Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Losing Lost

After Doctor Who it was possibly the biggest TV event of 2005. Lost. I did once post raving about it during the first few weeks but then I moved house. Things got busy and stayed busy and I stopped watching it. I heard tales f how good it was, what I was missing but every time I tried getting back into it I just saw a very slow pondering show with too many flashbacks.

Instead I buried myself into Doctor Who, the excellent Life On Mars and the truly stunning new Battlestar Galactica.

These shows do highlight a shift in programme making. Gone are the days when you could watch TV shows in any order. Static characters and story of the week used to be the feature of all TV shows now ‘the arc’ is the buzz phrase. There is of course a problem. Now to watch a TV show you have to commit to it. You can no longer miss an episode for fear of being left behind. Producers tease you with plots, occasionally having the kindness to wrap some up but usually leading to more questions being asked.

There is a problem. The more you commit to and enjoy a show the higher your expectation. This means that ultimately when the TV show becomes unprofitable and the decision is made to axe the resolution will always be disappointing. Look at Babylon Five. The final season an utter mess. The X Files collapsed under the weight of it’s own mythology and became unwatchable. There’s also Star Trek Voyager. After seven years of journeying home they arrive at Earth and the show just ends – no emotional pay off whatsoever. Crap.

I’m just concerned that these shows I’m really into at the moment will end with a bitter taste of disappointment. The same goes for Book 7 of Harry Potter. I’ve invested 10 years of my life into Harry Potter – I want a damn good finale but I know nothing will live up to all the fan gossip and speculation.
After 9 months of business my life is easing up again. I have a bit more spare time and I’m finally getting into Lost thanks to a few DVD loans. I just wonder why I’m doing it. I know the shark will be jumped and the ending will be crap. Still I guess the journey is what counts.

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