Darren Franich
May 14, 2010 AT 04:44 PM EDT

Image Credit: Michael Desmond/ABCFlashForward arrived on the scene last fall with lots of hopeful pre-release buzz that it could be the new Lost. The magical thinking failed. Blame it on the awful pilot, on ABC’s curious half-and-half release strategy, or the simple fact that people just don’t really want another Lost. For a whole host of reasons, ABC has officially canceled FlashForward.

FlashForward had its problems. There were some storylines which would have probably been eliminated if there had ever been one defining creative personality at the helm (I’m looking at you, Aaron the ex-soldier alcoholic with the secretly alive dead daughter being hunted by a government conspiracy!). But there was also a lot to love, and in the end this show was a fascinating gem. If Lost is the smartest kid in class who’s also a varsity basketball player, then FlashForward is the four-eyed chess prodigy who stutters when girls are around but secretly writes beautiful poetry about old videogames.

There were at least two genuinely original characters in the main cast: Christine Woods’ Janis Hawk, a badass lesbian FBI agent juggling her vision of a future pregnancy with her status as a double (or triple?) agent; and Dominic Monaghan’s Simon Campos, a scientist infused with a bizarre combination of manic narcissism and lacerating self-loathing (both pictured). (When Monaghan guested on Lost this season, some people noted that Sideways Charlie seemed a bit tougher and more cynical than the original model. That was all Simon.)

And forget about the main cast. Every week, FlashForward could introduce two or three fascinating new characters. The show was a feast for character actors: There was Shohreh Aghdashloo’s mysterious Nhadra, Yuko Takeuchi’s plucky Keiko, Ricky Jay’s grandiloquently evil Flosso, Gil Bellow’s born-again spiritualist, and James “Gaius Baltar” Callis’ Rain Man impression…FlashForward had a Dickensian ability to build a whole world on screen.

I don’t want to oversell it. The show’s main overarching plotline never quite congealed. Sonya Walger never had much to do. But I’ll miss the cast of characters, all of them struggling to defeat their greatest enemy: the future.

Will you miss FlashForward, PopWatchers? And to fans of the show, what’s your nomination for best episode? I’d go with the epic “The Gift,” in which we learned that the future could be changed, but I’m also partial to the Hong Kong episode, “A561984.” Maybe I’m just a helpless Shohreh Aghdashloo fan.

More ‘FlashForward’:

ABC cancels Romantically Challenged, Better Off Ted, Scrubs, and FlashForward

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