As I was sipping my coffee this morning I got to thinking that outside of televised sporting events, there are only two shows on TV that I consider "must see", and they couldn't be more different.
The first, and my all time favorite Sunday morning ritual, is CBS Sunday Morning. Think 60 Minutes with a positive attitude. News stories, music and unbelievable nature and wildlife photography. Take a moment to check it out, you won't be disappointed.
Number two, in case you haven't noticed by now, is ABC's Lost.
The show first caught my attention with their ads leading up to the series premier in the fall of 2004. Something intrigued me about it and got me in a seat for the opener, and I've been glued there ever since.
For me, that first episode was spellbinding. The stark transition as the tranquil tropical beach turns into Dante's Inferno was an incredible jolt. The vivid scenes of the crash of Oceanic flight 815 onto the island were on par with the best of the Hollywood action/adventure movies, and that's no easy thing to accomplish on the small screen. Add to that the fact that as the survivors of the crash started to get their feet back underneath them, they began to realize that this is no ordinary island. Huddled around a campfire at night they're startled by a thudding, roaring, tree displacing entity that sounds like it's heading their way. Yikes! I remember thinking wtf was that? I was hooked.
Four seasons later and I'm still wondering wtf that was, and that's part of the reason I like this show so much. Although it has it's moments of predictability, there's a lot more moments of surprise and uncertainty.
It's also taking TV in a new direction. TV is always trying to hook viewers into interacting with shows via the web. In-game sports coverage, reality show voting, polls, but Lost takes fan interaction to a whole new level. Websites and message boards worldwide are bursting at the seams with both fans and media alike sharing information and asking questions about the show. Even the shows producers get into the act, dispensing information and dispelling innuendo in pod casts and interviews. There is a huge collective Lost neural net out here on the interweb and it never ceases to amaze me.
This season the show is back with a vengeance. Lots of answers right from the get go, and more coming every week. Any show that's as complex as this one needs a lot of background fill, and that has caused there to be some episodes in previous seasons that seem to focus on setup and don't appear to move the plot along. This season marks the beginning of the end, as the show now has a firm commitment from the network and begins it's 3 season arc towards conclusion. This allows the writers to have a clear timetable in which to wrap things up, and the viewer reward is... ANSWERS!
Although I don't always understand them...
Lost - Thursdays @ 9pm EST on ABC. Be sure to check out my theories and episode reviews on www.berryjooks.com