Thursday, October 27, 2005

Lost

I had heard so many positive things about the phenomenon that is ABC's drama, Lost, that I was dying to see it. The premise was inviting, right up my alley (and everyone else's, it would appear), and if there was one thing network TV needed, it was a quality show that appeals to a broad demographic. My one hope was that it somehow involved gerbils. Sadly, it doesn't; but I won't hold that against it. For now.

The show's first season run began, as you all likely know, over one year ago. But me being the me that I am, (because I'm a technological birdbrain, among other things), I didn't download it to watch. And I didn't watch it on AFN because I was working when it aired.

The show was picked up by KBS (I think it was KBS), and shown on the weekend -- but dubbed in Korean (sacrelige). I have no idea if it's still airing, but I've heard that it wasn't exactly a big hit here. Not like, say, The Scorpions.

So I waited for its eventual release on DVD. After waiting and inquiring as to when it would be released as a region 3 set, I finally lost my patience (no pun intended) and ordered the complete first season from Amazon.

It definitely lived up to my expectations. I immersed myself in the show and watched the whole thing in under two weeks, which is impressive for me, seeing as how I have a job and a family.

I will say that Lost is a very dangerous show. As intriguing as the first season is -- and subsequent seasons hopefully will be -- if the mysteries of the island, when they're revealed, don't pay off, the whole series will be tainted. I got the feeling that the writers were making stuff up as they went along. Not necessarily a bad thing, but...I read Stephen King's Dark Tower series, so I'm familiar with, and in a way protecting myself against, a possible letdown. King's mantra is that the journey is always more interesting than the conclusion, but of course it is when you introduce so many far-out ideas without having an idea as to what they will signify or how they'll connect to the plot. Watching Lost, I said to myself not a few times I really hope they thought this out, or the impact of the revelations are going to suck hard.

Certainly the man who created the show, JJ Abrams, is talented...but he's also the guy who wrote an early draft for the new Superman film in which it turns out Lex Luther is from Krypton, and which culminated in Supes fighting a robotic exoskeleton-encapsulated Luthor. Man, that's lamer than fuck.

As for Lost's innaugural season, boy does it ever shine. I'm no TV junkie, so I hope it isn't too heretic when I say that Lost is the best one-hour drama ever created for network TV. All the characters work, amazingly so, which is no mean feat when you consider that there are 14 of them to start the season. The premise is great, but without good writing the show would have floundered. Fortunately the writing is top-notch (as is the scoring, perhaps the first time, for me at least, a television show has been scored with the result that it sounds cinematic).

But you've already seen the show, and you don't need me to heap any more praise upon it. What I will do is offer up some thoughts and criticisms. If you haven't seen the show and want to jump in fresh, be forewarned: I'm not wearing anything under these Dockers. Sorry, I mean spoilers below:

- I lurve Dominic Monagahan, or whatever the fuck his name is. He could go on a murderous rampage and I'd still have a soft spot for him based on his appearances in the Lord of the Rings films. And he does a good job in the series, sometimes playing dead serious, and at others as comedic relief. But it's obvious he was cast because of his fame from the Rings trilogy. A convincing rock star and heroin addict he does not make, although the latter is ten times more believable than the former. But again, I'll give him grace because of the dues he paid as a hobbit.

- For the guys: all of the actresses are extremely gorgeous, but Emilie de Ravin (Claire) is tops. She looks like a blond Julia Roberts, only hot. Evangeline Lily (Kate) is a close second, but she's not soft enough. Maggie Grace has the prettiest face, but she squints and frowns too much. And Yunjin Kim's (Sun) nose is a tad too bulbous for my tastes. Let's not even discuss Rousseau, okay?

- For the gals: all of the actors are extremely hunky, but Ian Somerhalder (Boone) is tops. It's a shame he was killed off. Josh Holloway (Sawyer), if his acting career ever falls through, has a promising future as a professional wrestler. And Matthew Fox's (Jack) nose looks really wonky when seen in profile. Let's not even discuss Hurley, okay?

- What's up with the middle-age black woman whose husband was killed in the crash, and who made, like, 2 appearances during the season. Was she supposed to be a major character but was written out for some reason? Will we ever see her again? If yes, her frequent abscence in many episodes is poor form.

- Similarly, has anyone kept track of the extras appearing as castaways? If the show's producers know a thing or two, they'd be wise to keep it consistent. Fanatics -- of which this show will garner quite a billion -- are going to be watching for that sort of stuff. It'd be a shame if it turned out that there were over 300 different faces on the island when there's supposed to be 48 (42 by season's end, by my recollection).

- It was a wise decision to have Walt be taken away in the season's final episode. Minus Claire's child, he's the only kid on the show, and if the producers are smart they'll figure out a way for him to age. Otherwise it'll seem rather strange, 5 years from now, if the castaways are supposed to have been on the island for only a year or two, and poor Walt is an 11 or 12-year-old (and the dude who plays him must be at least 14) trapped in the body of a young adult. Either he's killed, or he comes back next season mysteriously aged.

- I understand that the castaways have razors and can shave. What I don't get it why their hair's length is in stasis. You're telling me Jack can maintain a suede head for over a month? C'mon!

I'm aware that the second season began some weeks ago, but I'll have to wait until almost a year later to get my Lost fix. There's no way I'm going to attempt catching random episodes on AFN; and same goes for downloading episodes. Because it's, uh, illegal.

I hope it's worth the wait. See you all at the 2078 Lost convention. I'll be the guy in a John Locke replica wheelchair.

2 comments:

Brandon Anthony said...

It can always seem that syndicated shows are made up as they go along, since many now are written by multiple authors. Check into it. Sometimes the same author will only do a few episodes a season.

James from lostseouls.com said...

I like the idea of Walt aging, although it does sound a bit like the ending to that 'Lost In Space' film.

Speaking as someone who has no qualms about downloading the second season, I wouldn't worry about the writers dropping the ball on the Rose plotline. Oh and also
"Hahaha! I know what's down the hatch and you don't! Haha!"