Lost is the last epic TV show, claims producer

“[Lost]It’s going to be one of the last huge television shows in terms of size of cast and scope of production… Given the fact that network television is changing, it may be one of the last great rides of this kind of big epic storytelling.”

This is what the resident director/producer of Lost, Jack Bender, said to journalists recently. Of course, I know all about TV going back to being episodic (and cheaper, as the whole entertainment industry is getting sized down), but this just sucks every time I read it anyway.

I just want my EPIC shows back! I want complexity!

11 Comments »

Soundtweaker wrote on June 10th, 2009 at 1:56 PM PST:

That does Suck. I’ll never sell my Dharma tshirt.


Lobotomik wrote on June 11th, 2009 at 4:53 AM PST:

Episodic TV series always end up sucking bad, especially american ones.

What did you think of Battlestar Galactica? There was a good story lurking underneath: the war against the machines, the search for the earth, the search for spirituality and humanity in the Zylons… But it was all totally ruined by having to watch Starbuck solving all the problems, all the time, no matter how complex, in 45 minutes. And then the series toured again and again around all the american clichés — “my daddy didn’t love me”, “I’m a three-episode alcoholic”, the newer “I’m a hot chick but I kick ass”, the classic “I’m an *Engineer* and can fix (or build) a spaceship with my bare hands”, the works. Boring, boring, boring.

I think Lost is the best TV series ever, for all the reasons you quote. Every time they reveal a small detail, and I can see how it meshes perfectly with something that happened three years ago, I smile with glee. Every season is the best so far. Other series that handled a good story to the end were The Sopranos, and Six Feet Under, although the fast action and suspense component were not there.

Heroes first season led me to believe it could be done again, but the second season fell flat and made it evident that long-time planning wast missing.

I guess the problem with a solid story that lasts 6 years is that your audience cannot get any larger. What you lose is gone forever, and it is difficult to hook in at mid-story. So financially, it looks very, very risky.

So I guess the future of TV story telling can only lie in one-season mini series. There were many of them in the 70s and 80s, but they were replaced (at least in America) by the episodic repetitive bullshit of CSI, House, Star Trek, Bones, all that. Even some series that turned out into stinking piles of shit could’ve been unforgettable works of art if they had quit after 20 episodes (remember Twin Peaks?). But I guess cliffhanger last episodes and reusing popular settings and characters are sure bets.

Too bad that you hate Euro production. It is certainly cheaper than American, but there were and there are many stories being told. But if you only like Hollywood blockbuster quality, I’m afraid you will have to forgo the script. It’s been like that for a while, so you should already be prepared.


This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on June 11th, 2009 at 8:59 AM PST:

Yeah, it’s a bit like that. Serialized epic TV will never happen again, unless a lot of things change in the economy and in the minds of the viewers. Regarding BSG, do a search on my blog.


Brunis wrote on June 12th, 2009 at 1:45 AM PST:

Hey Eugenia,

Reading your description of how tv series ought to be, it was pretty clear you were describing Babylon 5. Obviously you have a long lost (no pun intended) hunger for this show. Obviously you’re a scifi addict (cause you’re a geek) slash romance addict (cause you’re such a girl 😉 So it seems strange to me that you never came across B5! Farscape comes close, even surpasses at moments, especially on the romance part. Firefly is short but great if you can wrap your head around a western theme in space 😉

Anyways, B5 is definitely your show. Allow for some character build-up through season 1, it might be a bit boring by todays standards 🙂

regards,
Brunis


This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on June 12th, 2009 at 9:32 AM PST:

I am familiar with B5, I am older than you think. I didn’t like the way it was shot. It had the same feel as ST:DS9, which I didn’t like either. Farscape, I hated it. Firefly, I love it. And while Firefly is mostly episodic, it has a strong background story that describes their universe.


Lawrence wrote on June 14th, 2009 at 5:37 PM PST:

I was never a big fan of LOST. It was far too boring and inconsistent, and far from being epic (in my opinion). I would rank it with other rubbish like Stargate: Atlantis and ST: DS9.


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Eugenia wrote on June 14th, 2009 at 5:39 PM PST:

You don’t know what you are talking about, sorry.


Pluijzer wrote on June 15th, 2009 at 2:25 AM PST:

He’s talking about how he thinks about Lost.


This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on June 15th, 2009 at 9:52 AM PST:

The guy obviously hasn’t watched enough of it then.


Lawrence wrote on June 19th, 2009 at 4:48 PM PST:

No, I am just being honest and an viewer who frankly never understood the fascination with the show. It’s basically a bunch of idiots stranded on an island, and they all whine and complain about everything. Here is why I dislike the show:

1) Nothing ever really happens. They hint at things for ages, but never actually do anything.

2) The overused “shaky camera” trick used to fake drama where there is none in the plot.

3) The “staring” bits. Nobody stares at each other for MINUTES in real life.

4) The flashbacks where everyone is killing someone, cursed, etc.

5) They find several bunkers and still choose to happily leave on a beach, open to all sorts of dangers. Talk about dumbasses.

6) The Dharma Initiative and countdown button. Both just pointless plot devices. Enough said.

Like I said before, once LOST is gone, it can free up a slot for some decent, watchable TV (nothing by Joss Whedon or such crap).


This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on June 19th, 2009 at 6:43 PM PST:

Actually, there’s a lot of things happening on Lost, but you have decided you don’t like it. There’s no point trying to debate this with you, you have made up your mind.


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