ABC's 'Lost' returns for second season

TV Arts

ABC's 'Lost' returns for second season
By JAYMES SONG, Associated Press Writer

HONOLULU (AP) - After guardedly making his way through a darkened
tunnel, Dr. Jack Sheppard found himself bewildered and facing a
harrowing decision. His trust and character are tested again in ABC's
"Lost," which won the best drama series Emmy on Sunday and returns for
its highly anticipated second season on Wednesday.

"Anytime people are in very extreme circumstances, dealing with life
and death and dealing with survival - I think we can find truth in
those moments," said Matthew Fox, who plays the reluctant leader of a
group of plane crash survivors stranded on a mysterious island.

"Lost" fans, who have patiently waited all summer for answers
following last season's two-hour finale, will finally find out what's
beyond the metal hatch that leads deep into the earth.

The answer - while still cryptic - was revealed last week to thousands
of frenzied fans who turned out at Waikiki Beach for a special
screening of the new season's first episode and to catch a glimpse of
the "Lost" stars. It was a red carpet event like no other, complete
with screaming fans, crashing surf and a sunset over the Pacific

It was in marked contrast to last year where the crowds who turned out
to see an unknown ABC pilot filmed in Hawaii didn't know who the
actors were.

"There is a slight difference, isn't there? It's quite shocking," said
Naveen Andrews, who plays former Iraqi soldier Sayid.

With thrilling twists, unpredictable story lines and a diverse cast,
"Lost" has attracted a loyal following. The official "Lost" magazine
comes out soon and the recently released DVD box set of the first
season is a top seller at

"The success of a show to this level is always surprising. It takes on
a level of pop culture which you can never fully predict," said
Dominic Monaghan, who plays rock-star junkie Charlie. "Because of
that, it's a little trippy."

The show's first season was so well received, cast members realize
they must deliver a standout sophomore season.

"We're dealing with an immense kind of pressure to keep the quality
up," Andrews said. "It's make or break this season, quite frankly. ...
We have an audience now. We can't let them down."

Monaghan agrees.

"There's more pressure now because we're not the hot new show, we're
just the hot show," he said. "So we kind of have to back that up now
instead of being about the hype. We have to deliver."

"Lost" co-creator Damon Lindelof said viewers can relate to the
characters, often picking their favorites.

"At the end of the day, the show at its core is about the characters,"
he said. "I think the reason people really love this show is they find
the island mysteries are compelling, but they watch every week because
they really bond with the people."

One of the most popular characters is the enigmatic outdoorsman Locke,
played by Terry O'Quinn, the oldest cast member at 53.

"One of the reasons I've been able to make it work is because I'm very
sympathetic with the character," O'Quinn said. "He's a seeker for
answers and for something to believe in. He's skeptical. He's dubious
and he's been burnt and I've been all those things."

Through flashbacks, viewers this season will see different sides of
the castaways, who may share more in common than just sitting in coach
seats on the ill-fated Oceanic Airlines flight No. 815.

Fox said his character is trying to rationalize the paranormal
experiences on the island.

"Jack is a very scientific man, very logical and obviously with
everything he has seen on this island, he's going to have to find a
way to snap out of this denial and start confronting this real reality
he's existing in," Fox said.

Evangeline Lilly, who plays sexy jailbird Kate, said viewers will see
a more aggressive character.

"I just think the environment she's in is very savage and eventually
the savage side of Kate is going to have to come out a little more
than we've seen so far," she said.

Michael, played by Harold Perrineau, struggles this season. In last
season's finale, Michael's young son Walt is kidnapped on the high
seas by a group of men. Walt makes a startling appearance in
Wednesday's episode.

"After the plane crash and all the other stuff, someone snatches your
kid. It can't get any worse than that," Perrineau said. "Michael goes
from bad to worse this year. You'll see him dig deep to really deal
with what's going on."

In all the madness, there will be some love on the island this season.

"We're in the 9 o'clock slot now," Andrews said, referring to the
show's new time. "Men and women alone on the island, they have needs.
Needs that must be fulfilled."

"Lost" has been a ratings winner for ABC, which took mostly unknown
actors cast by Lindelof and J.J. Abrams and created one of the
network's most expensive pilots ever around them.

Fans have also embraced the diversity of characters.

"That's what's great about it. Everyone is so different. Different
ages. Different nationalities," said Australian Emilie de Ravin

The characters include a young Korean couple who exclusively speak to
each other in their native language. Lindelof said English was not an
option for Jin and Sun.

"I think there's this sort of interesting American conceit, 'Everybody
else on the planet should speak English,'" he said. "The fact that
there are people who don't speak English, we sort of demand they adapt
to us, as opposed to the other way around.

"So we wanted to make a commentary on language."

Lindelof said as long the characters "bounce off each other" in
interesting ways, have real conflicts and continue to develop, the
show will continue to be compelling.

"For how long? Who knows," he said. "But all I know is we write one
episode at a time and we've been doing OK so far."

     "Under the guise of anonymity, whether it is on the internet, or on the roadway, a person's true nature will come forward."  
                -- Me
What a surprise!
Would you happen to know if CSI and Desperate Housewives are returning 
for a new season too?