07 May 2007

"Lost" To Officially Wrap in 2010

It's a depressing thing to realize that everyone else is into your favorite TV show (or movie, or book, or musician) for the exact opposite reason you are: I tuned in for Losts 2-hour premiere in the fall of 2004 because I was a fan of J.J. Abram's Alias (albeit a late-comer who didn't get into the series until its third season). I was immediately taken by the character-oriented direction and enigmatic conceit: clearly Abrams and his co-writers/producers were students of everything from Kurt Vonnegut to Philip K. Dick to Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow to Stephen King's The Stand and The Mist to Vertigo Comics (and DC's The Flash to eagle-eyed viewers).

Like a long-running comic book serial (popular comics writer Jeph Loeb is one of the story editors, and this season saw the hiring of Brian K. Vaughan, whose Pride Of Baghdad you really should read), Lost was conceived as a series of small story arcs and one-shots set against a broader back story that may or may not ever be resolved, and I didn't care--I was intrigued and enchanted by its loopy and often confounding developments ala The Prisoner (years of loyal David Lynch viewing helps, too) and was more than content to ping-pong weekly on my own "explanation" over each successive episode.

But by the end of the second season, to my surprise and regret, I found out that the "Losties" who so passionately argued about each episode's every twist-and-turn of its narrative mobius loop were starting to whine about closure. They wanted explanations. They were more concerned over whether Kate was going to choose Sawyer or Jack--in other words, they wanted a regular show. The producers were aware of the hue and cry from the message boards and in one interview, Damon Lindelof confessed candidly that he found it hard to go to work each day and spend 8 hours writing a show that "everyone hates". And now I know why Charlie Sheen is the highest paid male actor on television...

(I think Ben said it best last week when he told Locke "the box is a metaphor!" ...are you listening, viewers?...)_

Thankfully, Lost has been guaranteed its run and won't be subjected to the gutting that was inflicted on Alias in its fourth season to make it more "appealing" to the masses at the expense of its dense and perfectly nuanced internal mythology. The show's creators have been granted their wish: producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse have signed new multi-year deals with ABC to continue the series until its conclusion, which is now officially pegged for the 2009-2010 season. And fans--those few of us left who have stuck with the show and will presumably continue to do so until the wrap--won't have to endure those gawd-awful delays anymore either: instead of two standard seasons consisting of 24 episodes, we'll get three seasons of 16 episodes--uninterrupted ala 24 (no firm air dates have been set).

I'm just glad to hear that having invested so much time in the series that it won't be unceremoniously sh*t-canned due to the hysteria over lower-ratings. You can read the complete story at today's Variety.