While I didn’t make the straight comparison in my mind the way SF Signal did, it does seem an obvious comparison to make; they’re both new SF shows for this season and even started just about the same time.
Unfortunately for me (and, I would argue, everyone else), the better show is not going to last as long.
FlashForward had better acting, had more interesting characters, is more character-driven (rather than “see what we happen to come across in space”-driven), had a more interesting back story, and had better directing/cinematography.
I really wanted Stargate Universe to be good, if only because I like John Scalzi’s blog and he is employed as a creative consultant on the show.
He shouldn’t have to worry about his job there, though, even though I feel like Stargate Universe is an inferior program in just about every way.
Well, first off, as SF Signal points out, FlashForward has a pretty specific end date: April 29, 2010. Yes, I can think of several ways they can get around that (and the writers probably already have in mind several others that I didn’t think of), but even if you get past that date, there’s just no way to that the show is going to continue on for any extended period of time without getting a little Lost. (Pun intended)
Stargate Universe on the other hand, starts out basically on a ship that is who knows how far from the final destination. They can just keep heading back towards Earth, encountering new and different kind of aliens, and having turmoil within the “crew” of the ship, for, I would say, at least 10 seasons if the viewership is there to sustain it. Which brings me to the next reason that FlashForward is going to bow out first: Audience.
FlashForward is on network television, and it seems like more and more if shows don’t post big ratings numbers right away, they get canned. I don’t have cable, so I don’t know if it works the same way there, but the fact that Stargate SG-1 was on for 10 seasons indicates to me that shows on cable have a little bit longer of a runway in which to get off the ground and gain a following. It’s sad when people have to start Twitter Campaigns just to keep their favorite (good) shows on the air even for a second season. I mean, I’m sitting here thinking about just running the shows I like on Hulu in a separate tab just so the networks will see them getting more views.
In summary, I’m very interested to see where FlashForward goes, and I hope we get to see it come to a logical conclusion, and I’m not at all interested in what happens in Stargate Universe, but I’m sure if I did want to catch up at some point, I could just buy the DVDs that are already being pressed.