Monday, November 13, 2006

Is Lost a lost cause?

This guy says Lost is doomed to failure because it can never solve its mysteries. He's calling for a limited-run format so a story can have a conclusion and not keeping dangling myateries. I think this is a great idea, but it'll never get past Hollywood.

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.

7 comments:

Mkae said...

Wouldn't 24 fall into that category?

Shocho said...

That guy said (you DID read the article, right?) that 24 was a "cliffhanger" and not a "mystery" and that's why it works and perseveres. Although I think its ratings have been declining as well.

DavĂ­d said...

I could not agree more with him. I have long said that certain shows (the X-Files being the first one) need to have a planned out story that lasts over a number of episodes.

No, it will never happen.

anyGould said...

Babylon 5 was probably the closest "success", although even that got nuked by the threatened cancellation at season 4.

DEATH_BY_MONKEYS said...

24 season 3 would. That season was crap in every way. The other 4 seasons were all amazing. They need to end it after this year and just do a few movies or else introduce someone as cool as Jack to carry on the show. I just don't think that's possible though.

I liked the last season of X-files but all the mystery stuff went on WAY to long. I won't watch Lost cause I always thought it was a 1 year show dragged out to long anyway.

Enterprise did the planning really well for it's stories until the network killed it.

Kathy said...

Just look at seasons of shows (or the length of the show's run in total) in other countries.

Anime series are finite and usually fairly short. British series (Doctor Who and EastEnders excepted) usually don't run for more than a couple of "seasons" and those usually are comprised of little more than a dozen shows.

X-Files, for example, would have been a much better story if there had been about 40-50 episodes total, most of those being monster of the week.

The reason that other shows like 24 and Veronica Mars "work" better is that each major mystery is finite and is resolved at the end of the season, then we follow the characters into a new mystery. It's the best of both worlds, where you keep the characters the audience is attached to, but you're able to tell tighter stories and show character growth all at the same time.

DEATH_BY_MONKEYS said...

I think the only problem with 24 is they killed of WAY to many characters without introducing enough new ones. I think this season will be too many new ones (Kinda like season 3) and be a little overloaded. On the other hand Jack will be killing people so I will forgive them.