Thursday, December 01, 2005

Is that show aptly named...

...or what?

Watched LOST tonight as is my habit on Wednesdays. (Watch LOST, tape Veronica Mars... both well-written, both quirky in their own way, both in my Top 5).

I'm not sure I'm ever going to get where they're going on that show. And in case some of you haven't watched it yet, that's all I'll say.


Insidious Mr. Huge said...

"Lost" is the "Twin Peaks" of this decade. (The "aughts"?) It began with an interesting premise, but sadly cannot support itself in the long run. It will either be forced to resolve some of its plotlines soon (probably unsatisfactorily) or continue on its course and descend into unintentional self-parody.

It's sad really. They should take a cue from British tv. Just end it and go out on a high note.

JAM said...

You know, huge, your questionable taste aside (I've seen your DVD/Video collection...), your repeated (in my recollection) comparisons to British TV ignore a key point... British TV is not a solely commercial enterprise. While I can't explain the legalities, the BBC is a government owned (or at least a public/private partnership), whereas ABC (the network that airs LOST) is owned by the Disney Corporation. And as with most shows on commercial television, they are driven by advertising revenue. The more successful (in Neilson ratings) the show, the more the netowrks can demand for commercial time on said show. Thus, if a show is successful, there is a massive network pressure, which I imagine is passed down to the creators of the show (in the form of greed -- for money, Hollywood cache, etc.), so much so, that the entire enterprise of a show that successful is to keep it so even after the creative spark may crest the apex. And don't even get me started on the importance of achieving 100 episodes for the purposes of syndication...

The comparison is faulty because what drives the process is different in both cases.

Insidious Mr. Huge said..., okay. You might want to work on the run-on sentences there.

I don't believe I mentioned advertising in my first post. Let me check. Nope. But I agree with you that shows on the BBC channels are funded differently. My comment merely referred to "going out at the top of one's game".

However, your analysis doesn't disprove what I wrote, and I believe, only goes on to validate it.

"Lost" will go the route of "Twin Peaks". I am absolutely convinced of that.

Let me spell it out for you explicitly: The writers cannot sustain the multiple plotlines forever. They will resolve some unsatisfactorily (otherwise people will get frustrated with the lack of resolution, something that is already happening) and will make others even more obtuse. People will first lose their patience and then lose their interest. Ratings will drop. Advertisers will be less willing to buy air time. Less advertising equals less revenue for ABC. Eventually the show will be cancelled. (I predict one more season, max, but I'm no Nostrodamus.) The final episode will either be an unresolved cliffhanger (in which the creators hope they'll be picked up for another season), or an unsatisfying wrap-up where all the plot threads are hastily mashed together (Gasp! They were all dead from the start!)

See how that works?

Sad to say, I have no faith in the network to allow the creators of "Lost" to end the show on a high note. As was said just by a network exec recently on an NPR interview (paraphased), "We have an obligation to our sponsors (not the viewers)." The show will be milked for all it's worth, mined for money, not creativity.

Just to clarify my position, I have never seen a full episode of "Lost" and therefore can't speak to it's overall quality (although it's garnered enough positive criticism for me to believe it's pretty darn good). Everything I know about it (and let me tell you, you can learn a lot just by watching the previews and listening to the water cooler gossip) tells me in conception and execution, it has more in common with "Twin Peaks" than it's creators dare to admit. I am analyzing the larger issues here.

And hey, was that a dig on my DVD collection? You can forget about borrowing "Incubus". You'll never see Shatner reciting lines in Esperanto now little man!!!

JAM said...

Heh. How we can go on when we effectively agree about something...

Will LOST ultimately peter out. Yeah, probably. Not really much of a prediction there. (Run on sentences are a specialty, you know...)

But I'm also willing to stop watching a show that's past it's prime if I don't think it's good anymore. Witness ER, the X-Files, etc.