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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

IN DEFENSE OF LOST


Let me tell you about the conversation that I’ve had at least six times today. 

ROB: So excited for the LOST season finale tonight.

SOMEONE: (response #1) I know. I can’t wait. 

SOMEONE: (response #2) You still watch that? 


So first, here is why you should be watching LOST. It is a show that loves it’s characters. It’s a show centered around providence, faith, philosophy, literature, and it is a show that is redefining the very nature of what television and storytelling can be. And that just doesn’t come around very often. 


Still, there are reasons that so many people are frustrated with LOST and they are good reasons. Or at least understandable reasons. But those need to be defused so you can go watch this great show. It’s not for everyone, but there are really smart people who I respect who should be watching this show. So this is my attempt to debunk all of your excuses. 


Reason #1 What up with the polar bears and black smoke? 

When LOST premiered people expected a show about beautiful people running around on beach. It would be a hybrid between Survivor and Baywatch.  But then something went wrong. It started with the dinosaur sound in the pilot. Soon there were polar bears, the black smoke which sounded like a printer circa 1986 when it moved around, and a hatch with a button that had to be pressed everyone 108 minutes. All the sudden everyone wanted to know what’s going on here? Are we watching a Sci-Fi? This isn’t what I signed up for.  


People felt like there was a bait and switch. 


But the reality is LOST always has been a human story. But it’s also an allegory, a fantasy, a mythic and an epic. It the 2000’s Star Wars or The Lord of The Rings. The elements of the supernatural and science make the show much more than just an adventure show about people hunting for pigs and trying to stay alive by the fire. And like I said, you just don’t see these types of shows on Network TV.


 Reason #2 I don’t have time


Come on. You’re reading my blog. You spend half the day on twitter and facebook. You can watch LOST.


Reason #3 It’s just one big confusing soap opera.


Wrong again. A Soap Opera equals lame writing, acting, music, sets, and just all around badness. 10 years from now Soap Operas won’t exist. Whereas LOST has the most compelling storytelling this side of HBO, the effects (minus the lame CGI sub last week), the performances, the writing are all the best on Network television. 


Reason #4 It’s too geeky


Greatness inspires geekyness. People are geeks for The Rolling Stones, Elvis, Star Trek, Star Wars, and DC Talk. None of these people, movies, or bands can be held responsible for the lame keychains and geeky tee-shirts that spring up as a result of fandom. It just comes with the territory.


Anyway, there are lots of other reasons to be frustrated with LOST that I just don’t have time for. If there are more reasons you can’t stand LOST leave them in the comment section and I will tell you where you are misguided. 


And to all the Losties I can’t wait for the finale tonight. I got money that Charlie is going to show up somewhere. 


7 comments:

gregg hampton said...

i love LOST, you know this...
but i'm starting to think "i love(d) lost"

complaints?
complaints:
1. this season has been the most disappointing while having built up the most tension and potential pay-offs
2. they got back to the island too easily... i mean way too easy. it was like playing basketball at the Y right after the kids league finished...the hoops still set at 7 feet. they got back too easy
3. they have all but abandoned the stories of the other 30 some odd people still on the island that got left behind when the island disappeared. where is rose? there are characters they spent a lot of time on that have been neglected for an entire season.
4. they just haven't told us enough. at this point i feel like they could tell us everything we need to know and end it tonight. why aren't they telling us much if there really is that much to tell? its like when i would take 2 pages of material and stretch it into an 18 page paper in college... they're stretching and it doesn't feel good to the viewer.

reasons to still watch?
reasons to still watch:
1. investment. i haven't invested 5 years of viewing to give up now.
2. it will be good. it better be good. the end will/better justify the means.
3. all the reasons you said. the acting is good. the drama is good. the story is crazy, but good.

there were moments this season that were awesome...it just feels they were too few and far between. this felt like it would be a season of huge reveals.

heres hoping for an incredible finale and a final season worthy of watching 5 years and waiting 8 months between seasons.

nathan-hendricksen said...

i don't watch the show, but about reason #1: wasn't Lord of the Rings the Lord of the Rings of the 2000's? Lost is more like The Prisoner, or Star Trek (except successful). i'm just saying..

Rob Stennett said...

Greg,

You of coarse have great opinions and brilliant insights on LOST. And you are right about most of these things. However, let me also add:

1) This season has been the most disappointing
I just can't agree with that. Season 4 I think was the weakest season. The reason: Getting off the island, while a brilliant twist defeated the purpose of the show... which leads me to:
2) They got off the island to easy
On this of coarse you are absolutely right. But once they got back this season has been at its strongest. The show has been about flashbacks, about characters getting second chances and reliving them, and now that they are all collectively in a flashback like one Sam Beckett trying to right what once went wrong...it's just been great man.
3) they abandoned the other 30
Rose and Bernard will show up. Nobody cares about anyone else. Niki and Palo showed us that.
4) they just haven't told us enough
They've told us more then they ever have. But this show was never, about plot, it was about character. And now that Jack is facing the island and trying to destroy it (like Nieche trying to destroy God) we're learning its not the what that's important but the why. I don't think they can answer everything tonight, and yes they've stumbled along the way, but man what a ride

Rob Stennett said...

Nathan, you're right. It is more like Star Trek, but it has the cultural significance that's even bigger, there's really nothing to compare the show to.

Chris Mueller said...

YES!! Rob I agree with you 100%. I think a lot of people don't know a great story when they see it because of all this...this... "visual pollution" we see everyday. Lost is an incredible show with even more incredible characters. I believe your spot on with why most people don't like it. So many people thought it was going to be a show completely about people trying to survive after being stranded on on island, a modern day Gilligan's Island perhaps. Much like it was in the 1st season. So many people weren't open to trying something new and different when it started to stray from the "normal" path.

My favorite thing about LOST is the way that they stick to their story and slowly widen your view of it. So many shows will start with an idea and then they run out of things to do with it. They then completely change the direction of the story. With Lost, the story has always stayed the same but with each episode we realize that we were only seeing a small part of a much bigger picture.

I really really thought Charlie was going to be in the finale as well. I got super excited when they first showed Jacob because I truly thought he looked like charlie. Too bad though. I hope we get to see him again before the end. The finale was INCREDIBLE! I want to see a blog from you on your thoughts or theories?

JT said...

There's a simple cut to the quick argument about Lost, make them watch the first disk of the first season.

If they aren't hooked, they may have no soul.

When people come in on season four, and see all this tripped stuff going down, it's hard for them to get stoked.

Disc one is key.

Chris Well said...

I'm waiting until the entire series is done and hear whether fans liked how it turned out - and then watch the whole series on DVD.

(I waited for ALIAS to finish, too ... and when even fans weren't all that broken up it ended, I didn't even watch the DVDs.)