Tower Prep is the Best Lost Replacement Yet

Ladies and gentlemen, we may have finally found our Lost replacement. You might be saying to your computer screen, "but nobody could replace Lost," or worse, "I didn't like Lost." Which, fine, free country. But the fact remains, Lost, like Battlestar Galactica or The X-Files before it, represented a method of storytelling aimed straight at our brains' pleasure centers. Suspense, twists, character arcs, cliffhangers, danger mixed with melancholy-- these are shows that appealed to our intelligence and rewarded our imaginations.

Regardless of whether you liked Lost or hated it, the networks have been trying to emulate its formula for years. The elephant graveyard of failed mystery shows is littered with things like Surface, Invasion, The Runner, Jericho and FlashForward, while V's looking to crash there soon. The Event will probably just disappear into some unexplained wormhole, because let's get real: The Event is not very good.

It's amazing, then, that Cartoon Network of all places might have finally cracked the code. With much less money and aimed squarely at the young adult demographic, its new live-action hourlong Tower Prep premiered this week and its addictiveness is immediate. So far only one episode has aired, so I'm knocking on wood--I'm knocking on ALL the wood--because so far so good. But here are four reasons why you should give this show a chance.

1. The Central Mystery Is Clearly Stated

When Tower Prep's main hero Ian suddenly wakes up in a prep school dorm room with no memory of having arrived there, we immediately know what this show is about: finding out where Ian is, why he's there, and how he will escape. Compare that to The Event's central mystery: that there is a mystery. Later when Ian befriends three other students looking to escape the isolated yet heavily guarded campus, we learn even more tantalizing information: they each have subtle super powers. Boom! Hooked.

2. The Characters Are Well-Written and Likable

During one terrific scene set in the woods at night, our four main characters talk about their backgrounds and their special abilities while also displaying distinctive personalities and good humor. It's just great writing. I immediately like all four of them and it's clear why they'd become fast friends. Most importantly, my liking them as individuals raises the tension when they find themselves in harm's way. I don't want them to get hurt! Again, compare this to The Event, which five episodes in has still not troubled itself to make us care about its characters.

3. The Creators Have Excellent Resumés

You may recognize writer Paul Dini's name-- He was the primary creative force behind the truly awesome Batman: The Animated Series as well as a number of other underrated animated shows. Other behind-the-scenes names include Glen Morgan and Darin Morgan of The X-Files fame. Although there is nothing too ground-breaking in the Tower Prep pilot, it's clear these guys have identified and distilled all the right elements of other TV mysteries into a new, irresistible concoction. It's clear we're in the capable hands of trusted professionals.

4. A Full Season Has Already Been Produced

How many times have you been burned by falling into a new mystery show only to have it yanked off the air when it doesn't get big numbers? A benefit of being one of Cartoon Network's two live-action shows is they're willing to take a chance on it. The fact that all thirteen episodes have been produced (and even reviewed!) should take away at least a bit of your new-show anxiety.

So if you're hurting for a good mystery filled with nice kids and a Prisoner meets Harry Potter vibe, why not check out this plucky little show? It might be worth watching, at least until Michelle Rodriguez joins the cast in season 2.

Tower Prep airs Tuesdays at 8pm on Cartoon Network

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i hope they keep it because is great they need to promote it more if they are not satisfied about the results
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This is the best show in the world! If it is taken off I think I will scream!!!!!!
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This series deserves a better reputation, it's intense, chilling, suprising, and every moment keeps me in awe, especially when the principal requested to Ross, that she teach them about how to use Chemica Desin. That was something I wasn't expecting. I'm so far loving this series. I hope it will continue, or get a spin off.
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Ok, this is old, but I have to respond. I watched the first two episodes of this show. It's not bad, but comparing it to Lost? Are you on crack? Saying that the central mystery is stated is incorrect. We know he's at Tower Prep, don't know how he got there, and wants to find the way out. That's stating the mystery? Please The Event shows just as much, but you put it down. And they really didn't make you care about the characters THAT much. Yes, they have personalities. Wow. Good catch there. The Event, I cared about the characters, and couldn't wait to see what happened next. With Tower Prep, I can kinda tell what's happening next. Like in episode 2, I knew who the thief was, from the moment they showed him on screen.

It's a good show, gives me something to watch to pass the time (not to mention that Elise Gatien is so yummy!) but to say it's better than The Event, or to even compare it to Lost, is ludicrous.
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how can anything replace lost !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Anyone else think TV.com has now officially lost all credibility because of this article?
If this is the show that replaces Lost, I'm done watching TV forever.
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i actually happen to like the event and i didnt like lost.
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headclub, you must be kidding me if you think season 6 negated season 1-3.
Now I'm certain you in particular didn't get the show AT ALL.
Every season was relevant and made sense, it was part of the puzzle. What people don't get is the show wasn't about purgatory and the producers were right, the castaways were NOT in purgatory, its true because everything happened on the island was real so they didn't waste our time, that is what they meant by saying its not purgatory because the viewers thought back in S1 the black smoke, the plane crashing etc was in purgatory and that they were dead BUT they were not. They used a clever way of telling their entire story but using a clever narrative structure in S6 to also show us a purgatory side just for the element of surprise but the show was always about the stories of these characters and how when moving on to let go on the pain which affected them in their lives. The island had a mythology and it was honoured and was all real. I would have felt cheated if it was not real but it WAS real. Season 6 FS wasn't a filler it was part of the story and the payoff at the end. Maybe you have to be a spiritual being to feel the end and I certainly am. I love LOST and miss it!
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I watched the pilot, and though it isn't at Lost's "level", I enjoyed it. You get what you pay for on CN. So, overall, I was more impressed than let down.

The part about it already having a full season produced... I just hope it's not like Persons Unknown. They promised a wrapped up story for an ending and it was anything but that.
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another fail article , just by looking at the show's pic I can tell this show is no where near hell is like Lost , u can't even compare it to Lost . I bet the aurther didn't even watch Lost just like the last article LOL
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THE EVENT RULES!!! tower prep sucks
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I checked out Tower Prep and oh my god! Horrible show. I'm sorry, sure it has a somewhat intriguing plot, but it is cheap and has horrible child actors. Just makes me meh.
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The pilot was very entertaining. :)
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I actually thought this premiere was pretty interesting. Granted, there was some spotty writing--some of the minor characters said and did things that were a bit cringe-worthy. However, as a pilot, it does what it needs to. I am actually interested in the main characters, and assuming that the mystery is already plotted out, I'm intrigued by the idea. The four main characters have special abilities, but I can already tell that they're symbolic of the internal problems and conflicts these characters are dealing with. Was the pilot superb? No, not by any stretch. But neither was the pilot of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," and no one can argue that that show wasn't one of the greatest shows--if not the best--of all time.
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I swear the articles on this site get worse by the day.

Price, are you 13? 14? seems like it.
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how can this possibly be better than the event or even come close to lost. this show sucks!bad bad bad acting.
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I couldn't get any further than half way through the first episode, because I think it was dreadful to watch. Bad acting, bad writing and absolutely no original plot. I mean, the lead character being kidnapped and waking up some place strange... Lame, and done before a million times.

The only thing I liked about it was the hunky lead character.
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Personally I'm never a fan of mystery shows. There are very different comments on this show which will make me watch the first episode but I'm not so hopeful that its a good show. But for The Event I can say that besides its a mystery show it has some action elements in it which make me still watch it. I only watched first 2 episodes of lost, 1 season fringe which was my longest, 2-3 episodes x-files when I'm bored and got nothing to do. I never hated any of the shows but didn't prefer to watch it. This show attracts my attention because its on Cartoon Network and claimed to be the next Lost which is a very successful tv show. I'll give it a try after this review and post back.
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I had to admit, i liked it better than unnatural history! Now im hooked on Tower Prep, i watched the pilot so many times now.
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Watched this show based on tthe review and honestly could not sit through the whole thing. The acting and writing are both dreadful to the point where it overshadows a potentially good plot. I think there's a reason this show ended up on Cartoon Network...
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What if HARRY POTTER were a good looking American extrovert, and instead of magic there is a lot of technology and superpowers? Not good.
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Lost was a great series. I enjoyed every minute. It's flaw was simple. The ending made about half of the 6th season wasted. They said there was no purgatory and yet there it was, not an alternative universe, but purgatory. that was the big reveal! They could have saved the purgatory idea to the final 2 episodes creating the same effect we got with the plane landing in LA. Instead of all those wasted halves of episodes with purgatory, we could have gotten more plotting!!! more answers!!!! and more adventure. Then in the penultimate episode put in a briefer alternate/purgatory with them landing, and some highlights, leaving us crazy with wonder and get the big finale pretty much as it was presented. Doesn't that sound like a much better season??? The producers must have lost the big picture when they decided to make 1/2 the final season set in purgatory where nothing ultimately mattered and tricked us into thinking that it did. As I said, I loved lost. But they could have made the final season much better by sticking with the island and saving purgatory for the finale. I'll never regret watching it though. Nothing is perfect. And Lost was much better than just about everything else. back on topic... Thanks for the info on the Tower. I'll check it out!!!
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am i the only one who thought the episode sucked ?? i mean the acting was terrible the plot isnt all that EPIC ..sure they came to tower prep somehow but whats so big about that... nd im sure we will be shown more stupid creatures n all in the tower in some restricted areas nd all tht ... im telling u it doesnt feel original !!!
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How much you got paid?
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I quite enjoyed the first episode. Looking forward to more!
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@shadowysea07 produced means they are done, theres no way of undoing them ofc there's the chance they could never air but they are done so eventually you get them on dvd
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This is the BEST of the live action shows on Cartoon Network. Can't wait to see the rest of the mystery unfold :D
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@VConn shows get extended to fill out the season all the time. just because a show gets more episodes ordered for it doesn't mean it wont get cancelled. as much as i want to believe in chuck for example getting renewed for another season its not set in stone that it will just because it had more episodes ordered for it.
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I love when people say, "you didn't get the end of Lost." Oh I got it alright. The FS was filler, and season 6 negated seasons 1-3. Unfortunately, I probably know more about Lost than 99% of the population. In short, Darlton's egos become so massive that they blew it.
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People are so lame, they didnt get the ending of Lost so they diss it. Everything that happend on the Island was REAL!!!! Go get an education, become intelligent and then watch LOST, you'll be amazed how terrific that show is and how stupid you were! Fringe I watch, is a copy of Alias and just not as good, Flashforward was a joke, V haven't seen but looks pretty bad and the Event I will watch but know for a fact aint anyway near Lost.
LOST will never be replaced and is the best damn show EVER!
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well said..... "Nothing and I mean NOTHING can ever compete or replace LOST. LOST is the greatest show ever made, past, present or future"
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I'm an avid tv watcher and syfy supernatural mystery fan and I just couldn't get into Lost. Fringe, The Event, and V however are some of the best shows on tv, and if the execs are smart, these shows will be sticking around awhile. I don't know how people can like these other shows and bash The Event, because it has what it takes!
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I prefer Tower Prep to The Event....the flashbacks and time warps of The Event are just plain annoying...Tower Prep has mystery without the headache...looking forward to watching its first season...
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It's not a Lost replacement and there's only been one episode, so too early to judge, but has potential to be an interesting series. But it's NOT a Lost replacement.
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VConn: This article isn't really saying every show but Lost is terrible--it's talking up this new series; in some ways, it takes some pretty heavy pot shots at Lost, in fact, which I like, because people are way too blind about Lost's many, many problems.
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I started out liking Lost, and then from season five or so, hated it.. Anyways, Cartoon Network should not have live action shows.. Cartoon is in it's name..
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it sucked so BAD i cant believe i watched it!! the event on the other hand is all sorts of awesome !!! u cant even compare these two shows dude ! this lame a** show is not worth it !!!
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I saw the Pilot a few weeks ago and I can say I'm very intrigued. My original assessment of Tower Prep was "Tween Prisoner" Prisoner being a reference to the amazing British Scifi series of the mid 60's. But post mortem I feel confidant in saying that I will definitely probably be watching this show for a while.
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Fringe has already replaced Lost.
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Lost was as big a waste of airspace as FlashForward was but at least the network execs saved us this time by cancelling FF. I laughed so hard I cried when a teeneager posted his take on Lost on the internet and boiled 6 years down to a 3 minute presentation using postit notes............and why would anyone need 6 years of flashing forwards, backwards, sideways and all other directions possible to tell us they were all dead and in limbo? Talk about the lamest ending ever. At least with kids/young adults shows they are exactly what they say they are. They can put interesting new spins on old stories simply because they are being aimed at a younger generation, being shown pre-watershed and no one has any preconceived high ideals about huge viewing figures which kills so many 'grown up' shows.
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There already is a new {and improved} Lost. It's called Fringe. Thank you very much. If anything, this show is the best Flight 29 Down replacement yet... Btw I agree with previous posters Lost shot shot itself in the foot (ala Plaxico Burress) and retroactively ruined the shows story.
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Bottron made such a good point ...Exactly my words :O
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So basically this is just another article giving biased opinions on how bad every show EXCEPT LOST is, It never fails to amaze me how many people drop to their knees to kiss the backside of the most overrated piece of junk television show to ever crawl onto our screens and die a long protracted death. BTW If V and The Event were going to fail so surely as the author seems to predict would they have been renewed or extended like they were???
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Thanks for the info! Loved the first episode and it's good to know Glen & Darin are on it! Can't wait for the next episode.
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Looks interesting. We'll definitely check this out. Thanks! BTW, I hate Lost because I loved lost. And got screwed by Lost.
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its pretty meh especially when they added super powers to the mix but at least the cast knows who they are. the plot not only has been done before but it seems like a d list movies. its an ok show but i don't see myself getting into it especially since its live action on what used to be cartoon network. shame they chose to make this into a tv series instead of firebreather which from the pilot alone is better written with just as likeable if not more likable cast.
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The only thing that I do know about mystery shows is that lost sucked!!!!!!!!!
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Sounds cool. I think I found my other new show.
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Good read! I'll have to check it out. On a side note, The Event isn't very good. True. But, if the story is heading where I think it is heading, a la Planet of the Apes, re-imagined. IE. Planet of the Humans from before our time.

If that is where it is heading, then cool, great idea. The flip side is, the cover-up story is just lame. If it were just about the "detainees and others" and their secret, it could have been a very compelling show, albeit boring to most prime-time viewers lol. I could be wrong and it could just be the played out cliche of aliens visiting, but if I'm right at least they tried something somewhat new. Just wish it was executed better. I'll just have to look forward to "Cesar: Rise of the Apes" starring Adrian Brody and coming to a theatre near you using Avatar technology instead of costumes for the Apes. First time ever in a Planet of the Apes movie...duh! lol
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I'm not really into Lost. At least watching Tower Prep and the Unnatural History is way better than watching any of the lamest Disney kids sitcoms like Sonney with a Chance, Wizards of Waverly Place, etc. Those Disney series have very pathetic opening theme songs and none of them makes me laugh, not even by accident. How I hate Disney!
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