Friday, October 6, 2006


Sometimes I think a TV show can be so over-hyped in advance that it can't possibly live up to the buzz.

'Studio 60' was that show these last few weeks.

'The Nine' is that show now.

I don't know why it was being compared to 'Lost'; the flashback concept is too tenuous a hook to hang that comparison. Other than that, the only thing they really have in common is that they're both on Wednesday nights.

To me, 'The Nine' is just a relationship and/or character drama with a twist - the missing 52 hours of the bank hostage crisis. Even though little snippets of what happened during those 52 hours will be slowly revealed in flashbacks, I don't get the sense that this is a show you MUST come back to each week to get the whole picture.

But there's another reason why I just didn't feel it, and this goes back three years with that time-slot - not the specific hour, but which show precedes it. 'Lost'.

When 'Lost' premiered in 2004, it was on at 8 PM. I would then switch over to NBC for 'The West Wing' at 9 PM. As it is for a lot of people, I think 'The West Wing' is one of the greatest TV shows ever made.

And yet I would have to tape it each week that year because I just couldn't get into watching it; not after having just seen 'Lost'.

Last year, when it moved to the 9 o'clock hour, I don't think I even bothered with any of the choices for 10 PM. 'Law & Order', 'CSI:NY', 'Invasion'. At least not on any regular basis.

Instead, I wanted to go online and find like-minded spirits who just went through the adrenaline rush of a new episode of 'Lost'. This usually meant hanging out at "The Fuselage" board.

I'm not sure that will happen so much this year. There certainly wasn't anything that made me gasp or feel the need to talk about what I had just seen in the season premiere. But I still didn't feel as if I could just switch off that 'Lost' euphoria and watch some other show.

This is why I think 'The Nine' is going to bleed more and more viewers each week, and it's not the fault of the show. And if the audience hasn't abandoned ABC for the computer, then they may be rewinding their tapes to watch it again in case they missed something. (I know. I used a VCR; I'm archaic.)

I also think that some of that preview hype from the critics was due to the fact that they get to watch it on screeners without commercial interruption. I know it couldn't have been just me that thought there was way too many blipvert breaks in the episode. There seemed to be more than usual for 'Lost' as well, but when you're hyped on a show, you don't mind waiting through the ads until it gets back.

If you're not really caught up with the characters as might have been the case with 'The Nine', then you could get lost channel surfing during the commercial interruption and never make ti back in time to matter.

I'm sorry the real victim here is going to be 'Kidnapped'. I think people stayed away from it right from the beginning because they knew two weeks down the road 'The Nine' would be premiering and it was getting all this publicity buzz. So why invest in another serialized drama that would be abandoned before it really got started?

And now 'Kidnapped' has been ordered to wrap it all up in 13 episodes, rather than going the distance. But unlike 'Reunion' last year, at least they get to bring closure to the story.

I wish they weren't scheduled against each other because I'm sorry now I abandoned 'Kidnapped' for this.

Don't get me wrong; it is a great show and that's mostly because of the performances. But I should have remained loyal to 'Kidnapped', a show I already was enjoying, and see it play out to the end.

I better start checking those Bravo skeds.....

But I will say this for the debut: John Billingsley better get nominated for best supporting actor for his role as Egan Foote, based on just that opening scene he did!

Here are just a few Toobworld notes:

I've mentioned this before somewhere, if not here then in some other TV forum, that I hope they make some connection to 'Lost'. Mention of Oceanic Airlines or St. Sebastian's Hospital in L.A.; perhaps Nick worked with Ana Lucia Cortez on the LAPD; something. And they better - it would be one way for ABC to hold onto the audience from 'Lost' if they knew there was supposed to be a connection.

Which reminds me - if anybody out there is watching 'Six Degrees', have they made any allusion to 'Lost' yet? Seems like a natural, considering JJ Abrams' involvement.

Wouldn't it be funny if Matthew Fox and Scott Wolf, as their respective surgeons, passed each other in a hallway during a 'Lost' flashback for Jack?

Or maybe in a restaurant.... That way we could hear the announcement, "Party of Five!"

Or maybe not......

Another way to go with a 'Lost' connection regarding Ana Lucia - the two sisters, Eva and Frannie..... they could be Ana Lucia's cousins.

One trivia addition to the TV Universe from the show (aside from the characters) - the bank, Fidelity Republic Bank.

Maybe several decades ago they absorbed the bank at which Mr. Mooney, Mr. Cheever, and Lucille Carmichael worked. ('The Lucy Show', of course!)


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