Over on SCI FI Wire, the producers of LOST talk about fan reaction to Nikki and Paulo:
“People asked questions about the other characters on the beach,” Cuse said. “Are we ever going to learn anything about them?” In response, the writers expanded the storylines of Nikki Fernandez and Paulo (played by Kiele Sanchez and Rodrigo Santoro). “But once we did it, people were angry that we were taking time away from our main characters and giving it to Nikki and Paulo, so we listened to the fans and decided to bury them alive,” Cuse added.
Wrong, wrong, wrong!
That’s not the reason people didn’t like Nikki and Paulo! We’ve had a TON of new characters on LOST, and a lot of them have been interesting. Take “Mr. Friendly”… Great character, love to know more about him. Richard Alpert? Same thing. Even the ill-fated Artz was a great character which people liked.
So what went wrong with Nikki and Paulo?
The real reason people didn’t like Nikki and Paulo is that they just seemed to pop up out of nowhere on the beach. They acted like a couple of kids trying to inject themselves themselves in the group. Viewers have been in that kind of social situation before, recognized it and reacted just like they do in real life – they didn’t want any part of it.
Sure, the characters felt that they were being left out of the action (and they even said that), but there are better and more subtle ways of bringing characters off the beach. Bringing them in more slowly would have given them more of an opportunity to slide into the show the right way. If the characters had been brought in that way, people would have probably liked them a lot more. Even if their fates had remained the same, it would have been OK… In fact, it probably would have had a much bigger impact.
The way the did come into the show was like being hit over the head with a shovel.