Since J.J. Abrams and his production company, Bad Robot, hit it big with LOST, the pressure has been on to get new genre shows on the air. Sometimes they’ve been successful and other times, they just fall flat. Notably, however, the successes seem to always be linked to Abrams, Bad Robot, or former LOST producers striking out on their own. These shows often spend more time on character development than the other LOST clones out there, but is it too much of a good thing?

One of the staples of Abrams’ post-LOST work, including Revolution and Person of Interest, is the use of flashbacks. For those in the know, LOST was full of flashbacks. Sometimes these trips to the characters’ past were well done, but sometimes if you weren’t paying enough attention, you lost track of where they were in the time stream. Both of Abrams’ subsequent shows have doled out information on the main characters in pieces over time. Person of Interest is a prime example of how dishing out the history of your characters slowly over time creates a deeper connection between the character and the viewer. Also, it has the handy device of the Machine to keep you fully aware of what you’re seeing, and where it falls in the overall timeline. Since Revolution is currently in its infancy, it hasn’t built up quite as much connection. However, it does appear that they are slowly dispensing backstory to build well-rounded characters.

Another thing Bad Robot shows have done well since leaving the Island is creating intriguing mystery. Once again, Person of Interest seems to exemplify the use of a season-long (or in its case seasons-long) arc. To the writers’ credit, it’s not as silly as putting the plug in the hole in the glowing cave at the middle of the Island. The Machine’s existence and purpose is revealed piece by piece. But you don’t have to wait six seasons to find out what’s really going on. This time, the creative team has been giving answers along the way and then posing new questions. To an extent, this move of answering questions in a semi-dystopian setting is paying off on Revolution as well. The writers answered the “what caused the blackout” question mid-way through season 1. Again, they are learning to keep the viewers engaged while still creating a drama that makes people want to keep tuning in.

While the productions of Bad Robot and its former writers have largely sustained genre television as a commercially viable enterprise, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. There are certain notes that all of these shows seem to hit, and that can lead to burnout. Sometimes the LOST nods are obvious and somewhat amusing…the first few times they happen. Oceanic or Ajira flights on Fringe or Once Upon a Time are rather minimally intrusive shout outs. Apollo candy bars have also been known to appear on Once Upon a Time. The number of LOST nods on Once Upon a Time is especially interesting, considering it is not a Bad Robot produced show. Showrunners and executive producers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz were long-time LOST writers and producers, however, so this goes to show how the LOST/J.J. Abrams influence has spread beyond the Bad Robot brand.

It’s one thing when these shows include small nods to their common roots or have a similar feel now and then (they all seem to involve a lot of wandering around). It’s another when they adopt some of the worst aspects of their roots wholesale. Again, Once Upon a Time is the prime example. Early in the second season, several of the characters found themselves in the present day Enchanted Forest. All of the Enchanted Forest has been affected by a curse except for a Safe Haven. Safe Haven was forcibly reminiscent of the Temple, which figured prominently in the early sixth season of LOST. The Temple story arc was not one of LOST’s shining moments, and neither was the Safe Haven arc.

It’s clear that J.J. Abrams and Bad Robot have had a lasting effect on the genre television landscape. In some ways, this is a good thing, as it means that genre shows often feature an interesting, non-linear story structure and a decent attempt at character development. It becomes more problematic, however, when the shows start to all have a similar feel and start embracing each other’s worst elements. Has pop culture reached the Bad Robot saturation point? Considering that Abrams and company are now in control of both Star Trek and Star Wars, the answer is, apparently, no. For more opinions and recaps on your favorite shows, check us out at more-tv-please.com.

A new Fifty Shades Darker trailer was released on Wednesday and ups the sexy for the sequel.

Ana and Christian are getting back together in the Fifty Shades of Grey sequel, but the former has a couple of new rules: No secrets, way less BDSM. Christian agrees, but new problems come to light: Is someone from the millionaire’s past haunting him?

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A new Fifty Shades Darker trailer was released on Wednesday and ups the sexy for the sequel.

Ana and Christian are getting back together in the Fifty Shades of Grey sequel, but the former has a couple of new rules: No secrets, way less BDSM. Christian agrees, but new problems come to light: Is someone from the millionaire’s past haunting him?

Dakota Johnson continues to bring a fun vibe to Ana Steele, playing the awkward lines with self awareness better than Kristen Stewart ever did as Bella in Twilight. “Have dinner with me,” Christian begs. “Okay fine, I will have dinner with you, because I’m… hungry,” Ana replies. The line could come off corny if executed poorly, but Dakota has a strong hold on playing this character for fun.

Tickets for Fifty Shades Darker are now on sale. Check out a new poster for the movie below:

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The Fifty Shades Darker synopsis reads, “When a wounded Christian Grey tries to entice a cautious Ana Steele back into his life, she demands a new arrangement before she will give him another chance. As the two begin to build trust and find stability, shadowy figures from Christian’s past start to circle the couple, determined to destroy their hopes for a future together.”

The movie hits theaters this Valentine’s Day. It stars Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Eric Johnson, Jennifer Ehle, Victor Rasuk, Luke Grimes, Rita Ora, Eloise Mumford, Max Martini, Bella Heathcote, Kim Basinger and Marcia Gay Harden, and is directed by James Foley.

It’s looking like Nick Robinson will go from battling dinosaurs to battling the process of coming out.

‘Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda’ actor revealed

According to The Hollywood Reporter, 21-year-old Nick Robinson is in talks to play Simon in the book to film adaptation of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda written by Becky Albertalli. The movie will be directed by CW/DC Universe mastermind Greg Berlanti.

Nick Robinson is best known for his supporting role in Jurassic World, in which he played big brother Zach Mitchell. He also co-starred as Ben in the book to film adaptation of the dystopian novel The 5th Wave starring Chloe Moretz.

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It’s looking like Nick Robinson will go from battling dinosaurs to battling the process of coming out.

‘Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda’ actor revealed

According to The Hollywood Reporter, 21-year-old Nick Robinson is in talks to play Simon in the book to film adaptation of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda written by Becky Albertalli. The movie will be directed by CW/DC Universe mastermind Greg Berlanti.

Nick Robinson is best known for his supporting role in Jurassic World, in which he played big brother Zach Mitchell. He also co-starred as Ben in the book to film adaptation of the dystopian novel The 5th Wave starring Chloe Moretz.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is an excellent coming of age/coming out LGBT YA novel which we’ve raved about here on Hypable before. Nick Robinson is definitely an actor we can picture in the role, so we can’t wait to see him play the adorable character.

The film is being produced by Wyck Godfrey’s Temple Hill Entertainment, who’s responsible for The Maze Runner series, The Twilight Saga, and the upcoming Power Rangers.

What do think of Nick Robinson as Simon?

If you haven’t read it yet, we highly recommend that you do. The book was first published last year:

After you read it, be sure to check out our exclusive interview with Becky Albertalli. Simon was her first novel!

Netflix has unveiled a new Series of Unfortunate Events trailer, showing off Neil Patrick Harris’ excellent portrayal of the evil, wacky, will-stop-at-nothing-to-get-that-money Count Olaf.

Neil Patrick Harris’ ability to convincingly become any person — whether male or female, young or old, ugly or beautiful — becomes abundantly clear in the latest ASOUE trailer. While some of us may’ve been a little skeptical of his casting initially, it’s hard to imagine anyone else in the role after seeing previews like this.

The trailer begins with narrator Lemony Snicket (played by Patrick Warburton) warning that the new Netflix show is no delightful watch. Then the focus turns to Olaf and his mission to steal the children’s fortune, left to them by their parents after their untimely deaths:

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Netflix has unveiled a new Series of Unfortunate Events trailer, showing off Neil Patrick Harris’ excellent portrayal of the evil, wacky, will-stop-at-nothing-to-get-that-money Count Olaf.

Neil Patrick Harris’ ability to convincingly become any person — whether male or female, young or old, ugly or beautiful — becomes abundantly clear in the latest ASOUE trailer. While some of us may’ve been a little skeptical of his casting initially, it’s hard to imagine anyone else in the role after seeing previews like this.

The trailer begins with narrator Lemony Snicket (played by Patrick Warburton) warning that the new Netflix show is no delightful watch. Then the focus turns to Olaf and his mission to steal the children’s fortune, left to them by their parents after their untimely deaths:

The Unfortunate Events trailer also presents new looks at colorful characters including Uncle Monty (Aasif Mandvi, below), Aunt Josephine (Alfre Woodard, below), and Justice Strauss (Joan Cusack).

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A Series of Unfortunate Events premieres all eight episodes of its first season on January 13, 2017.

“Based on the internationally best-selling series of books by Lemony Snicket (aka Daniel Handler) and starring Emmy and Tony Award winner Neil Patrick Harris, A Series of Unfortunate Events recounts the tragic tale of the Baudelaire orphans — Violet, Klaus, and Sunny – whose evil guardian Count Olaf will stop at nothing to get his hands on their inheritance. The siblings must outsmart Olaf at every turn, foiling his many devious plans and disguises, in order to discover clues to their parents’ mysterious death.”

Another trailer was released two weeks ago — you can watch it here.

Is ‘Unfortunate Events’ looking as good as you hoped?

Harris previously confirmed that each book will be adapted into two episodes of the show. The first season of ASOUE covers the first four books, so presumably season 2 will roughly cover another four books. There are a total of 13 books in Lemony Snicket’s series.