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Please close the door and switch on the fun without fail.

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The day after
lost by frodosgoosegirl
So, I'm still thinking about Lost. Yes, we're still on that. You want me to go back to talking about Twilight? Because we can do that.

Yeah, that's what I thought.

One of the defining things about the show is that we would have a major paradigm-shift every season or so--it would continue to redefine what the show was "actually" about. What it was "actually" about was, of course, the people and the weird island that threw them together, even though at times the show was "primarily" about one or more of the following: 1) people trying to get rescued from a simple plane crash; 2) people trying not to get killed by a mysterious group of hostiles and/or polar bears, 3) the secretive, experimental Dharma Initiative, which also involved a weird feud between two leaders who wanted to kill each other's daughters for some obscure reason; 4) the future, which we thought was the past, in which the Oceanic Six were desperately trying to get back to the island; 5) the '70s; 6) even more time travel; 7) parallel universes; 8) some weird temple that we'd been hearing about for six years, now with new characters, who we didn't actually care about but spent half the season with anyway; 9) Jacob, Samuel (GUYS! HE HAS A NAME!) and the Glowcave of Humanity; 10) Jack's daddy issues. Again. And every season or so, the show would wrench the focus ninety degrees and go, "NOW it's about Dharma! NOW it's about getting off the island! NOW it's about going back! NOW it's about the future! NOW it's about the past! NOW it's about a side universe! ARE YOU SHOCKED YET OR WHAT."

Don't get me wrong, I really appreciated that. I didn't get a whole lot of TV that was willing to blow my mind, or at least attempt to do so, on a regular basis. I still think the single best moment of the show was Scarybeard Jack shouting, "KATE! WE HAVE TO GO BACK!" even as everyone was finally rescued, something I didn't even think would happen until the end of the series, and suddenly everything we all, characters and viewers alike, had wanted the whole time was turned on its head. You could actually feel the show turn on its axis at that moment.

What I got out of the finale (which I did like), though, was a final readjustment of, "None of those paradigm shifts individually were important; it was about the people and their time on the island as a whole." And it's hard to hear that the things they made us think were important--Walt being "special," the necessity of Claire raising Aaron, the Numbers--either weren't important all along, or the showrunners just said, eh, to hell with it. They're not going to tell us the deep inner workings of Dharma or the statue or the glowcave (™ snacky) or even the Sideways Afterlife, and on one level that kind of sucks, in a "Good job biting off more than you could chew" way, but I'm willing to forgive that because of the last shot of the show. There was a thematic unity--the show ended the way it began. There was a wholeness of vision there. I can respect that, no matter what I thought of the various balls they dropped along the way--they had a vision, and maybe they didn't entirely pull it off, but so help me, they tried. As NPR's "'Lost' Is The Most Important Show Of The Decade. Why? Because It's Doomed" puts it,

Going forward with a show, raising question after question after question, asking people to be patient about a monster for five-plus seasons, knowing that it's all going to get you a kick in the teeth from your own adoring fans someday because you have taken on more than you will ever be able to really explain? That's audacious. [...] It's been done with love and attention and the evident and ceaseless passion of true, red-blooded nerds, and in the end, it's going to leave holes, because it has to, because what they bit off is just that big.

This is a show that swung for the fences--and whiffed a number of times. (I can forgive The Paulo and Nikki Episode as being a goof on the level of--what was that Xander-centric episode of Buffy, one of the few I actually saw? "The Zeppo"? As a similar exercise in departing from the usual perspective, once the showrunners realized we didn't care about Paulo and Nikki's insertion into the overall storyline. The Bai Ling Tattoo Episode? Yeah, to hell with that. I don't think Cuse and Lindelof will ever stop taking shit for that one.)

What I'm getting at--what I'm getting out of this--is that, as a writer, I'm taking some hope and encouragement from this. Because I started reading over my drafts this weekend and I got really, really scared. Not because my vision is too big and grand and no one will understaaaaaand me--the opposite, rather, which is that I'm scared that these drafts are kind of crappy and small and insignificant. I'm not saying we should all try to emulate the outsize crazygonuts complexity of Lost--the doomed complexity that the show itself perhaps couldn't live up to--but rather, to swing for the fences. Because Lost put it all out there, and you may think it succeeded or you may think it failed, but even if it failed, it had a damn good time doing it, and I had a damn good time watching it, and even at its most frustrating, people loved it and were engaged by it. Which is to say, if I can't guarantee myself that I can succeed--if this is what failure looks like, I'd rather fail big than fail small. 

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I just want you to tell me Vincent went to heaven cause... well.... Clive, Chet, Sam, Shelby & Scout want to KNOW!!!!

Of course he did. Because all dogs go to heaven, right??

I thought the Man in Black already had a name. Johnny Cash.

/never watched lost

Imma let you finish your comment, but the Dread Pirate Wesley was the best Man in Black of all time. OF ALL TIME.

(What. I couldn't help myself. The Internets made me do it.)

(Also? Patently untrue. Johnny Cash was the best, duh. But still! For the lulz!)


Sept. 22, 2004 — May 23, 2010

“Lost,” age six seasons, passed away with dignity on the evening of May 23, 2010. Memorial services were held a half hour later on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” with Jimmy Kimmel officiating. Special music was performed by Michael Giacchino. There will be no burial as its body of work has been donated to the Internet for extensive study.

Born Sept. 22, 2004, “Lost” was the brainchild of Damon Lindelof, J. J. Abrams, Jeffrey Lieber and Carlton Cuse, et al., all of whom survive, unlike most of their characters.

“Lost” has captivated, confused, irritated and infuriated millions of viewers the world over. We, its family of fans, have laughed with Hurley; loved with Jin and Sun; contemplated life, the universe and everything with Jack and Locke; hated on Kate; and drooled over shirtless Sawyer. We’ve flashed back, flashed forward and even flashed sideways, but unfortunately, never flashed by Sayid. (Drat.) We’ve been thrown for loops, made speechless, gasped in shock and blown away (but not literally, like Arzt and Ilana).

“Lost” leaves a legacy of life lessons: live together, die alone; it’s never too late for a second chance; no man (or woman) is an island; DUI charges will get you killed off; never mess with unstable dynamite.

In addition to its creators, “Lost” is survived by Elizabeth Mitchell of “V,” Ian Somerhalder of “The Vampire Diaries,” Daniel Dae Kim of “Hawaii 5-O,” sibling series “Fringe,” also created by Abrams, and the numbers 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42.

It was preceded in death by the Dharma Initiative, most of the passengers of Oceanic Flight 815, a host of Others, Jacob, the Man in Black, “Felicity” and “Alias.”

In lieu of flowers, the producers ask that memorial donations be made in the form of DVD preorders.

ABC Studios was in charge of the arrangements.

Re: A 'Lost' obituary

That was great. :)

I like the way you called it a Titanic afterlife. That helped me pull it together in my own head, semanticly. I got it, but now I have something to call it.

Were you the one who started calling him the Locke-less Monster?

Don't think that was me. In fact, I don't think I came up with any names for Smokey; I only used names that other people came up with. If I'd been writing recaps, I might have tried to name him something, but...


I have to say, watching Lost's "failure" gives me a new appreciation for what JK Rowling managed to pull off working all by herself for 10 years. I mean, HP was as complicated as Lost, and she DID pull it almost all together.

For real. This is why I've said, on occasion, that what I'm trying to write is a bit like both of them--not that it has anything to do with the subject matter of either, but it's got a large cast of characters, a bit of in-story mythology, and an on-going mystery/quest. And I say it simply in terms of, this is the kind of back story writing that drafting the series is front-loaded with, because I *don't* want to be caught five books in going, "Shit. That makes no sense at all. I totally screwed myself over three books back."

I still think the single best moment of the show was Scarybeard Jack shouting, "KATE! WE HAVE TO GO BACK!" even as everyone was finally rescued, something I didn't even think would happen until the end of the series, and suddenly everything we all, characters and viewers alike, had wanted the whole time was turned on its head. You could actually feel the show turn on its axis at that moment.
That was such an amazing moment, I agree. And I still love Jack's squeaky "WE HAVE TO GO BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACK!"

I like this post.

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Yes, all this.

I was saying to one of my coworkers how pissed I would have been if someone stood there on screen doing a huge infodump: "And this one... well, this is what THAT meant, and this... we meant THAT..." and so on.

I like that it was only part of the story we saw. The rest goes on without us.

The main thing I took from the finale (and the BSG one): Suddenly I REALLY appreciate the, simplicity seems too mean but that's what it is, of the Buffy finale a lot more than I did when that aired. No last second piece of information that completely turns everything on its head and leaves you going "Wait...what?"

I have the same opinion of the Paolo/Nikki and Tattoo episodes. Paolo/Nikki seemed to know and accept that it was kind of pointless while Tattoo was playing everything utterly straight.

If Paolo/Nikki had run in an episode of 1960s or 70s series, it would be considered a classic. In Lost it was just harmlessly doofy.

The Secret Origin of Jack's Tats was pointless, and rather ugly. "O hai screw ur customs so I can has bitchin ink, k?" "K! Hope ai don gets kilt!"

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I think too, that it has to do with how the viewer approached it. For me, the characters and their journeys and their connections to each other were really the most important things. Back in season 1, I remember talking to a friend about maybe the island was purgatory, maybe not, but the really big thing was that these people were being given a second chance, a choice about their lives, and what was going to matter most was what they did with that chance and their choices.

All the sci-fi trappings? I just kind of shrug. Yeah, it would be nice if we got an explanation, but for me, I'm satisfied with Dharma being just another presence on the island, trying to tap into its power, going all the way back to the people the MiB was working with to build the frozen donkey wheel. And the Glowcave? Seriously, how the hell were they going to come up with the pseudoscience to explain that? "Um, it glows with the light of the world and there's um a cork for the bad and um, electromagnetism!" I just don't think there's ever going to a good explanation for pseudo-science, so I just kind of handwave and go with it. But I realize not everyone can do that.

And even though, for the most part, I loved it, there are still some balls that I think they dropped. I get why the Walt storyline had to go, due to the actor, but I still think he and Michael should have been in the church at the end. And the numbers! THE NUMBERS! There needed to be some real explanation about the numbers. And... I'm sure there's a few more things I can complain about, but those are my big two. :D

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I watched season one and part of season two.

The main things I wanted to know about were Walt being "special," the necessity of Claire raising Aaron, the Numbers and WTF was the huge monster in the trees and why a Polar Bear.

So basically things that were important early on they never answered.

So in all seriousness, IS EVERYONE DEAD? Was that the point? That they are all dead?

Same here. Maybe if I'd kept watching and had a chance to get invested in the new characters/story lines, I'd be more satisfied with the finale, but as it is...nope.

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yeah, I actually like The Zeppo quite a bit. I kind of love the end of it a little bit more every time I see it.

I have issues with the finale, but I didn't hate it. But to me, it wasn't all about the characters--I never would've started watching if it wasn't for, you know, that whole "mysterious island" thing. I'm just worried that we're in for a bunch of copycat shows where the writers use and abuse genre elements to string people along without any intention of following through with them.

We've had copycats for the last six years. They all suck and get cancelled.

Is that really his name, or is it just one of those casting call things? They frequently put in fake names and stuff just to throw people off so no one will know what they're casting...bah, I'm sticking with Esau!

I guess I'm just thrown off by how unimportant the Dharma Initiative turned out to be. I mean, it ended up having a big effect, but it's still kind of...incidental. Ultimately it wasn't as essential to the heart of the story as I thought it might have been, I guess. It's one of those things that they made us think was important, as you said, and ended up only being secondarily important...but it's not quite a red herring. I guess they had to pick the biggest themes and focus on them rather than trying to do too much, but...it's a little weird.

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You would probably get a kick out of the movie "Memento" with Guy Pearce (who is really gorgeous). Don't let me or anyone else spoil you for the plot though.

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For me LOST has been more about the characters then the mysteries. I gave up on getting actually answers after Charlie died. But I know that the mysteries were a big part for the majority of the fandom and I understand why people are angry with it.

Edited at 2010-05-24 05:47 pm (UTC)