Monday, July 16, 2012

G4 & LOST: Why You Should Watch (or Re-Watch) The Show

G4 will air the entire series of LOST, starting tonight at 8PM Eastern. Each Monday night, G4 will air four episodes until "The End." I love LOST. Love is actually too weak a word to describe my feelings toward the show. The problems and issues that many fans had with the show I never had. If anything, I'm a LOST apologist, but I think the series had few problems. I either pushed people away from the show by my never-ending praise of it, or I pushed people towards the show with the goal to find all the faults and then tell me about said faults. During a stretch in college, people on my floor came to my room to watch, knowing how devoted a fan I was, but I couldn't stand to watch the show with people. One time, during season five, someone came into the room to watch and wondered how polar bears can live on a tropical island. The first criticism of the show always involves the polar bears, so I set my friend straight. Soon, no one bothered coming to the room to watch. Another time, in the lounge area, a girl told anyone around that John Locke wasn't John Locke. I think the comment inspired a multi-paragraph rant from me in my then-blog Jacob's Foot. Of course, the girl turned out to be right. I'm not beyond admitting I could be insufferable about LOST.

Amazingly, I've barely re-watched the series since "The End." I re-watched season six, read a bunch of screenplays from the show, and consumed any new footage Damon and Carlton decided to shoot for a DVD or San Diego Comic Con. I didn't do a series re-watch. I stopped talking about the show and writing about it for the most part, except for instances where I needed to write about it, like the aforementioned Marble Rye comic con video. I've re-watched seasons of the show numerous times during those long and seemingly unending hiatuses. I know the show backwards and forewards. I once completed a "Name every LOST episode title" quiz on Sporcle in a quick amount of time. If you peruse the archives of the blog, you'll find a lot of LOST content. I wrote about every episode in season five and six. I wrote about random episodes during 2009 as part of my "LOST episode of the Day" series. My series finale review is the longest single piece of writing I've ever done. LOST is a show worth watch and re-watching.

Today, I'm providing a short list for why one should watch (or re-watch) the series. TV hasn't produced a series as original and innovative as LOST since, well, LOST premiered in 2004. Here it goes:

1. Forget Everything You Heard About The Show: Last night's The Simpsons repeat on FOX had the story of Homer watching a show called Stranded; it's a spoof of LOST. Homer becomes obsessed with finding out the answers to the mysteries of LOST; he even keeps notes in a notebook. If anything, I'm sure folk who haven't watched LOST heard about the lack of payoff to the mysteries and blah blah blah. Well, friends and well-wishers, answers to the mysteries don't really matter. I've written many times about 'Who gives a shit if ________ isn't answered?' What people don't emphasize enough is the story. Doc Jensen's the lone writer on the internet who watched the show the way I watched it, who understood what I understood, and so on. Anyway, the point is: forget about the mysteries and focus on the characters and the story. By series end, LOST told an amazing story, and I wouldn't want people to miss that because they care more about why polar bears are walking around the Island. I once reminded people in a column for my old campus newspaper that LOST isn't a math problem to be solved. Remember that.

2. The Show is Incredibly Fun: Indeed, I've never had as much fun watching a show as I had watching LOST. The cliff-hangers are awesome. The storytelling is amazing. The action is terrific. I envy those who will experience LOST for the first time. Not even Joss Whedon consistently blew the doors off of a finale like Damon and Carlton could in LOST season finales.

3. The First Ten Episodes are Near-Perfection: Damon and Carlton compared the early episodes of LOST to New Yorker short stories. Neither were confident, especially Damon who called in Carlton to help during the series, about LOST lasting beyond their initial run of episodes. Damon wanted to tell the best stories he could. He succeeded. The first ten are amongst my favorite episodes of television ever. If LOST had been cancelled, it'd be considered a brilliant series.

4. The Series Doesn't Drop Off after The First Ten: No, indeed, it does not. The show only gets better actually. You'll learn more about each character. The story deepens. New characters are added. The mythology deepens. Some of the best characters aren't introduced until season two. Damon and Carlton got rid of things that weren't working and focused on more of what was working. Damon's critical of the cage arc in early season three but even those episodes have golden moments. LOST rarely disappointed me.

5. The Story & The Characters: Simply, LOST is a story about a bunch of lost souls who need to fix themselves. You'll laugh, you'll cry, and you'll feel. Indeed, most importantly, you'll feel. David Foster Wallace said, “Fiction’s about what it is to be a fucking human being.” That's what LOST is really about, and that's why you should watch (or re-watch) this amazing series.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love lost and don't care about the mysteries either. To say they don't matter is bullshit though. The show runners used that to keep ratings high. When some one expects answers in the finale they absolutely were not "watching it wrong". Lost was never intended to be a soap opera until cuss and lindelof needed to backpedal. It was branded as SCIENCE FICTION.

About The Foot

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Originally, I titled the blog Jacob's Foot after the giant foot that Jacob inhabited in LOST. That ended. It became TV With The Foot in 2010. I wrote about a lot of TV.