FlashForward Part One Season 1 DVD Review

Cover Art and Menus: 4/10
The cover is a bit reminiscent of a disco ball for my liking, and the menu is also just a bit plain.  There is a lot here to like about this show, but the cover and menu are just boring in my opinion.

Features: 4/10

  • Creating Catastrophe: The Effects Of A Global Blackout – Granted this is a television show, and the discs are pretty chock full with the episodes, but the features are slim.  The 7 minute piece shows us the effort that went into the beginning of the show, complete with shutting down a Los Angeles highway.  It is a decent little extra, and interesting to see the amount of work that went into the opening shot, which is powerful.
  • FlashForward: A Look Ahead – This 4 minute “look ahead” is exactly what you think it is; a peak into the next episodes of the show.  Hopefully the show, which apparently has seen some discussion of cancellation, will make it in the end, as the show does have some potential.

The Show: 8/10
So I am reviewing a television series DVD release again, which is pretty rare.  I have to admit up front that I don’t watch too much regular TV, and so when I do review shows (or watch them for that matter) I like to have the DVD of a season, which just makes it easier.  For this review, I get part 1 of the first season of FlashForward.  Part one apparently consists of 10 separate episodes, thankfully commercial free.

The show starts off with Mark Benford (Joseph Feinnes) waking up in an upside down SUV that has obviously crashed.  As the camera pulls out while Mark struggles to clear his head and escape the overturned vehicle, we see destruction and chaos everywhere.  It appears that there has been a massive wreck.

As it turns out, Mark Benford is an FBI agent, and as we see, this is not an isolated car crash, but instead, the world has experienced 2 minutes and 17 seconds of blackout.  Everyone in the world (well almost everyone as we learn later) has simply blacked out for the same amount of time.  Literally people just dropped all over the world, which of course led to car wrecks, downed airplanes – you name it – destruction.

To top it off, each person experienced a sort of flash of the future, 6 months ahead, to what they would be doing.  Of course this view into the future creates issues with the individuals, and Mark’s vision involved an investigation into the cause of the blackouts.  Set with this information, his FBI group starts off an investigation into the mystery surrounding the origin of the blackout, and each character that we are introduced to is part of this intricate show.

Mark, a recovering alcoholic, also sees himself drinking again, which is a major problem, seeing as his wife Olivia (Sonya Walger) has said that if he drinks again she is leaving him.  Olivia’s vision has her with a strange man who she has intense feelings for, which of course just adds strain to their marriage.

Each character gets their own treatment, and part of the fun of the show is finding out how each plays out, and how they attempt to deal with their “foreshadowing.”  It immediately raises the question of whether the characters can change the future, or at least change the outcome of their own future, by altering it so that their visions don;t come true.  Take for example Demitri (John Cho) who is one of the few characters that literally does not have a vision.  Does this mean that he is dead, or is asleep, or is he lying?

FlashForward is a very well done, interesting show that kind of roped me in.  I was drawn in by the opportunities, and while FlashForward has been compared to Lost, a show I have never seen, I was at least intrigued.  I think the story is presented in a heavy handed way, and I am not in love with Joseph Feinnes’ seemingly heavy acting method, but overall I thought the acting was good.  The characters are well done, and the story, with its questions, is a pretty fun affair.

I have read that FlashForward may be in some trouble as ABC may or may not being considering canceling or shortening its run, which would be a shame for those who are invested in the journey.  Of Course the main question is what caused the blackout, which I presume is being held for the end of the show, but it is really fun to see some of the story unfold as the episodes roll by.

Overall I am not sure this is something I would watch faithfully week after week, but presented in a DVD format like this, it makes it fun to sit down and consume.  I am not sold on the half season DVD, but it is better than watching on TV.  FlashForward seems like a decent little television show, with a pretty good story, and decent acting.

Audio & Video: 6/10
For a televisions show, this DVD looks pretty decent overall.  This is not high definition, but the episodes look pretty clear, with only an occasional grainy shot here ant there.  The show is presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic wide screen, and the cinematography is varied and nicely done.

The audio was good, but not spectacular.  I kind of thought the surround would pop, but it was not really anything that wowed me. 

Value: 6/10
This is the way all TV shows should be watched; without commercials, and with the ability to rewind and review, especially for a show like Lost or FlashForward.  This type of show, with hints and secrets scattered about often takes a second viewing for people to get into it, so that they don’t miss the subtleties of this show.  While it is yet to be seen if FlashForward makes the same type of impact that Lost has, the two are very similar.  I am not 100% sure I like the idea of a “half season” DVD release as much as a full season, but this is a great intro into this show.  It is not for everyone, and while you can surely record these show as they come out, a DVD release is quite nice.  It is hard to say if this is a great investment due to the fact that the show is supposedly having some issues at the network.  I would hate to invest in this DVD only to have the show canceled without answering any of the questions that are raised here.

Overall Score 6/10