Tag: Survivor

Review: Flash Forward Series Premiere – An Open Letter to ABC

To The Powers That Be:

After 5 months of building the suspense, teasing us with glimpses during Lost commercial breaks during Spring Sweeps weeks, you finally unveiled the first full Flash Forward hour on Thursday night with resounding success as seen in the ratings: handily winning the timeslot shared with a new Survivor. A rarity for scripted TV going up against the reality powerhouse – to that, well played. Intrigued by the show’s premise from those ads and extended promo, now having an hour of story to go on I feel it necessary to craft this slight critical commentary of the premiere episode with the only pretense that this should be taken as both applause for success out of the gate and as an appeal to nurture FF toward forging its own creative road and not forcing on it a Lost series template all in the hopes of creating a new cash cow.

Mass Chaos Around the World: Film at 11

During the opening minutes of FF I found myself unintentionally (okay, maybe somewhat intentionally) counting the similarities to the Lost pilot. So many beats of the confusing post-plane crash chaos seemed to be there: open on hero waking up and groggily assessing the situation (thank you for keeping it a full-face first shot rather than a tight close-up on the eye); said hero, naturally one to take control, jumping in immediately to start saving the day; hero reassuring all surrounding victims that there’s no need to panic help is on the way! At least he didn’t drop a phrase (“live together, die alone”) to be used ad nauseum in later eps. While this didn’t completely take me out of the well-paced action scene it was a slight distraction in getting me invested in the gravity of the situation right away.

Easter Egg! Geeks love that stuff.As the episode progressed other bits of the story held touches of Lost-like “hey remember this later it’ll be important” moments: oddly-placed kangaroo bouncing around a downtown street (polar bear charging through the jungle on a tropical island); a group formed to study the mysteries (Dharma Initiative); the significance of numbers – why were people unconscious for 2 minutes and 17 seconds (4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42). Perhaps the above are all minor aspects that were never meant to be modeled directly from Lost (I’ll forget the totally unnecessary, blatant placement of an Oceanic Airlines billboard) and as a scrutinizing television viewer I’m looking at it too closely.

I did see some glaringly obvious attempts at grooming a show to be the refuge for fans upon your tentpole series’ finale in May, and having a couple of Lost actors on board almost pushes it too far (but thank you for bringing Dominic Monaghan back into my living room). However a lot of what was there showed massive amounts of creativity and potential – excellent cast, strong characters, well-paced story – and the one thing you took, and should keep taking, from the Lost playbook is slipping in a good amount of intrigue. The bit with a lone(?) conscious man walking around during the blackout was an excellent seed for massive water-cooler talk Friday morning. If there’s one thing Lost does well it’s light up the post-show speculation chatter.

To sum up I, and many others out there, love the twisty tales of island mystery, but please don’t be so deluded to think that we’re all in search of cookie-cutter versions to comfort us upon our favorite show’s departure next year. Keeping this in mind, I look forward to what’s in store for our Flashers in episodes to come, remain hopeful that it will find an individual voice, and will keep it on the Must Watch list until such time I find it following too closely in Lost‘s firmly-placed footsteps rather than exploring new roads of storytelling.


Avid TV Viewer Trish the Dish

Flash Forward, Thursdays on ABC 8/7c

Fall Premieres – Thursdays: Comedy Night Done Right

While tonight’s NBC comedy premieres don’t include crown jewel 30 Rock (that momentous day is October 15th), it does provide enough funny haha’s to cause a swell of joy with the return of The Office, a ho-hum “welcome back” to its spin-off Parks & Recreation and excited anticipation for newbie Community.

That’s What She Said

The Office, Thursdays on NBC 9/8cConsistently hitting the mark whether it’s with absurd, endearing or cringe-worthy situations The Office is continuing to deliver the guffaw goods even as it hits its sixth year. Coming into the new season the show opens three weeks following the events of last year’s finale with Michael Scott re-invigorated by the return to his post as Regional Manager of Dunder Mifflin Scranton, after his brief stint as a small business owner, and consummate couple Pam & Jim dealing with the very unexpected news that they’re expecting.

Having a child is going to make a huge impact on big kid Jim and will be the most interesting storyline that will most likely develop this year, as this life change will propel him towards an attempt to move up the company ladder again. It will no doubt have an effect on Michael as well who will re-examine his own feelings of where his future lies within DM and life overall.

A Great Place to Master a B.S. Degree

If we must wait another month for 30 Rock at least there is a new, promising show that acts as placeholder until Liz Lemon and the TGS gang return. Upon viewing the upfront trailer months ago I fell for Community instantly and knew it would be a perfect addition to NBC’s Thursday night comedy line-up.


Ably led by deliciously devilish Joel McHale (host of The Soup – Friday nights at 10/9c on E!, full episodes on iTunes, clips available at hulu.com), the snarky tone of the show is what pulled me in, plus centering it around community college is rife with potentional hilarity. Hopefully they don’t place too much emphasis on the melting pot aspect (pompous white guy – check; middle-aged, divorced lady – check; young, jock guy – check; socially-awkward nerd – check) and stick to the ace-in-the-hole delivery and presence of McHale to lead the comedic charge.

Meanwhile…dramas have a strong presence on Thursday nights as well and tonight FOX brings back solid offerings with Bones and Fringe (will dedicate more musings on the latest, greatest sci-fi/mystery from JJ Abrams and the Bad Robot team). And for those who still get thrills from the outwit, outlast, outplay game on CBS, Survivor begins a new run with contestants battling it out on the island of Samoa.


  • 9/8c – The Office, NBC
  • 9:30/8:30cCommunity, NBC (series premiere)
  • 9/8cFringe, FOX


  • 8:30/7:30c – Parks & Recreations, NBC
  • 8/7cBones, FOX


  • 8/7c – SNL: Weekend Update Thursday, NBC


  • 8/7cSurvivor: Samoa, CBS