Friday, March 06, 2009
Being Lost On Lost
I was probably born jaded, because, for as long as I can remember, I've resented any artistic endeavor that becomes wildly popular. My assumption is anything that could be consumed by the masses is most likely mediocre. I've never seen a single episode of Survivor, only one of American Idol, and until recently, I had never seen LOST. Granted, Lost did occur while I was in college, without a television, and when I did have access to one I was usually watching Special Victims Unit. But there's always TV on DVD. By the time I got around to feigning any interest in the show, four seasons in, it seemed like a lost cause. Pun intended.
But when I saw the pleading look in my boyfriend's eyes on the night of the season premiere about two months ago, I knew I'd have to bite the bullet and watch the show. And, miraculously, even though I had missed out on nearly four seasons of material, I found myself enjoying it! Mostly because it's totally ridiculous.
So, there were people.
Their plane crashed.
They got stuck on this island.
The island was bad, and lots of shit went down.
They (some of them) escaped.
People remaining on the island are like, time-traveling, constantly.
For some unknown reason, the escapees have to return.
Let's face it, the main reason I like the show is because of stuff like this:
Oh my God! It's a giant statue foot! But wait?! It only has four toes? What the heck? How creepy! What could it all mean?! This theory really got me going, honestly. Whoa! So it has to do with the fact that babies once thrived here and then their statue got destroyed and now no babies survive? Or . . . or is it Anubis, the gate-keeper of the underworld?
There's also a smoke monster. It reminds me of the oil monster in FernGully, which is really disturbing. I've only seen this guy once, but suffice it to say it was pretty scary.
Watching Lost without having any genuine idea of its narrative arc, makes for lots of listening to the show's fans try to explain something, like a character's back story. People really can't, or won't explain anything fully. In this way, the show functions as a cult, a club, that unless you've spent the time and energy watching all four seasons, you will never be fully inducted. I felt the same way with Harry Potter. Having scoffed at the books, I was surprised when I felt a bit sad when the seventh and final book came out. So I read all of them. It took about two weeks, and you know what? I loved the things. Reading Harry Potter, as it came to a close, felt like being a part of something huge. While reading the sixth book on a plane from Atlanta, the forty-ish man sitting next to me said, "Six, huh? Yeah, that one's a doozy!" It was incredible. And yes, I do get chills when I hear the theme song . . . Harry Potter 6, this summer!
Potter aside, I'm already falling down on the job with Lost. Hell, I haven't seen any of the episodes and I'm forgetting to watch the new ones, too. So who knows if I'll follow-through. Mega-season shows take a lot of stamina and dedication. But Lost has become another reproach against my snobbish ways. Maybe it's a popular show because it's good. If the writers can really tie everything up in a way that makes sense (Egypt! Hades! Mythology!) then hell, I guess I'll start from the beginning.