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FlashForward: The Complete Series - television series DVD / mystery and suspense DVD / drama DVD review
FLASHFORWARD: THE COMPLETE SERIES Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America rating: 2 1/2 stars
Actors: Joseph Fiennes, John Cho, Jack Davenport, Zachary Knighton, Dominic Monaghan
Creators: Brannon Braga, David S. Goyer   Studio: ABC Studios
DVD release: 31 August 2010   Runtime: 946 minutes
(5 discs)
Format: AC-3, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DVD, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
Features: Aspect ratio 1.78:1, Audio tracks (English - Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround, Dolby Digital Stereo - French, Spanish), Subtitles (English SDH, French, Spanish), 22 episodes, Architects of Destiny, Blooper reel, Deleted scenes, Meet Yuko, FlashForward On Set, Kangaroo?, Interviews from The Mosaic Collective, Creating a Catastrophe: The Effects of a Global Blackout, "Could"

Joseph Fiennes and John Cho star in ABC's FLASHFORWARD: THE COMPLETE SERIESFor two minutes and seventeen seconds, all at the exact same time, every person in entire world blacks out - all except one, it seems. Each person experiences a vision of a date six months in the future - April 29th. For one L.A.-based FBI team, the goal is to determine who or what caused the blackout and how to prevent a second occurrence. FlashForward is another ensemble from ABC but didn't achieve nearly the momentum it could have had with such a strong premise.

Joseph Fiennes, Courtney B. Vance and Dominic Monaghan lead a huge cast in a world where the rules have changed - if you can see into your future, does it then become as the past in being unchangeable, or are the glimpses enough to alter lives? Extraordinary idea, but this show is riddled with problems.

Much of each episode is liberally peppered with old footage - what people saw during the blackout, their "flash forward" to the events they would each experience six months into the future. A few reminders would not hurt, but to continually show them every five minutes throughout the entire show? And then the next one as well? And the one after that? Well, it is more than a little insulting, and boring.

Little details that seem to not evolve - for example, a bracelet made of embroidery threads that do not age at all in six months - are revealed as significant details that everything is based on. Sloppy. Small characters are introduced but forgotten. Ultimately, FlashForward was a fun, engaging and deeply thought-provoking idea that fell flat because of a lack of character development and lazy scriptwriting. In a single episode, multiple characters used well-worn clichés half a dozen times. It gets to be downright comedic, particularly when the mood of the moment is supposed to be dark and tense.

It doesn't help the sad situation when the main character (Fiennes) only seems to have one expression to offer. A one-trick pony that broods - granted, he broods very well, but it takes more than that. There are quite a number of well-known television personalities along with Fiennes, but very little character development so that even though there is some reasonably good acting, we as the viewers simply don't care about who lives and dies. It takes more than famous, happy faces to create something real and lasting. In one of the extras, "Architects of Destiny," Courtney B. Vance explains the crux of the issue with this show:
"The story is unique in that it may have some sci-fi elements but the story is basically about the people. It's about the characters and how their lives intersect."
And because the characters are who they are from the pilot onward with very little growth or deviation, the core concept itself cannot evolve and become something more.

Much of the storytelling is presented through incredible special effects. Visually, it is very impressive. FlashForward's producers went for a non-television feel, which is explored thoroughly in the bonus features. Among the offerings, "FlashForward on Set" is interesting, particularly the "A Day in the Park" segment. The one in which we meet the sweet actress who plays Keiko is very likely to be a fan favorite. Disc five also offers the typical blooper reel and deleted scenes.

While the show could have become something amazingly rich, it does offer one truth: we all need to find the right path and determine how we arrive. Is it all predetermined, or it is a series of decisions made of free will? Watching FlashForward with friends and loved ones is an exercise is self-exploration and would enable us to better know one another. Unfortunately, the show doesn't stand on its own merits alone.
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reviewed by Carolynn Evans
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