This week, we watched the third episode of a high-concept series about people who survive a traumatic disaster and find themselves in which the food runs out at camp and they have to hunt the wildlife nearby. At the same time, other characters are attempting to get rescue but it ends in failure.
That’s enough about Lost‘s “Walkabout,” though.
La Brea Season 1 Episode 3, “The Hunt,” highlights that really well. It’s been a problem since the start but now it feels unavoidable. It’s one of those things that, once you see it, there’s no way to not see it in everything the show does. It’s made worse that it’s so grossly obvious.
La Brea wants to be Lost. Full stop. That’s it. There isn’t a loftier goal that it has. It’s not trying to reach some higher place than that. At certain points, it’s blatant plagiarization and it’s so brazen that it’s hard to see how it made its way out of a writers room.
The show has a weird dichotomy to itself. It simultaneously wants to appeal to fans of Lost but also ideally would want you to have never seen Lost before. It’s the only possible explanation for including plotlines that are just carbon copies of early Lost episodes and scenes that contains iconic dialogue from that show.
It almost makes us wonder if we’re missing something with La Brea. These parallels are too purposeful to be coincidental. It would be one thing if this is something like Wrecked, which was a tongue-in-cheek parody of Lost, but this is too earnest for that. It’s genuinely trying to tell a story that we’ve already seen before.
La Brea is like if someone tried to copy the recipe for a meal made by a really famous and distinguished chef but when they give it you, it’s poorly made and the ingredients haven’t been mixed in right. For all intents and purposes, they’ve just presented the ingredients in a bowl.
The 100 was very far from a perfect show but at least when it began and it emulated Lost, it had an actual identity. You knew why you were there to watch that show and how it was different than what came before it. Say whatever you’d like about it — and we could — but it had its own voice and style. La Brea has none of that.
These kinds of survival stories only matter or register to an audience if they care about the characters in question. There has to be an attachment to the characters and what they’re going through. After three episodes, we should have some sort of sense of the people we’re following and we just don’t.
The people on this show are flat and nonplussed and seem to have as little a reaction to anything that’s happening as humanly possible. There’s nothing to latch onto and this isn’t helped by any of the performances. Everyone there looks like they are there to get a check and no more.
We should have some kind of a reaction to learning that a character had an affair or that another has a lethal brain tumor but each time it lands with the weight of a piece of paper falling to the ground. It might as well be nothing and that just makes us wonder why we should care about anything.
If it can’t get us to invest in the most basic thing — the characters — then what are we even doing here?
What did you think of this episode of La Brea? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
La Brea airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on The CW.
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