Department of Communication Arts Media & Cultural Studies Associate Professor Jonathan Grayand Professor Michele Hilmes discussed the online popularity of the hit ABC network drama Loston Madison’s WKOW-TV 27 news. In one segment, Gray explained how Lost was perfectly timed to take advantage of emerging technologies like the Internet and digital video recording:
“So much of Lost depends on people being able to pause things and go back and watch it again and hash it out with people and say ‘What happened there? What is the smoke monster? Lets pause this’ and the internet allows for a group to get together and do forensics on the show.”
— Associate Professor Jonathan Gray
In another separate segment, Hilmes examined the complex storylines, large cast of characters, and the monumental budget of Lost in the context of increasing industry conventions toward the development of low-cost reality TV series. Hilmes also reasoned that regardless of the type of series, the depth of a show’s storytelling is paramount:
“I think the thing that attracted people to Lost wasn’t special effects, the plane crash and black smoke and trees that move, but the storyline. And I give credit for how it was really innovative in it’s use of back stories and very complex narrative that went backwards and forwards in time.”
— Professor Michele Hilmes
For more analysis of all kinds of media, be sure to check out Antenna: Responses to Media & Culture, a new blog currently operated and edited by graduate students and faculty in the Media & Cultural Studies area of Communication Arts.