Wow. So, Lost
, huh? You know what? That was one of the better dramas to ever air on network television. Now, it merits zero comparison to some of the dramas that have aired on cable TV in the last 10-15 years (The Wire, The Sopranos, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Oz, Deadwood,
etc). But as far as dramas on network TV? It is perhaps the most bold, thought-provoking drama in network history. I think that Friday Night Lights, Homicide: Life on the Street,
and Twin Peaks
are better. But Lost
is up there with them. As episode-to-episode entertainment it has few network peers. It can be thrilling, suspensful, handle action at break-neck paces and even pack a heavy emotional punch. When Lost
was on (like it was for the last four episodes of season 3 and the first four or so episodes of season 4) it was impossible to dislike. Was Lost
"on" enough to make it a great show? Nah, but it is a darn good one, all things considered. I am quite glad to have seen it, which is something I was really unsure about going into it.
Let's get one thing out of the way first: this show is a mess of unresolved plot points and, at times, utterly pointless writing and character motivation. Remember that College Humor video about all the unresolved plot points?:
Well, I can answer maybe six of those questions. No, Lester Freamon, all the pieces don't matter, not on The Island. The rest of those questions are completely forgotten about, abandoned. Boo. This is either: 1.) very bad, sloppy writing, 2.) done intentionally for reasons I will get to later, or 3.) a mix of both.
Another thing, this is probably the most pretentious show ever. It puts on this facade of deep intellectualism, what with all of the character names relating to famous thinkers and all the crazy-ass time travel and incorporation of classical myth and dozens upon dozens of references to literary works. 99% of these references have no meaning wrt the show itself; everything is surface-value intellectualism. In many ways, Lost
is like that hipster douchebag at Starbucks with a beret and an un-read Kierkegaard compilation sitting next to him while he Instant Messages with people on his i Pad. Literary references go nowhere. Names mostly serve as basic connectors (Faraday, hmm? He's probably good at math!). Some names don't even make sense (like Rousseau - Danielle was a woman who lived in fear of what she perceived as the savage, wild Others. She's named after a thinker who thought that humans didn't necessarily have to turn to war and savagery, that combat wasn't hardwired into the human species). Sometimes the show felt like certain works of literature that weren't even referenced on the show. Like, season 6 reminded me a lot of Paradise Lost
. Man In Black was made to be sympathetic in a lot of ways like Satan famously was in Milton's masterpiece. But on the whole, for all of the allusions and references, the show wasn't made any deeper because of them.