When promos for the NBC sci-fi drama La Brea hit the airwaves, Lost fans rejoiced. Some hoped the series would fill the Lost-sized hole in their heart. Others were just happy for a science fiction series on primetime television again. It's hard not to wonder if La Brea is supposed to be NBC's answer to the ABC powerhouse that Lost once was.
But is La Brea really the new Lost? Both shows are science fiction and feature ensemble casts. Both also rely on viewers to suspend their disbelief regarding life-altering events. But what about the shows' respective storylines?
What is 'La Brea' about?
A huge sinkhole opens up in Los Angeles at the La Brea Tar Pits (hence, the name of the show), pulling in hundreds of people, buildings, and cars. Instead of everyone immediately dying, however, they resurface mostly unharmed in a prehistoric world. They have to figure out how to survive and get out while searching for their loved ones.
Elsewhere, outside of the La Brea Tar Pits sinkhole and back in the "real" world, Homeland Security investigates what happened. It turns out, there's another similarly massive sinkhole on the other side of the world. La Brea is a sci-fi mystery at its core. And, like the sinkhole, it sucked in millions of viewers from the start.
Is 'La Brea' supposed to be like 'Lost'?
La Brea is full of the mystery and intrigue that Lost brought. But when it comes down to it, it's almost like comparing apples and oranges. Lost is about a plane crash on a mysterious island that isn't on any maps. The island can heal the sick and it makes time travel possible. Oh yeah, and there's a secret research company that sets up its home base on the island to study it, all while trying to live at peace with its native inhabitants.
La Brea is similar to Lost in that seemingly everyday people are part of an unexpected disaster that thrusts them into a new world. But the layers and layers of mystery in Lost are hard to recreate. If nothing else, La Brea is a decent consolation prize for those who still want some kind of Lost reboot.
There is a cheeky little line from one of the characters in La Brea that suggests they're stuck "in an episode of Lost." And showrunner David Appelbaum told CinemaBlend that it was intentional. He wanted to come out the gate addressing the "inevitable" comparisons that would arise from fans and critics alike. He assured the outlet that La Brea stands on its own.
"We all love Lost, and [La Brea is] definitely inspired by it, but we also want to bring the show in completely new directions," David said. "New characters, new mysteries, a new world. But, you know, it was just kind of getting ahead of it and having fun. Because the show is a lot of things — it's action-adventure, it's about emotion — but we also want to bring a lot of humor to it as well."
Watch La Brea on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. EST on NBC.