ABC's "FlashForward" has the honor of being the third installment of Pilot Light, a preliminary look at the first episodes of the news shows hitting the digital airwaves next season.
Standard disclaimer: These aren't reviews — in a lot of cases, pilots aren't completely finished products yet. But we do want to offer our impressions of the new shows, now that we've seen more than just a few clips.
So, what's with this "FlashForward" show?
What it is: Simultaneously, everyone on earth blacks out for two minutes, during which they each have individual visions (flashforwards) of their future. When they come to, FBI agents Mark Benford (Joseph Fiennes) and Demetri Noh (John Cho) try to discover exactly what happened and whether or not the visions will come to pass.
What to look for: Your pause button. Everything has been meticulously planned out in advance, so many things — big and small — have meaning and will return. There's no specific genre, so expect high-speed chases, romance, medical drama, relationship woes, trips to foreign lands, humor and mysterious phrases and strangers. Oh, and the occasional guest star.
What pops: Since every person in the world has had a flashforward, everyone has a potentially intriguing story to tell, which allows for endless possibilities for funny, uplifting or even heart-wrenching stories. We also can't help wonder what a real flashforward would hold for us.
What doesn't: It's tricky to explain such a high-concept phenomenon in a realistic setting, so occasionally the dialog struggles to keep it simple, and certain images or moments used to illustrate can come off as cheesy.
As promised, for a more in-depth look, check out the "FlashForward" showrunner-approved spoilers.