Senior HTF Member
- Mar 29, 2020
- Hamster Shire
- Real Name
Lost went from being probably one of the last big appointment shows for a lot of people, to virtually forgotten because the ending made it clear they were just making this crap up as they went along and didn't deliver a satisfying conclusion to the mystery.
Personally, my example is Life on Mars US. It was a very good show, probably because it was a near-total remake of the UK version. But they messed with the ending. They made the ending so bad, I wanted to throw my TV out the window. I've never rewatched the show because the ending was just so horrible. I nearly never watched Life on Mars UK for a first time, because US's ending was so gawdawful horrible. But, I did, and discovered the UK version was done right, without using models from casting as the leads, and I enjoy the UK version fairly regularly.
But man, the ending to LoMUS was just unspeakably bad.
(Lost) I was fine with the ending of Lost. The problem wasn't that they were making it up as they went along, it's that a lot of viewers figured out how it was going to end fairly early on, and rather than confess that the fans were right, the creators insisted that they weren't. When we finally got to the end, it was what the fans thought it was going to be.
The other problem with a hit like Lost (same with Battlestar Galactica) is that no matter how they ended it, there were going to be a lot of people who wouldn't like it. It was essentially a victim of its own success.
(Life of Mars) Yes, that was an awful ending. This time, though, the problem was that a lot of the people who watched it were already familiar with the UK version, and the US creators had to promise that it was going to end differently from the original, so the fans of the original wouldn't just bail because they already knew the ending. (The people behind the US version of The Killing had the same problem, but I never lasted long enough to discover what they did differently, if they did so at all.)
I have to say, though, that I'd never have considered the US cast as "models from casting as the leads". One of the strengths of the US version, in my estimation, was that they had a cast that was strong enough that I was very curious to see how they played the characters. Jason O'Mara (who I normally like) was disappointing as Sam, but Harvey Keitel as Gene, and Michael Imperioli as Ray? Aces!
The British original, though, was just astonishing. Through the entire run of the show, one was never really sure whether Sam was imagining it all or had really travelled back in time. The best aspect of that was that Sam was in Every. Single. Scene. He was either there in the scene, or entered the scene just as it began. So there was no "objective reality" presented -- it was always from Sam's P.O.V. An objective reality would indicate that it was all real. Everything being from Sam's P.O.V. meant it could be either real or imaginary. I don't recall if the US version did the same thing, but I'm inclined to think not.