TV Round-Up: Lost

27 May

Helleeww! Well, I knew when I started a second blog that it’d get tough to keep content going at both; poor Murfins hasn’t been seeing that much action lately. Unless you count the damn-near endless hits that my Reason #924 Why I Love Phoenix Wright post keeps getting thanks to the weirdness that is StumbleUpon.

Anyway, the TV season is wrapping up, and I wanted to do some posts about the shows I watch and how I’m feelin’ about them.  I’ll start with the big one – LOST.

I’m not sure how much more ink I want to spill on it, but suffice to say I liked the finale. I didn’t love the final season – as nice as it was to see Sol Star on The Island, I thought they spent way too long in the early episodes introducing pointless new characters and then summarily killing them off. More to the point, I thought that the answers that they decided to provide might’ve been better left unexplained, and some of the explanations they did give were unclear in a way that didn’t serve any purpose.

My general take on the mythology was that in the end, The Island was pretty much the tower at the heart of Stephen King’s Dark Tower books. A sort of abstract (but real) metaphysical construct at the crux of existence where time and being are stitched together. The balance on The Island was maintained by the conflict between Jacob and the Man In Black. Because of their tumultuous past, there was great strife, both on The Island and in the rest of the world. So when our heroes were sent there, that was all real, and saving it was real, and some of them really made it off The Island, too.

With Hurley in charge, it’s kinda like a new era of spirituality for all the earth – the MIB and Jacob had been locked in a bitter, paranoid war for so long that it’ll be a relief for the rules to change. So, like, it was maybe even  this plea to be more open and relaxed with our beliefs, to change from the dogmatic and strife-filled belief systems that have dominated us in the past? Perhaps that’s taking it too far, but still, a nice thought.

And I like the idea that the sideways stuff was occurring outside of time entirely, that that universe just represented this sort of infinite blink of a moment between life and death. So even though the characters didn’t all die at the same time and absolutely didn’t all die in the initial plane crash (that reading of the finale baffles me, especially since those final lingering shots of the wreckage weren’t creatively dictated by the show’s creators), they did all die eventually. As the line said, “Everybody dies.” In the parallel reality, the *when* is unimportant – it exists at all times at once, long after everyone had died, and before, too, and even during. So sure, everyone here is dead, but that doesn’t mean they all died at the same time. Everyone dies eventually, so everyone is here.

But sheesh, there I go trying to understand the mythology when the entire impact of the show was from the characters and the relationships they built with each other and with us. Every single “remembering” moment in the sideways reality got to me, mainly because of all the lovely reacting that the various cast members were doing. I’ve always felt that LOST’s actors outclass its writing, and that was definitely the case in the finale. So many of the lines were embarassingly on-the-nose, but the actors carried the scenes anyway – the looks on their faces as they suddenly remembered one another… seriously good stuff.

When Hurley went to see the still-unaware Charlie,  you could see the look of joy on his face as his old friend came to the door, just sort of this barely contained glee at seeing Charlie alive and knowing what was in store for him. Awww! And of course, Sawyer and Juliet, the couple that took me by surprise last season, stole the show entirely; I seriously spent the entire episode waiting for their moment together, and it didn’t disappoint.  Elizabeth Mitchell is like some sort of glowing goddess, and she deserves to be on a better show than stupid V.

But anyway. I lapsed from LOST at the end of season 2, mainly because I was frustrated about the sloppy mysteries and the meandering storytelling. I came back in season 4 and I remember my first thought was, “Hey, I actually missed these characters. Huh.” I realized that the thing I liked about the show was the characters and their stories, not the broader mythology, which of course since then has become a bit of a critical meme about the show. I was glad to come back to it, and also glad that the finale was also about the journey and not the answers, about giving the characters closure.

It seems like most of the shows I like tend to run one or two seasons before petering out, and often the series finales get aired in some summer burn-off or something. So it was fun to have such a big pop-culture moment to get behind, and I doubt we’ll see a series finale get as hugely hyped for some time. I’ve read a few people say that above all, they’re just relieved that the show is done, that they finally won’t have to talk about and obsess over it any more. I actually don’t feel that way – I already miss having it around, and I’m looking forward to whatever new show will assume its place at the Facebook water cooler.

Next up, thoughts on Glee as it enters the end of its first season.

2 Responses to “TV Round-Up: Lost”

  1. thesoniashow May 27, 2010 at 11:52 am #

    I have been dying to read your thoughts about the finale, Kirk. You didn’t disappoint!

    • Kirk May 27, 2010 at 5:13 pm #

      Thanks, Sonia! Feels good to see that so many people felt the same way about it as I did, even though there are plenty of folks who hated it. (For a good time, check out Slate’s Lost roundtable. Yikes.)

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