in defense of the lost ending

(Welcome to The Unpopular Opinion, a series where a writer goes to the defense of a much-maligned film or TV show, or sets their sights on something seemingly beloved by all. In this edition: a defense of the final season of the ABC TV series LOST.)

LOST was once at the pinnacle of the early Golden Age of TV. Ambitious, awe-inspiring, and frustrating, it brought forth a new age in serialized primetime television and was perhaps the last great TV show to command the attention of audiences across the country before streaming and prestige cable shows dispersed them.

You remember those glory days, right? The connective flashbacks, the masterful character work, the scavenger hunt for hints, the jaw-dropping cliffhangers. It was like nothing on TV. And it ended seven years ago today, airing its series finale on May 23, 2010.

So it pains me that LOST, one of the most exciting and daring sci-fi TV series — and one of my favorite shows of all time — is met with derision because of its final season. To be sure, it’s an oddly opaque finale for a show that until then, had operated in grays — espousing realist and borderline nihilistic philosophies that called into question the nature and morals of man. But one of the charms of LOST was that it never tried to answer these questions. Yes, it bludgeoned you over the head with that “man of science, man of faith” debate between Jack Shephard (Matthew Fox) and John Locke (Terry O’Quinn), but neither were able to ever really win the upper hand.

The finale changed that. The answer, it seemed to say, was faith. And in a show that depended so heavily on sci-fi tropes and staples, this switcheroo understandably angered people.

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Twin Peaks refresher

I’m still shocked that David Lynch and Mark Frost’s Twin Peaks aired on a major television network – let alone in primetime. The series heavily influenced a lot of prestige TV that followed its cancellation after its second season back in 1991, but I can’t think of another show that’s ever run the gamut of styles and genres quite the way this one did. The original run of episodes was thrilling because we had absolutely no idea what kind of show it would be from one moment to the next. Twin Peaks was the absolute king of tonal shifts, often whipping from surreal to comedic, from melodramatic to genuinely heartbreaking, from profound to eye-rollingly dumb. This show contained multitudes. But through it all, it remained enigmatic, eccentric, exciting, and distinctly Lynchian – even when Lynch himself scaled back his involvement during the show’s questionable second season.

With the limited series revival heading to Showtime this weekend, now’s a good time for a refresher about what you need to know, some questions left unanswered, and a bit of good old-fashioned speculation about what we might see in the future. Grab a cup of damn fine coffee, a slice of cherry pie, and join me for a whirlwind trip to small town America in the Pacific Northwest.
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abc-logo-splash-dark

Another day, another set of trailers from the upfronts presentations that networks are giving over in Hollywood. This time, it’s ABC coming out of the gate with trailers for all of their shows debuting this fall, as well as the midseason.

There are seven new dramas, including a Lost-style mystery sci-fi series called The Crossing with Steve Zahn and a potentially compelling medical drama called The Good Doctor starring Freddie Highmore. And ABC also has four comedies, including a new show called Alex, Inc. produced by and starring Zach Braff, the revival of Roseanne, and the return of The Office star Jenna Fischer to television in Splitting Up Together.

Watch all of the ABC 2017 TV series trailers below. Read More »

Jimmy Kimmel Hosting 2018 Oscars

This year’s Academy Awards were hosted by comedian Jimmy Kimmel, who delivered as much entertainment as he could during the extensive ceremony. Of course, all of that ended up being overshadowed by the Best Picture snafu that falsely gave the award to La La Land before it correctly went to Moonlight. But Jimmy Kimmel will get another chance to shine at the next Oscars telecast.

ABC and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Cheryl Boone Isaacs announced today that we’ll see Jimmy Kimmel returning to host the 90th Academy Awards next year. Find out what the comedian had to say about his return to the Oscars stage in 2018. Read More »

Sleepy Hollow season 4

In this edition of TV Bits:

  • Sleepy Hollow, Timeless, and Last Man Standing have been cancelled
  • Scandal is coming to an end after its seventh season
  • Amazon and Hulu make some fascinating additions to their rosters
  • The LEGO Movie’s Unikitty has officially received an animated spin-off show
  • And more!

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Twin Peaks painting Scott C header

It’s hard to believe, but more than 25 years after David Lynch and Mark Frost’s surreal, influential TV series Twin Peaks went off the air, we’re about to head back to the town that started it all with a batch of brand new episodes on Showtime later this month. But before we do that, artist Scott C. is here to celebrate the original episodes of the show with a new art print called “In the Warmth of the Great Northern,” which features nearly every major character we’ve seen thus far gathered in the lobby of the show’s famous hotel.
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once upon a time season 7

Update: Ginnifer Goodwin (Snow White), Josh Dallas (Prince Charming), Jared Gilmore (Henry) and Emile de Ravin (Belle) have now officially left Once Upon a Time according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Once Upon a Time was once a great show that married the lighter, sweet elements of fairy tales with their darker implications — that of the boogeyman under your bed or the pervasive mommy issues that pop up throughout folklore.

But what was once an intriguing revisionist fairy tale show became glorified Disney fan fiction, where you could see Elsa from Frozen team up with Prince Charming against warlord Bo Peep, or witness Mulan falling in love with a battle-scarred Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz. (Sadly, these all sound wackier and more fun on paper than they were on screen.) Anchoring this growing cast of Disney and public domain characters was Jennifer Morrison‘s Emma Swan, whose bounty-hunter-turned-Savior — and daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming — provided the catalyst for the story. Now after six seasons, Morrison announced that she won’t be returning to the show as a series regular, calling the show’s fate into question. Does this mean the (happy) end for Once Upon a Time?

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Inhumans teaser trailer

The first look at Marvel’s Inhumans Thursday was revealed yesterday, with a cast photo that showed the Royal Family in a cosplay-worthy redesign. In other words, what’s up with that bad wig?

So it’s a good move on Marvel’s part to tease Inhumans with a brief, cryptic trailer that features no visual footage, but dialogue between two unseen characters.

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the gong show reboot

We’re soon going to see more of Mike Myers. His last appearance in a live-action film (without counting documentaries) was Inglorious Bastards, in which he played a British general under heavy prosthetics. Now, he’s playing a British comedian under prosthetics in ABC’s reboot of The Gong Show, once hosted by the recently departed Chuck Barris (who was played by Sam Rockwell in Confessions of a Dangerous Mind). Myers’ character, British performer Tommy Winston Maitland, is the new, somewhat unsettling face of the amateur talent contest.

Below, watch The Gong Show reboot producer Will Arnett introduce the 70-year-old comic.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

inhumans tv series

Marvel comic book readers have spent the past few years becoming familiar with the Inhumans whether they wanted to or not as the publisher has steadily pushed them to the forefront of their superhero universe. Now, they’re looking to bring this odd superhero team to a wider audience with an ambitious television series, which will premiere in IMAX theaters later this year before the rest of the season airs on ABC.

Our first look at the central cast of Inhumans has been revealed and while they are recognizable enough, these characters have certainly undergone a significant redesign on their way to the screen.

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