How long can the creators of Lost expect us to wait to find out what the heck is going on with Jack and Sawyer and Kate and the Others and the polar bears and the black smoke and the hatch? Indefinitely, they presume. But they're wrong. Lost is on a 12-week hiatus--the next new episode doesn't air until February. And frankly, I'm not sure I can wait that long.
I think Adam Sternbergh of NY Magazine was onto something in his article "Never-Ending Stories: How to fix shows like Lost." His November 13 article suggested that these kind of shows--these drama, suspense, mystery shows--need an ending when they first begin. Instead of being an open-ended show, "we need the TV equivalent of a novella: the limited-run show." These Lost-type series "driven by a central mystery (Twin Peaks, The X-Files) peter out precisely because they have indefinite life spans. The writers are forced to serve up red herrings until the shows choke on their own plot twists," wrote Sternbergh. Perhaps if there was an end from the beginning, we wouldn't have 12-week breaks. And fans wouldn't be abandoning the show in droves.
This 12-week break is the Lost equivalent to the summer break, another thing I still don't understand about television. Last time I checked, people like to watch television year-round, and we don't like watching reruns. Come on TV executives. Can't you come up with any new material to keep our interest all year long?