Monday, November 13, 2006

Told You. (Sorta.)

So there's an interesting ... blurb, I guess, about Lost and how it's losing steam in the third season. Actually, the only reason it's interesting is because I predicted this argument two years ago when the show debuted. It's the same reason I've never chosen to watch a single episode of the show.

I've touched on it in other posts, but it should be completely obvious to anyone who has ever owned a TV that you cannot create open-ended television shows. (i.e., shows with a central premise that can never be resolved, because that would mean the end of the show.) If the show is at all successful, it will drag out an unsustainable storyline for years, and the resolution will always, always, always, always be disappointing. Always. Without fail. At least since The Fugitive went off the air.

The first time I heard about "Lost," I knew this would happen. A show based around one big mystery will never work. I never thought the show would do well, but even after it took off and got great reviews, I still resisted. It may be a very good show, I would tell people, but I won't watch it, because eventually it will collapse under its own weight. (See: The X-Files.)

Moreover, I believe that it could have worked, if the producers had sat down and determined exactly what the answer to the riddle was before they ever shot a single episode. You can drag out the mystery if you know how it will end, but you can't just keep making stuff up and then try to somehow figure it out when the time comes. (See: Twin Peaks and Star Wars.)

Even 24, where each story only lasts one season, falls under the same trap. When I heard the premise for that I thought, "It will only work if they write all 24 episodes before they shoot the first one." Of course, they didn't do that and of course, 24 just generally sucks ass.

If I had been blogging back then you would know this already, but you'll just have to take my word for it that I completely called this ... but only because it was completely obvious. Now I'm vindicated because a lot of those Lost fans finally figured out what I could have told them in 2004. The moral of the story, as always: Everyone (especially TV executives) should listen to me all the time.


ADDENDUM: I know at least three people who occasionally read this blog (in other words, my entire audience) who are die hard Lost fans, and may have their own opinions about all of this. They are the only reason I've watched any episodes at all, and the ones I've seen have almost convinced me to rent the DVDs and catch up. But then I remembered my own advice. I'm not prepared to go down that road again, but they might still be able to convince me with a strong argument.


ADDENDUM II: Regarding that "Series Finale" post. I was right. I have almost completely stopped watching television and I never even saw the resolution of that ER cliffhanger. Not watching TV leaves me out of the occasional conversation, but honestly, I don't miss it at al.


ADDENDUM III: Latest candidate for The Moonlighting Effect. The Office. While not the central conceit of the series, Jim & Pam is certainly the most talked about plotline and the one guaranteed to disappoint at least 50% of the audience.

3 Comments:

Diana said...

1. 24 sucks???? WHAT?!
2. I also don't watch much tv, but I don't consider LOST, "just a show"
3. I've read that the writers for LOST had the next 8 seasons plot line written out. (hopefully for my sake it lasts that long!)
4. LOST, a disapointment...PHSHAW!
5. I'll break you! we almost had you hooked once, it can happen again.....
6. If you don't change your mind, well, I never want to see you again

11/14/2006 10:00 AM  
Anonymous said...

I don't think I can be brunch buddies with someone who posts such filth. Your mini-muffin days are over.

p.s. The SkeeEO's are big Lost fans and I have brought this to their attention. Good luck in skeeson 5...pssssshhhhhhhhh.

11/14/2006 10:24 AM  
Dashiell said...

I guess those are pretty convincing arguments. I'd hate to lose out on any more four hour "brunches."

11/14/2006 2:21 PM  

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