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Lost in Lost – Why I love Lost

With less than a week left before 'Lost' is done, I wanted to take a step back this week and reflect on some of the things that have made 'Lost' a great experience for six seasons.

Well, the dust has settled since “Across the Sea” aired last week on Lost. The general consensus seems to be that the episode was … disappointing, to say the least. Personally, I didn’t love the episode, but I certainly don’t understand a lot of the extreme sentiment floating out there. I don’t want to dwell on it though, everyone is entitled to feel their feelings.

Through my reading, I did find a couple interesting articles that I wanted to share. As always, Jeff Jensen did an amazing with his recap and analysis of the episode over at Entertainment Weekly. He was one of the rare analysts who came down generally in favor of the episode. I really enjoyed James Poniewozik’s take on the episode from his blog on the Time website. It was a sensible critique of the episode with a bunch of good points. For those of you wondering what the brains behind Lost (and the writers of the episode) Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse thought of the reaction to the episode, you can check out this interview they did with Alan Sepinwall. It might just make you angrier, though.

I don’t really want to spend this whole space on the episode. It is what it is. I don’t think I’m going to be able to change anyone’s opinion of it, and don’t really know that I want to, or that the episode deserves it. Even I will admit that it was a let down. My big hope is that when put into context with the rest of the series, it will hold up much better. We’ll see. What I want to do is take a step back as we move into the final hours of the series and reflect on all the things that have made Lost such a great experience over these past six seasons.

  • The Characters: First and foremost the characters are what make up this show. I think the lack of familiar faces was certainly one issue that a lot of viewers had with “Across the Sea.” For me, it was one of the reasons that I didn’t find it too upsetting. At the end of the day, this show has always been a show about Jack and Kate and Sawyer and Locke and the rest of the survivors of 815 (along with Ben, Desmond, et al). If the back story of Jacob and Smokey is a little weak, it really doesn’t effect the characters that we care so much about.Over six seasons these characters have become extremely deep and vivid. Are they likable? Certainly they are deeply flawed people, and yes, some of them are hard to like, but that may just make them more interesting. The growth has been impressive. Look at the arcs of characters like Sawyer and Jin. Do you remember how awful Jin was in season one? He was possessive, selfish, chauvinistic, and at times cruel. Sawyer went from selfish conman to leader. Ben has gone the gamut as well, starting as a weaselly villain and turning into a sympathetic, if not pathetic, character.
  • The Storytelling: I’ve talked before about how well the flashback technique has served this show. Regardless of the plots and characters, the storytelling is really excellent. By flashing back through the characters’ pre-crash lives (usually one per episode), the audience was able to learn more about the characters, who were largely a mystery at the beginning of the series, while informing the action and behavior on the island.Perhaps the thing I appreciate the most is that the minds behind the show knew that they couldn’t sustain the flashbacks. They were nimble and clever enough to change up the storytelling while maintaining the same feel of the show … twice no less! After the flashbacks, they moved on to flashforwards, and in this season flashes to the parallel universe where flight 815 did not crash.
  • The Mysteries: To say that there are a lot of mysteries on Lost is quite the understatement. The intrigue, the questions, all the unknowns — I love them. I love that the show invites its viewers to participate. Certainly, we don’t have a say in the outcome of the show (though fan reaction did play a role in the deaths of Nikki and Paulo), but you have to engage your imagination to enjoy Lost at every level. Answers are hard to come by, never simple, and almost always open to interpretation. This may frustrate some, but I love it. I love being able to wonder and postulate on what things mean.Twin Peaks is one of my all time favorite shows, and there were no answers in that series. None whatsoever. Everything remained open to interpretation. It was a bold choice and I loved it. I know Lost will provide more insight than Twin Peaks did, but in reading interviews and listening to the podcast, you can bet that Lost is going to leave some things for us to discuss.

It’s hard to believe that in less than one week the show is going to be over. Everything is going to have been played out. I can’t wait to see how it is all going to end and begin to discuss what it all means.

Photo Credit: ABC

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Categories: | Clack | Columns | General | Lost | TV Shows |

9 Responses to “Lost in Lost – Why I love Lost”

May 17, 2010 at 11:39 AM

You know Bob I wasn’t really angry. Not nearly as angry as I was after “Flashes before your eyes”. Back then I had my epiphany that this show just doesn’t live up to the hype and since then I simply came back and enjoyed it for what it was.

But not calling it out for the grave errors in storytelling would’ve been even worse for me. You know, like pretending it is more than it ever was and ever will be.

This morning while driving to work I thought about how they filmed the polar bear the first time around. You know, throwing a dirty white pelt in the general direction of the camera.

The show’s one giant bear pelt to me right now. It simply wasn’t as easy to spot it.

But again, I am not angry at the show. Anymore. I still watch it and enjoy it, like I now also watch “Bones”. I had the same big angry moment with that show already too.

The problem simply is: “Lost” could’ve been more with a little better storytelling. Right now it looks a lot like “Superman Returns”. Kinda nice to watch once.

May 17, 2010 at 12:55 PM

Yeah LOST is a joke. They had the last three years to set things up to make it rewatchable, and they wasted it. I’ll watch until the end just because, but I doubt I’ll even watch the finale next week because I might be going out. It’s a show, it’s a fun one, but I’m not expecting any real answers.

May 17, 2010 at 1:29 PM

The complaints have merit, but I’m trying to wait until the finale to pass judgement on the entire series.

May 17, 2010 at 4:37 PM

Valid point. Problem is I’ve suspended my frustration this long and this episode last week which was a bona fide example of what was wrong with this show all along – I mean do you honestly believe in the remaining 3.5 hours they will make up for all of it?

Like I said, I’m not angry, I’m not even frustrated. It’s more this feeling of “meh”. No anticipation.

Then again that was the case with “Iron Man 2″ for me as well. My point is: I never bought DVDs or BluRays of this show and it seems I was right not to. And I most likely never will. I always held out on this because I couldn’t be shure that I was wrong.

Let’s wait til next wednesday. Maybe I’ll be “right” then. I honestly don’t want to be “right”. I would love for all of this to turn out to be abso-effing-lutely grandeur. But at the I feel like I have to be delusional to still expect that to happen…

May 17, 2010 at 5:15 PM

I could not help myself. I viewed some spoilers since my last post. Predictable and boring. If they are to be believed.

I might be right there with you thankful I did not purchase dvds.

May 17, 2010 at 6:10 PM

I just don’t get it folks. If you have only been watching the show to see the ending you were and are doomed to be disappointed, how could it possibly live up to that if it is the only thing you have been thinking about for the past four, five, or six years? How can you completely discount over 100 hours of a show that you enjoyed just because the end didn’t meet your every expectation? If you really feel that way, I have nothing but sympathy for you and all those wasted hours of your life. I really hope it does please everyone, but I know it won’t.

May 17, 2010 at 6:34 PM

I don’t get me either sometimes ;)

Not discounting the mysteries that were fun to ponder, just extremely wary that the ending will be predictable and that said mysteries will only continue to be mysteries. I think I deserve some answers. Don’t you want season 1 to be tied up with this final?

May 17, 2010 at 6:44 PM

I hope you know I wasn’t just talking about you, bsg. It just seems like so many people are setting themselves up in a self fulfilling prophecy.

As I said in the original post, I watch because of the mysteries, not to get answers to them. Certainly some are going to be kept for us to wonder and theorize about, but I think we will have enough information to put the pieces together.

As for linking season one to the finale, I feel like we are already seeing it happen. The smoke monster has turned into a large part of the series. We know why the people were brought to the island, have the beginning of a sense as to why the island is important, and have even gotten some straight answers on long held questions. The whispers, the skeletons in the cavem the visions of dead people.

I am determined to keep my unrelenting optimism about the show, I am a cynic when it comes to just about everything else I my life. I need this! :-)

May 17, 2010 at 8:03 PM

I gotcha then. ;)