I’ve been thinking about it. When a series of books strings you along after the end of one particular part of the series (say, Harry Potter), they’re doing it to create a plot, to weave a story. They aim to entertain.

When series like Lost strings you along, there is no end in mind. Their aim is to keep you going longer, and get more cash out of you (through advertising, iTunes, rentals, or whatever). When you really consider it, it seems kind of manipulative, doesn’t it? They never really intend to get you to the end– they’ll only do it when the audience is really sick of being strung along. It’s almost like having a really manipulative girlfriend that wants you to buy her gifts, one after another, to stay with her.

Are you really better off this way? You gotta wonder.





14 responses to “Maniputainment”

  1. Rob McDougall Avatar

    I know this of Lost. I realise it every week when they answer each question with another question or two…

    But dammit, as much as I hate to say it I’ve been hooked in.

    Funny thing is, when they do a show like “Lost – The Answers”, they compress 3 season’s worth of storyline into one 40 minute show… Guess that shows exactly how much they’re stringing us along!

  2. Moses Avatar

    Learned that lesson with comic books. X-men just keeps going and going, with “in this issue, a hero dies!” and “things will never be the same” over and over again. It gets so confusing and played out that the stories have to start over every so often (Superman, or “a new hero” that is exactly the same as the last, like The Flash did twice now)… but they re-tread the same path because familiarity sells better.

    Movies do the same: Die Hard/er/est, Friday the 13th part 10, James Bond… In these cases, it takes so much money to produce the next “blockbuster” that investors don’t want to take risks. I think the same can be said about television series.

    But comic books don’t have that excuse.

  3. John Wall Avatar

    I saw an interview with Kevin Smith last week that talked about this – he said that most stories and movies go through the normal 3 acts, TV shows are a perpetual second act.

  4. Mat Avatar

    My solution has been to not have a TV in my apartment anymore. I love it. I feel free from the pop culture machine, and stay up to date with all that I need via the ‘Net and my feeds…

    No more manipulation 😉

  5. Bishop Avatar

    You’re sounding pretty bitter about that.

    Maybe it’s time you switched to daytime soap operas.

    You strike me as a “Passions” kinda guy. Nothing like what happens on “Lost” ever happens in daytime soaps.

    * * *

    Well, or you could go in the opposite direction and watch BBC TV, which creates 6- or 12-part series (Fawlty Towers was only 13 episodes long, but everyone thinks it went on for seasons and seasons…) and often stops them abruptly with the audience still wondering where the other half of the season went…

    People… there’s no pleasing th

  6. Canlop Avatar

    I agree that most TV series are not really about telling a story or anything art like. However, people like passive brainless entertainment and industry feeds them with it.

  7. Jason The Terrible Avatar
    Jason The Terrible

    #1 Kevin Smith can suck my dick. He is THE perpetual 2nd at of a 60’s low-budget Lithuanian docudrama.

    #2 I went from being a couch potato in my teens to turning it off in my twenties and I can safely say that it has impacted my life in 2 major ways. Primo, I couldn’t give a whore’s lament about Lost, Heroes or any other derivative piece of fluff that people are plugged into like the fucking Matrix. Second, Kevin Smith can suck my dick.

    #3 Comic books are an unjust comparison to prime time TV because comics are meant to be eternal for the newer generations. In other words, Kevin Smith can suck my dick.

  8. Julien Avatar

    give a lot of thought to dick sucking, do you jason?

  9. Jackson Avatar

    I think Lost is certainly manipulative, but at least the writers/directors/producers have a goal with an end in mind. They have an end written already, with a target for the series finale. They’re not completely stringing us along. They would film it all now, and get it out of the way, but they’d run the risk of plot/screener leaks, so they’re going to film each season individually, for three more seasons.

    As for the Kevin Smith diatribes… WTF? Seriously… are you that damaged?

  10. Jackson Avatar

    BTW, Julien… Where’s the Podcast? (in the same old lady voice as the “Where’s the Beef?” commercials from Wendy’s in the 80’s.

  11. John Wall Avatar

    Jason, Kevin called he says he doesn’t want to suck your dick.

  12. John Wall Avatar

    Yeah, what’s up with no casts? Everything ok?

  13. starzero Avatar

    david lynch conceived twin peaks as one season, but then it was so successful the network wanted another one. he delivered, but it made much less sense than the first, and didn’t really give us the answers.

    my life seems to be a perpetual 2nd act. still, i hope not to reach the third.

  14. jason Avatar

    opinions = assholes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *