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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

because ABC, the bastards, cancelled ‘FlashForward’

I officially give up on the major networks. I officially refuse to get involved with any new series they might want to offer us until at least the second season. It happened last year, with Kings: the only decent new show worth watching, one with a strikingly original concept, one that was about more than just who’s fucking whom this week, and it was cancelled after only a handful of episodes.

And now FlashForward is finished. E! Online warns us that we won’t be happy with how it wraps up:

And fans might want to cover their ears right about now because according to Sonya Walger (Olivia, Lost’s Penny), a lady we absolutely adore, there’s some worse news:

The final two episodes of the series are great, but leave things way open-ended. Will fans appreciate the FlashForward payoff? Probably not…

“There’s some closure to it, but there’s an awful lot left unexplained,” the soft-spoken Brit tells us. One positive is that things really do come full circle from the pilot, but the resolution just isn’t there in the series’ final hour.

E! Online takes an annoyingly chirpy attitude about this outrage:

And there you have it. The end of FlashForward is just around the corner, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy its final hours, right? Our advice? Take it for what it is and don’t expect many answers.

No. I am not going to take it for what it is. I’m going to watch those last few episodes, and I’m going to pissed off that such a smart, intriguing show couldn’t find enough of an audience, and that ABC wasn’t willing to give it time to develop that audience.

Imagine if, in the middle of the The Old Curiosity Shop — which was originally published in a serial format — Charles Dickens said, “Oh, I thought I’d have more readers by now. Guess I’ll just stop writing. Little Nell? Alive or dead? How the hell should I know?”

If the networks are trying to guarantee that new shows don’t draw enough viewers in their debut years, this is an excellent way to do so.

This has been your WTF Thought for the Day.

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