Friday, February 03, 2006

Lost - something that bugs me

Re-watching the 'Destination Lost' special on Wednesday night gave me quite a surprise. There's something fundamental to the show - its soap opera character backgrounds - that bugs me.

Now I like Lost and what the writers are doing - but part of it's appeal is that it originally seemed to centre on ordinary people, trying to survive. The beginning of the special certainly reinforced this. These are normal airline passengers, it stated, who through extraordinary circumstances are forced to learn more about each other and rely on each other. I've said before that I think this was the basis of Lost's initial appeal. Its universality; it's "what would I do in that situation?"

However, where that theory breaks down is that the main characters are a paraplegic mystic, a possibly psychic child, a drug addict from a famous rock band and a wanted criminal. And all of them seemed to be bound together by forces of fate or science that are greater than themselves.

Yes, this is good series design - it gives you lots of nice personal stories to play out over the island & (again) lets you contrast to people were before and after the crash. But it's certainly not 'universal'.

And I believe a good show could be made out of characters who are just ordinary people, possessing no particular soap opera conflicts to begin with - and the drama would come simply from watching them react sensibly to incredibly difficult situations. In fact, our brainstorming group is working just such a show at the moment.

*I think this is something that Chris pointed out to me many months ago, but I've only just noticed it for myself.
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