Wednesday, May 26, 2010

7 Things That I Need to Say About "Lost"

We are now living in a post "Lost" world - it is weird to think that it is over. I needed a few days to let the finale really sink in before deciding that it was a huge disappointment. I am not going to write a post that boils an amazing show down to one disappointing episode - instead I want to write about the series as a whole.

1. The Beginning of "Lost" - I clearly remember not only the first episode of Lost, but the first promos for the series. I was so excited for a new show created by JJ Abrams aka the man behind "Alias", starring Matthew Fox aka Charlie from "Party of Five" about a group of plane crash survivors trapped on a mysterious island aka a genius plot. I was blown away by the first episode and begged everyone I knew to watch this show (getting most of them to be as equally addicted as I was). I honestly don't think there will ever be another show like it (proven by the failure of so many shows that have tried).

2. The man of faith vs the man of science - It is often said that there are 2 types of Lost fans - the fans of the characters vs the fans of the island. I disagree with this - I was a fan of this theory of faith vs science which was displayed by both the characters (Locke vs Shepard) and the island (the extraordinary powers of the island vs the Dharma Initiative). The best and most memorable quote of the whole entire series is when Locke and Shepard are arguing and Locke asks "why do you find it so hard to believe?" and Jack replies with another question "why do you find it so easy?" The dynamic energy between these 2 characters is what caused my addiction to the show. I often found myself siding with Locke (which is surprising considering I am an atheist - this could be blamed on the profound writing of his character or the power of Terry O'Quinn's acting ability, it is not due to my bias towards Alias alums..haha). The conflicting characters were so opposingly dramatic yet so realistic - and not just with Locke and Shepard. Kate's conflicting love for Jack and Sawyer was the perfect love triangle, never feeling contrived or even clear on who she should belong with (although I guess the ultimate decision was made clear in the end).

3. It was intelligent and unapologetic - It never was dumbed down for its audience, it never went out of its way to explain its details and it always had references that went way above my head. I loved watching an episode - then heading over to and reading Doc Jenson's recap. There was this whole other layer to the series which caused people to do actual research and read books (!).

4. The End of Lost - Obviously, I didn't really like the finale (it wasn't really the actual episode that bothered me - it was that I had such high expectations - it basically needed to erase all of the flawed story lines that I have loyally endured) - but more than that, my interest in the series has dissipated over the last 3 seasons of the series. The last season was almost a painful chore that I had to endure every week. I actually fell asleep while watching episode 15 - when I woke up my DVR had given me the option of replaying the episode from the beginning or deleting the episode. I chose the latter, opting to just read Doc's recap - which brings me to my next point...

5. It became too intelligent - I shouldn't HAVE to read a recap to understand what the hell I just watched! The show should be understandable and entertaining on its own level while these fanatic reviews and recaps should just add depth - they shouldn't be essential to the series. I can't pinpoint when the turning point in the series happened, but I think that it is interesting that JJ became less involved in the series (opting to focus on the visionary show Fringe, rebooting the Star Trek franchise and working on another "mysterious" project) and the show coincidentally lost its way (no pun intended). JJ has a knack of finding that creative line between mass appeal and cult appeal. I don't want to diminish the work of the other creators of the show - they did an amazing job. The finale alone referenced everything from Salmon Rushdie to Edmund Burke to Alice in Wonderland - obviously they work hard but I just think they ignored the mass appeal of the show.

6. The end date - It was a phenomenal idea to give the series an "end date" - this ensured a creative closure to the series, allowing the writers to create a timeline of events (you know to actually answer all those questions they posed). But I feel that the writers ignored this advantage. Instead of utilizing this last season to create closure - they introduced us with this "sideways" story and pushed us into this Jacob vs The Man in Black island mythology that was completely unnecessary.

7. Nitpicking the end - 1. Where was Michael? Was he not forgiven for his sins and therefore allowed an afterlife? Surely, the crimes he committed were no more "sinful" than Ben's or even Sayid's for that matter. 2. Sayid and...Shannon really? I didn't mind their relationship on the island, but from day 1 they made it clear that Sayids soul mate was Nadia. There is no way he would want to spend eternity with Shannon. 3. When was Boone enlightened? Why didn't we get to see that? 4. What happened to Charles Widmore? Did he give up on finding the island? Did I miss something or did they ignore his storyline completely? 5. Everyone is a Christian! I am not angry with the overtly religious finale, religious themes have always been an undercurrent of the show. However, one of the great aspects of the show was the international casting and characters - characters with different backgrounds and religions. To end the show with a definitive religion for all of the characters does a disservice to the show as a whole. 6. Actually I could go on all I better stop now.

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