‘Lost’ prevails over reality TV

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By Erin Tobin

By Erin Tobin

Fourteen beautiful people have been stranded on a tropical island.No, this isn’t any reality show.

It is actually the premise for “Lost,” a new primetime drama that has taken Wednesday night viewers for a ride ever since it premiered on Sept. 9.

This is not just a re-worked “Gilligan’s Island.”

These 14 are part of a group of 48 survivors from a plane crash. Somewhere between Sydney and Los Angeles the 747 veered off course and those who stumbled from the wreckage found themselves on an island inhabited by boars, polar bears and an eccentric French woman who’s been there for a long time, maybe too long.

There is a touch of mysticism on the island, but even with the fact that a man who couldn’t walk onto the plane is now the group’s greatest hunter, things are still easier to believe that they are on “Survivor.”It is this combination that has allowed ABC to keep 16.33 million viewers watching Wednesday at 8 p.m. Things on the show keep everyone, including the audience, on their toes.

Matthew Fox, from “Party of Five,” leads more well-known castaway as Jack Shepard, a surgeon, but the series isn’t about him. Instead each of the writers is responsible for a small handful of characters. They only know of the backgrounds of their own characters and each episode is focused on a different character’s point of view.

This means every episode reveals more of that character’s quirks and more importantly more of his, or her, past through the day to day activities on the island and flashbacks to when life was “normal.”

Take for instance Charlie Pace, played by former “Lord of the Rings” hobbit Dominic Monaghan. Pace is a faded out rock star with a serious drug addiction and supply that’s running out fast.

He quits as cold turkey as possible and instead turns his attention to the pregnant Claire Littleton, played by “CSI: Miami’s” Emilie de Ravin. They make the cutest couple on the island, especially since their relationship was spawned by a jar of imaginary peanut butter.

Littleton has her own problems though. She is most certainly a single mother, but that is the least of her worries. She was told to get on the ill-fated flight by a psychic who believed her baby is one of those types that the world depends on. Then she was kidnapped by someone on the island, who wasn’t on the plane, and now she isn’t quite sure what’s going on.

That’s right, these people may be lost, but they are in no way alone. The mad French woman, played by Mira Furlan from Yugoslavia, was originally part of an exploration team that got shipwrecked on the island. There is no clue if the infamous kidnapper, Ethan, was also part of that team.

That’s typical “Lost” style though. Just when audience thinks it might have figured things out, it finds out something new. With the only other island based programming consisting of predictable reality program, this is very refreshing. Hopefully, the cast of never dull characters on “Lost” will not be rescued for a long time.

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