Lost was a lot of work to watch, no doubt about it. Being a dedicated Lost fan was tough because you knew you were in it for the long haul.
I don’t care what the show is about, how it is structured or who is in it. I just want a good relationship.
It’s this commitment that has to be there for a show to ascend to carry the mantle of “the next Lost.” TV watchers talk about the structure of the drama, the complexity of the plot and the chemistry among the characters, but a show with all of those things won’t reach Lost-like heights if viewers aren’t ready to commit. The harder a show makes it to be a fan, the harder it will be for us to commit.
If ABC wants freshman dramas Flash Forward and V to fill the gap about to be left by the end of Lost, it has a funny way of showing it. Both shows were put on a three-month hiatus after Thanksgiving, allowing budding fans to virtually forget about the show and, perhaps more importantly, missing out on great promo opportunities in the run up to the February 2 premier of Lost. (ABC’s horrid V promo notwithstanding.)
Now, both shows are back in full swing but only one is likely to make a second season. The going money appears to be on V, but I’ve never watched one second of an episode so I can’t say whether or not it deserves to come back. I have, however, watched every episode of Flash Forward from before and after the break. With that experience, I can unequivocally say that it absolutely deserves a second season.
The true mythology of Lost began to unfold in season two as characters discovered clues in the hatch indicating that there was more to the island than rumbles in the jungle would indicate. The biggest clue came when Locke saw the blast door map during a lockdown. Flash Forward got its blast door map last week when Dyson Frost built a massive maze of the futures he saw in his hundreds of flash forwards, all of which lead to one date: December 12, 2016. The end.
We saw the map wash away after Mark saved Dimitri from the elaborate set up Frost created to bring about the future in which Dimitri dies and Frost lives. This isn’t that different from what happened with the blast door map, as we only saw that once as well. But what is important to the show’s long-term success is that Frost’s futures map gives us something to latch on to and debate about.
Unfortunately I’m not finding any screen caps of it anywhere, including ABC’s official website, which is indicative of the show’s general lack of passionate support. ABC needs to get this image up on its site so that fans can engage and start talking about it.
Through what I feel has been a largely disappointing final season, I’ve come to realize that it was not the characters that drew me into Lost – it was the mystery. Characters of course have their own mysteries, but it’s the larger mysteries of the island and Dharma that I found most intriguing.
Flash Forward has its mysteries, too, and it is setting them up and knocking them down light years faster than Lost ever has. The pilot and the second-half premier contained more plot revelations and progress than an entire season of the senior megadrama. I like that, and I’m betting the primetime TV audience will, too.