Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Lost Without A Trace — Of Interest

 

I’ve managed to watch exactly zero minutes and zero seconds of LOST, the supposedly gripping series which has, apparently, now come to an end. Lest I seem anti-TV, let me emphasize that I’ve made time in my life for The X-Files, Deadwood, Project Runway, and many other shows great and small. I’m susceptible to hype. I’m inclined to trust my friends’ judgments. But I never felt even a shiver of longing to dip into Lost. And with reactions like this coming in from trusted sources, I’m feeling certain of my final verdict on the end of Lost: no big loss.

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  1. Profile Photo Member

    My sentiments exactly. I love TV, but I was never able to gin up any interest in Lost.

    • #1
    • May 24, 2010, at 4:04 AM PDT
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  2. JP Freire Contributor

    If you start from the beginning, you’d feel differently.

    • #2
    • May 24, 2010, at 4:21 AM PDT
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  3. Patrick Hudson Inactive

    seeing all of the mindless fools gathering around in the break room last week talking about “i can wait until sunday for the finale” – made me laugh, seeing them again today makes me laugh too

    • #3
    • May 24, 2010, at 5:25 AM PDT
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  4. Profile Photo Member

    There is enough “suspension of disbelief” going on in real life.

    • #4
    • May 24, 2010, at 6:23 AM PDT
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  5. Profile Photo Member

    This one buffaloed me, I admit. I watched the series finale, even though I hadn’t watched a minute of the show before last night. Pretty much everything I knew of the show came from the commercials or bits of conversation overheard from fans.

    If I were watching the show for the characters, especially if I treated it like a soap opera, I’d be pretty happy with the ending. All the good guys and a couple of the bad guyes got their happy shiny moment. A villain was vanquished. A hero died heroically, and happy. Tears were shed. Heartstrings were tugged. Huzzah!

    However, if I had been watching the show for the plot, I’d be ticked off (to paraphrase the late Robin Harris) to the highest level of tickedicity. The finale resolved no real questions. Actually, it created a couple more (such as, how did the island get the only jumbo jet with a reverse gear and a stoney patch of just the right length and hardness to work as a runway).

    • #5
    • May 24, 2010, at 7:01 AM PDT
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  6. James Poulos Contributor
    James Poulos
    JP Freire: If you start from the beginning, you’d feel differently.

    Paradox: I need to feel differently in order to start from the beginning. And, alas, the conceit of a jumbo jet that can be thrown into reverse makes me feel more of the same. If there’s something great about Lost hiding in plain sight, I really do want to see it…

    • #6
    • May 24, 2010, at 7:08 AM PDT
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  7. Adam Freedman Contributor

    I was hoping that the series would end with Jack waking up next to Suzanne Pleshette, realizing that it was all a dream.

    • #7
    • May 24, 2010, at 7:28 AM PDT
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  8. Profile Photo Member

    I am certainly in league with Jimmie in regards to the lack of questions answered. While watching the finale of Lost last evening, I simultaneously compared it to the final episode of the NBC reboot of Battlestar Galactica, a much anticipated event with (arguably) much more closure. The biggest issue I have with last night was the tremendous amount of faith it demanded from the viewing audience. Whether this is a thematic choice or a little bit of insurance for another genre (graphic novels, etc.) it is disappointing that the creators wanted us to celebrate the heroism and relationships of individuals who struggled to overcome…well don’t worry about what they actually overcame, just believe that it was all magical.

    • #8
    • May 24, 2010, at 8:06 AM PDT
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  9. Profile Photo Member

    Well put Eric. My basic thoughts were that it was an emotionally satisfying finale but not an intellectually satisfying one.

    The only thing more confusing then the show Lost is the amount of people who decided to watch the finale only…and then complain about it afterwards. I wonder if these people read the last chapter of a book before opening the first page and offer criticism. I understand just not being interested, but with this show more than any other there seems to be a great deal of people looking to validate the fact that they didn’t watch Lost. They tell us what a waste of time it was while wasting their time telling Lost fans something that will go in one ear and out the other. I really don’t understand this, but then again I am one of the lowly suckers who was bothered to be entertained.

    • #9
    • May 24, 2010, at 10:46 AM PDT
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  10. Profile Photo Member

     

    Adam Freedman:: I was hoping that the series would end with Jack waking up next to Suzanne Pleshette, realizing that it was all a dream. · May. 24 at 7:28am

    Never watched Lost, but this makes me pine for Bob Newhart. I never watch anything unless it’s a rerun. I can’t waste half an hour or a whole hour once per week only to find two months into a show that it is terrible. I wait until the whole series is over and then watch it from the beginning. Then you can do it on your time on your terms. That’s the only way to watch TV.

    • #10
    • May 25, 2010, at 1:00 AM PDT
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  11. Profile Photo Member

    Neal I am certainly with you on your eloquent point, thanks for it. To a certain extent I appreciate the development of the show from including literary/cultural staples (one fun game is to go back and see all the books they read on the island) into the mythological/religious archetypes (Jacob vs. Esau anyone?). My frustration hinges upon the fundamental question that is left unanswered regarding the island’s true power. But yes, as you put so well, such is life.

    • #11
    • May 25, 2010, at 3:00 AM PDT
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  12. Profile Photo Member
    Neal Pierson:: The entire show of Lost is a metaphor for faith, and unlike so much of the culture, Lost does not say that faith is a bad thing or a fool’s exercise. The show clearly imparts the wisdom that faith is a good thing, and that by having faith good things will happen… The show, put simply, is about the human experience, and while it isn’t always fulfilling, good things happen that make everything worth it. · May. 24 at 12:04pm

    Generally I agree. The emphasis on faith was refreshing, but I wonder if it was meant to hide the postmodern bent of the show? After all, the object of faith was purposely vague, and the religious conflation, while intriguing, was overly naive. Also, I agree that the show was not fulfilling; reincarnation is just depressing compared to heaven. Still, it was a good attempt.

    • #12
    • May 25, 2010, at 3:22 AM PDT
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  13. Profile Photo Member

    To add to my earlier point, I think that Lost’s apparent theme that some parts of life are just impossible to explain is a profoundly conservative message. The creators of the show could have easily made it so that Jack had to protect the Island from evil industrialists. They even included a sinister British corporate magnate (Charles Widmore) that could have been the main villain. But it turns out that Widmore’s quest to prevent the Black Smoke from leaving the Island was, in fact, the right thing to do. In fact, the inclusion of a Satan-esque antagonist like the Man in Black clearly demonstrates to all that the battle is between good and evil, and no matter how much we’re made to empathize with the Black Smoke, it is certain that he must be destroyed or the world will end. That’s refreshing.

    • #13
    • May 25, 2010, at 4:46 AM PDT
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  14. Jonathan Lanctot Inactive

    There are so many themes and threads throughout Lost that it’s hard to pin down just one reason why I followed it to the end. It’s the most detailed character drama ever televised, a gripping morality tale, a fantastic fight between good and evil, a mythological sci-fi adventure, and a story told darn well. There’s plenty of criticism out there about the show’s approach, but one things’ for sure: it did something different.

    I loved how the show avoided spelling things out: there was never “the expository speech” which gives it all away; the viewer is left to wade through the story and decide things for themselves. For some, this is too much work to enjoy a show, which is completely understandable; for myself, it was the kind of smart, intelligent television I doubt I’ll ever experience again.

    • #14
    • May 25, 2010, at 10:03 AM PDT
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  15. Profile Photo Member

    I agree wholeheartedly with Mr. Lanctot. The best shows on television (the Sopranos, the Wire, Lost) don’t conclude with a detective entering the room, removing the mask from the bad guy, and explaining exactly how and why everything happened. Sometimes, the audience should have to think about what they know and then form a conclusion about what they just saw. That is a vital part of experiencing culture. The makers of the best shows on television realize that it’s what you leave out–not what you tell the audience explicitly–that really determine the quality of a story.

    • #15
    • May 25, 2010, at 11:44 AM PDT
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  16. Profile Photo Member

    The entire show of Lost is a metaphor for faith, and unlike so much of the culture, Lost does not say that faith is a bad thing or a fool’s exercise. The show clearly imparts the wisdom that faith is a good thing, and that by having faith good things will happen.

    Lost incorporates several religious themes into its six-year run. Those themes include redemption, forgiveness, suffering, and the frustrations that we all have with faith. Some questions are left unanswered, just as in real life. But at the end, the protagonist achieves the one thing he was supposed to do all along (protect the Island), representing the quest we all have to find purpose in our lives.

    The show, put simply, is about the human experience, and while it isn’t always fulfilling, good things happen that make everything worth it.

    • #16
    • May 25, 2010, at 12:04 PM PDT
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  17. Profile Photo Member

    I’d like to add that I just found this clip on Youtube. It’s a scene that perfectly sums up the moral conflict that makes up Lost by using the game of backgammon as an analogy for good vs. evil.

    • #17
    • May 29, 2010, at 4:59 AM PDT
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