Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A LOST Post

If you have not watched the season finale of LOST, or if you have not even watched the series, then you may be spoiled by the topic discussed below. Because the topic is LOST. If you have been completely under a rock for the last 6 years, LOST is, err... was an hour long drama on ABC. And now, from this point on, I will assume you know about the show and have watched the end of the series.

When I was just out of college in 2004, I was working for a small web developer doing Flash animations for websites and interactive business cards. My first post-college job. Not glamorous, but it paid the rent, and I enjoyed it. I usually worked in the evenings after normal business hours because I had a second job at a book store, and eventually doing actual accounting work, but that's a tangent I don't want to get into. The point of all this is that I watched the very first episode of LOST while I was at work. I had seen promotions for it, and if I was honest, I wanted to watch it for two reasons.

1) Merry Brandybuck was going to be in it. Or rather, Dominic Monaghan, and I was a big fan of Lord of the Rings.

2) J.J. Abrams was producing it, and I had just recently started watching and loving his other show, Alias.

So I found myself at work on the night it premiered as there was a TV in the office, so I turned it on to watch while I worked. I ended up not working at all, and was instead glued to the screen. Don't worry, I didn't bill my employer for the time I watched. The Pilot was incredible. I watched the whole season from the office. I didn't get TV at my house, so I watched it at work. And because I was at work, I never thought to tell Teresa about the show. Or maybe I did, but it didn't really interest her at the time.

Anyway, soon after the first season was over, Teresa and I got married and moved to Boston, so now we have TV and we live together and I'm not working weeknights. If I'm going to watch this show, she probably needs to be on board so we can watch it together. After watching the first season with her, she was hooked, and the rest is history.

And now it all really is history. Sunday night, the last episode aired and LOST is officially no more. The joy of LOST was that it was a mystery, and a journey, and a character drama all wrapped up into one. There was fantasy, science fiction, romance, action, and then crazy stuff that you can't really categorize. It was a great show. Like any show it had its up and downs, but it kept bringing us back for more each and every year.

I think it was in Season 3 where it was announced that they would end the show after six seasons on purpose, regardless of ratings in order to make sure the writing was purposeful and that it didn't just dwindle and get canceled without a solid ending. I'm glad they decided that, but it's still funny to think I don't have anything to watch tonight at nine o'clock.

So for those of you that have watched it. What did you think? Did the ending satisfy you? Did you see it coming? Did it make you mad? The narrative of the story has always been about character development both on and off the island. For this last season we've seen a strange parallel world. Now it turns out that parallel world was a fantasy. A place where the spirits of those have passed on figure out that they're dead and remember the people and things that were important to them. It's not explained exactly how this world came to be, except that it was willed into being so they could see each other again before "moving on." I've seen some people say it was Hurley, as the new protector of the island, who created this place for everyone.

I'm okay with it. It's a nice safe way to show everyone being happy and remembering the best times of their lives. But it's also not enough for me. While lots of people posited that the passengers were dead and in purgatory on the island, the show was never about the afterlife for me. It was about the island, and why they were brought there, and how it affected them when they were there. Now that it's over, I want to know more about the Light on the island, the people who have protected it, and how they chose to do so. I want to know what the island needs protecting from now that the Man in Black is dead. Honestly, I'd be thrilled to see some episodes dealing with the misadventures of Hurley and Ben on the island. Though at this point, a comedic spin off to LOST seems kind of silly.

There's also a lot of Dharma mysteries to be expounded on. What they discovered, what they did with it, how they found about it, and what Jacob's response was to it. In the end, the writer's decided these weren't important things for us to know. The important things were the character's journeys, and how their times on the island were some of the best times and relationships they had ever experienced.

Maybe sometime in the next year or two we'll go back and watch it from the beginning. I'd really like to see if watching it with the knowledge of how it ends highlights anything that we may have missed before. I think LOST was a unique experience that will be some time before it's reproduced on television. In the mean time, I'll have to find some other programs to fill my entertainment needs.

1 comment:

Nora said...

I read somewhere that the sideways world was the Losties being able to take the lessons they'd learned in life on the island and apply them to be better people. (Which - if you're already dead, do you *need* to be a better person at that point?) But, it made as much sense as anything else I've read.

I still have mixed feelings about the finale. I loved the closure of the eye and the way that went full circle. I also want to know more about the Island itself. And, when you compare the pilot and the finale, they didn't bookend well - every first and last chapter should work together, and I think these had more of a disconnect which was a bit more unsatisfying for me. But, still a very good show all in all, and I genuinely did care about the characters (well, except Kate) in a way that I don't in most shows.