LOST vs. X-Files and Other TV shows, An Addendum

13 03 2008

It should be noted that the P-man is talking about serial TV, if that wasn’t already obvious. We’re talking prime-time action/adventure soap operas! The term itself conjures up such phrases as “Luke & Laura” of General Hospital, or “Who shot JR?” from Dallas. Even though you might not have ever seen these programs, those sound bites were a ubiquitous part of television culture. Perhaps you’re more familiar with the infamous “chapter plays” shown in the cinema before the main feature at its height in the 50’s and 60’s. Each week they set the precedent for the modern-day “cliff hanger” that keeps us coming back.

But for us modern-day warriors, we tend to shun or at least discount the association with traditional daytime/evening drama. We roll our eyes at those who admit to crying when Erica Kane and Jack Montgomery finally got married (you know who you are), yet we do likewise when Kate progresses in her relationship with Jack or Sawyer. And–be honest–who of you didn’t shed a tear when Desmond called Penny at the end of “The Constant”? I was crying buckets!

Our desire to live vicariously through the lives of others is as old as literature itself. We have a basic human need to escape our own reality at times and fantasize about alternatives. It is that we delight in imagining a certain freedom in life because our own choices are set.

But enough on philosophy. I don’t think we can compare LOST to shows like The Honeymooners, I Love Lucy, Mary Tyler Moore, or The Simpsons, since they are like apples and oranges. But can we compare it to the likes of epic prime time serial dramas like Dallas, Dynasty or Falcon Crest?

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