Saturday, May 13, 2006

The Lost Experience

It seems like I find the really good television shows just a little late and have to spend a bit of time trying to catch up with what's going on. Case in point: "Lost." When it first premiered, I didn't think it would be that interesting and ignored it. Then, intrigued by all the media hype, I tuned in and was hooked. I came in about the time the gang found the hatch and it has turned into "Must See TV" for me. I also HAVE to hang around to see what's going on on "Invasion" too. (I did catch "Invasion" from the very first episode though.)

"Lost" and "Invasion" are two peas in the same pod to me. They both suffer from the same drawback. They are maddenly plotted to draw everything out to the nth degree. "Lost's" second season is rapidly winding down, but the gang has only been on the island a couple of months. I'm not sure how much time has gone by on "Invasion," but it's not nearly as long as real time. But even with this excruciating pace, both shows are amazing examples of great storytelling. And every time I think I've finally figured out where either show is heading, here comes a nasty curveball or slider that makes me rethink the whole thing.

I was very intrigued by an article in today's Washington Post, "With 'Lost Experience,' ABC Moves Beyond the Island." According to the article...
The network has set up a complex system of Web sites for phony organizations, launched an international treasure hunt, commissioned a novel by an unidentified author and taken out ads for bogus issues in real newspapers -- including this one -- in a conspiracy to extend the show's fictional world into the real one.

Hoping to keep "Lost" viewers hooked during the summer rerun doldrums, ABC has created an "alternate-reality game" of a scope heretofore unseen in television marketing. "The Lost Experience" is designed to create a parallel world of fresh content outside the show and plant hints via the Internet that the network hopes will lead viewers right up to the September launch of the show's third season.
The article provides a good starting point for the ARG, the website of the fictional Hanso Foundation. After you've roamed around the site for a while, you can get clues as to what it's all about at the ABC "Lost" blog, "Inside the Experience." Many different websites are springing up to explore the clues and theories of the game. "The Lost Experience" seems to be a good place to be to toss theories around with other players. If you think the game sounds interesting but you've never seen the show - in other words, if you're totally lost (pun intended) - you can get caught up at the show's official site or at its encyclopedia - a Wikipedia-type thingy appropriately called the Lostpedia. The Lostpedia also has a page devoted to the Lost Experience that has many, many more links to help you on your quest, including a few more links that are part of the game.

The whole things sounds pretty fun and interesting, but I'm not going to get involved. It sounds like it's going to involve way much more than a normal person would devote to a TV show. It all sounds a little too hardcore Trekkie to me. I'll let the hardcore fans do all the heavy lifting, but check in from time to time to see how it's all progressing, especially as we get closer to fall and the start of Season Three.

Update: Invasion is being cancelled. It's not on ABC's fall schedule. There are some rumors floating around the Net that it might appear on the new CBS/WB channel CW. I hope so. ABC was disappointed in the ratings but it was their own damned fault. They interrupted the show's flow very early with three or four weeks of special events, then interrupted it again to put Conviction in that post-Lost time slot for several weeks. I think they lost a lot of viewers that never picked the story back up again. Sigh. Commander in Chief has been cancelled as well.


At 11:02 AM, Blogger DesLily said...

hi.. i found your blog thru Carly..

I am hooked on Lost and Grey's Anatomy.. I dread the long summer after tomorrows final episode! You're so right about good writers! It's so nice to watch a well written show instead of all the "reality" shows... give me a good script and good actors anytime!

At 1:59 AM, Blogger fdtate said...

Thanks for stopping by. Yeah, I just don't understand the whole reality show concept.

At 10:47 PM, Blogger Carly said...


I don't think ABC tried very hard to keep an audience for for Invasion or Commander-in-Chief. I really like the with West Wing, I was looking forward to seeing what came next. Sigh.

At 1:20 AM, Blogger fdtate said...

There was too much Machiavellan stuff going on with Donald Sutherland's character, but I liked the show. I like seeing the inner workings of things.


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