Lost lost you?
Amidst dropping viewer ratings,
declining media attention and stiff competition by the likes of
Heroes, this would seem to be the
common wisdom nowadays.
General consensus has it that Lost will
probably suffer the same ignominious fate as The
X-Files in that the series will be allowed to drag on beyond its
original premise and that the show's writers will in time simply write
themselves into a corner.
In an effort to allay these fears the Lost
producers have sent out conflicting messages about the show not going on
longer than a fourth season (in the meantime it has emerged that the series
will actually last longer) and that, yes, the writers do indeed have a grand
scheme in mind. All will be revealed eventually . . . Then again, they will
say anything to keep us watching, right?
The reality however is that Lost has been a victim
of its own over hype. Much in the same way The
Phantom Menace would never satisfy die-hard fans who have waited decades
for another Star Wars flick no matter how
good it would be, Lost viewers would never be satisfied with whatever
was down that mysterious hatch as was revealed towards the beginning of
To recap: a group of airplane crash survivors find
themselves stuck on a remote tropical island (actually it was filmed in
Hawaii, near where they filmed Jurassic Park).
The island seems to be imbued with magical powers: a cripple finds that he
can walk again and there is a vicious creature (later revealed to be a
supernatural black cloud) out in the woods. Most worrisome of all is a group
of mysterious island inhabitants simply known as "The Others" who attack
them and kidnap their women and children.
At the beginning of Season 3 it is revealed that the
Others aren't quite what they seemed to be and the season in general
focuses on them, slowly peeling away their back history and motives.
However, in the tradition of grand narrative fiction, as some questions are
answered, others arise again.
If you're new to the show, then it is best to start right
at Season 1 as the show consists of one continuous narrative instead of
television's usual standalone episodes. Miss one or two episodes and you'll
miss the gist of things: main characters often come and go at an alarming
rate as they are killed off and new ones introduced. The last two episodes
of Season 3 overdoses on this by killing off a huge swathe of characters
plus one leading man and potentially introducing a whole new set of
characters. The season finale also comes so far from the left field that one
is disoriented as to what the next season might actually bring and how
things would work out.
Lost is like watching a magician perform his tricks and trying to
outguess him. Except he still manages to trick you. This is what still makes
Lost hypnotic viewing particularly suited to the DVD format.
one of those rare shows in which one simply selects ?Play All? from the menu
instead of playing a disc episode by episode. If Lost has lost you,
then this DVD is the perfect way to get back onboard one of the best sci-fi
adventure shows on TV right now again.
THE DISCS: The entire season is spread over six
discs with a seventh disc consisting of only special features. Best of these
special features is one which investigates the several literary influences
on the show as well as the various books read by characters throughout the
series? run thus far, none of which seems to be dropped in without a reason.
William Golding's Lord of the Flies is an obvious influence and so
are the various Stephen King novels that make up the reading list of the
Others' book club, but some other titles will come as a surprise. While the
talks with the writers on this featurette give one the impression that there
is indeed a Grand Scheme to the Lost series, it is dispelled by the
featurette chronicling a single day in filming Lost.
clearly gives an idea of how television differs from movie-making and what a
daunting enterprise it is bringing in a show such as this to TV sets each
week. As one episode is being filmed, another is in post-production whilst
the writers are busy writing upcoming episodes . . . It also gives one the
impression that, yes, the Lost writers are making this all up as they
go along and has no clear idea as to how things are going to end . . .
WORTH IT? Yes.
RECOMMENDATION: This is a show that always manages
to surprise one by heading off into unexpected directions and keeping one
glued to the TV set for the ride. It is still one heck of a ride despite
what the doomsayers might be proclaiming. Buy this latest box set and bid
farewell to your social life for the next few weeks . . .