Thursday, June 3, 2010

On "Lost"

Plot: Oceanic Flight 815 crashes on an island with mysterious properties. The survivors adapt to their environment with grudging acceptance of their situation, but they never give up hope of returning to their former lives and loved ones.

Conflict: Six seasons of conflict with the “Others,” exiled “Others,” Dharma Initiative folk, and the smoke monster, not to mention one another and themselves from time to time.

Characters: Most redeeming aspect of the show by far. Jack, Sawyer, Kate, Sun and Jin, Hurley, Sayid, Ben, John Locke, Desmond Hume, Richard, Jacob, Charlie and Claire. You really fell in love with these people over the course of half a decade. I cried when many died. It was cathartic. I would be lying if I said otherwise.

Technique: Hybrid frame tale with island as the frame and flashbacks, flashforwards, and sideways [quasi-Purgatory] flashes, of particular characters as the individual short stories.

Allusion: Cultural smorgasbord, a veritable pastiche of religious-philosophical-scientific eclecticism,
postmodern mythology that doesn’t ultimately add up to anything coherent or cogent.

Soundtrack: Evocative in just the right way, at just the right time, in just the right proportion.

Special Effects: J.J. Abrams.

Verdict: Lovable characters played by solid actors made the show enjoyable. Bizarro storyline, however, made for a bait-and-switch mythology that promised so much, yet delivered so little. Note to self: You can’t be all things to all people, or you compromise the integrity of your narrative. Pick something and run with it for God’s sake!

1 comment:

  1. Funny thing about Lost. Their "true" fans were so connected, that a lot of the mysteries that people think weren't explained, like the polar bears, were explained, they just never had a moment in the spotlight.

    So a key to remember is that when people watch mysteries, they're not really thinking, "What does it mean?" but, "Why is it important?"