Hopelessly Lost

Lost, the television show in which no laws of physics, biology or narrative arc are sacred, is a hopelessly tangled mess of interconnected plot lines and mysteries that makes the best seasons of the X-files look about as complicated as an episode of Two and a Half Men. It is fifteen balls being juggled by a man standing on a tightrope a thousand feet over the burning maw of an active volcano in the heart of a hurricane, and if you expect me to look away even for a second, then you, sir, are the crazy one.

As the show careens, an out of control semi plummeting down the mountain with the brake line cut, toward an inevitable May conclusion I devour each episode with fierce intensity, begging the writers to turn the screw just one more time, vaguely hoping that the whole thing shatters. It's like watching Michael J. Fox play Jenga.

No, I can't believe I just said that either.

I'm like a lot of initial viewers in that around the middle of Season 2 -- you know, the one where the show went from cool mystery about a group of survivors in the pacific to a twisted morality tale of spirituality versus rationality as seen through the lens of cursed numbers -- I gave up on Lost. Perhaps unlike many of them, however, two seasons later I came back when it was announced that the show would have a solid end date. I caught up on the back episodes all at once and have been hopelessly engrossed in the show ever since, at least in part because I abandoned the preconceived notions I first came to show with and let the rapids drag me under. Once you bump your head on enough boulders, it really kinda stops hurting so damn much.

I won't begin to belabor the largely unintelligible plot twists, whose cartography would challenge the constant flirtations with doom of the North Yungas Road. Frankly, I should get a humanitarian award for restraining myself from going into detail about my philosophies on Christian allegory as described by the story of Locke and Ben.

Here's the thing. I forgive Lost all its transgressions precisely because it is so unpologetically audacious. It never backs away. It is unrelenting. It never consults a focus group. It never bends to the will of its viewers, and it is always entertaining. Haters be damned, I love Lost.

Comments

I love it, too. My wife and I came to the Lost game a little late, but with netflix streaming - we watched the last 5 seasons over the holidays, and are pumped to come in for the final season. That said - I wonder how the hell they are going to wrap it all up!

I wasn't turned on to Lost until season 4 was available on Netflix streaming. After finishing up the available seasons of Heroes, a friend and I gave the first episode of Lost a try and were hopelessly hooked. The sad part is how we pretty much consumed seasons 1-4 in an extended marathon over the holidays. We started to feel like we were living on the island ourselves.

Here's the thing. I forgive Lost all its transgressions precisely because it is so unpologetically audacious. It never backs away. It is unrelenting. It never consults a focus group. It never bends to the will of its viewers, and it is always entertaining. Haters be damned, I love Lost.

Lost is my favorite show on TV for this reason. I can't wait to see what they do next and I can't wait to see how they end it. I've watched it from the very first episode, it's been a roller coaster of a ride and I'll miss it after this season.

It's like watching Michael J. Fox play Jenga.

You sir, are going to hell for that one.

You know, for all it's hopeless plot twists, at least it's trying to do something cool. I guess that has to be better than Generic Sitcom #5,273,864 that seems to pop up and disappear regularly on TV.

I could say that I hate to love but that would be an horrible lie, I got hooked on the very first episode and consume it every single week it is on like a the impossible chilli dog that you can't get in my adoptive country of Australia. There are many may people who have given up on the show over the years just becuase they feel they will never catch up if they miss just a few episodes.

However for the faithful that watch week after week are rewarded with the greatest gift that has ever been bestowed to TV viewers since Twin Peaks. No matter how much thought you put into it you really have no chance in hell of predicting what is going to happen next. Sure you can look up spoliers that leak out but in the end the Bad Robot crew have constantly f*cked with our head and "one upped" our most twisted guesses, and I love them for it.

Then add in that there are so many layers to the show and so friggin many hidden meanings woven into every character and object. I would say they show is actually a labor of love for most of the writers and I will always be greatful to them for proving me wrong week after week and making me jump off the couch yelling "HOLY sh*t!"

My wife and I are working our way through season four now (thanks, Hulu and Netflix), and I have to say that I thought the show got more interesting, not less, when it "went from [a] cool mystery about a group of survivors in the pacific to a twisted morality tale of spirituality versus rationality as seen through the lens of cursed numbers." My only problem now is that it's becoming harder and harder to avoid having the surprises from seasons four and five revealed amidst so much discussion about the latest episodes.

Kosars wrote:
Here's the thing. I forgive Lost all its transgressions precisely because it is so unpologetically audacious. It never backs away. It is unrelenting. It never consults a focus group. It never bends to the will of its viewers, and it is always entertaining. Haters be damned, I love Lost.

Lost is my favorite show on TV for this reason. I can't wait to see what they do next and I can't wait to see how they end it. I've watched it from the very first episode, it's been a roller coaster of a ride and I'll miss it after this season.

Yep, same for me. For all it's myriad flaws I can't help love it, much like Anne Hathaway.

I sit and wait for the DVDs to come out before I watch a season. An episode a week just frustrates me too much, unfortunately that does mean I'm fully 12 months behind the curve, but it's worth the wait.

Oh man do I agree! Every now and then I feel like I can't take another ridiculous twist (last night's for example), but then I say "oh you!!! crazy Lost writers! I love you!" And I'm back in. While the first two seasons are the most magical, the subsequent years are an exercise in chaos that I frankly would normally never believe could be pulled into cohesion. But I have faith that they will.

I watched the first season, and then gave up about three episodes into the second season when I started finding it tedious. However, I'm going to wait until the finale airs, see if the cries are "Bravo!" or "You bastards!" and then make my decision about giving the whole series a watch on Netflix. I'm open to the idea that I just wasn't in the mood for Lost the first time, so it'll be interesting to see how this last season is received.

I gave up at pretty much the same spot as Elysium. Now I'm back in, despite my wishes, because I only have one (1) TV and one (1) newly-obsessed lady housemate.

Clemenstation wrote:

I gave up at pretty much the same spot as Elysium. Now I'm back in, despite my wishes, because I only have one (1) TV and one (1) newly-obsessed lady housemate.

This is another reason why PC gaming is great! I don't watch TV, except for the random stuff I want (on the computer) and cable doesn't show that anyways. This is also why these front page articles bore me, yet I still look into them with an I can't stop myself sort of disgust, just like real TV.

Love lost. The show has just gotten better and better with each seasons. There is only one episode I really didn't like, it was the one with the two new people they inserted into the show and made it look like they were there all along.

Yes, thanks. I love lost, too. I love that it is so complex, like a soap opera for scifi nerds!

Elysium wrote:

Here's the thing. I forgive Lost all its transgressions precisely because it is so unapologeticly audacious. It never backs away. It is unrelenting. It never consults a focus group. It never bends to the will of its viewers, and it is always entertaining. Haters be damned, I love Lost.

This is 100% how I feel about Lost. It's a fun ride. I don't consider it a mystery to be unraveled, but a crazy trip to places I would never have guessed.

I don't care if it makes sense, or answers any questions. Pepper the crazy with fun comments from Hurley and Miles, and I'm happy.

I'm absolutely in love with LOST and I've never followed a show like this before.

It's the first show in over 10 years that I've watched on actual TV, advertisements and all.

Here's the thing. I forgive Lost all its transgressions precisely because it is so unapologeticly audacious. It never backs away. It is unrelenting. It never consults a focus group. It never bends to the will of its viewers, and it is always entertaining. Haters be damned, I love Lost.

The one thing I have an issue with though is how they occasionally kill off characters for real life reasons. Some couldn't be helped, like

Spoiler:

Eko, since he wanted to quit the show,

but others, like

Spoiler:

Libby and Ana-Lucia felt cheap because you could tell they had more planned. They never even really explained Libby's backstory. Not that I'm supporting drunk driving or anything, but it just seems weird to me.

Lost is the only show I'm truly excited for every week, I feel like a kid watching my Saturday morning cartoons. I fear the day I no longer have new episodes of Lost to look forward to.

Was anyone else surprised when Mac showed up on the island? Is the smoke monster making tooooo muuuuuuch nooooooise?

UnclGhost wrote:
Spoiler:

Libby and Ana-Lucia felt cheap because you could tell they had more planned. They never even really explained Libby's backstory. Not that I'm supporting drunk driving or anything, but it just seems weird to me.

Luckily there is so much other crazy stuff going on that it is easily forgotten.

Coldstream wrote:

I watched the first season, and then gave up about three episodes into the second season when I started finding it tedious. However, I'm going to wait until the finale airs, see if the cries are "Bravo!" or "You bastards!" and then make my decision about giving the whole series a watch on Netflix. I'm open to the idea that I just wasn't in the mood for Lost the first time, so it'll be interesting to see how this last season is received.

I may be in the same situation. I reluctantly started on the DVDs with a friend's insistence, got hooked and devoured seasons 1-3, watching one or two discs in a sitting. When season 4 started I watched weekly, but then the show started to lose me, getting more tedious and creaky as it piled on more and more questions. I finally stopped watching and interest since then has evapourated.

I enjoyed the early seasons for being the "cool mystery about a group of survivors in the Pacific", but it'd be unfair to dislike Lost for not being what I want it to be. So I'll wait for the reaction to the finale and see if it's worth catching up on then. When I left, my theory was: Richard is an ancient Egyptian pharaoh/god. If that pans out, then I won't need to catch up. If Richard has been killed off and things have taken a dozen left turns since then, I still may not catch up.

It still amazes me that this show even exists on American television. The amount of attention required of the viewer is just amazing. This notion when added to the common belief held by most network executive is that we are all low grade morons makes LOST's presence a minor miracle. When it seems that most network television is downward spiraling to reality tv and really stupid sitcoms, it can't help but stand out as awesome. If there was some way to distill this show into a sort of claylike matter, I would then take that substance and rub it into the nostrils of every Fox broadcasting executive it could find while screaming "Arrested Development! Firefly! Drive! Dollhouse! These are the shows you wouldn't give a chance because it was easier to make a bad reality show that you know the lowest common denominator would watch! Choke on it, you ---holes! Choke on LOST!"

inspiringsn wrote:
UnclGhost wrote:
Spoiler:

Libby and Ana-Lucia felt cheap because you could tell they had more planned. They never even really explained Libby's backstory. Not that I'm supporting drunk driving or anything, but it just seems weird to me.

Luckily there is so much other crazy stuff going on that it is easily forgotten.

Very easily. I had completely forgotten about that character and I just watched the whole series in December so I could watch this season.

Indignant wrote:

It still amazes me that this show even exists on American television. The amount of attention required of the viewer is just amazing.

I agree with the article, and I love how silly and surreal Lost can be. But I don't think it is an example of a show that requires the viewer's attention. An attentive viewer is not going to get much more out of Lost simply because, so far, there isn't much to get. When I think of a show that actually requires the viewer to commit, I think of the Wire. As much as I love Lost, it isn't of that caliber.

That said, I think I agree with the sentiment that it is pretty cool that such a weird, nonsensical show has found an audience. Hopefully it isn't the last.

Gravey wrote:

When season 4 started I watched weekly, but then the show started to lose me, getting more tedious and creaky as it piled on more and more questions. I finally stopped watching and interest since then has evapourated.

There's your mistake. I got frustrated watching weekly too, so I stopped and waited for the DVDs. One episode a week is frustration made manifest. 3 or 4 a night is awesome, I find momentum to be important to the experience.

The first season of Lost is the best television I've ever watched. For it alone, I'm naming my first son Abram.

MrDeVil909 wrote:
Gravey wrote:

When season 4 started I watched weekly, but then the show started to lose me, getting more tedious and creaky as it piled on more and more questions. I finally stopped watching and interest since then has evapourated.

There's your mistake. I got frustrated watching weekly too, so I stopped and waited for the DVDs. One episode a week is frustration made manifest. 3 or 4 a night is awesome, I find momentum to be important to the experience.

Absolutely, I totally forgot to mention that. If the leaning tower of questions, and Jeremy Davies, hadn't turned me off I probably would have waited for the DVDs and resumed bingeing on the show.

Coldstream wrote:

I watched the first season, and then gave up about three episodes into the second season when I started finding it tedious. However, I'm going to wait until the finale airs, see if the cries are "Bravo!" or "You bastards!" and then make my decision about giving the whole series a watch on Netflix. I'm open to the idea that I just wasn't in the mood for Lost the first time, so it'll be interesting to see how this last season is received.

This is pretty much how I handled the Sopranos, except I've never seen a single season of it. Once I heard about the ending, I decided it wasn't worth my time.

I might give Lost a try on DVD if I can rent it or borrow it, depending on the reaction to the ending.

If it turns out the whole show only exists in the dreams of a sedated gorilla being transported to a zoo, I'll probably give it a pass.

doubtingthomas396 wrote:

This is pretty much how I handled the Sopranos, except I've never seen a single season of it. Once I heard about the ending, I decided it wasn't worth my time.

I might give Lost a try on DVD if I can rent it or borrow it, depending on the reaction to the ending.

If it turns out the whole show only exists in the dreams of a sedated gorilla being transported to a zoo, I'll probably give it a pass.

Here's what the producers are saying in an interview with Maureen Ryan that RSPaulette linked to a few pages ago. Overall, I have the feeling that everyone of the mindset that they just want to see how it ends will be disappointed.

Lindelof: Exactly. The one promise that we are making is that what we’re not going to do is leave the show hanging so we can pick up the ball and run with it two years from now in some other television project or movie. I think that we owe ourselves and the story and the audience a sense of finality.

Cuse: The most complete ending that we can give them.

Lindelof: Yeah, you can’t break up with somebody and say, "Let’s not go out anymore, but I still want to sleep together, I still want to live in the same house, and we should still go on dates all the time." No. If it’s over, it’s over.

We’re trying to create a season that really feels like it’s over as opposed to [left open-ended]. People keep saying, "Is there going to be a Sopranos movie?" And I actually feel the question in itself is offensive to anybody who likes the cut-to-black [ending] because it completely neutralizes the deftness. Carlton and I happen to be huge fans of the “Sopranos.” But to do a “Sopranos” movie, you could never watch that series finale again with any level of respect [if you know] know that something followed it.

Cuse: The other phenomenon which is interesting is that the immediate interpretation of the ending of “Lost” may not be the same as the ultimate interpretation of the ending of “Lost.”

I mean, you as a “Battlestar” fan probably have experienced the sensation that there was an immediate reaction to how “Battlestar” ended, and [now] it seems like there’s a bit of and evolving reaction to how “Battlestar” ended. And we anticipate that the same thing might happen with “Lost.”

There’s an instantaneous sense of loss, and using the “Sopranos,” again as an example -- a lot of people were sort of outraged because the story ended and it wasn’t conclusive, but then with some perspective and a little distance from the show, the metaphor of what Chase was doing there became clearer and that seemed to resonate better over time than in the immediate aftermath.

Lindelof: What was so impactful about that ending is, as a huge “Sopranos” fan myself, I can tell you almost nothing about that episode other than that Anthony Jr. was considering going into the military and then he got into a car accident. But the episode itself is like completely like sand through my fingers. I don’t remember anything about it. All I remember is that [last] scene...

Ryan: The only other thing I remember, apart from the final scene, is Meadow trying to park the car.

Lindelof: Right. All I remember is that Journey song. What are people going to take away from the final episode of “Lost?” Will it be the final image?

Cuse: Will it be the episode in its totality?

Lindelof: We keep getting asked about the final image and we’re like, "Yeah, sure, we know what it is." But people are acting like the final image of the show is revelatory in some way, as opposed to maybe [what's revelatory] is what happens in the first hour of the finale.

Cuse: But what’s happened is, I think people have expectations that have grown from other shows, where that last moment is such a sting. Whether it’s all of a sudden you see a snow globe [as in "St. Elsewhere"] or you cut to black or somebody wakes up and it’s all been a dream. Whatever it is, it’s like that final twist negates or completely overshines everything that’s come before it.

Lindelof: Which is amazing because the fact that people invested six years of their lives and over 120 hours on “Lost” and they’re going to pay it all off in this 30-second scene. "That is going to change the entire way that I feel about the show."

Cuse: We hope it doesn’t.

Ah, my issue with the show is that it lacks any internal consistency. The rules change, constantly, and they're never explained. Lost seems to feel no need to explain them.

I wonder if, in its own way, this is more satisfying than Battlestar Galactica, which felt a need to tie up every single loose end into a miserable rats' nest. I guess they created a reason for everything that happened; too bad it was so stupid.

For better or worse, Lost seems bound by no such obligation, and I'm sure it's both liberating and exacerbating to write such a beast. On the one hand, you can do anything. On the other hand... you can do anything.

Maybe it's Hurley's dream. Maybe it's something else idiotic. But if there's one thing it ain't, it's predictable.