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New Sepinwall article on the origins of Lost

Discussion in 'Now Playing - TV Show Talk' started by Turtleboy, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. cmontyburns

    cmontyburns Excellent.

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    It was a great show. I think if you read stuff like Sepinwall's piece, you may find that people too easily discount how hard it is to stage a show. Lost wasn't even supposed to make it to air, but instead it got a pilot. So they made the coolest pilot they could, figuring no one would ever watch. Except everyone watched, and now they had to make a show. 22 episodes of a show. And then when it was clear the show was going to continue, dozens and dozens and dozens more episodes, with no idea when the end would come.

    That is an enormous amount of story to have to generate. It is inevitable that a show of this sort would go down some rabbit holes. Probably a lot of them. Don't get me wrong; I too wish any number of things had been explained better (or explained at all). But I can forgive the show for a number of those faults because there wasn't much the showrunners could do to prevent them, I don't think.
     
  2. Hcour

    Hcour Member

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    Obviously your great isn't my great. I want a satisfying ending and for the story to make sense within the world it creates. As for the reasons why the show went off the rails, as a viewer I couldn't care less.
     
  3. billypritchard

    billypritchard Embiggener

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    +1

    I also stopped watching mid-second season, for a lot of the same reasons.

    Good piece by Sepinwall about how the show began. Very interesting look at the TV machine.
     
  4. philw1776

    philw1776 Active Member

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    The complaints posted here aren't focused on unexplained stuff or a few minor rabbit holes.

    One more time the posters lament that the sudden right turn introduction of a new major focus (MIB & story) unrelated except barely tangentially to the past 5 seasons made those prior seasons plot developments completely irrelevant and replaced the speculative Sci-Fi fabric with pure fantasy, a major left turn.

    The 1st 2+ seasons that folks bailed on had elements that could readily have been wrapped up with a coherent story line.
     
  5. Steveknj

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey

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    I'm certainly not bitter, I just felt jerked around. The writers can write the show any way they like. They don't have to satisfy what I wanted. It just seemed they changed course from where I THOUGHT the story was heading. That said, even that last season, was better than most TV in that, if the whole series was about that, I would have been interested. I never cared much about having ALL the questions answered. I never expected that. My disappointment was more about story lines that, in the scheme of how the story wound up, were just inconsequential.

    Even with that, I intend to watch the series all over again some day, if I ever catch up on everything else I have to watch :) I bet there are clues in the earlier seasons that I missed that would lead to where the story wound up and probably make the last season feel more satisfying to me.
     
  6. Steveknj

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey

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    To me, from the pilot on, you knew this wasn't going to be a show steeped in plausibility. I don't watch shows like this for that. This is not a crime drama, where you expect that the events that happened could REALLY happen. It was a survival story with Sci-Fi elements. For me, the characters were so good, and the story compelling enough that I just didn't care about plausibility. Time travel, people living 100s of years and so many other things that happens could never happen, and it just didn't matter. Think people reading HG Wells or Jules Verne in the late 19th Century thought many of those things could really happen? It's fantasy, and I'm fine with that.
     
  7. Steveknj

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey

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    Exactly.

    The problem was, that Jacob, was probably viewed by most of us as a figment of Ben's imagination, used to give him power. Heck even most of The Others seemed to think this. The only clue we had that he was real was when Locke went to visit him and we heard "Help Me" . But of course that could have been anything. Then, the last season, he becomes THE key character of the whole series, and EVERYTHING that came before it, was kind of part of his chess game with MIB. I didn't like it, but perhaps, it requires that reviewing to see it makes more sense.
     
  8. DevdogAZ

    DevdogAZ Give em Hell, Devils

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    I think those were the rules Abrams and Lindelof were under when they were writing the pilot and trying to get it on the air. The execs at ABC were afraid that wouldn't be interesting to the audience. Once the show aired and was a hit, they could do whatever they wanted, and they no longer had those constraints, because it was clear that's exactly what the audience wanted.
     
  9. philw1776

    philw1776 Active Member

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    Disagree.

    It was not until suddenly in the final season that they threw all those constraints overboard. Worst yet in a way that made years of the story irrelevant.

    And when the LOST folks were interviewed they until the last season insisted that there was a coherent speculative science storyline and the journey would be relevant. They also stuck to the Sci-Fi grounded in speculative reality approach until the last season. They let their hubris fool them into thinking it was creativity.

    The ending was FAR from "exactly what the audience wanted".
     
  10. philw1776

    philw1776 Active Member

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    Agreed but worse than just Jacob we suddenly out of nowhere met his MIB brother who because of light from a magic cave turned into a smoke monster. Hardly a decent explanation for the island's "security device". Unicorn dust would have been better.
     
  11. DevdogAZ

    DevdogAZ Give em Hell, Devils

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    Really? So when we saw the smoke monster for the first time in S1, they had a way to explain that with science? So when they turned the donkey wheel in S4 and made the entire island vanish, they had a way to explain that with science? When they introduced Ajira Flight 316 in S5 and some of the characters just disappeared off the plane and ended up on the island, while others stayed on the plane and crashed on Hydra Island, they had a way to explain that with science? When the island became "unstuck in time" and the characters were jumping around to different times, they had a way to explain that with science?

    All of that stuff was going to be explained with plausible science until they just threw that out the window in S6? Really?
     
  12. mooseAndSquirrel

    mooseAndSquirrel Well-Known Member

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    I remember hearing early on it wasn't purgatory. So, it kind of seemed like purgatory, no?

    And it's not that some things were left unexplained, it was almost everything. Those numbers still piss me off. I loved this show until the last season.
     
  13. Waldorf

    Waldorf Super Duper Member

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    Well, I think if you qualify "science" as fringe science / science fiction in the Abramsesque sense, sure. If you followed the Rambaldi storylines in "Alias".. or more recently, the "Fringe", or the short-lived "Alcatraz", or some Michael Crichton novels like "Prey" that they mention in the creation of "Lost", you'd see where they were coming from. Nanotechnology, time travel, teleportation, parallel universes, quantum mechanics, genetic engineering, all kinds of good stuff we were looking forward to the resolutions on.

    For the things you mentioned, we were all pretty sure the smoke monster was comprised of nanobots, the donkey wheel was the mechanism to teleport the island, etc. Because of some of the Egyptian influences, there were theories that the island was a ship or some other remains of the same alien race that had visited Earth previously in Egypt.


    Then along come Jacob and the Man in Black and it gets all yucky and spiritual. :)
     
  14. DancnDude

    DancnDude Thrice as nice TCF Club

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    The numbers WERE explained through the game's website/reality game and video. For all the things that were left out, this one was explained via the show's mythology.
     
  15. Waldorf

    Waldorf Super Duper Member

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    That's another thing I really associate (and appreciate) with J.J. Abrams - the online lore half of his shows. The Alias web - there was a Credit Dauphine site which had many easter eggs and any sites they mentioned on the show (conspiracychick.com anyone?) they had registered and populated with rabbit trails all over the net which explored more of the story.
     
  16. philw1776

    philw1776 Active Member

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    Brief examples, if you read the LOST threads here on TiVo, many speculated that the Smoke Monster was akin to Michael Crichton's "Prey" a nano swarm, a Sci-Fi concept.

    Time travel, etc. is an old Sc-Fi concept.
     
  17. verdugan

    verdugan Active Member

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    I had no idea. Would you mind recapping it here?

    Thank you.
     
  18. Freshman JS

    Freshman JS Blue Devil - x2

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    No, absolutely not. "It" did not seem like purgatory at all. The primary story of the show including every single thing except the sideways flash parts of the final season was not purgatory.
     
  19. wprager

    wprager Active Member

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    I loved Lost. Didn't mind the last season or the ending at all (no, it didn't turn out to be nanobots and ancient aliens tech). Still miss it. Have rewatched it twice already and still enjoyed it immensely. My bigger issues were that they introduced way too many unnecessary characters. Oh, that, and what's-her-name's horrible American accent when speaking Latin.
     
  20. DevdogAZ

    DevdogAZ Give em Hell, Devils

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    So you guys are saying that just because a concept has been used in "science-fiction," it's somehow legitimate science and that makes it OK? Frankly, I don't see any difference between time travel, nanobots, and magic. None of them are currently posible in our world, so they're all fiction. Just because one has a theoretical explanation doesn't make it more realistic.
     

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