, which premiers tonight, has been marketed as the nextLost
. So what is
about? If you're asking yourself that question, the powers that be already have you by the balls. Let us save you six years.
The Lost creative team promised answers, only to appease their loyal fan base with breadcrumbs and bombastic season finales that always screamed, "Next season! The answers are coming next season!"
The beauty of a show like Lost has nothing to do with the show itself, but with the machinery behind the show. Lost, then, became a show about another mystery altogether...How would the writers keep it a secret that they actually had no idea where the show was going? This, of course, was why Lost lacked direction and cohesion. But why did we keep watching? Why did we cry so hard during the convoluted finale? Read on and learn TV writers' top three tricks.
Lost: What is the island?
The Event: What the hell is the event?
The writers know you want to know, so they won't tell you, thus keeping
you watching. But how do they keep you watching without any answers?
Alfred Hitchcock coined and popularized the term, which stands for a
plot device that drives the story forward. Typically, it's something the
characters want that has no intrinsic value to the story, but pushes
the story forward. In Lost, the first three seasons were dedicated to
the Losties battling the Others, which didn't end up mattering in the
end, but we didn't know that as we watched.
Deus Ex Machina
The ultimate cheap device, used by writers everywhere to wiggle out of
tight spots, is when a plot problem is suddenly solved with the
contrived intervention of a new character. In Lost, after five seasons
of not explaining what the island was, the writers introduced a wishy-washy character named Jacob, who said a lot without saying anything.
Tonight's The Event premiere will hint at some great event, or at the
perpetrators behind the event. You will be in the dark for a very long
time, kept at bay by many a MacGuffin--car chases, the possibility of
nuclear holocaust, tsunamis--only to realize later that they weren't part
of a "larger, more intricate tapestry."
Then, The Event will culminate in a series finale event, where millions
will be disappointed upon realizing that the event was a non-event all
along. In the following promotional clip, the writers, bless their
hearts, are honest, saying, "The assassination plot is not the event,"
but this only means that they have so many MacGuffins that they can flat
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out tell you about some of them! Don't fall for it!
-- A. Perez