Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Lost: So, um, who's your favorite New Kid?

Today's column previews the return of "Lost," which I found underwhelming:

It's "Lost" guide time again, but instead of a who's-who on the island primer like the one I wrote back in October, now I feel like I need to write a guide for managing expectations about the show's return.

I've been on record as being a fan of "Lost," in spite of its many obvious flaws, because I accepted a long time ago that its writers are making things up as they go along and that any answers we get about the island's mysteries will be non-existent or unsatisfying. So long as the show entertains me on an episode-by-episode basis, I don't care about what the master plan is -- or whether it even exists.

But the six episodes that aired in the fall failed that simple test for me, and for lots of other viewers. People complained about all the torture scenes, the absence of the supporting cast, the repetitive flashbacks, the death of Mr. Eko -- pretty much everything but Paulo's golf swing. (And that's only because there were so many other things to complain about with Paulo and his equally pointless pal Nikki.)

Watching "Lost" is like being in a bad relationship -- the really good episodes are like the times your significant other remembers to do something nice for your birthday, and they make you ignore all the times s/he treated you like garbage. So after three months of being off the air, it probably wouldn't take much for "Lost" to win you back.

Having seen tonight's episode, titled "Not in Portland," I'm sorry to say that not much is exactly what you'll get. Almost every flaw that plagued those first six episodes is still present. Hopefully, better days are coming, but, while trying to be as vague as possible about anything spoiler-related, here's what you need to know to steel yourself for what's coming immediately:

To read the rest, click here. Obviously, I'll have a more spoiler-y review tonight.

10 comments:

jim treacher said...

Have you seen this? It makes too much sense to be believable as the real Lost writers' room, but it's still entertaining.

Dan Coyle said...

Treacher: That's why I can't understand why they hired Brian K. Vaughan. I mean, his plots are well thought out!

I have a feeling the first few episodes of this return season will be "eh", then I guess we'll get to the point where all the criticism came in, and things will ramp up.

Tom G said...

I agree that the show is not what it used to be, but really, lets not thow the baby out with the bathwater... It's still one of the best shows on television. Sure, you don't want to see a show coast, but it seems to me that people are getting a little carried away with the criticism.

Bob said...

Alan,

In your column you mention "screaming" and "Ken Burns", but I don't know what it refers to. Any details you can give? Thanks.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Bob, it's a joke -- and you know what they say about jokes you have to explain, so I guess it wasn't a very good one.

Beeswax, None of Yours, Inc. said...

Alan,

If you were playing a PTI Oddsmaker-type game on Lost, what would you say to the following: "Odds that Lost's ratings continue to decline despite the no re-runs schedule."

I'd say 90%. The show has lost its mojo and it needs something significant to happen to turn things around. After reading Lisa de Moreas' article on the Lost sesssion at the TCA, I don't think the producers understand that the show is starting to get into trouble with its fans.

Anonymous said...

I should think that the ratings would drop purely based on the fact that it's going to be on so late. I know that I won't regularly stay up after 10pm to watch it. I will DVR and watch the next day.

I still have high hopes for the show, in spite of this review. I've heard that we're going to see more of our favorite characters after the first couple episodes.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Beeswax (and may I applaud the fine choice of handle), I'm going more for 60%, maybe even 50. As much as the hiatus and the later timeslot may hurt, getting it the hell away from Idol can do nothing but help.

Always nice to make a cameo appearance in one of Lisa's columns, as I was the guy who complained to Lindelof and Cuse about Jack's interviewing abilities (which I then re-used in the column and will mention again tonight).

jim treacher said...

If Jack ever asked a direct question, the writers might have to come up with a direct answer. Unlikely!

Dan Coyle said...

15 minutes in, and I'm happy so far...