May 27, 2005

Lost, the third of the three seasonal television I've been following this year, closed out its first season with a two-hour episode on Wednesday. It was a solid finish to a good debut season.

The major problem with the finale was that it felt padded out to 2 hours. The slow-motion montage of the Lostaways getting on the plane felt like filler, as did the extended comic relief scene of Hurley barely making the plane.

A new character makes his first appearance in the previous episode and then goes off as the only person who is not a main character to go play with dynamite. Hello, obvious red shirt. The writers did a good job of maintaining the surprise as to whether he would survive the episode.

Hurley just making the flight is almost a shout-out to TAR7. (In the TAR7 finale, Joyce and Uchenna just barely made the first flight to Miami after the pilot re-opened the door.) Of course, Uchenna and Joyce had much better luck after getting on the flight than Hurley. Considering luck, the

The scene with the rafters and the others was brilliantly chilling. Coming after the scene where we think that they might be Rousseau's crazy delusion. But shouldn't the Lostaways be a little more curious about the power lines coming onto the island (that Sayid found on his way to Rousseau's pad) and the transmitter.

The problem with a show like Lost is that the season finale can't really bring closure. After all, the Lostaways will be back on the island next year and need to fill another 24 hours worth of television. Because this is mainly a character-driven show, rather than plot-driven, ...

While J.J Adams and the Lost writers have done a great job in creating characters and setting up the mystery of the island, I fear that they have posed questions but have yet to figure out the answers. Lost could end up like the X-Files, which lost its interest as it answered questions with new questions (and didn't have enough character-driven stories to balance the lack of answers.) Lost still has a lot of potential in how the characters adapt to their situation. But the writers can not go too long without at least answering some questions. How the characters react to those answers seems to be some kind of set up for the next season-- in particular Locke and Jack and the hatch, Hurley and the numbers, someone (either Sayid or Locke, I'd guess) and Rousseau.

The problem that Lost faces is by using too much time to set up the characters' histories and backstory, nothing happens on the island. The finale gave room for some actual plot: the fate of the raft crew (and how they get back to the island), interaction with the others, and whatever new plans to get off the island.

The first season of Lost was very successful in setting up the mystery of the island and establishing a core group of characters. Its future success will depend on whether Adams and the writing staff either actually have a master plan for revealing bits and pieces of the mystery or do a good job of improvising and piecing together planted plot points into a coherent set of answers.

I watched most of Lost in 3 or 4 episode blocks rather than serially every week which I think is the way to go. On DVD, the show will probably shine.

Salon.com: Still Lost

TeeVee.org: Lost Explained: "All of the characters in Lost are in Zork. The whole show is one giant text adventure game."

Slate: Arzt's History: "Ever since he uttered his first lines on the May 11 episode, this character was clearly earmarked for destruction, as expendable as one of the "red shirts" who used to get systematically picked off while exploring planets on the old Star Trek."

Posted by Andrew Raff at May 27, 2005 04:30 PM
Trackback URL for this entry: http://www.andrewraff.com/mt/mt-tb.cgi/3557

You're right in everything you said in regards to the problems of Lost, but you are much more foregiving than I am. After putting in so much time watching this show, it's been a disappointment. There is nothing creative about coming up with some bizzare twists and turns and cliffhangers, the fun comes when those twists are thoughtfully resolved. As you said, the writers may haven't figure out what to do yet. Even though that is probably unlikely, the way that the show is presented leaves way too many gaping holes. It's very frustrating to watch a show that meanders everywhere but doesn't go anywhere. Think Twin Peaks: I loved that show, and it's way better than Lost because the plot actually developed. The Lost producers had a chance to do something during those 2 hours, but instead choose to just send up some entire new twists. They blew it.

Posted by: KickME on May 28, 2005 04:01 PM
Post a comment