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How the Strengths and Flaws of Lost Changed Television

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There is so much good television on right now. I am constantly hearing about new series that I should be watching. The range of entertainment has never been wider. Fantasy, sci-fi, horror, drama, whatever you want, you can find it and find it in good quality. As the options expand and the base quality continues to rise, it gets harder and harder to catch up on series that you may have previously missed, and inevitably some shows get lost in the shuffle.

Which is an apt way to describe my fear for Lost. I fear that Lost will get lost in the shuffle.

Not immediately, of course, as few shows currently draw such vitriolic opinions. Lost is still gripping our pop culture today whether through homage or insult; sometimes the hero and sometimes the punch line. I once told a buddy whom I had watched the series live with that my friend had started Lost and his only response was, “She’ll be disappointed.”

It’s a common emotion to have regarding Lost as a show: disappointment. I myself was disappointed by Lost in many ways, both on my initial watch during its original airing and on my recent rewatch. The show makes many mistakes in its run, but we cannot discount the impacts that it had on television and the culture surrounding it, and not in spite of these mistakes, but because of them.

The immediate impact of Lost is obvious. High concept shows exploded out in the years following its release (Flashforward, Heroes, Fringe). Production values went up. HD became standard. Exotic and beautifully shot locations became more prevalent. Acting talent skyrocketed, with major actors coming to television. Flashbacks and flashforwards, heck messing with time in general, became commonly seen on mainstream television (How to Get Away With Murder). And casts grew wider and more diverse. A lot of what made Lost stand out is less spectacular in retrospect because it popularized or made these aspects commonplace, with many shows surpassing it in some of these areas.

Lost_Exodus

Lost/ABC

That fact, along with the obvious mistakes Lost commits, makes watching it in hindsight a little less impressive. Not tiny issues, either, such as missed character beats or a few forgettable episodes. These are episodes and moments so bad that they are unforgettable. Pacing issues so horrendous that the network finally caved to the writers and gave them an end date. And then there is the finale.

The biggest “mistake” of the show that fans and nonfans point to is the finale. I’m not going to reiterate here what can be found being discussed in 4,815,162,342 places on the internet today, but I will talk about who is discussing it.

Lost revealed a type of fan that has pervaded the medium ever since. Discussion about a show had never before reached the levels of discussion when Lost was airing. How could it have? The internet was just beginning as a platform for social media, and Lost was the first show of the internet age to be so conducive to internet chatter.

Due to the unprecedented nature of Lost as the most discussed television show ever, the amount of investment viewers put into the series went well beyond the 44 minutes they dedicated to watching each week. And with investment comes a feeling of ownership. Viewers felt Lost owed them a good ending. Before 2010, most shows dwindled out of existence after years of decline in quality or were unceremoniously canceled before having the chance to grow. Endings for these kinds of shows were often accepted as “good enough,” or a “decent way to wrap up the series.” But when Lost came around, a shift took place from, “I sure hope this ending is good,” to, “This ending better live up to my expectations or I will declare the last six years of watching this show a waste of my life.”

Lost_Exodus

Lost/ABC – Photo by Mario Perez

The fans that were disappointed by the ending have carried that with them ever since. When Breaking Bad came to its finish in 2013, three years after the Lost finale, there was an army of fans who tweeted out about how Breaking Bad’s finale is “how you do an ending,” jabbing at Lost and its coolly received send off. They were vocal enough that Damon Lindelof (a writer and creator of Lost) wrote a column about the continued consequences of his finale. I think a lot of these fans felt that the shows were on even ground, and therefore it was fair to say how Breaking Bad outdid Lost.  They were not on even ground. Lost had to go first into the raving depths of the people of the internet and try to satisfy everyone. It was uncharted territory, and regardless of whether or not you think the finale was good or bad, it charted the map for other series to follow. Breaking Bad got to learn from Lost’s mistakes, so I sure HOPE it was better. It has no excuse not to be. (Sidenote – “The End” > “Felina.”)

Not only was Lost the first to dive into the “owed finale” age, but it also carried the disadvantage of being set up by a somewhat shaky foundation. With the amount of storylines that had to be created to extend the series and the number of mysteries that were set up, there was no easy way for the ending to pay all of that off. Being given an end date for a series was a privilege the Lost writers had to fight for. Subsequent series such as Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones were created with no intention to last forever. They may not have had the ending planned or decided years in advance, but they also didn’t have to spin their wheels for multiple seasons stretching out a story and then be forced to wrap up all those improvised storylines with the originally intended ones. They could successfully build to a single climax because they were planned to tell a story with a beginning, middle, and end. Yet the Lost writers had this to say back in 2004, “We’re in the dark ourselves in terms of how quickly to unfold the mythology. We don’t know if the show will go for four years or six years. The best way we deal with it is to not look too long term.”

So the wheels spun. On-the-fly storylines and mysteries were thrown in, and the show got messy. Yet the failure of Lost’s middling middle seasons paved the way for networks to start allowing shows to plan an ending.

So let it be known how much of this golden age of television has been brought to us by Lost’s inadequacies. Meandering storylines have been cut down with shorter episode orders, which are much more common today, and even shows with longer episode counts have learned how to pace their seasons better in the wake of Lost’s horrific Season 3 pacing. Mystery shows have a better balance of questions and answers. Some studios are more willing to allow creators to have some leeway. Series are created with the intention of an ending, and NOT to go on forever.

Lost_TheIncident

Lost/ABC

Lost is also influencing the industry in ways that we can’t even consider, even in shows bearing almost no resemblance to it. Lost proved that a massive, 10 million plus count audience would watch something with a large cast of characters, subtitles, a ridiculously complex mythology, and ongoing serialization with multiple timelines that demanded complete attention, and that these audiences wouldn’t just tolerate but encourage these ideas and create discussion and interest. The influence of Lost isn’t just in what creators take from it, or the lessons they’ve learned; it is a subconscious effect that has pervaded the industry since its airing. Broader, genre-bending ideas have become more appealing to both audiences and studios. It raised the bar for production value on television, for directors and actors, and for the scope of projects put into production. No studio head today is saying, “Oh, I’m going to throw millions of dollars at this fantasy dragon show because Lost had a high budget and it was successful.” They say, “I’m going to throw millions of dollars at this fantasy dragon show because it’s a good idea.” But would they really think it was a good idea if millions of people didn’t tune in to watch shenanigans on a magic island for six years?

Yes, I am implying that Game of Thrones owes part of its success to Lost. Does anyone really believe Game of Thrones would have aired in the 90’s? What changed?

There were fantasy shows and sci-fi shows well before Lost. Lost very obviously takes ideas from these shows and series. But Game of Thrones level epics? Genre-bending shows like Westworld? I wish Firefly would have aired after Lost did because I believe it would have not just found a greater audience, but Fox would have been more willing to give it a chance and let the episodes air in the proper order.

Even currently, shows like Manifest are drawing close comparisons to Lost, not just for its airplane disaster premise, but for the interlocking mysteries, characters being drawn together by a greater force, and even recurrent numbers. Less similar shows, like The Good Place, draw from Lost’s sense of mystery and flashbacks. Wrecked is a parody of it. We could go on.

Lost can be a punch line today. It’s mocked for its finale, its sometimes grating characterization, and its plethora of unanswered questions (but come on almost everything was answered). But do we mock the Wright brothers for only getting a few feet off the ground on their first attempt? Especially when there were moments where that flight absolutely soared. When Lost is at its best, there is still nothing like it.

So for future generations, when and if they watch Lost, I hope they realize they are witnessing one of the first flights into the golden age of television. I hope they know that in all likelihood their current favorite show owes at least something to Lost. And I hope that they don’t dismiss the show based on its missteps. After all, Lost took the biggest steps into the new age of television and left a permanent footprint on the industry, even if those prints have since been covered by the many series since that have followed in its wake.

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Lost/ABC


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Editorials

How to Watch ‘Hamilton’ on Disney+ this Fourth of July

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Hamilton the Musical Coming to Disney+

This July, you’re getting the best seat in the house for Hamilton and you aren’t paying hundreds of dollars for it! 

On July 3, Disney+ will begin streaming the Lin-Manuel Miranda smash Broadway musical, which follows the life of Alexander Hamilton and the Founding Fathers. 

The version of the original production was filmed at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on Broadway in June of 2016.

While you’ll be able to enjoy it from your living room, Miranda has gone out of his way to give you full Broadway experience. He tweeted the screen-adaptation will feature “whole show, every note & scene, & a 1-minute countdown clock during intermission.”

Here’s everything you need to know about streaming Hamilton on Disney+ 

How to Watch?

Hamilton will be available to Disney+ subscribers. You can stream it on online or on your streaming devices. 

 

How Much Does Disney+ Cost?

You can snag a subscription with on-demand access annually for $69.99 per year or monthly for $6.99. The annual membership saves you about $14 yearly. This gives you access to all of Disney and Marvel content! 

You can also get the bundle with ESPN+ and Hulu for an additional $12.99 a month. Bundling the three gives you a 25% savings or roughly $5 bundled rather than subscribing to each service separately.

 

What’s Hamilton Rated?

Miranda recently revealed the screen adaptation will be exactly the same as the stage performance sans two swear words. In order to qualify for the “PG-13” rating, the film must not have more than one swear word. The rating warns of “language and some suggestive material.”

 

Is It Worth My Money?

Disney has an extensive catalog and much like other streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, it adds new content monthly from classic films, shows and cartoons, animated films, and brand new originals. 

For those who like Hamilton, Disney+ also offers the stage-to-screen film adaptation of Newsies. And if you’re looking for more of Miranda’s work, Disney+ is streaming the reboot of Mary Poppins and Moana.

10 Shows to Watch During 4th of July Weekend 2020


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Fuller House

‘Fuller House’ Season 6: Is the Door Open For Another Reboot?

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Fuller House review season 5 episode 13

Fuller House came to an end after five seasons earlier this month, but the cliffhanger felt as if the series intentionally left the door open for another reboot. 

Even DJ emphasized: the door is always open. 

But was that intentional? While it doesn’t seem like Netflix has any interest in keeping the show around, the cast and showrunner are remaining optimistic. 

In the final moments of the series, Kimmy and Steph said their goodbyes before moving families out of the Fuller-Tanner house for good. 

Following their exit, DJ becomes emotional as the usually full, loud, and alive house falls eerily quiet. Someone knocks on the door and it turns out to be her sister and childhood bestie informing her that they don’t want to leave.

Stephanie then drops another surprise that could carry the show for a few more seasons — she’s pregnant. (Read our reviews/recaps of the final season of Fuller House here)

For an audience who grew up with these characters, it’s hard to say goodbye and come to terms with the idea of not being there for their next steps. 

But while it’s one thing for the audience to want to continue the series, it’s another when the actors are fully on-board. 

Both Andrea Barber (Kimmy Gibbler) and Candace Cameron Bure (DJ Fuller) told TV Insider that they are keeping their fingers crossed for another reboot in the future. 

“We talk about that all the time and put it out there so much. Who knows what will happen in 10 or 15 years. Never say never,” Bure said. “If there is another opportunity, I know all of us would reprise these characters again.”

Barber added that wrapping up season 5 did not feel final. “I really want to play this character and see where she is and see her grow,” Barber said. “We’ve seen Kimmy, DJ, and Stephanie since they were 5 and 10. Let’s continue it into our 60s. Let’s see them as the Golden Girls of the new generation. I’m ready.”

In fact, Cameron-Bure told E! News that she would play DJ forever if she could. 

 “I would play DJ Tanner for the rest of my life,” she said in 2018. “If the audience wanted it and the networks wanted it, I would do it forever.”

So, yeah, there’s a huge chance the cult-sitcom could see a reboot somewhere down the line that would find the She-Wolf pack dealing with grandchildren.

Not many shows get the luxury of catching up with their fans every so often, but in this case, even with declining ratings, there’s a ton of love for the 90s sitcom. 

Of course, by that point, we hope Stephanie and Kimmy and their families actually moved out of DJ’s home. 

The San Francisco house is big, but it’s not that big. 

Would you want the show to return in the next decade? Or is Fuller House milking it?


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Editorials

7 Reasons Why We Love Fallon Carrington on ‘Dynasty’

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Fallon Carrington is one-of-a-kind. 

Fans were initially drawn to The CW’s Dynasty because of the scandalous drama but we’ve stayed because of Liz Gillies, who does an incredible job bringing the female protagonist and lead heroine to life. 

Gillies’ Fallon is a diva (in the best possible way), a businesswoman, a fashion icon, and more often than not, the show’s saving grace. She’s always ready for a good scheme, just as long as she comes out on top. But underneath that pristine exterior, she’s just a girl who loves and wants to be loved. 

Fallon is the queen of Carrington Manor, and we wouldn’t have it any other way! 

Here are some of the reasons we love Fallon Carrington on Dynasty

 

She’s Bold, Ambitious, and Confident

Fallon is the girl boss in her personal, professional, and romantic life. She won’t let anything stand in her way, and she’s not afraid to speak her mind or roll up her sleeves and do the work or get a little dirty. Even when she’s out of her league or element, Fallon will dive in headfirst because she’s confident and aware of her own capabilities. 

Dynasty You See Most Things in Terms of Black & White Review

Dynasty — “You See Most Things in Terms of Black & White” — Image Number: DYN313b_0061rbw.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Elizabeth Gillies as Fallon and Robert Christopher Riley as Culhane — Photo: Bob Mahoney/The CW — © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Her Closet Is the Dream

Staple pieces, shoes, handbags, oversized hats, Fallon has it all! Everyone’s fashion on Dynasty is superb, but Fallon’s is unbeatable. It’s a huge part of her character and reflects her personality. She’s able to pull anything off including business chic, preppy casual, or evening bombshell. Her closet is so impressive that even Kirby borrows some staple pieces (we wouldn’t mind getting some hand-me-downs either)! 

 

She’s Business Oriented

Fallon has money on her mind. In the early days, she’s driven to follow in her father’s footsteps and become the new CEO of Carrington Atlantic. When that falls through, she proves that she’s determined to pave her own way as an entrepreneur. Throughout the seasons, she’s found many ways to reinvent herself and reinvest her time while making business-savvy decisions. 

Dynasty a Wound That May Never Heal Review

Dynasty — “A Wound That May Never Heal” — Image Number: DYN311b_0462b.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Elizabeth Gillies as Fallon and Rafael De La Fuente as Sammy Jo — Photo: Bob Mahoney/The CW — © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Her Love for Family

The Carringtons are one of the most dysfunctional families on television and the family tree is rather complex. But what remains clear is the love that they have for each other. Despite the constant arguing and betrayal, they always have each other’s backs.

Fallon is a daddy’s girl through-and-through, and while their relationship might not always be perfect, all she wants is for him to love her back and recognize her potential. Her care and appreciation also extends to friends like Culhane and Monica who she treats like family. 

 

She’ll Fight For What she Wants

When Fallon sets her mind on something, nothing will get in her way of achieving that goal. When she wanted to win back Liam, she went out of her way to eliminate the competition and prove that she was the best. Her determination is to be admired because it’s what helps her back up anytime she gets knocked down. We can all learn a thing or two about being resilient from Fallon. 

Dynasty The Gospel of Blake Carrington

Dynasty — “The Gospel According to Blake Carrington” — Image Number: DYN114a_0130b.jpg — Pictured: Elizabeth Gillies as Fallon — Photo: Bob Mahoney/The CW — © 2018 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Her Witty One-Liners and Comebacks

Fallon’s words and witty zingers are her weapons. She never hesitates because she’s always equipped and ready to hurl the best comeback. Her snark has given fans some of the best and funniest quotes from the reboot.

 

How Vulnerable She Is Around Liam

Fallon rarely shows her heart, but if there’s anyone who is able to bring down her walls and help her open up, it’s Liam. The love she has for him is pure, and while she sometimes makes some questionable decisions, he’s always around to keep her grounded and level-headed. Their relationship is full of passion, mutual respect, and genuine love. They’re a perfect match — he keeps her accountable while she’s helped him live a life he enjoys. 

 

Do you love Fallon as much as we do? Share your favorite things about her in our comments below! And check out our reviews of Dynasty here! 


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