Thursday, May 12, 2016
Tweeny-Bopper Fare: Lost and Found Studios Review
I have great regrets that of all the TV that I've watched lately, this is the only one I had time to review. Hopefully, more stuff to come.
“Lost and Found Studios” is about a group of teenagers in an “elite music program” of people of indiscriminate age in an indiscriminate mid-sized city, with an indiscriminate means of paying for it all.
It’s one of those shows where it seems like I'm putting more thought into it than the people who created it. Does Mr. T's exclusive program consist of letting kids just hang around his studio all day and what's in it for him when studio time is at such a premium? Does the program offer instruction other than Mr. T sternly crossing his arms and playing referee in disputes? Why do the parents (especially those of introverted Eva) trust Mr. T?
But that’s ok because to try to answer these questions would involve icky things for this tweeny-bop genre like involving parents and as the kid with the red headphones learned when his mom crashed his audition, parents are not allowed! The creators of this show know that it’s a cash cow for tweeny-boppers so long as they populate it with an array of diverse vanilla personalities and produce a queue full of songs on iTunes where they can get a juicy second stream of revenue. On this note, it’s curious how the combined song writing talents of a group of some two dozen kids produces songs in the exact same genre.
The characters are all filled out by uniformly mediocre actors (they’re likely teenagers so I’m not expecting big things) but it’s also curious that the adults on screen (John and Luke’s piano teacher’s widower) exhibit that same lack of ability.
Which begs the question (One I’m still trying to figure out as I write this): Why did I gobble up all fourteen episodes if I was able to see through it so immediately?
My initial answer was that I thought it might give some insight into modern-day songwriting and working in a studio and there’s a certain amount of that there. On the whole, though, the show is just plain hokey like the songs themselves. The story is both written and acted broadly for a teen audience, but it wasn’t enough to detract me from wanting to know what happened next.
If I had to pinpoint one factor that kept the first season from getting drab, it’s that the show had some edgier plotlines than one might have expected. One of the main characters, John, is dealing with the death of his mother which puts a dark twist on what is the season’s only major romantic pairing (which is pretty curious in its own right since this show is playing to a demographic that thrives on hookups in fiction). Another, Clara, gets outright depressed and nasty despite the fact that it seemed like the show bible was “keep all the characters uniformly bubbly and cheerful.” Eva, a noticeable introvert, seems to hide some insecurities that begs one to want to know more. Leah (who perhaps has more screentime than anyone else), starts out as a ditzy girl blind to an unrequieted crush, but she’s gradually revealed to be a villainess of high proportions.
Whether, these plotlines might have been stuff that slipped through the cracks or were part of the grand scheme of things, it takes the show above standard teeny-bop fare.