Things I Hate About TV: ABC's Lost previews
Whoever creates the promos for Lost needs to start coordinating things with the show's writers, or at least start watching the show. The last few Lost previews have made so many empty promises that I am considering hitting the Mute button on my remote when the ads come on. It should not be possible to over-dramatize the events on a show about plane crash survivors on a bizarre island, but ABC has achieved that feat.
Consider the commercials for last week's episode, "Stranger in a Strange Land." Viewers were told (in all caps and bold lettering, no less) that three big mysteries would be revealed during the episode. Did the show deliver on ABC's promise? Sure, if the meaning behind Jack's tattoos is a big mystery. If kinda, sorta finding out what happened the Cindy and the kids is a big mystery. I am not even sure if there was a third mystery; that's how inaccurate the promo was.
This week, the promo for "Tricia Tanaka is Dead" has amped up the dramatic language. Idle threats like "If you miss this episode, you won't know what everyone is talking about" are featured throughout. I genuinely wish that TV commercials would stop telling me not to miss the first (or last) few minutes of an episode. Creating a lot of buildup towards one scene or event results in an unfair amount of anticipation. Should viewers be sitting through a show waiting for the "good" part of an episode? Perhaps I am old-fashioned, but the most memorable episodes for me have contained total surprises. Whenever I've been lured into having certain expectations of an episode, I have almost always been disappointed.
I also wish that the promos would stop speaking for "everyone." On Thursday mornings, "everyone" is most likely talking about American Idol. The jig is up. The Lost commercials are almost never right about what "everyone" cares about. For example, the "Tricia Tanaka" promo promises "the reunion everyone has waited for." Quite frankly, I am not that jazzed to see Kate and Sawyer catch up with Sayid and the gang. It's great that the show is shifting back to island goings-on, but the reunion is the last thing on my mind.
There is something seriously wrong with a promo department that cannot find the inherent drama of a show like Lost. With elements like brainwashing, kidnapping, and scientific experimentation, is there really a need for hyperbole? I can see having to create fake dramatic tension for shows about everyday life, but Lost? There are a bunch of ridiculously hot people fighting for their lives, dealing with mysterious threats, and battling personal demons. If ABC cannot make a decent commercial about that, they need to throw in the towel.
As a fan, I would rather see a straight scene from next week's episode, without any of the ABC trappings. Perhaps I might join in the fun, however. "This week, on TV Squad: the Lost recap everyone is commenting on! And don't miss the last paragraph!"