When I was watching the Lost finale, I was thinking of the impact that this TV show has had during its six seasons and how it will always be remembered in the history of television for the big shakeup that it represented to the genre and all the faithful fans who discussed and theorized (and still do) after every episode. Helming this phenomenon was J.J. Abrams, a very talented man who is not content merely to direct, but also takes the lead in producing, writing, and composing.
I have been following Abrams’ career for years and I can clearly see that experience has definitely been his best teacher. Educated in the school of television, he showed a clear progression in his directing style and writing that started with Felicity, where we got to discover the beautiful Keri Russell, continued with the elegant spy drama Alias, where he created one of TV’s most charismatic female characters, Sydney Bristow, wonderfully played by Jennifer Garner, and took a big step forward with Lost, which clearly positioned him at the top of the list of Hollywood directors to watch. With the exception of Lost, Abrams has always placed a woman in the lead role of his stories: see Felicity Porter (Felicity), Sydney Bristow (Alias), and Olivia Dunham (Fringe). The three of them clearly reflect the image of 21st century women; they are intelligent, strong, fierce, and totally capable of running the show without a male figure next to them — very powerful women that have inspired many female fans around the world.
After making a name for himself on TV and winning some Emmys, J.J. Abrams debuted on the big screen after Tom Cruise hired him to bring IMF special agent Ethan Hunt back in Mission: Impossible III. It was not a problem for him, considering his background in action and espionage material. Then he produced Cloverfield and went really big with Star Trek. I do not like comparisons but J.J. Abrams reinvented the Star Trek saga just like Christopher Nolan reinvented the Batman saga with The Dark Knight.
This New York-based talent possesses a very creative mind and the ability to understand what the audience wants and doesn't want. Abrams manages to break with the predictability factor that the public could expect when watching his shows and movies with unexpected turns of the screw. I have never had the chance to meet the guy in person but he seems to be very passionate about his job, he takes it seriously but at the same time, he considers it a game — a very rewarding game that allows him to put all his creativity into practice and so that we can enjoy it.
So, what’s next for J.J. Abrams? On TV, we will not have time to miss him now that Lost is finished. The third season of Fringe on FOX and a new spy series called Undercovers on NBC are coming up this fall. As for the Alias reboot, well, the rumor is out there, we will see. On the big screen, he has joined forces with Tom Cruise again in Mission: Impossible IV but only as a producer and writer this time (Brad Bird will be the one directing this fourth installment of the franchise) and the top secret Super 8, produced by Steven Spielberg.
So, are you a fan of J.J Abrams? Do you prefer his work in TV or on the big screen? Would you like to see Alias rebooted? Are you looking forward to seeing what Super 8 is really about?
Check out the trailer for Super 8: