Tuesday, March 30, 2010

How Lost lost me

I'm done with Lost. Oh, I'll watch those last few episodes, but mainly because my kids and my boyfriend and are still watching and I almost always succumb to peer pressure. I'm weak that way.

I love the first season of that show. Seeing the survivors of the plane crash figure out how to live on the island was fascinating. I loved the first season of Jericho for the same reason. What would they eat? Where would they sleep? What kind of society would form?

The fact that all those questions were hung on a larger framework about the struggle between faith and reason and fate and free will made it even more delicious. The survivors decisions and choices had more riding on them than just survival. Those decisions meant something.

Still even with those grand themes, Lost was always about the people struggling within that framework. Jack and Kate and Locke and Sawyer and Sayid and Hurley and Sun and Jin and all the rest. I cared about them and how they resolved their dilemmas.

Smokey versus Jacob? Not so much. Richard? Hmm. Not really, especially when they give him stringy dirty hair for the entire episode thus removing the pleasure of looking at Nestor Carbonell's beautiful eyelashes.

Don't get me wrong. I love me some theme. Without an organizing principal like theme, books, movies and television shows become random happenings without meaning. For, me, however, there has to be a balance.

The first season of Lost hit that balance with the sure-footed confidence of an Olympic gymnast. This last season, however, totally hasn't stuck the landing.

9 comments:

Molly O'Keefe said...

Oh, I'm so with you. I remember that first seasona nd I think the third, I couldn't wait to watch that show. Everything was unexpected and yet so perfectly grounded in character. I really don't care so much about smokey and Jacob. And the sideways life flashes are interesting but they're not DOING anything. Not GOING anywhere.

I liked the Richard reveal - there was some good stuff there, I thought. Some totally predictable stuff, but it worked for me.

It's too bad that one of the most interesting shows on television (initially - and it was. It was freaking amazing that first season) has so completely fallen away from what made it so great.

Stephanie Doyle said...

I agree. The first season of Lost was some of the best TV I had ever seen.

But I think the problem is how unstructured TV forces a show like this to be.

I don't buy that the writers knew where they were going all along and I think they really needed to. Instead they meandered and dragged out stories. And then switched gear to try to stay alive for another season.

I get it - we're talking millions in revenue. Someone says write - you write.

But what this show could have been if they figured out what it was? Wrote the fabulous begininning. Maybe two seasons of middle and then a great end.

And why couldn't it have been purgatory? That's a great concept.

You don't need a time traveling island, smoke, and silly stuff. You just need these characters, their past, their choices, and their actions going forward.

I tried to watch again just because it is the last season and saw this whole new group of "others" and a temple. I'm like... huh? Where did these dudes come from?

I just don't think they needed all that. The island, the castaways, the others... their stories that's all it had to be about.

Sinead M said...

I stopped watching during the second season when it went off the rails and probably won't watch it, because I'm hearing the final season isn't satisfying.

It is too bad because that first season was superb.

Maureen McGowan said...

I do think nothing will live up to that first season, that said, I am LOVING this final season. I really liked the Richard stuff and how it tied into that ship we've seen since the beginning and how the statue got broken.

And while the actors for Jacob and smokey haven't been around that long, the characters have been since season 2? (I guess smokey was in season 1, even the pilot, but not revealed as smoke, yet...)

I think the expectations were set so high for this show that no one "answer" will satisfy everyone. And I love that I still don't really know what's going on. I still think sometimes that Jacob is the bad guy (I think it's that creepy actor) and are they dead or not?

I'm not sure about the "sideways" leaps. Do not get why stopping the plane crash in one dimension or something changed events that happened before the plane crash (Jack having a son, Hurley being lucky, Shannon not being on the plane...) But I'm interested.

Eileen said...

This is so interesting! I hate the Jacob/Smokey thing, but like the sideways leaps. My boyfriend has this theory that both sets of characters will all end up in the exact same relationships, etc. at the end while taking totally separate journeys. An interesting free will/fate kind of debate.

I know Jacob and Smokey have been around forever, but I've never been interested in them. What will happen to Claire and her baby? That I'm interested in. Can Sawyer stop being a dick? That I'm interested in.

Maureen McGowan said...

I'm interested in those things, too, Eileen and they'd better damn well answer them!

I liked the Sawyer being a cop thing... And would Ben sell out Alex for his own gain.

The sideways things are interesting... I'm just not sure they needed that extra complication to all the things they need to explain.

But like I said, I'm loving this season. Never really stopped loving this show even though Sinead thinks I'm an idiot. :)

Molly O'Keefe said...

I;m interested in Sawyer's dick...I mean...wait a second...

Eileen said...

Well, at least we can all agree on Sawyer's dick. :-)

Maureen McGowan said...

LOL

I had to call Molly after she made that comment. ;)

Oh, and I have seen the horse penis episode of Spartacus now. :)

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