Thursday, May 27, 2010

Lost (TV Review)

This isn't going to be an in-depth examination of the meaning and mythos of Lost. There are a great many places online with people way smarter than me examining Lost till they are blue in the face. I'll leave it to you to dig up some of their juicy assessments at your leisure.

I feel compelled to write a little about the show since it has been at the apex of pop culture media these last six years and, if nothing else, this blog is about cool pop culture media.

I think I can honestly say that Lost is my favorite television show of all time. No other show engaged me like Lost did or prompted me to venture outside of the series proper to find clues, stories, and theories.

With the show ending by focusing heavily on the characters versus the island mythology, a lot of commenters have said the show was about the people on the island and not the island itself. This is a sentiment shared by the producers as well. I think it's a nice sentiment but I think the makers of the show and it's fans are forgetting what made Lost so engaging in the first place.

I do feel we got a little short changed on some of the island questions. It's a shame because as great as love triangles, the lovable fat man, and the charismatic con man are, Lost became LOST because of the theories and the strangeness of the island. I'm not going to list every mystery that I personally felt wasn't answered to my satisfaction but the mere fact that almost every single viewer of Lost has one or more lingering questions points to the fact that the writers needed to do a bit more before the show was gone for good.

Going back to the characters, I may have just mentioned that the island and the mysteries were bigger than the people, but the stories and relationships of the characters were the glue that held it all together.

Has there ever been a more lovable character than Hurley? My favorite kind of writing is where the characters in a story are self-aware that what is happening to them is odd and they comment on it and try to figure out why it's happening. I just can't stand characters that are along for the ride and don't ask why. Hurley always asked questions that we the viewers were asking and I loved him for it.

I have to mention one other stand out from the show. Has there ever been a more obvious example that the the Star Wars prequels were missing the roguish charm of Han Solo then the character of Sawyer? The success of Sawyer as a character proved to me that these fish out of water, good versus evil stories need a little bit of ambivalence and blurring of the lines between what is right and what is wrong. The on again off again of Jack and Kate would have gotten old really fast if Sawyer wasn't in the mix too.

I could literally list every character and twenty great moments but there's no need. Everyone that watched the show has their favorite moments and we each cherish them differently. Now that the story is complete, it feels good to have some closure but it's sad at the same time. I've heard people mention that every great book has to have an ending. Yes, this is true. Every great book or movie wraps up nicely. However, the majority of books and movies don't live with you for six years. You don't wait week to week and then eight months for the next chapter. If I live to be in my 80s, the six years I spent with Lost will represent almost 15% of my time on this earth.  That's quite a good chunk of time and it explains why people were so emotional to see the show end. I loved every second of it and I thank all the writers and actors for taking me on such a tremendous ride.

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