Saving LOST in Five Easy Steps
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
It was Mark Twain who said "The rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated", and if LOST had a voice it may be recalling those statements quite vividly these days. With a steady stream of "LOST is LOST" pieces traveling across every wire service in the world. If you didn't know better, you'd swear the show which once garnered Emmy praise and dominated ratings was on its way out. In fact LOST is nowhere near its coffin fitting, so what can the show do to stop the swell of negative press? We have a few suggestions...
True, LOST is nowhere near death, nor, if you ask its fans, is it in any sort of creative slump. Since returning from its second hiatus this year, itself a source of fan squabbling, LOST has begun to home in on its central them, and it's about time. No, I'm not expressing exasperation here... it really is about 'time', and space, and perhaps the bending and traversing of such. For LOST producers to saturate us with temporal innuendo for two episodes straight, shouldn't we recognize that they are trying to tell us something? If the producers get their way and the show ends at 100 episodes, we are roughly half way there, and the half way point is an excellent time to start laying your cards on the table.
So with LOST entering the most exciting phase of its story, how can we help the show regain that luster that it has LOST in the freshman phase of its third season? More importantly, do we need to? The LOST producers and fans, in larger percentages at least, may be content to take the high road on these matters and simply tune out the negativity, but there is an attrition factor to it. No matter how much spin ABC releases and how much apathy Cuse and Lindelof feign when faced with reports of dwindling interest, they are all painfully aware that the trend leads to oblivion. Whether your stubborn enough to turn away from it or not, the ratings decline and bad news will continue to erode away the audience if it is not fixed.
So, without further delay... here are five things we think could save LOST and reverse the tidal wave of negative press.
1. Close the book on Dharma. The Dharma phase was an interesting diversion from the look and feel of season one, but now it has dominated the look and feel of LOST. Let's get back to survival and weird forces, and away from glass tanks, musty concrete, and steam punkish technology.
2. Bring in the big guns. Last season, Darren Aronofsky (The Fountain) came very close to directing an episode. This season, JJ Abrams pen brought in the highest ratings of the season. Imagine combining those two? Or even grabbing somebody else with a taste for LOST and some seriously surreal skills.
3. Bring in the faces. Cheech Marin will be a great addition to the guest star list later this season, and rumors are Star Wars' Billy Dee Williams is taking a bow. Who else could electrify the show with their mere presence? Think big.
4. Get away from the "story" once in a while. Gone are the care-free episodic LOST's of season one. The show is just too darn serious any more. Throw in some episodes that are for the sake of fun instead of constantly feeding an already hyperconvuluted plot.
5. Give it a good lead-in. LOST has suffered as a stand-alone for too long. In its very core, LOST is an awkward show for any broadcast schedule. With its weird sci-fi twists and seemingly intellectual back bone, LOST is not considered 'casual' viewing. So having something nice and general would help soften up potential new viewers. How about Grey's Anatomy? Of course this requires that somebody move, preferably it would be LOST, back to a 9:00pm slot on another night. Face it, this Wednesday thing just isn't working out.