Monday, November 13, 2006
Why Lost Doesn't WorkI had this sneaking suspicion about this show for a long time and it's why I haven't gotten into it.
Why Lost doesn't work
In New York magazine, Adam Sternbergh's piece about the decline of Lost captures my sentiments exactly. The show is getting worse and worse because the creators are forbidden from ever solving the central mystery in order to keep it running for as many seasons as possible. So when some smaller mystery does get explained, it never helps explain what's really going on.
There is, however, a simple solution: Change the format, or at least reimagine it. When it so-called arc shows, we need something between a mini-series and an open-ended run. We need the TV equivalent of a novella: the limited-run show. Series driven by a central mystery (Twin Peaks, The X-Files) peter out precisely because they have indefinite life spans. The writers are forced to serve up red herrings until the shows choke on their own plot twists. (Whereas 24 works because it’s more cliff-hanger than puzzle—though Jack Bauer is surely the unluckiest man alive.)
Is it still worth watching for individual episodes even if they overextend and mess up the central story?
The whole storyline and random craziness is exciting for me but I much prefer watching it on boxset than seeing all the individual episodes on TV. by far.
Anyway, short answer is "no," 'cause unless you've been watching, all of those Meaningful stares the characters have that refer to things in earlier episodes will just look sinister...