Monday, April 20, 2009

Getting Started and Moving Forward

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Today we start the new series of posts, covering shows which were canceled too soon (for one reason or another). Flash Forward will be the first show covered, which ran on the Disney Channel and ABC. It was filmed in Canada, and may be most known as being Disney's first original series.

The show focused on young teens in the 8th grade, beginning with the first day of school. Tucker (Ben Foster) and Becca (Jewel Staite) are the main characters, who are next-door neighbors that share a birthday. These coincidences are only the beginning... the two are foils of each other in many ways. Becca has an older sister (Ellen) and Tucker has a younger brother (Horace). Becca is into writing, and spends many an episode longing for the attention of Gooch, an older guy who works at the pizzeria. Tucker is a prankster who falls for the cute new girl. Becca has best friend Christine, who is a little eccentric. Tucker has Miles, who is the voice of reason. While Tucker and Becca's families are mentioned from time to time, they often compare current events in their lives to the ways in which they handled similar situations when they were younger.

The plotlines? Well, there's the typical "girl wants to play a boys' sport," one of those composition books where you write anonymous comments about everyone in the grade, the "ballerina who decides to forget her hard work and join cheerleading instead," and the infamous "gave away my concert ticket to the hott girl and now I need to find a scalper to get my best friend a ticket!" There's also issues like bullies, rivals, and the old-best-friend-moves-back-to-town. Like all of these, other plots are also recycled from old shows, especially Saved by the Bell and Full House.

Why the write-up? The show only had 26 episodes, and since the characters were in 8th grade, it would be easy to extend the show into high school (aka four years of easy storylines, since the plots focused on the problems of growing up anyway). I've seen all but one episode ("Crime and Punishment," where Tucker and Miles try to plant a virus on the school's computers), and the finale always gives me chills. The internet leads me to believe that the show got great ratings on Disney, but below-average ones on ABC. However, because it was a costly venture for Disney television and hit a demographic that they weren't reaching by any other method at that point (even in the late 90s, Disney was still going for the under-11 kids as opposed to the teenagers who would enjoy Flash Forward). At least Disney eventually got on the ball and did a couple seasons each of Jett Jackson, The Jersey, and Even Stevens.

There are no wonderful clips out there because the show has not been released to DVD, and videos are dubbed from VHS tapes, pretty much guaranteeing poor quality. I won't embed a clip here, but there are actually a fair bit of episodes on youtube, so go check it out if you're interested.

And if you're following my progress with the 31DBBB Challenge, I've been doing it. A few of the latest tasks have been more brainstorming and stuff. But it did tell me to go to the mall on Saturday, which worked out well, since I was already in the process of being there for seven hours when the email came in, LoL. I have updated the "about me" page a bit, and added more links to older blogs (which I'm not a big fan of, since I only read blogs through RSS, and it's not going to update that...).
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