Over at Sci Fi Wire there's an interview with Tim Kring, creator of NBC's Heroes which gives me the warm fuzzies about the show. There's a lot of good information there, but the upshot is that he and the others involved in the production actually understand that you cannot string the audience along indefinitely.
Tim Kring referenced X-Files, which I've stated here many times is what Lost is in danger of becoming with their never-ending "dangling carrot" method of storytelling (Although over the past couple of weeks that seems to be improving. A bit.). If you haven't followed my comparison here the issue is one of providing so many different threads and red herrings that by the end of it all nothing can be satisfying enough as a conclusion, and that by then the audience has been jerked around for so long that they no longer care.
I'm not saying that all the mystery needs to be removed from a story, but there needs to be a sense of forward motion over time, not just movement sideways, and the Heroes people seem to understand that:
"I feel pretty good about the fact that we didn't leave a lot of things dangling for people... The other big thing is we just have to reveal things in a timely fashion and not let them build up,"
He also alluded to giving the show a sense of closure for each season:
"...the other thing was the idea of trying to wrap things up in one season. Or one volume. And then start over in the next volume, but something new, so you give people the sense that there are closed-ended qualities to the show."
This concept has worked really well for Fox TV's 24 and I'm eager to see how they apply it to this show. Although Lost began the surge of this type of show, the creators would do well to take a hint from Heroes.
For the full story, head over to Sci Fi Wire.