Sep 132012
 

Previously, on Lost

Samius posted in his blog yesterday about the shows he is following on Netflix and it made me stop and realize, hey wait I’m watching TV shows on Netflix too.

For the most part, TV is dead to me. It’s been years since I’ve followed anything on TV other than Denver Broncos games, Olympics, the occasional Big Bang Theory and the always-jam-packed-with-excitement How It’s Made. I was shocked – shocked! – when our tape-delay caught up with the Broncos game broadcast and we had to watch it live. As in, live with commercials.

Oh right. Commercials. I remember now. They suck.

But lately this has changed. My Gamer Girl likes to watch TV while we eat. She is aware of my TV dislike and put a lot of effort into finding things that I will like too. First it was Arrested Development on Netflix which neither of us had seen live. Good choice, fun TV. Then it was Firefly and Serenity, among my favorites, can’t go wrong there, and she’d never seen them. Another good choice albeit one that was exhausted rather quickly.

Her next suggestion was Lost. I was not very enthusiastic.

Unlike Arrested Development, I knew all about Lost; I’d avoided it on purpose. It was immensely popular when it was first broadcast, all but dominating pop culture. There were web sites and Easter eggs everywhere, a constant presence for years.

I read about Lost in the news; it was hard to avoid. I remember that people were intensely disappointed when it wrapped – not because it was over but because of how it ended – and I felt that justified my lack of interest over the years; I’d been right. I filed Lost away as something to forget and moved on with my life.

Until now. As it happens, my Gamer Birl just loved the show, and was excited by the opportunity to see it again on Netflix. She was certain that I would become hooked on it too.

No way. Nuh uh. Not gonna happen.

I do like watching it with her, but only because she likes it so much, and I like her, and I like seeing her enjoying something so visibly and completely.

But I’m not going to get involved. I already know how the show ends. Or at least I know it ends badly and that many of the questions it raises were never answered.

Yet I’ve noticed that I do spend time when I’m not watching the show conjecturing with my Gamer Girl about what’s going to happen next, or how this person is going to wind up or is that person going to die. I make predictions about the show, usually I am crazy wrong but sometimes I nail it.

It drives me crazy how the smallest little detail is actually a clue as to what will happen in the future – amazing continuity control, it rewards those who watch attentively, but other times the characters act so completely illogically. Like the time one of the characters runs up to the group yelling about somone being injured in a plane while using a radio. Keep in mind this is a show about crash survivors who are stranded on a desert island with no visible hope of rescue. All of the characters start dealing with the injured person and the action moves on. Not one person even asked about the plane and the radio. Not one. Did I mention that the radio was described to the group as working?

But the worst is the crazy impossible coincidences.

Everyone who seen the most recent Star Trek understands that Lost’s writer, JJ Abrams, is completely shameless when it comes to the use of coincidence to close plot loops. If you didn’t see the movie, there is a scene where Kirk – who has been kicked off the Enterprise onto the closest random planet – is staggering blindly about in a deadly blizzard. He makes his way into the first shelter he could find, could be anywhere in the universe, but no it happens to be the exact same cave on the exact same planet where Old Spock had been marooned months earlier. Out of all the universe, this planet. Out of all surface area on this planet, this cave.

Shameless. And jarring, to the point of disturbing one’s ability to suspend disbelief.

The point here is not the likelihood that Jack’s dad and Claire’s dad to turn out to be the same guy or that Locke’s dad and Sawyer’s nemesis turn out to be the same guy – as jarringly distracting as they were – the point here is that these things annoyed me.

But not as much as the most annoying plot twist of all (at least up until Season 4 Episode 3 which is as far as I’ve gotten) where Locke’s father goes unconscious on his way to a hospital in Florida and wakes up on the island. How the hell did that happen? They don’t even bother to explain it. Seriously annoying.

So it seems that I have become invested in Lost, in spite of my best efforts not to. The show has snagged me even as it annoys me. Maybe because it annoys me? I hope not, that would be quite intellectually perverse. But I am looking forward to seeing if my theories about the rest of the show are right.

I’m not a Lost-O-Phile. I’m not obsessed. I’m not going to go look for websites about the Dharma Initiative (if any of those Easter Eggs are up after all these years). But I am enjoying the show and I am caught up in the plot twists.

My Gamer Girl is right, she wins again. Actually that’s not a bad thing, things generally work out well for me when she wins.

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  5 Responses to “Previously, on Lost”

Comments (5)
  1. Well while they may not explain how Locke ‘s dad mysteriously shows up on the island at that point it could be explained by the series finale

  2. I watched the first season and thought it was simi – suprising. I have DnD brain so i have a hard not to try and see what i coming next to be ready for anything. But as the second season started i felt that it turned really easy to read and fell out of it.

    Might have to try to rewatch it again, i mean i remember a super hot chick Kate…..

    Hot chicks can too make watching a show worth wild for a little bit.

  3. My wife and I got hooked the first year, but to varying degrees a little less each year. At first it kept us hooked with all of the clues, surprises, intertwined little mysteries of what’s going on… But I think a fair amount of what ended up losing our interest is that it seemed to continually add more twists and mysteries without ever answering the old ones or tying in with them. I guess we needed a little reward once in awhile for watching and some resolution. There were some, I’m sure, but my general memory now is that we got invested, guessed about what would happen but never found out whether our conjecture was right or not as they didn’t tie back in to answer many of them. Maybe if we’d continued to watch as closely…but from what I’ve heard that’s not the case.

  4. I disagree that the ending was “bad”. Sure, it wasn’t what a lot of people wanted, but I don’t think it was “bad”. But when you get there, if you really don’t like how it ended, then go find the “Jimmy Kimmel – Live” episode that followed the series finale and watch the “alternate endings”…then see whether you prefer any of the “alternates” to the original ending.
    ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. I was, and kinda still am, a total Lost-O-Phile. I’d never planned on watching it; I worked nights when it premiered, so I’d learned not to get into any particular TV shows because chances were, I wouldn’t get to see them on a regular basis. Long story slightly shorter, I ended up watching “Lost” on my night off when whatever it was that I’d intended to watch wasn’t on. The next day I went to WalMart and bought two 10-packs of VHS tapes to make sure I’d never miss an epi.

    (It didn’t hurt that Sayid was so often shirtless…)

What do you think?

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