"I went to a place to eat. It said 'breakfast at any time.' So I ordered french toast during the Renaissance". --Steven Wright ... If you are a devotee of time travel, check out this song...

Friday, May 25, 2007

Lost and Alias: Now Something Else in Common

J. J. Abrams was of course the creative force of Alias, and he got Lost off to its superb start in Season One. He still is listed as Executive Producer of Lost, but the series was clearly taken over by other creative hands.

I have no idea how much, if any, input Abrams had in the extraordinary season finale of Lost this week, but that finale - in particular, the brilliant flip from flashbacks to flashforwards as the prime mechanism of the show - has something strikingly in common with Alias:

Both Alias and Lost have now reinvented themselves in mid-series. Alias did that in the middle of its second season. As I discussed in my Night That Alias Reinvented Itself, this was a daring, dangerous, and thrilling move. In one evening, just about everything that Sydney Bristow had been doing reversed itself. She was suddenly no longer a CIA agent working undercover for a rogue unit pretending to be part of the CIA, because, against all odds and expectations, she destroyed that unit.

Lost's course-changing reinvention is both in the storyline and in the very structure of how the series will be presented. Jack and Kate are now off the island. Up until now, the driving force of Lost was how to get off the island. Now that's reversed - in the last scene of the finale, Jack talks about needing to get back to the island. And rather than the primary location of the story being on the island, with flashbacks to life off and before the island, we may well see the primary location of the story from now on in Los Angeles (our present, or the future from the perspective of that last scene on the island), with flashbacks to what happened back on the island after that last scene in which Jack makes contact with the ship....

One other point: Alias went downhill after it's astonishing reinvention. But I don't think that will happen to Lost - because Lost has already been there. I'm looking forward to three extraordinary seasons.

Useful links:

Lost New Questions: 1. How Far in the Future? ... 2. Who's In the Coffin? ... 3. Who's Waiting for Kate? ... 4. Who Is Naomi's Boss? ... 5. Is Mikhail Immortal? ... 6. What Constitutes Reliable Evidence? ... 7. Are the Flashforwards Desmond's Flashes?

Lost Season 3 Finale ... Flashforwards

Lost: Keys to What's Really Going On

3 comments:

dawn said...

Interesting point but I read they will be shooting next year on hawaii. I think if they did that it would ruin the show. I know exactly what you mean with Alias. well we have 8 months for theory's right. Have a great weekend

MC said...

I don't think it was the reinvention that killed Alias... it was the fact that Abrams was really hands off Season 3... a time when it really went off the tracks.

Paul Levinson said...

dawn - yeah, it will be fun waiting (it's one of more interesting pleasures of watching television) ... akin to sequels in novels and movies ... you have a good weekend, too...

Matt - you're right - but, from a long-range view looking back, it's also true to say that Alias reached its zenith with the reinvention, and never really recovered...

The really interesting question is what would have happened if Abrams had stayed with Alias and not gotten Lost ...

probably would have been a net loss to the world...:)

InfiniteRegress.tv