So, Lost is over. For a whole lot of us, that means we now have a distinct lack of twisting, deep narrative and wacky Island mystery in our lives, not to mention an hour a week to fill watching and several more discussing, dissecting and theorizing about, as well as a large cast of characters to like, love or hate -- a complete void of science fiction, philosophy, mystery, magic and hot women in the jungle! It's a tall order to fill, but we've come up with a list of five candidates to consider as a replacement for Lost come next fall's TV schedule.
The Show: Survivor Why it might work: It's set on a mysterious tropical island! There's a large cast of castaways who have to discover the truth about each other while facing inscrutable challenges, the elements and a horrible monster known only as Jeff Probst! Hot women run around in skimpy, jungle-damaged clothing! Holy crap, this sounds almost just like Lost! Why it probably won't: It's a game show. Jeff Probst can't even turn into smoke or anything. Final Odds of replacing Lost: 500 to 1
The Show: V Why it might work: It's real science fictiony and it stars Elizabeth Mitchell, who played Juliet on Lost. There's a bunch of aliens who are doing all sorts of mysterious and nefarious things and it's all revealed slowly and confusingly. The largish cast is full of vaguely familiar character actors playing people with secrets in their past. Plus a lot of fighting and shouting. Why it probably won't: By all accounts it's pretty much a mess. The writing is spotty, the plot's full of holes and the acting is uneven (wait, that does kind of sound like Lost...). Plus, space lizard people are nowhere near as believable as a magic island that travels through time. Yeah, as if! Final Odds of replacing Lost: 20 to 1
The Show: The Walking Dead Why it might work: It's a show about a bunch of survivors thrown together by fate who must face monsters (zombies!) and other survivors to keep, uh, surviving. It's put together by a bunch of genre vets (Gale Ann Hurd and Frank Darabont, rather than JJ Abrams and friends). It's based on a brilliant comic series, it has a promising cast and director and it's coming to AMC, whose recent track record (Mad Men, Breaking Bad) has been stellar. Why it probably won't: How do you feel about zombies? Also, it's not much like Lost plotwise and it doesn't even exist yet. Final Odds of replacing Lost: 8 to 1
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The Show: Fringe Why it might work: It's also a JJ Abrams production! And try this on for size: it's about alternate worlds that interact in ways that profoundly alter the lives of those affected. There's a lot of weird, hi-tech science fiction stuff. It's full of mysterious factions with unknown motivations. Monsters abound! There are even flashbacks (okay, they're usually drug flashbacks, but still...)! It shares a few actors in minor roles, as a bonus. And, by all accounts, it's only getting stronger as time goes on, meaning that first half a season of meandering bullshit and monster-of-the-week episodes aren't really a problem any more. Why it probably won't: The characters, with the exception of Wlater Bishop, just aren't as strong as Lost's characters. And it feels at least as much like the next X-Files as it does the next Lost. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Final Odds of replacing Lost: 3 to 1
The Show: Any Philip K. Dick novel (okay, technically not a show, but go with us for a minute...) Why it might work: Most of Dick's novels could work as a blueprint for the show. Time travel; alternate dimensions; protagonists caught between forces far larger than themselves; cosmic battles between good and evil where it's sometimes impossible to tell which side is which; dense, multilayered stories with multiple interpretations that will keep you scratching your head and feeling amazed for days at a time ... yep, that's Dick. Losties should start with The Man in the High Castle, move on to Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said and then maybe Valis. At that point, you'll either be hooked or convinced we give the worst advice of all time. Why it probably won't: Well, reading is hard. And some find Dick's prose to be a bit off-putting. Final Odds of replacing Lost: 5 to 1