The Show With A Plan

Trust me, this will eventually be about Lost.

Over the past few weeks, The Civee and I have been re-watching Alias, a show that we would watch “together” during our dating days (since we were cities away, we’d talk on the phone during commercial breaks than hang up on each other as soon as the show came back on).  It was a fun show, one we both enjoyed.  It had moments of greatness, but overall, the show was frustrating for fans because of three things that had to do more with the creator (J.J. Abrams, who would go on to help create Lost) and backstage happenings than the stories told on the show.  Alias was a let down because of:

– There not being an end-point for the story from Day 1.
– The failure of the network to get a key actress to commit to a second season, leading to storylines being scrapped and hastily re-written to accomodate her disappearance (not to mention other cast changes brought about by the interpersonal relationships of actors).
 -J.J.’s short attention span and abandonment of Alias (for Lost) in seasons four and five.

If there had been a clear path and had storylines played out like they were supposed to, then the fate of Alias would have been different.  Thankfully, both the creators of Lost (which returns tomorrow) and the network seemed to have learned their lesson.  

Alan Sepinwall, TV critic for New Jersey’s Star Ledger has (in what has seemingly become an annual tradition) published an interview with Lost Co-Creator Damon Lindelof, who explains that these things don’t happen by accident:

But more importantly, if “Stranger in a Strange Land” — which, universally, is (considered) the worst episode we ever produced — had not been produced, we would not have been able to convince the network that, “This is the future of the show: how Jack got his tattoos. Everything we’ve been saying for two years about what’s to come, is now all here on the screen. You argued that an hour of Matthew Fox in emotionally-based conflicts, it doesn’t matter what the flashback story is, it’ll be fine. But now that we’re doing his ninth flashback story, you just don’t care.” 

We can’t go back and apologize for the creative mistakes that we made, because we had to make them. If that episode hadn’t been made, we weren’t able to get a notes call that said, “We don’t like this episode,” and where we could then say, “We don’t like it, either, but it’s the best we can do if we’re not moving the story forward. And we’re now at a point, guys, where we can’t move the story forward.” And they asked, “Well, what would you do if we allowed you an end date?” And we said, “Give us an end date, and we’ll tell you what we’ll do.” And the conversations then reached a new pitch.

Everything has to happen the way it happened. 

It’s a great interview with not only hints of things to come, but some explanations as to why some things ended up the way they did.  

It seems as if they’re avoiding the pitfalls that sunk J.J.’s earlier brainchild.  And as someone who has followed both shows, I’m glad they have both a committed cast and crew and an endgame in sight.

As for me, I’ll be on the couch between the hours of eight and 11 tomorrow evening.  I pity the fool who tries to interrupt the return.

By the way, if you want something to look forward to, check out the first clip on this page. It’s only quasi spoilerish.

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