(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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Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez‘s Locke & Key is getting a second chance at the small screen. Over five years ago, Mark Romanek (Never Let Me Go) directed a Locke & Key pilot for Fox, but they decided not to move forward with the series. Now, Hulu has ordered a Scott Derrickson-directed and Carlton Cuse-produced Locke & Key pilot.
Below, learn more about the potential Locke & Key television show.
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LOST has always been an exercise in “what could have been” — both in the story of the hit ABC show itself, and in the fans’ ultimate reaction to the show’s legacy. What could have been if the show had answered all our questions, if every bit of foreshadowing and world-building had paid off? If the ending was different?
Perhaps, as a show that attempted to tell a metaphysical story through a science-fiction lens, LOST would never have fully satisfied anyone — but it could have at least ended with a bang. At least, that was the original intention from showrunners Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof, who planned for an explosive finale involving a battle for the fate of the world on top of a volcano. But alas, it was not meant to be.
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Bates Motel returns for its fifth season on February 20th. The show, which more than a few people were initially skeptical about, went on to become a success for A&E. While the series began to lose some steam around season two or three, it’s now coming to a close with season five, which creators Carlton Cuse (Lost) and Kerry Ehrin (Friday Night Lights) had always envisioned. Actor, singer and artist Rihanna is a part of the final season, and she’s co-starring as Marion Crane, famously played by Janet Leigh in Alfred Hitchcock‘s Psycho.
Below, get your first look at Rihanna in Bates Motel.
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One of this year’s Academy Award nominees, Naomie Harris (Moonlight), gets to confront a giant wolf, a giant gorilla, and a giant lizard all in one movie, Rampage. Harris has signed on to star in Brad Peyton‘s (San Andreas) video game adaptation, based on 1986 arcade game. Apparently, she responded to the “fun” tone of the script, which has been compared to Ghostbusters and Independence Day.
Below, learn more about the Naomie Harris Rampage casting.
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The producer and co-creator of Bates Motel, Carlton Cuse (Lost), never thought Bates Motel was a story that needed eight or nine seasons. Cuse and co-creator Kerry Ehrin (Friday Night Lights) saw the show coming to an end after season five, which A&E and all involved are indeed planning to do. The show returns next month for its last season, which features actor/singer Rihanna in a key supporting role.
Below, watch the Bates Motel season five trailer. Spoilers follow.
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Posted on Tuesday, September 27th, 2016 by Angie Han
Try to enjoy The Strain while you can, because the show won’t be around much longer. FX has just announced that it is picking up the vampire thriller series for a fourth season… which will be its last. But that’s not necessarily bad news, even if you’re a fan of the show. Showrunner Carlton Cuse has stressed that the decision allows him and his team to wrap up the drama on their own terms. “It is a true joy to work at FX where creative intentions always comes first,” he said in a statement. Read More »
There were three books in The Strain series by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan. The FX TV series will be five seasons and it is entering its third now. When season three begins, it has only been 23 days since the CDC quarantined New York City and discovered the vampire species the Strigoi, as the introduction to the season reminds us. Eph (Corey Stoll) is looking for his son while Fet (Kevin Durand) encounters some New Yorkers watching the authorities from the sidelines.
We spoke with Hogan and producer Carlton Cuse after their Television Critics Association panel for The Strain season three. Del Toro was not available this year as he is filming The Shape of Water, but he has supported the show with his attendance at two previous TCAs. The Strain returns Sunday, August 28 at 10PM on FX. Read More »
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Posted on Wednesday, August 10th, 2016 by Fred Topel
Carlton Cuse was on a Television Critics Association panel for his FX series The Strain and we had an interview with Cuse and The Strain author and executive producer Chuck Hogan. During the interview, we asked Cuse about his Jack Ryan TV series for Amazon, which would star John Krasinski as the CIA analyst of Tom Clancy’s novels. Cuse revealed that the show began as a straight adaptation of Clear and Present Danger.
“We started working on an adaptation on Clear and Present Danger and then decided it just felt dated,” Cuse said. “It really led to this revelation that the thing that defined Tom Clancy was that his thrillers were very much geopolitical thrillers of the moment. They really tapped into something that was going on in the world, so we’re doing an ISIS/ISIL type story. It feels very much connected to what’s happening in the world right now.” Read More »
Not too long after Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit opened in theaters, Chris Pine confirmed that was his first and last time playing Tom Clancy’s hero. Since Kenneth Branagh’s film was the lowest grossing Jack Ryan picture to date, that news didn’t come as a shock to anyone. Shadow Recruit performed well overseas, but the thriller only made around $50 million in the states. The movie itself is a fine thriller, it just wasn’t exciting enough to leave audiences craving more adventures with Jack Ryan.
However, the character will soon return in an Amazon series. Last September, Amazon won the bidding war for the Jack Ryan show, and now they’ve found their star, John Krasinski (13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi).
Learn more about the Jack Ryan TV series below.
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