First off, I'd like to thank the nearly 9 million people who tuned in to
's May 10 sneak preview. You guys made
one of the most successful May sweeps premieres of all time. And a special thanks goes to those fans who have checked out the blog and left comments. I read all of them. In fact, Ranger99's comment from May 4, in which he asked about the number of episodes, has inspired this blog entry.
So, what's with this post's title? Well, it turns out the creator of
, yours truly, is also a huge fan of another ABC serialized thriller:
. I just finished watching the
Season 3 finale, and it got me thinking about what makes good TV.
's executive producers) and company have an unparalleled knack for blowing our collective mind. This season finale delivered. It was fantastic. It not only answered a few huge questions, but it also raised a new question to drive the series forward. So why then have Damon, Carlton and Co. taken so much flack this year for their extremely gifted storytelling? And how does this relate to
, as we prepare to assume
's time slot for the next two months?
Consider the following situation. You have to catch a bus, and you ask a stranger about the schedule.
You: "'Scuse me, do you know when the next bus arrives?"
Stranger: "Do I know when the next bus arrives?"
And that's all he says. He's answered your question with a question. Why? Well, you see, it turns out this stranger has been told by someone else to make sure he distracts you for at least 10 minutes. So, what should be a 10-second conversation suddenly turns into a lengthy conversation. The exchange continues:
You: "So, you do know the bus schedule?"
Stranger: "Of course. I've been on this bus many times. In fact, I met my wife on this very same route."
Stranger: "Yeah. I was 20, working as a newspaper reporter. And I'd lost my driver's license the night before. I had to take the bus to work. And there, sitting in the back row was this gorgeous brunette...."
Suddenly, you're intrigued. You want to know this guy's story. How did he lose his license? What was his future wife doing on this bus? Was it fate that brought them together? But after a while, you realize the reason you started this conversation in the first place. And eventually you want an answer to your question.
Now, this is basically a metaphor for what we creators of serialized shows go through. Most serialized shows are forced to stretch simple, meaningful story lines into 22-episode seasons. And while we the fans enjoy the stories, we also start to sense when we're being distracted from the original question. Sooner or later, that man needs to tell us about the bus.
has come roaring back this year by answering questions and giving us new ones to explore, returning the show to the quality of its Emmy-winning first season. But how does this relate to
? Quite simply, we had the luxury of crafting a season-long arc that did not have to stretch over 22 episodes. In fact, our first season - beginning, middle and end - fits into eight. That means we can flip your expectations and create new turns any time we please.
On Wednesday, May 30, ABC will rerun our pilot at 9 pm/ET and then show Episode 2, "The Retreat," at 10 pm. Even if you saw the pilot on May 10, I urge to watch it again so that the questions it raises are fresh in your mind, because we start answering those questions right off the bat with "The Retreat." Remember that scene from the pilot in Carlton Fog's office? Well, you'll learn who Tyler's old man was talking to. And even as we answer questions, we will make sure to replace them with new, even more compelling ones though you'll have to wait until the end of the episode to understand that.
So for any TV fans out there worried that
will be one more serialized show struggling to stretch its story over the course of a full season, I say, "Fear not." The people who write and produce this show are TV fans themselves. We've seen the pitfalls of the genre and done our best to avoid them, giving you a blend of action, character and emotion that you will not find on any other show this summer. And best of all, you only have to wait eight episodes to answer the question, "Who is Will Traveler?" - an answer which will propel us into Season 2.
I hope you enjoy "The Retreat." Please keep the comments coming, and I'll see ya down the road.