Friday, September 25, 2009

flash forward is going to ruin my life.

I'm proud of the fact that I watch very little TV. When basketball is on, I'm a junkie and I watch damn near as many of the games as I can. So when it's not on, I don't really watch anything. My addiction to LOST is well-chronicled, and it's not like I'm immune to TV on DVD (hello, The Wire, which I'm just starting and I can already tell will completely enthrall me) so I'm not trying to play the, I-Don't-Watch-TV-I'm-So-Cool card or anything like that. It's just that, well, I prefer the Internet, I prefer reading, I prefer TV on DVD, I prefer the outdoors, etc. There's a lot of other things that I'd rather do.

But last night I watched the premiere of Flash Forward, against all my better judgment. I knew it would suck me in. And suck me in it's done. The advertisement that was up for Oceanic Airlines was just the icing on the cake! A great premise, plenty of intriguing questions, some reliable actors...what more could we really ask for when it comes to addictive television?

I'm a fan of shows that seem to have specific plot points in mind, and, obviously, this date they planted (already) in the premier coincides pretty well with the end of the TV season. However, I'm curious what they're going to do after that point. Obviously, this is not a one-season affair. The point that I'm driving at, though, is that a lot of folks are talking about this show as the next LOST. If I've seen a show in recent memory that literally begged for the LOST treatment, it's this one. But perhaps not in the way that some others are suggesting.

This show obviously needs an expiration date. From what I understand, this has kind of been a normal thing over in the UK. Here in the US, though, we apparently need our TV to work like the Big Two run their comic companies: an endless, constant storyline, stretched to the limit, not only in believability but in testing our patience. Superman will never truly win, because it'll always be profitable to publish his books, even if they're terrible. The same goes with sitcoms and the new wave of Lawyer/Doctor/Cop shows. They're all the same and they stretch on interminably. However, the best Superman (or Batman, if we're gonna get specific) stories are those limited series, such as All-Star Superman (lately) or the Dark Knight Returns. They get to do things that the regular books will never get to. LOST works as a show because we, as viewers, are promised that there will (eventually) be a payoff. (BTW, this would have put X Files as one of the best shows, too, if Chris Carter had been allowed to say, "Look, this is the story we're going to tell. And after that, if we want to do some movies, we can and we will, but we're not going to stretch things just to keep making money, because it's going to dilute the product." But that's over and done with and now X Files is just a shoulda-beena contender.)

So now, there's a new show on before LOST is even gone. Please, let's do the right thing with it: support it for now, so that they can get the ratings to justify going to the network and saying, "It has to end." It'll be better for all of us if that's what we get. Meanwhile, I'm going to enjoy the ride, cursing and screaming all the way, because now there's more TV that I'm addicted to.

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