QUADRIVIUM

Have you come here to play Jesus to the lepers in your head?

Posts Tagged ‘Lost

In keeping with the habit of only writing on Mondays…

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…here are a few random thoughts that have percolated over the last week:

–Been listening to the original cast recording of Les Miserables.  If Hollywood can produce big screen versions of Rent, Chicago and Nine, it’s time somebody brought Les Mis to the screen.  So long as they cast Timothy Spall as Thinardier. 

–ABC really ought to release The Path to 9/11 on DVD. 

Amerika could use a decent DVD package as well.  I’ve never seen it, and I’d like a chance to.

–I really wanted to do a write-up on Avatar (the more I think about it, the more I think conservative film critics have missed something), however, some paying writing gigs have come up, and paying the bills comes first.  For the time being, read this

Lost‘s final season begins tomorrow. 

The Killer Angles is one helluva novel.

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Written by taj

February 1, 2010 at 12:18 pm

Has Lost Ever Had a Master Plan?

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We have asked from the beginning whether Lost creators J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof ever had a master plan for the show’s tangled web of mysteries. Committing to a show that would take (and has taken) years to reveal its secrets hinged on whether or not the initial mysteries really pointed to something bigger. After all, we’ve had our hearts broken before. Twin Peaks collapsed after wrapping up the mystery of Laura Palmer’s demise. The X-Files limped on into mediocrity. Many expected Lost to simply implode on itself, another casualty of creative minds spinning an intricate tale without a clue as to where it was all headed.

For many, Lost assumed the mantle of cult phenomenon as early as its fourth episode, “Walkabout.” As the mysteries unfolded into the third season, cracks started to show. Once audiences followed Jack to Thailand to get his tattoos, we began asking the question in earnest: Is any of this actually going somewhere?

David Fury, who wrote the famous Locke-centric “Walkabout,” dashed any such hope back in 2005, telling Rolling Stone that most of the show’s early plot developments were created on the fly. Ain’t it Cool News recently asked first season co-producer Jesse Alexander if the notion of time hopping the castaways to 1977 (a major story arc last season) was ever discussed during his tenure in the writer’s room. His answer? An emphatic “no.”

Meanwhile, various comments throughout each season’s DVD commentaries or special features hint that the series writers have spent significant time mapping the show’s trajectory. Lindelof and co-show runner Carlton Cuse have insisted in interviews, most recently this past Monday for TVGuide.com, that they developed a mythology with a specific story conclusion in mind. That conclusion, they maintain, has never wavered, only shifted to accommodate characters and events as they developed.

So the question is: how much of Lost’s enigmas and unanswered mysteries find their answers in this developed mythology? Will we learn what makes Walt so special? Had the writers always determined to “move” the island? What’s the real significance of Jack’s cryptic tattoos? 

While considering just how much the writers have known from the beginning, allow me to posit that, not only did Lost never have such a detailed master plan, its success was never dependent upon having one. What we fail to realize in maintaining faith in a master plan is that the business of network television usually doesn’t allow for that kind of creative mapping.  Read the rest of this entry »

Written by taj

December 14, 2009 at 9:42 am

Ever wonder if they’re just making it all up?

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I’ve been hammering out a small editorial that takes on the notion of whether or not the creative minds behind Lost ever had a master plan detailing the evolution of the best show on television*.

After three drafts, I’m close to the final version, but a new interview from the show runners, Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof, may have rendered my efforts moot.

It appears evident that, after Cuse and Lindelof negotiated an end date for the show, things seemed to develop with a greater sense of direction.  However, this new interview makes some significant points about the tension between telling a good story, and doing the business of television.

Then, there’s this little nugget:

TVGuide.com: Have you always known what the end of the series would be? Has it changed at all?
Cuse:
Always is the operative word. We developed a mythology, as I said earlier, in the first season and between the first and the second season, and we’re actually moving toward that exact end point. I mean, that has not changed. Certain details of how the show ends have evolved over time but that’s mainly on a character level as we’ve gotten to know the characters and seen how the actors interact. So there are parts of the ending that are still living and breathing, but the actual mythological endpoint has been constant since we developed the show.

Given Blogcritics’ editorial rules, I can’t really share the thesis of my little essay right now, but suffice to say, this one quote throws a monkey wrench into my entire argument.

*a title Lost shares with the BBC’s recent reincarnation of Doctor Who

Written by taj

December 9, 2009 at 4:19 pm

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ABC announces Lost Season 6 premiere date!

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The Final Season begins Tuesday, February 2, 2010. 

According to a recent interview with co-creator/co-showrunner Damon Lindelof, we may not get a real peek at the new season for a while.  Till then…

Written by taj

November 19, 2009 at 5:45 pm

“It’s never been easy!”

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Why do you find it so hard to believe?

Written by taj

October 7, 2009 at 3:29 pm

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Review: FlashForward – “No More Good Days” (Pilot)

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flash_forward_promo_posterLet’s get it out of the way: Lost changed things for television.  Every year since its 2004 premiere, networks have tried to emulate its magic, with varying degrees of success.  This year’s entry from ABC is FlashForward.  It carries the same network logo, a pair of familiar faces, even a billboard advertising a certain ill-fated airline.  But while FlashForward’s spin on the Lost paradigm captures its sense of oddity, it lacks the patience and sense to let the audience engage on its own. 

We open on a man who wakes to find a disaster.  Instead of a doctor, we learn he’s a federal agent.  Instead of an island, we find him in Los Angeles.  Instead of a plane crash, everything has crashed—cars, helicopters, you name it.  It’s happened all over the world.  For two minutes, everyone on the planet blacks out, and glimpses their lives six months in the future. 

The pilot’s opening tease, including the brief flashback to fill us in on the jolting intro, suffers from narrative ADD.  In nine minutes, we’re introduced to ten separate characters with five interconnected storylines.  And that’s all before the “event” even takes place.  Read the rest of this entry »

Written by taj

October 2, 2009 at 2:41 pm

Red Shirts

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Orson Scott Card on Star Trek and Captain Kirk:

Centering the series around a commanding officer was such a bad mistake that the show immediately corrected for the error by never, for one moment, having Kirk behave like a captain.

While a television show can get away with having a captain who acts like the leader of an exploratory team, the readers of prose science fiction have no tolerance for such nonsense.

(Card, Orson Scott.  How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy.  The Writer’s Digest Genre Writing Series.  Writer’s Digest Books: Cincinnati.  1990.)

And now, a word from John Locke (Lost 1.09 “All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues” — minor language warning):

Written by taj

September 23, 2009 at 8:29 am

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