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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The characters on this series all get a glimpse of their own future, and not everyone likes what they see. The premise might prompt viewers to be more willing to accept their lives now, rather than daydream about what might be -- or what might not come to pass. That said, there's plenty of conflict and iffy behavior here, so the overall take-away isn't focused on obviously positive messages.
Positive Role Models
Mark and Olivia, the couple at the center of the series, seem devoted to each other, but their relationship also has a few cracks, notably due to Mark's alcoholism. Their actions and choices reflect the conflicts between addiction, desire, love, and compassion.
Violence & Scariness
Some intense sequences show suicides, car accidents, planes crashing, and other disasters. Other scenes depict police-style assaults/confrontations involving high-powered automatic weapons and other firearms. Characters are shot; some injuries are shown, in moderate detail.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Partially undressed couples (both teens and adults) are shown fooling around and/or in bed after sex. No on-screen nudity, though women are shown wearing bras or nightgowns. One flash forward includes extramarital affair. Flirting and kissing between both heterosexual and same-sex couples. Joking references to topics like "three ways." Use of words like "slut" and "masturbating."
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Moderate swearing, including "damn," "ass," "hell," "crap," "douche," and "frigging."
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Products & Purchases
Some popular musicians are mentioned by name.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults are shown drinking wine. One of the main characters is a recovering alcoholic who is sometimes shown drinking heavily, alone. He attends Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, where he discusses addiction. References to drug use/sales.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that in this thought-provoking sci-fi drama, everybody on on the planet is inexplicably given a brief glimpse of their future ... and they're not all thrilled with what they see. Since the universal "blackout" causes many disasters, expect to see plenty of intense/violent scenes, ranging from car crashes to gunfights -- though there are few explicitly gory images. Violence also plays a role in the aftermath of the incident, as investigators look for an explanation and stumble across danger. There's also some social drinking, and one character is struggling with alcoholism. Couples are shown fooling around, and though there's no outright nudity, some of the scenes are rather suggestive.
Is It Any Good?
In typical time-travel stories, someone visits the past or future and then returns to the present; in FlashForward, everyone stays in the present but gets a quick look at the future. The thought-provoking, two-pronged puzzle here is why this has happened, and whether these impending events are set in stone. Because not everyone likes what they see. Bedford, a recovering alcoholic, sees himself on a disturbing bender, while his wife Olivia (Sonya Walger) sees their marriage crumbling. And Bedford's partner, Demetri (John Cho), sees nothing at all -- could that mean he'll soon be dead?
The show plays a bit like the popular yet exceedingly more complex Lost, a series that plays fast and loose with the time-space continuum by stitching together events from individual characters' past and future. FlashForward stays mostly focused on the present but frequently cuts to the future as different characters recall memories from their own "sneak previews." The result is an entertaining mystery that also asks complex questions about fate and destiny.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.