The Regularly Scheduled TV Show Blog

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Lost 2.02, Invasion, 1.02: A Horrible, Horrible Letdown

Last night we had the follow-up episodes from the premiers of Lost and Invasion and it could be summed up in one word: disappointing.

Lost ended last week as a huge winner in my book. They capitalized on the momentum from last season’s series finale and pushed the envelope even further with the absolutely spot on suspense and pacing of the show. And then the show tantalized us with the revelation that Desmond was in the hatch. So with that great premier and momentum, what does Lost do? It essentially gives us show 1.5 of the season. I wouldn’t even consider that show to be a full episode, seeing it merely as the directors cut of the season premier. After last week’s show, we were promised that in last nights show we’d find out more about the survivors and more about their fates. It’s a reoccurring theme that audiences are now blatantly being lied to (see: Prison Break, Fox).

This show was an incredible let down, considering that it is going to be compared to the premier which was awesome. I just don’t see why JJ did it other than attempt to insert filler episodes. Sure, we got an even more fleshed out background on how Michael lost Walt, but it felt like we were being hit over the head with the emotional stick, essentially forcing us to feel bad for Michael. I don’t understand this tactic, seeing as I already feel horribly for the guy, as Michael’s prior flashback already laid the ground work. Just seemed a bit redundant and the only reasoning would be to increase the empathy in the audience for Michael. The only saving grace about focusing on Michael was the shark. And even this was executed in a lackluster fashion. The fact that it was an isolated predator from the one on the island and that its’ identity was revealed so rapidly, quickly killed any suspense for me. We’ve all seen the underwater views of the characters legs and the fact that JJ relied on such an old gag surprises me. It was just an unoriginal device that had no impact on the series as a whole.

Essentially, nothing happened in this show. By the time the show ended, we were right back where we ended in the first show. Jack, questioning what Desmond was doing down in the hatch, and then cut. The telling sign was when the show finally caught up to the end of the premier, the show finally got exciting. We were shown Jin running from the “others” and this was the only part of the show which brought progress and brought the suspense back. I still love the show but was saddened since we didn’t get anywhere. Hopefully next week they continue making new shows and not releasing director’s cuts and passing them off as progress.

Invasion continued “Letdown TV Wednesday”. I don’t understand how the writers thought that show, coupled with the lackluster premier, was a good one-two punch to introduce a show. The first episode had potential and I said I’d wait for the second one to see if the potential materialized. No such luck. The show began with more of the same, developing the weak plot of the pilot. We have the brother, Dave, still adamant about his conspiracy theory and everyone else still assuming their same stereotypical characters. Something about the characters doesn’t quite work for me. They just don’t feel believable to me. And for this kind of show, having characters you believe to be real helps convey the fear to the audience. As it is, the show fails in this aspect.

The show employs the typical things that go bump in the night but in the end, it feels cheap. Relying on such tactics of things appearing out of nowhere versus playing on real suspense and tension makes the show nothing more than a B-rate scary movie. I don’t like how all of the suspense relies on these gags rather than developing the fear of the characters in these situations. While these tactics work at the moment to make us jump, nothing stays with us. It’s all very fleeting and leaves me very unsatisfied. Which is how the show as a whole leaves me.

The progression of the plot (Russell finding the scuba diver and him turning out to be an Air Force member and then mysteriously disappears) marches the show slowly along. However, by the time the twist is revealed, my interest has waned. The pacing of the show is horrid and drags on for far too long on aspects of the show which are meant to enhance the sympathy we feel for the characters and their plight. But the characters are so dry and clichéd that by the time we’re supposed to feel and fear for them, we just don’t care. The story is essentially a body snatchers plot but done so poorly that we don’t care about the people being snatched. The children’s characters are so flat, cardboard is jealous. The parents bicker on in their stereotypical manner that it leaves the clichéd characters in afternoon specials in awe. I just don’t know how the cast was assembled as the synergy and dynamics between them all is absolutely horrendous. This could be the irreversible failing of the show which could doom it. I will give it a few more chances to see if the writers have any creativity in them to stray from the clichés and rely on good writing devices, but color me skeptical.

2 Comments:

  • I FELT CHEATED! There better be the roses and chocolate equivalent this Wed to make me feel better. No more of this "Know the fate of all the survivors BS".

    By Anonymous Kat, at 5:48 PM, October 03, 2005  

  • Let's hope they deliver the good this week and actually give us a good episode where we progress somewhere.

    By Blogger iomegadrive, at 11:39 AM, October 04, 2005  

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