Saturday, January 19, 2008

More On The Future Of Lost

This post is in response to the comments made on my last post. I know, I could just comment on my own post like I normally do, but this would go on too long.

First, to theFrog:

I watched that old WB show Roswell all the way to the end pretty much only because they filmed it around the corner from my house. All the scenes that took place in downtown "Roswell" really took place in downtown Covina. Sometimes I used to go watch them film after work. So I know what you mean about the kick you get out of seeing local stuff on the TV.

As for watching it on TV . . . I have to admit I've never done it. And I plan to this season, but I'm a little afraid to.

See, my favorite show used to be 24. Like Lost, I would wait until the DVDs came out and then rent the whole season through Netflix or something. But I just got to liking the show so much that I had to start watching it live.

And you can guess which season I started doing that, because that was the season that 24 started heading a little south.

So now I'm scared to start watching Lost as it airs, for fear that the problem is me.

They are fixing the main problem that kept me from watching it live before--they're showing the episodes straight, in order, in consecutive weeks.

But I completely understand where you're coming from. When you wait for the DVDs, it puts you in complete control. You only have to go through the frustration of having to wait on someone else's schedule once.

The only drawback is that the one time lasts all year.

Second, to Anonymous (May I call you Annie?):

Annie, I get where you're coming from.

A lot of the scenes on Lost depend on suspense to create the "flavor" and part of the suspense comes from being afraid of what might happen. Being afraid of what might happen comes from not knowing either:

A) The motives of some of the people in the scene.
B) Why things are happening the way they are.

Since answering the mysteries would mean answering those two questions, there goes suspense.

But that's part of the challenge the writers are facing--they're having to write the show in such a way that past scenes change, but are still meaningful, after mysteries are answered.

So far, they're doing a really, really good job at this. So much so, that they felt justified in actually showing some old scenes again, just so we could see how those scenes felt different now.

After all--a lot of the suspense will be gone on repeat viewings simply because we know what's going to happen next.

If they can make it worth our while to watch repeatedly because of all the hidden crossovers between the characters and more modified meanings that happen after you know more--in other words, giving answers that add to the past scenes rather than deflate them--that's the challenge the producers face, and the one that will drive their DVD sales the most.

Ultimately, it's because the show is a mystery that they can't leave the questions unanswered. Any mystery story, whether it's a short story or novel, TV show or movie, starts when you pose a question and ends when the question has been answered.

This isn't Gilligan's Island. The goal of the show isn't just to get everyone off the island. In fact, that was the real message of the big twist at the end of last season--getting off the island won't resolve a thing.

Nothing is going to feel resolves, and viewers aren't going to feel satisfied, until they get answers. As many as is humanly possible.

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