Are Lost, Alias, Invasion Too Intellectually Demanding?
As a follow-up to my previous post, I came across a newspaper article yesterday by a television critic (Robert Bianco) attempting to explain why Alias and Invasion have struggled to hold onto the audience of Lost, which preceeds them on Wednesday night. Although there are no doubt other factors involved as well, his suggestion is that these three hours of televsion demand too much attention from the audience. All three series require active intellectual engagement in order to follow the complex interweaving of plots and subplots, the extensive character development, and the employment of metaphor. No show currently combines all three of these better than Lost, prompting Bianco to claim this is "why Lost may be the best show on TV at the moment."
Whether right or wrong, it is an argument that illustrates the rapidly improving state of serialized television today. Back in the days of Three's Company and The Brady Bunch, it would be hard to imagine anyone arguing that fictional television shows demanded too much mental work from viewers.