Five Things 'The Event' Can Learn From 'Lost'
By Christine Fenno Posted Sep 19th 2010 02:55PM
Dare we open ourselves up, all over again, potentially for years, to a brand new, sci-fi-tinged, time-jumping, conspiracy-filled series promising twisted plotlines, and, let's face it, torture for the viewer?
The show has already played mind games with us, as producers insist 'The Event' isn't trying to imitate 'Lost,' while ads for the premiere promote an ominous, question-filled thrill ride that blatantly features a terrifying plane crash. The harrowing, beautiful 'Lost' pilot episode, about the crash of Oceanic 815, was an instant TV classic when it aired in 2004. It can't be replicated...can it?
Here are five ways 'The Event' -- which insiders have said answers questions far more swiftly than 'Lost' ever did -- can solve the burning mystery of how to win over viewers still coping with a six-year 'Lost' hangover.
1. Know where the story is going.
A masterful episode, or season for that matter, fades fast when viewers lose faith that there's a satisfying endgame ahead. Even the masterful performance of Nestor Carbonell (Richard Alpert), for instance, became a source of strife for 'Lost' fans who suspected the character was there for atmosphere, not answers. Indeed, the limp resolution to Richard's story (including a magical youth-preserving beverage and an abrupt attack by Smoke monster) certainly caused a whole lot of "Wait, what?" Cast members working on 'The Event' have claimed they aren't even privy to other dialogue and character details. You gotta wonder, if the show's a hit, will creators improvise wild twists or map out the journey?
2. Keep a tight rein on the casting team.
If season 1 goes swimmingly, don't sex up your season 2 scenes by introducing random, photogenic lookers (remember Nikki and Paulo, the much-loathed 'Lost' castaways played by hottie newcomers Kiele Sanchez and Rodrigo Santoro?). Then again, if a mousy acting genius like Michael Emerson (Ben on 'Lost') darkens the door of the casting office, taking a smart chance on a freakishly talented unknown can make Emmy history.
3. Develop the characters and relationships.
For all 'Lost's foibles, the creators knew the secret to the show's success was how invested viewers felt in the inner lives of the characters, and how emotionally involved 'Lost' groupies got in the relationships. Those who have seen an 'Event' sneak peek warn that the action moves at a tight clip, with hordes of characters and mysterious motives in play during the first episode. What a shame if we're robbed the chance to understand the people -- from Jason Ritter's everyman to Laura Innes' secret-keeper to Blair Underwood's POTUS -- who will be making this 'Event' happen.
4. Have a sense of humor.
What would 'Lost' have been without Hurley (Jorge Garcia)? Dude. The one-man Greek chorus called out the ridiculous and only ever wanted the best for everyone. The character was treated for insanity during his tumultuous lifetime, but was often the sanest character in the crowd, bringing an essential light touch to many dark scenes. Will 'The Event' be smart enough to balance all the tension with a clear-eyed, funny point of view?
5. Don't torture us with suspense.
Fine. Go ahead and torture us. The suspense about 'The Event' has already reached lethal levels, but 'Lost' survivors actually live for it.
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