Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Lynn's still Lost

Lynn Sislo on Lost:

...there have been little hints of something now and then, but it seems like I just keep waiting for something to happen and it's not the good, nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat kind of waiting; it's more the hurry-up-and-do-something-interesting-i'm-getting-bored kind of waiting.

That's pretty much my take, only I actually got bored and stopped watching the show. Or rather, I didn't so much as get bored as I saw the boredom coming on, and allowed the show to fall off my rotation of things to watch. It's hard to keep a show based on unexplained weirdness going for long. There's a reason why The X-Files didn't focus on the Mulder's sister/Smoking Man/Smallpox vaccinations/Bees genetically engineered for nefarious purposes/Alien Bounty Hunter/Alex Krycek mytharc in every single episode; the series would have collapsed under its own weight very quickly had it attempted to do so. (Instead, it took nearly eight years before the show collapsed under its own weight -- a bit of a pity, that, since the show actually ran for nine full years, but still.)

All Lost has is a bunch of people on a very weird island. Sure, some of those characters are very interesting indeed (when is someone going to realize that Terry O'Quinn can probably carry an entire series on his own?!), but the only way the show can continually invent new circumstances for them is to keep ratcheting up the way in which their island interacts with them in really weird ways. And the problem with that is very simple: sooner or later, some kind of convincing answer as to why the island is such a weird place has to be forthcoming. If not, then there's no reason for any of the stuff that happens on the show, and a drama in which things happen for no reason is no drama, and viewers will feel cheated, and rightly so.

But then, there's the other problem: once the island is explained, why should people continue to tune in? Presumably, to watch the characters try to deal with island/defeat it/escape it/bend it to their own purposes, et cetera. Maybe Lost will get there eventually, but it's not there yet, and I'm not interested in waiting.

(Caveat, though: Lost seems almost tailor-made for its inevitable incarnation on DVD.)

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