Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Lost: Press Needs Re-Packaging

I'm reading the latest TV Guide, the interview with Evangeline Lilly where she declares she was unhappy with her handling her first two years and she's weird and loud and, oh yeah, she's, liek, omg, that Sawyer's alive! As a rational human being, I rationalized that, of course she's going to look like she's seen a ghost when she sees someone she thought was dead is not actually dead. As a rational human being, I also rationalized that she's going to have this reaction to, oh, I don't know, everyone ELSE on the island she thought was dead too.

And that's when I became an irate (not irrational, that takes the real world to accomplish) human being, quite concerned with the state of journalism. Apparently to the average journalist, with Lost, the "must read" important stuff is about Sawyer. Sawyer? Really? There was nothing else to ask about? Nothing at all? Something, maybe, relating Kate to the plot of the show…

Let's review for a moment, to clarify the ridiculousness of the situation. Kate managed to get off the island that disappeared into the water leaving her to understand that her friends are dead. Off the island she raised a child that wasn't her own, she did it mostly on her own (let's ignore for a moment that Jack was there a good portion of that time), she went on trial for the murder of her father and got away with it, and then there's that little tiny insignificant side story in which she, you know, GOT ENGAGED TO JACK.

But let's ask, "Hey, Evi, what's it like when Kate finally sees Sawyer again!"

And let's ask it as though it were important. Because this is an important interview. It's an interview leading up to the premier, which means it's what you want to use to get people's attention towards Lost. You want people to see this leading lady so you write an interview in which she's kind of shunning her fans, eschewing Hollywood, and giving a quote about Sawyer, implying that the most important thing coming up this season is how she'll feel when she sees this shirtless hick bounce out of the jungle.

I'm so glad TV Guide watches Lost, that they pay attention to the details. Whether Sawyer's left nipple is higher than his right, and how the droop of his shoulders matches the droop of his pants. The important stuff. In his honor I'm going to recap some of his astounding accomplishments thus far.

1. Encouraged Jack to happily steal from people; they're "in the wild" afterall.

2. Opened a convenience store of necessities, and enabled a bartering system of stolen goods!

3. To boost morale, he gave everyone fun nicknames they'll cherish for life.

4. Started a bar, one-upping actual psychological help with a prescription for alcoholism.

5. Engaged in combat with the enemy to put his 'death wish' into action. (Because he ain't no Hero.)

6. Facilitated "Girls Gone Wild: Others Edition" in the name of consoling a victim of mental breakdown.

7. Offered himself as a gigolo to emotionally distraught women.

8. Entertained a criminal with prose before executing him, totally ethically, with a rusty chain.

9. Hopping out of a helicopter to make sure Jack doesn't (which would have been followed by Kate).

10. Soothing a woman with booze and his shirtless self.

If he's lucky he gets an actual storyline this season; if he's really lucky, he doesn't get saddled with the triangle again, and if we're lucky, he'll get locked in a basement for two years so we can get some REAL press on Lost. Press that can ask Evangeline Lilly some decent questions. I'll provide some as examples.

1. What were Kate's feelings regarding leaving the island and leaving everyone else behind?

2. Was she resentful towards Jack for any period of time for this?

3. How did it affect her relationships with the rest of the Oceanic Six?

4. How did you see Kate's life in that time between Hurley's party and Kate's trial, specifically the time during which she and Jack were separated and she had to cope with being a single mother?

5. What motivation would be necessary for Kate to consider returning to the island, taking Aaron with her (or possibly leaving him behind)?

6. Returning to the island requires a reuniting of the Oceanic Six, who seem to have drifted apart in the time after getting to the mainland, how will this reuniting as people who have now spent five years back on the mainland apart affect their relationships with one another.

7. How will it affect their relationship with the people they're going to be returning to on the island?

Heaven forbid they ask her questions with any kind of substance. Something that might give us some insight into the coming season, seeing as this was supposed to be a lead-in article to the show's return. With the door open to a broad spectrum of questions and topics (including her upcoming movies) brought up during the interview, it's saddening that the only thing they could ask about Lost was how Kate reacts to seeing Sawyer again.

Sadder still is thinking she was asked better questions, but the answer they chose to include was the one about a character who has, up until now, been mostly set decoration. Maybe Evi should consider these things the next time she chooses to proclaim she dislikes how she's being "packaged" by her 'handlers' because the media's packaging of her has been far worse.

8 Responses to “Lost: Press Needs Re-Packaging”

Anonymous said...

Amen Sister, that's all I have to say. We'll see how the season pans out and I'm happy for Josh if Sawyer gets an awesome storyline. I just don't feel the romantic thing suits him OR his character.

As for the media, they're such bitches. I know that some media outlets such as Entertainment Weekly have really awesome LOST articles all the time. But TV Guide is definitely terrible. I haven't talked to one person outside of online fandom who is all "OMG I cannot WAIT to see the Sawyer/Kate reunion" LOL -- Its all about the 06 and how they're going to get back and Aaron and Jack getting over his addiction and blah blah blah.

*sigh* Awesome article though, hun. And so so true.

Anonymous said...

Oh, thanks so much for saying what's been on my mind since reading that damn thing.

As for the comment about Kate thinking Sawyer was dead...such crap. One of the reasons they constructed the O6 lie based on the theory that they'd be protecting their friends that were left behind. Left Behind=Alive. Secondly, Locke went to see her as well Jack. Surely he told her that the others were still alive. As a matter fact, he must have told her the same thing he told Jack, that not only are they alive...but they were in desperate need of the O6 to return. Yet Kate still did not want to return.

Anonymous said...

But you might not be complaining if the question had been something about Jack and Kate. I mean, yea, it is really annoying and kind of demeaning to Kate that the media focuses so much on the love triangle -- but then again, the freaking show focuses so much on the love triangle that it makes sense for the media to follow suite. I completely agree that there are much more important topics to discuss... of course that's true. But the fact remains that Sawyer is a fan favorite, and so TV Guide is going to use him to get people excited about the upcoming season. I don't think it's out of line for them to do so. If the question had been about Jack and Kate, I would have rolled my eyes and just assumed that this time, they were catering to that half of the fanbase.

Unknown said...

I was in a class last night where the professor was talking about selective exposure theory and I wrote in my notes "Jate vs. Skate."

What ALL of you are saying is so true.

Me said...

@Mystic - completely agree. Any, ANY of the questions you ask would have been head and shoulders above what they printed. All-in-all thus far the coverage of Sawyer's storyline for S5 has been SO wholly superficial. I'd be pissed if I were a true JH fan and not just someone who likes to check out his manly torso! Nothing about him being given great material to work with...just about him looking for his shirt and having lots of love interests. This article just was silly. It wasn't that it promoted Skate at all it was just a pointless shoutout. The cover said something like she opens up about "blah, blah and Sawyer" and then proceeds to have about 2 sentences about how she thought he was dead and def could have been about anyone left on the island. It makes brief mention of Jack as her other love interest but other than that it seems the author probably doesn't watch Lost or if so just does so sparingly. I already sent an email of complaint to TV guide.

@Suzz - EXACTLY! Evi is wrong here. The entire point of their lie was to protect those left behind. AND Locke has contacted them all so they know for sure that the island moving didn't kill anyone. Let alone Locke would be able to tell her that Sawyer was still alive on island. I def think Evi is misinterpreting.

@ Lili - I'd be complaining the same if the question was as dumb as this one was even if it was about Jate. Jate HAS gotten a lot of press over the hiatus especially in Lost Mag which has basically been Jate Mag for the past few issues. Their questions are much more in depth and lead to decent answers unlike the one here. I wouldn't mind the Skate coverage if it offered up some real insight and not a shout out to Sawyer fans. Albeit a poor one.

@CC - Very true about selective exposure theory. I found it to be so especially during this campaign year. You can find evidence to support pretty much any theory you have about anything. re:J/S I always find it interesting when fans say things like everyone knows that Sawyer is the most popular character on the show or even that JH is the face of Lost. I find that to be true only in a small segment of the internet population and not with casual viewers for sure. They likely are looking at different things than I am because I see much more on MF's association with Lost than with JH's. A quick Google search proves this. But if you are selectively reading only JH stuff maybe you get differing info...for instance, JH had a small snippet in Playboy this month which I def would have missed somehow :P had it not been on Dark. Foxy was prominently on the cover of Details magazine with a big article about Lost's return that contained some really interesting answers about the depth of his character.

Me said...

"I'm so glad TV Guide watches Lost, that they pay attention to the details. Whether Sawyer's left nipple is higher than his right, and how the droop of his shoulders matches the droop of his pants."

LMAO at this comment ^^ Sadly, isn't far from the truth of their coverage. E hasn't been much better. Course we'd always known Kristin has the depth of a water puddle in a drought.

mysticxf said...

Lili, I'm gonna throw a hypothetical at you. Right now, you read an interview with Josh Holloway where it details his wife being pregnant and getting a larger role in a movie and things all coming together.

Then they mention Lost and all they can think to ask is, "Will Sawyer hook up with Kate once she's back on the island?" instead of asking how he feels about being left behind, how his character might finally get the chance to take charge on the island, how his relationship with Locke would differ from Jack's (as a leader).

You wouldn't feel just a little bit disappointed that he was being treated as though his work on Lost meaningless outside of this triangle?

lili said...

Mystic, yea, I guess I would be disappointed, but I wouldn't be surprised. Think about what an internet phenomenon 'shipping' is. I'm guilty of it! My livejournal profile used to be a laundry list of my favorite ships, organized by TV show. I was playing right into the belief that the most important, or at least, most interesting part of a show is the romantic pairings.

So if romance and sex are what so many of the fans care about, and I think they are, whether they are in fandom or not, why shouldn't the media target it? Yes, it's demeaning to the characters, and to the show. But I don't really want to criticize TV Guide for asking an actress about her TV romance when my friends (real life and internet) and I spend hours dissecting that romance and tons of others, haha!