gets annoying after awhile, with his one-note performance (the one note being angst) as Mark Benford. How can someone be as grim as he with a wife like this?

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Still, perhaps we’ve all been too hard on Captain Non-Charisma; as the Roundtable’s own Andrea points out, one of the men behind the scenes of Flash Forward is Brannon Braga, who helmed Voyager and Enterprise, the two Star Trek properties that don’t, ah, get mentioned as much as their sister series.

Ok, back on a regular sched now. Hope everybody’s doing well and avoided the Twi-hordes
Mahsino: I just watched the original Twilight a couple weeks ago. To put it in perspective, it’s somewhere between Heroes and Dollhouse: bad, but entertaining enough that you can’t bring yourself look away. It’s a decent clean-the-house and fold laundry movie.
Diana: I was sucked in, but survived. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a theater with so many women, even compared to when Sex and The City came out. But for hangin’ with my girls, I probably would have waited to see it on Netflix.
jen*: Successfully avoided. I’m more of an Angel fan.
Andrea: Here’s me, not giving a f-ck about Twilight and the latest vampire trend in general. I work in a commercial building that containing a shopping mall; I’m more worried about the Black Friday/Christmas hordes.

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