Why is ABC's Television Show Lost So Addictive?

Mon Apr 26, 2010 7:12 pm
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Comments: 2 Views: 3162
The ABC-show "Lost" is in a category of its own. Never before in my life have I become soLost entrenched and sucked into a show. Recently, the island, the characters and the events have followed me everywhere, I can't seem to be able to shed Lost from my mind! Now why is that? I have seen plenty of television shows and movies, but none has been as captivating as Lost turned out to be. Let’s examine this in greater detail: why is Lost so addictive?

First of all, Lost entails so many interesting aspects that the writers have the opportunity to subtly explore, because Lost is a TV show.
Due to the sheer length of time, the show has the capability of sucking you in as one episode after another unfolds. If this was a movie, the creators would be limited right from the start, because a two hour movie could never draw your attention so closely as a so-far 69-episodes (46 hours) show. As the show goes on, the characters follow you and you get to know them much better. This sheer length of time obviously allows the creators to explore more subjects and more angles, since time is of no concern…

A movie simply cannot get into your mind as much – it’s over too quickly. Many times, you do wish that your favorite movies were shows so you could savor them and get the know the characters better. But two hours of your life (or possibly four?) just don’t stick with you in the same way.

Other good TV shows
There are plenty of television shows and they are not all as addictive! Some of them are REALLY good and similar to Lost in the chronological sense (one episode leads to the next). Some of my favorites include Deadwood, Rome, The Sopranos and Six Feet Under. These are all very well produced and very popular shows, but never in a million years would I consider watching 8 hours of any of them in one day. Lost on the other hand is a different story…

Both Deadwood and Rome are basically historical fiction, although both shows have taken some liberties of their own. Historical fiction usually captivates people more. If you feel that there is some sense of reality to what you’re watching then you can identify with the characters more and the story becomes more believable. Just think of the book “The Bridges of Madison County.” When people first read that book they found it so captivating that they believed it to be real. The book became a hugh hit and readers actually went looking for the bridges. Once they found out though, that the whole story was fiction, people were hughley disappointed. The fact that they perceived the story as real made the story so much better, but once you took that away it lost a lot of its charm.

Reality vs. Mysticism
Now, Lost has actually managed to find a very good balance between reality and mysticism. The show of course makes no claims whatsoever that it’s real at all, or based on any true events. But the story leans more towards a rational approach as opposed to a magical one. In other words, the creators attempt to keep facts within the realm of reality. This means that even if this isn’t based on any true events, it could be… And the thought alone that the show isn’t completely out of the blue, but that there might be a rational explanation behind these various events is captivating. It feeds right into people’s conspiracy theories, because those theories are not based on magic but on mystery.

If now, Ben did turn out to be part of a magical voodoo group with special powers, the show would lose a majority of its following. Because then, you take away that continuous thought that this might be real… It’s mystical appeal would disappear because viewers, even if they’re not interested in Science Fiction, don’t mind mysticism if behind it all there is ultimately a rational explanation. Let’s just hope that the show continues without making any extravagant claims and keeps on the rational side.

The Connected Cast
Another interesting aspect of the show, is the large cast and the interconnection between these various people. Most shows don’t have as large cast as this one. This allows more people to identify with a character or sympathize with another. Even if you don’t like every single one, the group as a whole appeals to us, since the connections and the interaction between these people become as interesting as each individual alone.

I think the creators made a brilliant move by introducing the possibility that all these people are connected to one another in some way. Because that concept is so true. It wouldn’t be far-fetched at all if you’re at an airport and you walk by the same guy you sat in a bar with the other day, and if that person in turn will end up on the same plane as you. Coincidences as well as incidental connections between people happen all the time – it’s so possible. The show Lost almost opens our eyes to this further and perhaps makes us pay closer attention to things around us because each event might lead to something later in your life.

Lastly, the show introduces so many interesting mind-games that keep us on the edge. Their situation, the hatch, the numbers, the others, the hostiles, the French woman! The list goes on… The stories are really good and these various concepts tie together well and are so creative. Then of course, the flashbacks add another dimension to the show without getting the viewers too distracted. The fact that everything connects and relates in some way coupled with the psychological games, the mind-thrilling stories and the interesting characters make this a really good show. And I think that partly explains why Lost is so addictive.

Comments
Fri Feb 05, 2010 6:02 am
Name: tim | Comment: do you think lost has lost alot of its following now that ben has become part of a magical voodoo group?

Mon Apr 26, 2010 7:12 pm
Name: Tessa | Comment: I couldn't agree with you more! I have become so addicted to Lost, I tend to think about what might happen in the next episode I watch. I bombard myself with questions about the next hatch they found, or the Others costumes.... I cannot stop watching it. Most likely I will never be able to stop....

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