Okay, I have made the dive into the vagaries, the misconceptions, and the mythologies of one of the iconic television programs of all time. I have been watching “Lost”, but I’m not... lost, that is.
The first season turned up on my doorstep as the result of one of my daughters saying, “Dad! You have to do this!”
I replied, “I don’t have to do this. I have lots of other things to watch, and since, as you have pointed out to me many times before, my mind is dribbling out of my ears at an increasing rate, all of old stuff will be new to me. Onward and upward to ‘Farscape’!”
“No, no, no! Try it! You’ll like it!”
Actually, I tried it for two reasons. First, I really did want something new to watch and, second, I was tired of all of the mysterious talk at the dinner table and in the neighborhood about the stuff that is going on in the final season. So I began with season one.
I had, prior to these past couple of weeks, seen portions of about three episodes, but none of those momentary glances really gave me any idea what was going on with the various characters or the situation that they were in. Now after having watched all but the second half of “Exodus”, the season finale, I have a few observations to make. Doing so, I know that I will be ridiculed by the fans, that I have no clue, that “You just wait! You’ll see that I am right in the end!” I don’t care. I am responding to what I have seen so far, all future mysteries aside.
First, I like the photography. Shooting the series in Hawaii was a good choice. Watching each episode in high definition DVDs on a good 37 inch screen has been delightful. I, not the original fans, am getting the full impact of what was intended by J.J. Abrams and the boys because I am seeing it in a better venue. Hawaii has enough variety that the scenery can become a part of the story line. I find that as helpful as the music at times.
Second, the story-line and the dialogue are well-crafted and, amazingly enough, almost believable. The little flashbacks into the lives of the survivors is a nice touch, showing that the characters were already “Lost” long before the plane fell apart. But that is all part of the charisma of the show. We as the audience are fundamentally just voyeurs; we really want to know all of the little secrets that everyone has. I like the fact that the writers have gone to great lengths to have the individual life-bubbles bump each other in the background. Sometimes, if you look away from the screen for an instant, some little connection would be lost. I suspect that this is why the DVDs have sold like hotcakes.
Thirdly, it is clear that the casting department went to great lengths to have the speaking characters be as physically diverse as they could be. There is no mistaking Hurley for Sun. It was a fun moment when Dominic Monaghan showed up as Charlie. As I watched him stand beside all of the other actors in the show, I realized that he really is no bigger than a hobbit. Go Merry! Drink some more of that Entwash back at the cave! The appearance of Danielle Rousseau, her intriguing accent, sent me back to my “Babylon 5” days, when Mira Furlan played Delenn using her same dulcet Croatian tones. I have to say, however, that in the last week I have seen four people that could pass for Hurley; none were moving as fast as Jorge Garcia can.
With regard to the underlying mythological aspects of the show, I have failed to see anything that is usually attributed to the superstructure of the storyline, and I know a great deal about the mythologies of the world. Perhaps they show up later. For the benefit of anyone who reads this piece, I have to add that when a “novum” is presented, an unexplained event, and its source is never related to the real world, the reader or viewer is engaged in fantasy. When the “novum” is explained in believable terms, the audience is in the middle of a mystery. When the “novum” is explained as an extension of current technology, but a technology that does not yet exist in the real world, then we are enjoying science fiction. By the end of this final season, I am quite certain that some one of the fans, perhaps many, is going to be disappointed as to how the real genre falls out. In the meantime, I will go on to season two, knowing that people are not going to fuss with me a lot.