Monday, February 15, 2010

Favorite Shows: Part II

"Lost" (2004-2010)

"Lost" is a terribly good show. It's addictive and well-rendered, character-focused, patient, beautiful. I will be so sad to see it go, but I am near death in my excitement for the conclusion of this incredibly rich, momentous and bold sequence of events.

Top Season(s): 1 -- Right now, I'm just finishing up season one for the second time (not in a row, just ever), and I'm's a thing of beauty. I think the reason "Lost" is so successful is the reason so many other shows are not successful. It takes its time, takes its time, allowing us to truly know and understand these people and their lives before plunging us head first into plot. This is where "Fringe" fails, and where that knock-off garbage "Flash Forward" falls flat on its face. In those early episodes of "Lost," there is a painstaking quality, an incredible patience, an unfolding into this gorgeous mess of symbolic gold--It is a story that could not possibly be told any better, because it takes its time. "Lost" is best watched in the form of the binge. Six, seven episodes at a time is really the best way...I think there are a lot of people that will back me up on that. It's like reading a book, a book written by an author who understands exposition and placement of exposition and the precise calculation of which information is best revealed when. The greatest thing about "Lost" is that it makes us wait, and it doesn't only make us wait for answers to questions like, What's the deal with that hatch? Who are the Others? What happens to the pregnant women? In fact, I think it's almost more excruciating to wait for the answers to much more interesting, character-driven questions: How does Locke end up in the chair? Why does Jack's marriage end? What did Kate do? It's the emotional undercurrent that carries "Lost," not the plot, I think, which is interesting and ever-evolving, but it's the raw human stories, I think, that really make it so special and that really set it so far apart from (and above) the rest.

Top Episodes: Pilot Pt. I (1.1), All the Best Cowboys have Daddy Issues (1.11), Deus Ex Machina (1.19), Abandoned (2.6), The Long Con (2.13), Man of Science, Man of Faith (2.1), What Kate Did (2.9), The Glass Ballerina (3.2), I Do (3.6), The Man from Tallahassee (3.13), The Constant (4.5), Something Nice Back Home (4.10), There's No Place Like Home Pt. II (4.14), What Kate Does (6.2)

Favorite Character(s):

Character Death that Hurts the Most:

Favorite Story/Character Arc: Sawyer (James Ford) -- Sawyer's evolution really reminds me of Spike's (from "Buffy") in such that they both begin as minor villains who find themselves consistently rendered obsolete or 'harmless,' who then change deeply, usually due to the influence of women, women who are both like them and who are attracted to them (against their better judgment), and yet who ask something of them that, at first, they cannot give. Usually, it's decency, emotional availability. These are the things that they learn to understand. While Sawyer is a new man (with a brand new name) once he shacks up with Juliet in the season five, it was Kate, way back in the beginning, who, I think, sort of singled him out as, not an outsider, but a man of worth, a man who could do something good, and this is what changed him. Sawyer is dynamic, and he is consistently one of the most interesting characters to watch. He's written with quite a bit of nuance, the way he'll sort of push a certain character away for a moment before caving or giving in--He's incredibly vulnerable, and that is so very unlike Jack, who is vulnerable, sure, but he's got a very hard shell, and he's got his head on straight, and he comes from money and class and all that. Sawyer is like the same sad song sung over and over again, only toward the end, maybe there's a major chord in there somewhere that you didn't notice before, and it's all, I think, because of Kate. 

Favorite Moment in the Writing: Kate professes her love for Sawyer in 3.4 Every Man for Himself (Back when James was Sawyer, and Kate was Freckles) OR the entire Pilot, both parts. That first scene when Jack comes onto the beach is both perfectly set up with scenery, proper tone and hell fire ambience, as well as filtered directly through Jack's point of view, effectively placing him into the hero slot and letting us know that, hey, this is the guy we're going to follow for six years, and isn't he cute and oh, he's a doctor, and he's our guy. "He's a good man, maybe a great one," Christian says in 1.16 Outlaws. I think those opening scenes in "Lost" are a direct and fabulous testament to that. 


lesismore said...

I can see the affection for this show radiating off of every word you're typing. Your comment about it as a book by an author who understands exposition is one of the more ringing endorsements I've had to watch the show - which I still haven't. I don't know if I just have other shows I want to watch more, I just cringe from a lot of "Lost" fans or it just doesn't appeal to me. Ah well, I'll get it someday I'm sure.

Upsidedownpaddle said...

If I could, I would inject Lost Directly into my Brain.

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The Rush Blog said...

Is this article supposed to be some kind of ode to Kate and Sawyer? Because it seems like it.