Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The Best Show On TV

Who says the Golden Age of Television went out with Truman? (Not that anyone actually does say that—in fact, I just made it up.) My point is, that I believe some of the best programming EVER can be viewed on commercial TV these days.

Oh, sure. Many of you probably think the reality glut is a sign of Armageddon--I disagree (see March post)--but today, I’m talking about drama. Specifically, LOST. Man, this ain’t your father’s Gilligan’s Island. Just like Grey’s Anatomy ain’t his Medical Center, nor Boston Legal his Perry Mason.

Watching LOST is like having a front row seat to Storytelling 101 at the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. (Not that I’d know, not having been a student in their program--gee, are you surprised?--but I imagine they offer something along those lines.) Each scene is so masterfully crafted, each character so organically complex, each flashback so artfully woven into the main story so as so make you believe it IS the story…then, to top things off, the writers fling you a fresh twist just when you think you’ve nailed what’s about to happen.

Even their promos are ingenuous. To wit, this week’s ads promised one of the survivors would be “lost permanently.” Well, about three quarters into the show, a minor character—one we’d barely gotten to know—disappeared, and I have to admit I fell for it. Thought I’d been “had” by misleading commercials. Then, pow. One of the main characters buys the farm with about a minute left to go.

Don't even get me started on how the previews promised a whole NEW direction...

Sigh. Makes the writer in me feel woefully inadequate.

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