Entertainment Weekly has an interesting article in their current issue about all of the shows written to be the next big Lost and how none of them seem to be taking off in the way the networks are hoping. I am watching FlashFoward, and it’s interesting, but most of the shows are missing a key ingredient to the formula…
The reason I got hooked on Lost was because I had no idea at first that it was a mystery. The first episodes seemed like a scripted version of Survivor (an interesting idea by itself) – and when strange stuff started happening, there were tons of “Wow, what the heck just happened?” moments. A mystery is a mystery because you don’t realize at first that’s what it is – you think you’re going along with life, an you start noticing little stuff that just doesn’t make any sense. You pull the string, and it all unravels into one big pile.
All of these Lost imitator shows – FlashFoward especially – are coming out of the gate with “hey look at this big mystery! We’re gonna solve it, yay!” scripts that just seem too self-conscious. When you have to tell people you’re really cool – probably not so much. Start by telling an interesting story first.
I don’t know that there’s any way to really “fix” this about FlashFoward – they started off on the wrong foot to begin with. It’s interesting enough, but the constant references to how mysterious all of it is – over the top.