Is LOST going to be worth my while?

Ok, a little background: I don’t watch TV shows these days. The only show I’ve actually purposely watched in the past 10 years was Ally McBeal. Before that, the first few seasons of the X-Files.

But **Lost ** has peaked my interest. Enough people are discussing it and it seems to be above the run-of-the-mill sit-com or whatever.

So, I rented the first season from Netflix and have gotten through 4 1/2 of the 6 discs worth of shows. I’ve got the links to the SDMB discussions for all the Season 1 shows, and may read through them at some point.

Yes, this is an interesting show with lots of strange and mysterious things going on. BUT, and here is my main question: Do the show’s producers know where this is going?

I don’t mind being taken for a ride if I know there will be some kind of ending. What I **don’t ** want is to be conned into watching the show as more and more ridiculous things happen–things that are never answered, until the show in nothing more than a Ponzi scheme that collapses under its own weight.

That’s what happened with the X-Files. I don’t think they had *a clue * about what the “answers” were to the whole alien mythology. They just kept making shit up, forgetting about previous developments, and eventually the show became unwatchable.

I know no one here knows “what’s going to happen” and that’s not what I’m asking. Just some assurance that the people at ABC have this all plotted out in advance and are giving the viewers an interesting puzzle to enjoy and taking us on an exhilerating ride. But if it turns out that the people at ABC are looking at each other saying “what about the mysterious numbers?” “what about the polar bear?” “what about Locke’s experiences?” etc. etc. etc. and the only answers being batted around are “no clue–we’ll figure something out eventually,” I’m going to just stop watching right now.

I think partly that’s just the nature of U.S. television. A show gets picked up for additional episodes and seasons and they have to fill it with *something * just to justify the advertising sales, no matter if it makes any sense in the overall sceme of things. (That’s why I prefer books and movies. You know the author/producer has something specific in mind and a road map of how to get there. Even other countries have figure out the “24-episode” TV series with a distinct beginning, middle, and end).

Yes, they know the answers to all the questions they’ve raised.

Which in not the same as knowing the answers to all the questions the viewers think they see (if you catch my drift. This show lends itself to overthinking.)

They problem that the producers are acknowledging is that they have about four or five seasons worth of stories that’ll get them to the endgame, but ABC doesn’t want any timetable. They want to keep a big hit going for a long long time. So the stretching begins.

Personally, I think they’re doing a bang up job so far and I believe them when they say they know where they’re going. It just remains to be seen if we’ll get there in a satisfactory fashion.

Short answer: nobody knows for sure whether the producers have a plan they can/will follow, but they say they’re going somewhere with it and we hope they’re right. Good luck!

Also, watching the show on DVD is way better than watching it first-run. I liked the instant gratification of finding out what happens next immediately, and things feel like they move faster. First-run, there are so many breaks for reruns and such that a lot of the momentum is lost.

I’m nervous about getting X-Filed too, but I’m still watching. I try not too think about it too hard or obsess over the details because that way lies madness.

I’ve found it satisfying so far. It goes from “what the hell is this place?” to “okay, now we know where we are but why are these weird things happening?”

Some questions get answered, some still linger, new ones come up.
If you can enjoy each episode and say “Yeah, I was entertained by that. It was worth my while.” then keep watching it.
If you watch each episode and say “That was a waste of my time, I hope this goes somewhere.” then quit watching.

Kind of like watching Gilligan’s Island. You either watch each show and enjoy it, or you get frustrated and wonder when they’re going to get off the island.

I’m going to have to start watching this series on DVD. The fact that they play a new episode then take two weeks off BS is driving me insane. I’m just going to stop watching till next season and then watch the whole season at one sitting. This will probably also save me untold numbers of hours reading and posting about Lost on message boards avoiding spoilers.

On second thought, nah.

Well, the only other show that doesn’t is “24”, and that’s because they waited until January to start it.

The writers are always saying that the show is about the characters, not the mystery. Keep that in mind.

I believe that, with a hit like Lost, they could have gotten away with making 30 episodes and shown them every week, regardless of superbowls, holidays, or awards programs. Probably make them a butt ton of money.

I think all shows ahould go to a schedule like 24 or any of the FX or HBO dramas, like The Shield or The Sopranos. Make your episodes, show them, then go back and do more. If people invest themselves in a show, which they’re likely to do if new episodes are easy to find, they’ll be happy for another dose several months later. I’d rather have the fun in shorter but sustained bursts rather than have it diluted to half-strength.

Especially since there exist podcasts, DVDs and DVRs. Just do the season straight through. If folks are interested, they’ll find a way to watch. If not, make a better show next time.

I don’t remember The Sopranos having a new episode every week. And *Rome *didn’t, either.

But yeah, with DRVs and other technology, skipping weeks is very old school. However, saying “just make 30 episodes” is easier said than done, Unc. That’s about 6 additional episodes that they’d have to pay actors for, and it still wouldn’t fill all the gaps. I think the real problem is sweeps week in May.

I watched through the first season DVDs over Christmas (loaned by a coworker), and my feeling was that they had kind of a general idea of where they were going but tacked on or inserted in extra subplots as they went along. I suspect its going to spiral out of control–toward the end of Season One the plots were already getting overly contrived–even for a show based on the premise that there is some kind of extraordinary connection between this planeload of people–and it irritated me enough that I don’t intend to watch the Season Two or beyond episodes.

However, do yourself a favor and finish the set, or at least watch the next-to-last and beginning of the last episode; there’s a great in-joke involving a minor character that gave me the biggest laugh I had last year. The writers may be hacking their way through the plot, but they don’t lack a sense of humor about what they’re doing.


Stranger, are you referring to Hurley’s “You’ve got a piece of Arszt on you”?

Yep. It’s almost as good a joke as Galaxy Quest’s “Guy” character.

Honestly, after about the fourth or fifth episode, the only thing that really kept me watching was Evangeline Lilly. Yum.


Yeah, I’d say you need to see the full first season and the first 3 episodes of Season 2 before deciding. Without seeing those first few eps of Season 2, you just can’t give it a fair shake.

What everyone else has said…One of the Season 1 DVD behind-the-scenes docs quotes a producer saying something along the lines of them having about 5 years worth of plotlines mapped out. But then again George Lucas had an outline for the Star Wars prequels, and perhaps you’ve heard how those turned out. So there’s no guarantee you’re going to love the series forever. That’s a risk one takes.

As far as questions being answered…well, some are and some aren’t. But one thing I find very interesting is how the nature of the questions has changed. Some of the things I was dying to know last year don’t seem to matter so much any more. The tone of this year’s mysteries seem to be less “what is that?!” and more towards the “why is that?”, which is an interesting development.

I’d recommend watching the rest of Season 1, because even if you never see another episode, those episodes are uniformly excellent. Then you can just make up your own ending that suits you, or wait until Season 2 is finished and ask this question again. Your fellow dopers will be sure to let you know if the whole of Season 2 ends up being worth the (IMO) hit-or-miss quality of many of the current episodes.

groan that sucks!! I was really hoping it would end this season. It’s really getting too sci-fi for me.

This must be why I like British shows. 2 or 3 short seasons of 6 episodes and it’s over. See: The Office. No one seems to outstay their welcome on the BBC. Monty Python’s Flying Circus tried and they made a good examples of themselves for future shows.

Although…with Lost, once you’re In you’re In. You’re IN, divemaster :slight_smile:

•Immensely intriguing storyline/plot
•Fantastic characters
•Great acting
•Well written
•Smart dialog (most of the time)
•A pinch of science fiction
•Fairly unpredictable
•Flashbacks allow the story to move off the island and fill in some motive for the characters
•Hidden easter eggs or in-jokes that allow for intense after-show analysis and speculation (especially on internet forums)
•When old questions are finally answered, you are filled with a warm sense of satisfaction
•At the end of each episode you YEARN for more

•Flashbacks can sometimes slow down the storytelling
•Depending on the featured character(s), flashbacks can be boring compared to the goings on of the island
•Frustratingly long breaks between episodes
• When old questions are finally answered, and the warm sense of satisfaction wears off, two new questions will usually take it’s place
•At the end of each episode you YEARN for more

That said, I’ll comment that I truly feel as if the series is indeed headed somewhere. The fact that none of the questions that have been answered, so far, have contradicted with any of the new questions raised seem to support that. If they really have no idea where this is going, eventually the writers are gonna slip, and the plot will get sloppy real fast. Things just won’t add up. And at this point, the plot seems pretty consistent. I’ll also compare the two seasons like this: First Season = Uniformly intriguing/excellent. Second Season: While 50% of the shows this season haven’t been as good as some of the worst shows of the first season, the other 50% have been the best of the series so far. Does that make sense?

To be honest, in about mid season 2 I began to seriously wonder if I’ve been wasting my time with an x-files like gimmick that would turn out badly. Since then, the show has improved a little bit, but I still have big worries.
You could always wait till the end of season 2 to make the decision.