I’ve written a few posts about the ABC drama “Lost”, which was one of the few shows I regularly watched on TV since getting hooked on it when I did the MAD parody.
A couple of images from the “Lost” parody in MAD #453
Well, I used to watch it regularly. Now I don’t watch it at all because it’s not on the air. For some inexplicable reason ABC only aired six episodes in the fall, then put the show on hiatus for four months. New episodes resume February 7th. Couple that with a general feeling that the show is not advancing but just keeps chasing it’s tale, and frankly my enthusiasm is at an all time low.
Apparently I am not alone in my concerns. In an article yesterday on CNN’s website, producers of the show addressed fan concerns and said they recognize fan “anxiety” over the show’s direction.
In the article, “Lost” executive producer Carlton Cuse said there seemed to be “an underlying anxiety (among fans) that … we don’t know what we’re doing.” He explained they always had a direction that included a beginning, a middle and an end, and that “It’s time for us now to find an end point for this show.” He cited the Harry Potter series of books having a scheduled ending with book seven as an example of how readers have a feeling of certainty that there will be a conclusion to the series, and the books are heading towards it. A nice idea as an analogy, but J.K. Rowling still provides her readers with an advancing plot and a clearly developing story arc in each book, whereas with “Lost” whole episodes go by with little or no plot development, and the only time anything significant seems to happen is when they kill off characters… and they usually just die with no bearing on the grand scheme, whatever that is. It’s also not a fair parallel, because Potter fans do not have to worry that the book series will suddenly be canceled and no payoff ever happens… which has been the fate with many a serialized show that suddenly finds itself dropping off the radar. “Lost” is still a long way from that point, but I think using the word ‘anxiety’ for what fans are feeling is dead on.
The article also addresses fan criticism about the long hiatus of the show. ABC Entertainment president Stephen McPherson seems to think they made a mistake doing that, and is quoted in the article as saying they are leaning toward doing a schedule similar to Fox’s “24”, which airs all episodes consecutively without repeats. I think that is a great idea… when show is so heavily dependent on continuity and doles out it’s plot advances in such tiny and stingy increments, it would behoove the network to keep their viewer’s interest by keeping he show on the air. I don’t mind the occasional rerun… but four months between new episodes in the middle of the TV season??? I honestly can’t remember the “cliffhanger” end of the last episode… and that’s a bad sign.
At this point I will still try and get back on board with “Lost” next month when it starts airing new episodes… but if things don’t pick up quickly I’m afraid this is one viewer who might be permanently “Lost”.
740 My cover art for the next issue of MAD, exclusive sneak peek from @entertainmentweekly website
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