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So did anyone watch Flashforward?

Posted: Thu, 27th May 2010, 4:45pm

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RodyPolis

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I can't believe there hasn't been a thread for the show on here. I mean, we had a V thread but no Flashforward? So did anyone watch it? If so what did you think?

Watched it since ep 1 and gonna watch the season/series finale tonight. It sucks that such a great show gets canceled in one season while bunch of other least good shows (V) get renewed. My guess is it was too smart for the common American audience?
Posted: Thu, 27th May 2010, 5:15pm

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alienux

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I have not watched it, but I plan on catching up now that everything else is finished for the year (or for good).

I've heard great things about Flash Forward, and especially that there are lots of Lost reference Easter eggs throughout the show.
Posted: Thu, 27th May 2010, 7:03pm

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Atom

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ABC is grabbing at strings, and most all of their 'mystery sci-fi!!!!' shows are stupid as hell. Flashforward was slightly better, but it was far too big a retread of the worst parts of Lost and V is just blehhhhh all over. Almost impossible to watch. Like Heroes past season 1, if you know what I mean.

Initially the show had promise, but Flashforward seemed to be trying way too hard to captivate that Lost niche and set itself up to 'fill in the void' when Lost ended. Because it got caught up in setting up unraveling mystery like this, it missed the core emotional resonance that made Lost an important and intriguing show- and just left the vacuous mindf*ck-ness of the 'blanket sci-fi show in the mid-to-late 2000s' that we see all-too-often. And, all-too-often, it gets cancelled.

If you liked Flashforward, but want more of a progressing plot and mystery- and the show that should've stayed on the air and replaced Lost- check out ABC's DayBreak with Taye Diggs. Not only was it incredibly well-told, but it was a very cool rewrite of the 'Groundhog's Day' scenario of waking in the same day over and over again; but did so with the underlying, overarching mystique that Flashforward has been trying to capture. Also, Charles Widmore was the bad guy in it and Nestor Carbonell was one of the cops. Really great show, sad that it didn't continue. (Although it was really meant to be a miniseries to fill the Lost hiatus mid-season) I realize this has nothing to do with FF, but it's something I felt was worth mentioning.

The 'sci fi on primetime' concept is merely a trendy one, and I'm glad it's slowly ending. V and Flashforward (and countless other now-cancelled shows) are thinly-veiled attempts at creating an intriguing and engrossing mystery. They deserve to fail.

But that's just me. It's an unfortunate truth, but one nonetheless. With some good showrunners, Fiennes, and John Cho I was hoping for something more- but as with everything: trying to model the show off of the success of Lost ultimately doomed it. That, and the premise pretty much ran out of steam by the third or fourth episode.
Posted: Thu, 27th May 2010, 9:00pm

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jawajohnny

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Atom wrote:

That, and the premise pretty much ran out of steam by the third or fourth episode.
That's exactly when I stopped watching. In a nutshell, it was a cliched, boring Lost wannabe. If you want a good sci-fi show that defies formula, check out Fringe. smile
Posted: Thu, 27th May 2010, 10:49pm

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Comadreja Incendiada

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It was a really good premise, and the first few episodes had promise. I cracked up at the Oceanic Airlines billboard in episode 1. It started to fall apart when the writers made several very bad mistakes.

1. None of the characters are actually likable.
2. They're trying too hard to pull in the "Lost" crowd.
3. The characters make REALLY STUPID decisions. In "Lost," at least the characters are likable and intelligent.

I thought it had promise, but then it just fell apart. I'm going to watch the finale, just to see it through to the end, but it's probably going to be disappointing, seeing as they didn't know they were going to be canceled.
Posted: Thu, 27th May 2010, 10:52pm

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Comadreja Incendiada

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RodyPolis wrote:

My guess is it was too smart for the common American audience?
Too smart? Really? Too many red herrings. Too many bad writers. Too many uninteresting cliffhangers, bad plot twists, and just bad aspects of the show. But not too smart.

(Sorry for the double post, I'm kinda new on the forums.)
Posted: Thu, 27th May 2010, 11:16pm

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Thrawn

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I watched the show for about seven episodes, but soon became bored with it. Good concept, just terrible terrible execution. It was hardly a "great show", or even "too smart" for the average American. It was just bad.
Posted: Fri, 28th May 2010, 2:24am

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Bucees

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i Just watched the finale. i loved that show! they need to make it a movie!
Posted: Fri, 28th May 2010, 2:28am

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RodyPolis

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Don't watch the finale if you quit watching so early. I don't see what the point in doing that would be. I don't think it's the kind of show you can just skip bunch of episodes and still know what's going on. But hey, I'm writing this 2 hours after the finale aired (which I didn't get to watch because I had to study for finals).

I never saw Lost, so I probably missed all the 'trying to copyness' Flashforward has. I still think it's a great show that ended too soon. I think it started great, dragged in the middle, then got great again.

I will admit the show has some sloppy writing sometimes, but what show (except Lost apparently) doesn't? Ì have heard many people say they don't like the characters, but I like almost all of them.

Oh well, it's gone lol Hopefully the finale gives a little closure at least.
Posted: Fri, 28th May 2010, 2:47am

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Comadreja Incendiada

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Doesn't the finale not air for 15 minutes?

Edit: Oops, right, time zones.
Posted: Fri, 28th May 2010, 9:58am

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Aculag

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Atom wrote:

The 'sci fi on primetime' concept is merely a trendy one, and I'm glad it's slowly ending. V and Flashforward (and countless other now-cancelled shows) are thinly-veiled attempts at creating an intriguing and engrossing mystery. They deserve to fail.
The problem is not that the shows are sci-fi, it's that they are not thought out in advance, and are poorly and hastily written. V is a poor attempt at a character drama that is wrapped in the shell of a poorly conceived sci-fi thriller. In 12 episodes, almost nothing at all happened, and unless they do a lot of work to change the direction in the second season, it won't last long. It could have been something very special, but, like you, network execs don't believe sci-fi can work on primetime, so they don't back it properly. With intelligent writers, and a competent cast, V could have really worked, but it relies too heavily on primetime standards (teen angst, romance, family drama, religious hangups, etc. etc.) which have nothing to do with the show being sci-fi whatsoever.

Sci-Fi is something that I think can and should work on network TV, but it needs to be something that is planned in advance, and has a set number of episodes from the get go. A fully fleshed-out story that can be told in a specific timeframe without convoluted story threads, and without relying on the audience being a bunch of impatient dullards (hard to fathom, I know). It can be done, it just hasn't really worked yet because the network format is too rigid, and networks want shows that have 22 episodes per season, and a large number of characters, and accessible storylines, and romance subplots, and low budgets.

Lost worked because it tricked the audience into thinking it wasn't a sci-fi show until the fourth season, when no one could deny it any longer. Fringe works (barely) because it borrows from the ever popular crime procedural, and has a small cast. V and FlashForward fail because they are poorly written, and poorly executed, not because they are sci-fi.

If you want an example of a show that is really trying way too hard to be weird and mindf*cky, look at ABC's Happy Town, which was cancelled after only two episodes (although it will continue its run for 6 more I believe.) That is a show which plays like the writers have absolutely no concept behind what they're doing, and threw ideas into the scripts simply because they sound weird or vaguely creepy. It's vastly less intelligent than even V, which is hard to do. Vaguely mysterious, vaguely sci-fi, but 100% hokey, campy crap.

I don't think that sci-fi on primetime is a trend, because some of the biggest shows in history have been sci-fi shows (Twilight Zone, Twin Peaks, X-Files, Lost) that have done very well. There will always be shows that try to ride on the coattails of these kinds of shows, and it's very rare that one actually sticks and makes an impact. But with shows becoming cheaper and cheaper to produce, I think all it's going to take is someone with an idea that is actually good, who knows where to take that idea. And if you ask me, that idea is probably going to come from Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse. I think they will take the lessons they learned on Lost, and make something very special.

I'm probably only saying this because sci-fi is my favorite genre, but you have to admit, even the poorest attempts at sci-fi on TV are better than the mindless, interminable hospital and police drama dreck that are constantly renewed, and insurmountably better than any "reality" show that has ever existed. Now THAT is a trend that I want to see die a fiery death...
Posted: Sat, 29th May 2010, 7:22pm

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drspin98

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Great premise-which is what makes it frustrating for me. I especially hated their weak , weak attempts at "humor".
Posted: Sat, 29th May 2010, 9:06pm

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jotoki

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For me flashforward has been up and down. Part of the problem seems to be the fialure to intertwine the relationshoip stuff smoothly with the action and mystery. They tend to have an eposiode thats all about the science and FBI stuff followed by an episode totally about the relationships where the plot really goes nowhere. Now why not shock horror have both as part of a balanced episode? That might avoid the good episode bad episode syndrome thats left it floundering. I am one of the rare ones though that rates it above Fringe which to me is just lame pulp sci fi that is everything that is wrong with American main stream sci fi right now. (and increaingly UK sci fi too). Don't make it mainstream, make it cult!
Posted: Sun, 30th May 2010, 4:53pm

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RodyPolis

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finally saw the finale. Man, what a great show. They need to do something cause it just gotta continue, it shouldn't end so soon.
Posted: Sun, 30th May 2010, 10:50pm

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ben3308

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I mostly agree with you, Aculag- although I'm someone who rather likes police procedural dramas. So inherently it's gonna be hard for me to agree with you on that one. wink

In saying that, though, I'm really only talking about the more raw, bare bones versions like Law & Order or Southland. Or in the medical genre, ER.

I find these to be, while infinitely copied sadly, some of the strongest and best shows on TV. I'm not talking about CSI Miami or NCIS or any sort of 'uber-l33t' hybrid show, but the longer-standing more conventional shows. To me any randomly-picked episode of any of the Law & Order series or ER can beat the pants off of the any of these haphazardly cobbled-together sci-fi "shows". Don't call it dreck. These kinds of shows may be duller and more serialized, but I find singular episode of police procedural dramas to be consistently stronger and (oftentimes) better written and acted- even if only by virtue that they are in many respects 'safer' and don't have to have ambitions like visual effects.

I know this was a small point you were making, and I respect that you like sci-fi best, but I felt it was worth addressing. To me a cop drama has a much easier time being accessible off-the-bat, and therefore can be more satisfying to a casual viewer. That, and some shows just have such stronger emotional resonance and intrigue with me when they aren't bogged down in fantasy. (which isn't to say I don't like fantasy/sci-fi, ABC's DayBreak was one of my favorite shows as well)

I dunno, I suppose this is also because now Lost, Law & Order, and ER have all ended. While the former was big and sci-fi in the end, I still got really emotional over seeing the last procedural serialized episode of Law & Order. It came and went with hardly a wimper, and was surprisingly epic and climactic- a school shooting took place, and it showed that in the end there are no grand finales or conclusions, just another end of a day. To me this really stood as a testament to the show, and the format. It was strong, intriguing, and had such a humanity to it. It makes me
worry sometimes we take such strong and consistent shows for granted. I suppose
Posted: Mon, 31st May 2010, 12:56am

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Aculag

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I have no problem with OG Law & Order, or ER, I just think that kind of thing needs a rest. It's one thing to have a strong, long lasting show, and it's another to have dozens of spin-offs and copycats that are nowhere near as good, but somehow equally as popular just because they are exactly the same. It's endlessly renewed and spun-off because it's dumbed down and easy to follow. I mean stuff like Bones and Grey's Anatomy. I just don't like shows like that, but the appeal is easy to understand. You don't need to remember what happened last week to appreciate what's happening this week. That kind of thing. That's why Fringe is so interesting to me. It is a sci-fi show in a crime procedural wrapper. It's kinda the best of both worlds (or both universes, if you're a fan of the show.). Although Fringe is now going the "will-they-won't-they" romance route which I just can't stand.

Really my biggest problem with network TV right now are reality shows, though. That's something that follows a very specific formula, and is extremely dumbed down, lowest common denominator type stuff, but it just WON'T DIE, and even some of the most popular sitcoms (The Office, Modern Family) try to emulate it for that exact reason, and it's just annoying. *sigh* Granted, The Office used to be funny, and Modern Family has its moments, but I just don't really like that "look at the camera to acknowledge a joke instead of using a laugh track" thing. Arrested Development is the best TV comedy in ages, because it avoided both of those things, while still using the handheld "is this a documentary" look. But I guess that's why it was cancelled; most people need that laugh cue. :(

This is why I consider Community to be the best comedy on network TV right now. They manage to subvert genre standards, while still acknowledging that it is a sitcom and nothing else. Also Breaking Bad is the best show currently airing, but it's on AMC, so it almost doesn't count in this discussion.

End of rant pt. 2.
Posted: Mon, 31st May 2010, 5:23am

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Pooky

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Aculag wrote:

This is why I consider Community to be the best comedy on network TV right now. They manage to subvert genre standards, while still acknowledging that it is a sitcom and nothing else. Also Breaking Bad is the best show currently airing, but it's on AMC, so it almost doesn't count in this discussion.
Ooh, thanks for the recommendations, really like the premises and people involved in those two shows.
Posted: Mon, 31st May 2010, 8:34am

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Atom

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I think that The Office lost some steam a few years ago, but it's more than renewed its hilarity and sharp wit and warmth in the past season- and I think it's still consistently funny. Other than Lost, it's the only network show I'm basically ALWAYS ready and wanting to see every week. Can't agree with you there. Especially because I think as well Modern Family o's massively better than 'having it's moments'. Running jokes, memes, ("gonna fix that step", anyone?) and ridiculous but likable characters. I've really found Modern Family to be a consistently enjoyable show and similar-in-a-positive-way to Arrested Development. I mean, if nothing else there's two words that everyone can like in the show: Ty Burrel.

Add to this that Community is only a so-so show at best, and that's icing on the cake with what yours saying. smile

I will say that the show definitely 'has it's moments', and many of these are incredibly funny (Goodfellas reference, escape-goat, Entourage and Glee digs) but it's nothing within the realm of humor, lasting memorability, endearing characters, overarching themes, wit, or warmth as The Office has developed- or as Modern Family seems on track to have.

I'm not saying the show won't blossom, it's got promise- but Community is a show that I even see on Hulu and say 'meh, I wish there was a new episode of The Office'. Maybe that's just me. I know this is all conjecture and opinion, I'm just saying.

Also, totally agree with you on Breaking Bad. Such a bleak but powerful show. I'm quite partial to Mad Men as well, there's something addictively potent about the swagger and style the whole show has. AMC just has their sh*t together. But again, that's not network TV. (but it's only basic cable, so there's that)
Posted: Wed, 2nd Jun 2010, 8:07am

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Aculag

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I'm going to guess that you haven't seen many episodes of Community, because it has a ton of running jokes and memes, and the writing is close to Arrested Development in terms of layered comedy. On the surface, yes, it's just a typical sitcom, but it has a lot of very subtle and very intelligent writing. You should give it another shot.

And I have only seen like five episodes of Modern Family, so I am in the same boat on that one. I see it as a so-so show, with some funny bits, but nothing really too special. I'm sure I would appreciate it more if I had seen more episodes, as it seems pretty universally loved. But I'll have to wait for the DVD, because there are only a handful of episodes available online.

Also, this has been by far the worst season The Office has had. I have kept watching it just because it used to be one of my favorites, but I won't be watching it next season. I'm pretending it was cancelled, because this season has been so horribly unfunny, especially when compared to Parks & Rec and Community, which had outstanding seasons. 30 Rock also hit a low point this year, I'm afraid. sad
Posted: Wed, 2nd Jun 2010, 3:22pm

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Serpent

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I love the concept of Community but I heard it was only "OK." I'll give it a go though. I love Donald Glover from DerrickComedy and I've seen a few scenes with Ken Jeong that were pretty funny. I can't stand McKale on "The Soup," but I've never seen him act.

Breaking Bad is definitely one of the best dramas on TV right now. In fact, I'd say Breaking Bad, House, Treme, and The Pacific are the only dramas on right now that I'm currently interested in. I'll have to check out Mad Men though, my grandpa was a big advertiser in the 60's and I just love that era. I'm also really looking forward to the debut of Boardwalk Empire.
Posted: Wed, 2nd Jun 2010, 4:59pm

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Pooky

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Factcheck! The Pacific isn't on anymore razz
Posted: Wed, 2nd Jun 2010, 5:02pm

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videofxuniverse

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i too remember watching the first few episodes of flash forward and thought "this could really be promising" then lost interest.

The one thing i think that spoils TV shows are when you get about 10 episodes and get really into it, then they suddenly stop for like 3 months. Prison break was terrible for this, I loved prison break with a passion but with series 2 and 3 they ended up having such huge uneccisary breaks halfthway through the series that when it came back on i either missed the returning episode or was so confused because i forgot where it left off or what happened in the previos episode 3 months before. If you are going to start a series, at least see it through.

Now flashforward has been scrapped its now left incomplete as the ending wasn't really made to contain all the answers.
Posted: Wed, 2nd Jun 2010, 5:28pm

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Atom

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Aculag wrote:

I'm going to guess that you haven't seen many episodes of Community, because it has a ton of running jokes and memes, and the writing is close to Arrested Development
Hrrrmmmmm, unfortunately no I've seen close to every episode. I dunno, it just doesn't 'engage' me, ya know? Give Modern Family more of a chance, really. It is to me hands-down one of the freshest and most-cleverly endearing shows on right now.

I dunno, to me Community just feels really bleh. And with the community college premise, Chevy Chase, Donald Glover, Ken Jeong, etc. I guess I just consistently expect more from it- and all I ever get is some lackluster episodes that don't jump the shark enough to enter 'ridiculousness of Arrested Development territory', but aren't safe enough to find some lasting authenticity. Hopefully that makes sense. To each his own, I suppose. The show just doesn't work for me.

And then there's Parks and Recreation. Ugh, what a wasted show/timeslot/concept/set-of-actors. The credit sequences with Asisz Ansari at the end, with little quips to the camera and stuff, are the best parts of the show. Same with Donald Glover and the end credits to Community. Best parts, and both admittedly funny.

But the rest? Nada. Maybe we just don't agree on tastes in this realm. The Office I thought has also been really good because of the themes and long-term plot it's setting up- for being a sitcom of sorts, the overarching conflict/structure is really......I hate to say it again..but endearing. I like that, even when the episodes aren't hilarious. (Although did you not see the two Jim/Pam baby episodes? Tour-de-force of comedy there, really. smile)

Mostly I say give Modern Family more of a chance. I thought it looked decent-at-best, and it has easily become the most rewarding, surprising show on network television. Really fun and fresh.
Posted: Wed, 2nd Jun 2010, 10:50pm

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Serpent

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Pooky wrote:

Factcheck! The Pacific isn't on anymore razz
WOW. That was fast. I know it's a miniseries, but still.
Posted: Wed, 2nd Jun 2010, 11:07pm

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Aculag

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Atom, I guess we just disagree on comedy, not surprisingly. *shrug*
Posted: Wed, 2nd Jun 2010, 11:28pm

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Pooky

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Serpent wrote:

Pooky wrote:

Factcheck! The Pacific isn't on anymore razz
WOW. That was fast. I know it's a miniseries, but still.
I've been telling you to watch it for like the past 3 months! razz


Atom - Have you seen Episode 23 of Community? Easily the best episode of any comedy series ever in my mind. smile 21 is also fantastic.
Posted: Wed, 2nd Jun 2010, 11:40pm

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Aculag

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Pooky wrote:

Atom - Have you seen Episode 23 of Community? Easily the best episode of any comedy series ever in my mind. smile 21 is also fantastic.
Also 17, 18, 19, and the Halloween episode. smile
Posted: Fri, 4th Jun 2010, 7:17am

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Atom

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Aculag wrote:

Pooky wrote:

Atom - Have you seen Episode 23 of Community? Easily the best episode of any comedy series ever in my mind. smile 21 is also fantastic.
Also 17, 18, 19, and the Halloween episode. smile
Hmmmm....

Atom wrote:

Hrrrmmmmm, unfortunately no I've seen close to every episode.
I thought the episode 'Contemporary American Poultry' was really good, but mostly because of the Goodfellas references/setup. I dunno, there's just something off about the show for me. Maybe because it's not quite one-camera in the Scrubs vein, and not quite a sitcom. Something just doesn't sit well with me with the show.
Posted: Fri, 4th Jun 2010, 9:37am

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Aculag

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It's because it's a sitcom where the characters are all subconsciously aware of the fact that they are in a sitcom. It plays with, and distorts, sitcom conventions, but it is most definitely a sitcom. I could defend that show all day, but there's no real reason to keep on about it. You don't like it, and no amount of explaining it to you will help that.
Posted: Fri, 4th Jun 2010, 9:44am

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Atom

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Umm.....okay?
Posted: Fri, 4th Jun 2010, 10:10am

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Aculag

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Okay!
Posted: Fri, 4th Jun 2010, 10:14am

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Atom

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Alrighty!