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An Actor Just Compared The New Game Of Thrones Guys' Series To Lost, And I Can't Decide If That's A Good Or Bad Thing

 Charlie's warning in Lost.
Charlie's warning in Lost.

We need more prestige television. Not that we ever had an overwhelming glut of options. But some of the best television series could keep us enthralled in a sprawling narrative made up of colorful characters that spanned multiple seasons. Think The Sopranos. Think Lost. And think Game of Thrones… all of which amounted to appointment television in their prime, creating some of the most shocking moments in TV history. So when one actor spoke about the new Netflix program 3 Body Problem and compared it to Lost, I sat up and paid attention, even though I know the obstacles that come with such a comparison.

3 Body Problem, which is available to those with a Netflix subscription, adapts a popular science-fiction novel by author Liu Cixin. The show recently showed off two episodes at the SXSW festival, during which I told CinemaBlend readers that the saga “will reward your curiosity, and your patience.” Because I binged most of the season, and understood that it took a little while for the narrative to sink all of its hooks into you, the viewer.

Which is a similar critique leveled by actor Malick Bauer, who served on the International Competition jury at Lillie’s Series Mania and told Variety:

It’s a very ambitious show and it has a great scale, but I wonder when all the hooks they got into me will reward me with knowledge. I see a lot of potential, but I don’t see a clear path. It can be a great thing, but I do worry if the audience will be given their time. It’s one of the biggest problems in today’s shows: You need to capture people right away, otherwise they will find something else. Is it too slow? For a media consumer in 2024, yes. For an artist, no. It’s a bit like watching Lost all over again. I am willing to wait, but I am not sure if the market will follow.

The Lost comparison makes a lot of sense. From its magnificent pilot, Lost spread the seeds of a greater mystery surrounding the island, and the people stranded there following a horrific plane crash. There was a smoke monster. There was a hatch. There were The Others. And it all built towards a finale that still has people arguing. But it took several seasons to get to that finale, and nowadays, who has the time? We’re a society of TikTok posts and IG Reels. We need instant gratification.

Eiza Gonzalez in 3 Body Problem
Eiza Gonzalez in 3 Body Problem

It’s unfortunate, because a show like 3 Body Problem deserves the time. I’ll be the first to admit that the initial two episodes have pacing issues as they lay out a LOT of facts pertaining to science and history. Critics all seemed to be in agreement that the show requires patience. And co-creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss understand that need to feed the audience, having dealt with similar pressures while working on Game of Thrones. This show is not that. It’s wildly different. But similar to Lost, it has a compelling central mystery that will keep you invested in the storyline, simply because you need to know what happens next. And that is prestige storytelling.

Look for 3 Body Problem on the Netflix streaming service beginning on Thursday, March 21.