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An Open Letter to ABC on Lost

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Dear ABC,

Ow!  Ow!  Uncle! Uncle!  We give in, whatever it is that you want, we’ll happily do.  Whatever it is that you need, we’ll accomplish.  Just tell us what it is that you’re looking for and we’ll give it our best shot.

You see, ABC, we have to assume that you want something from us, otherwise you wouldn’t lie to us, otherwise you wouldn’t subject us to so many Lost clip shows and, this season, a repeat!

A few seasons ago, you promised us that you wouldn’t air any more Lost repeats.  You explained to us, calmly, sedately, that the show would no longer air September to May  because it led to the show needing repeats and that you didn’t want to do that to us.  Many of us were upset, but the idea that we’d get to see a new episode every single week starting at some point in January and going until some point in May was enough to have us get over it.  You made us a promise and we accepted it.

You then kind of, sort of, cheated… repeatedly.  You opted to air goodness knows how many clip shows during that January to May time period.  Yes, the clip shows started airing back in the days when the series aired September to May, but that was more understandable than airing them in this abbreviated season you’ve given us.  Essentially, airing a clip show is the same as airing a repeat.  You may have rejiggered the order of events and compressed time for a clip show, but that doesn’t make the content new – and, no, giving us some sorry voiceover doesn’t make for new content either.  Clip shows are repeats.

This season though you’ve gone past just giving us clip show repeats, you actually gave a real repeat… an actual, factual, honest to god straight-up repeat.  You may have been able to tell yourself that clip shows don’t count as repeats, but airing an episode that already aired instead of airing a new episode definitely counts as a repeat.  If you were giving us one of your “enhanced” episodes at 8pm and a new episode at 9pm we wouldn’t be upset, but just airing a repeat at 9pm and no new episode is not okay.  It’s a betrayal of our trust.

Promises were made.  Promises should be stuck to.  Promises are important.  ABC, you’ve broken your promises. 

That is how we have come to our conclusion, our inevitable conclusion — you want something from us, you want us — as a people — to stand up and do something or sit down and do something or dance around and do something. 

Here’s an idea — rather than just being passive aggressive about the situation, why not actually stop and tell us what it is you want.  If we all need to call up two friends who aren’t watching the show and tell them to watch, I think we’ll probably do that… but only after you swear to The Others to fall on your sword before you give us a clip show or a repeat instead of a new episode ever again.

Maybe that’s not what you want, maybe you want us to go around wearing our shirts inside out one day, maybe you want us to… oh heck, we have no idea and we’re not going to bother to guess anymore. 

We can make this work, we can try to get you what you want, just stop holding new Lost episodes hostage.

Sincerely,

Some Other Others

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About Josh Lasser

Josh has deftly segued from a life of being pre-med to film school to television production to writing about the media in general. And by 'deftly' he means with agonizing second thoughts and the formation of an ulcer.
  • http://fumingpew.wordpress.com Travis Johnson

    Are we sure that the one repeat and clip show weren’t thrown in to give the production more time to complete the season? Or had ABC always had these on the schedule?

  • http://tvandfilmguy.blogspot.com Josh Lasser

    I’m not sure it matters – the point of starting the season as late as they do is to allow time for production delays and still be able to run straight through.

  • http://fumingpew.wordpress.com Travis Johnson

    Only reason I bring it up (and forgive me if I get some of the specifics wrong here, I’m going from memory) is that I think it takes about six weeks per episode from script to finished production on average. More complex episodes (like Desmond’s time-conscious-hopping trip in season 4) can take up to 11, due to its complexity.

    Supposing one or two episodes this year faced similar troubles, I can understand the break. Yeah, it bites, but I’d rather they get it to me a week late and right, rather than on time and mediocre. Again, that’s supposing this is even the case.

  • http://pwinn.tumblr.com/ Phillip Winn

    Travis — then they should have started airing them a week later. They promised!