Wednesday, July 9, 2008

A rant on Lost --- SPOILERS AHEAD

I made a huge mistake recently guys. I got myself into Lost. I had sidestepped the whole thing too. I watched the first season and was like “They don’t know what the fuck they are talking about. They are making it up as they go along.” And stopped watching it. And then my brother had seasons 2 and 3 on disc. “I should get into it.”

Big mistake.

I don’t like watching Lost. I just wanna know what the fuck is going on. I get no joy from it.

To me, watching Lost is exactly like a guy who comes up to me and is like “Betcha wanna know whats in this box, huh?” “Yes I do.” “I’ll tell you next week.” But stretched out over a period of six years. And he calls me every week and doesn’t tell me shit. And then some weeks he’ll call and its just some stupid story about before he ever got the box. And sometimes, strangely enough, a story that will happen after he loses the box. “How the fuck could you even know that?” “I’ll tell you next week.”

“Boy Sawyer and Kate are on the outs again huh?”

Sometimes he’ll call and we’ll have this conversation::

LostMan: “Hey its green. Whatever’s in the box is green. I just looked.”
Me: “Awesome! Now I know something for sure! Its green!”
LostMan: “Its not green. It might be green. There’s a chance that it’s green. Green is a color that exists.”
Me: “Fuck you Lost.”

I am knee deep in Lost right now, and I can see why the whole country is gaga over it. But I still have a lot of problems with the way the show is written and the way the characters are handled. You can see the writers moving them around like puppets. When I watch the movies and tv shows I love, I usually think “Why is he doing that? Why would Mulder let him go?” etc. When I watch Lost I always think “Why are the writers making Jack do that? Why did the characters make Jin miss?” The characters exist just so the writers can move them around in favor of the plot. Why the fuck did Jin miss the explosives in the tent when the Others came to get the pregnant women at the end of Season 3? Jin is a badass kung fu mother fucking hitman. He doesn’t miss. Bernard should miss. He’s a fucking dentist.

Jin is just a “vessel” character, and they pour whatever personality they want into him. He hates his wife and is an asshole to her! No, he loves her, and understands! He’s a badass who can beat up 3 people! No, he can’t shoot a fucking knapsack from 10 feet away.

Why did Sayid fall in love with Shannon? Just so someone could be sad when she dies? What the hell do Sayid, an Iraqi torturor, and Shannon, a trixie, have in common?

Sayid: I am a torturer.
Shannon: I’ll tell you what torture is. Torture is finding out that MAC discontinued your shade of lipstick.
Sayid: Kiss me you fool.

Also, Sayid, we get it. You’re a torturer. You don’t need to bring it up at every possible turn.

Sayid: I am Sayid Jarrah. I am a torturer.
Sawyer: uhhh… We’re just going to collect mangoes dude.
Sayid: I could help you. I will use skills I learned. As a torturer.
Sawyer: Settle down Gunga Din.

Every single character on Lost has one, and exactly one, thing from their past that they need to reconcile. Sawyer killed a wrong man and wants revenge. Locke wants to deal with his daddy bullshit. Kate killed her daddy. Its all lazy paint by numbers characterization. Give them one flaw to make them interesting. You can see that Lost is written by a team in a conference room using venn diagrams and flow charts.

It also feels to me like they keep throwing crazy shit onto the wall to see what sticks. Did that bird whisper Hurley’s name? What? Really? Is this a conversation we are actually having? Describing the events of Lost to someone makes it sound like the worst show every made.

“So the hatch implodes and the island tells Locks that he needs to go rescue Mr. Eko from the polar bear cave, only to be killed later by the smoke monster, and Locke tries to repent but ends up in the cabin housed by the ghost of Jacob. He gets shot and left in a mass grave shortly thereafter, but its ok, cuz the island really likes him.”

What? How did we get here? How did we get to the point where “the island really likes him” is a fair explanation for… anything? And we’re buying it too! We’re like “Of course he’s ok. The island. Really. Likes. Him.”

We used to want real answers. Now we settle for that. They have won.

I think the last episode is just going to be the entire cast of Lost locking hands and line dancing as JJ Abrams quietly flips you off in the corner. And I mean, the entire cast. Boone is there, Shannon is there, the polar bear is there, the smoke monster. The fucking smoke monster… jeez… don’t get me started…


Mo Diggs said...

Though I disagree with your assessment, funny post nevertheless.

I must beseech you to avoid the Sawyer nickname generator. Very dissapointing (mine is Picasso).

Aalap said...

You're fucking right on the ball, "brother". I'm a very similar situation. I also almost avoided this show up until like 1 month ago.

At one point i was watching these dvds on my xbox360 with the captions on at 4x speed just so I could breeze through the crappy back stories and the wasted episodes.

I'm now at some episode that has to do with time shifts a la Slaughterhouse five (but for some reason if you are in love you can stop being unstuck in time).

I agree with every point you made and also have to the fuck do people survive an implosion?

Why would you enter an around the world race to convince your ex girlfriend's dad that you're good enough to marry his daughter?

I wish they had taken all the heroin from that plane and just ODed.

Bridget Callahan said...

I agree somewhat with aalap...the plot could have gone in an entirely different direction with all that heroin...

Also, (and I don't know if you've gotten this far, so I might be messing with you), but when did I become so into this show that I am now the type of person to say "I want more polar bears" AND "I can't believe his *thing* is seeing ghosts, that's so stupid".

Screw the online conspiracy though, trolling for hidden video is not going to make me buy a Jeep.

ben said...

it also seems like EVERYONE has forgotten about the statue of the four-toed foot. what the fuck was that about? and why has no one ever mentioned it again?

anyway, i loved your lost review. here's a video we made on the subject after season 1 (most of the points of which are amazingly still relevant three seasons later).

- ben

eskay said...

I strongly disagree with some of your points, but that was so fucking hilarious that I don't even care anymore.

Kumail Ali said...

That's right! The four toed statue! What was that all about?

Btw, that Lost writers' video is hilarious. That's exactly how I feel. I bet the writers actually had a magic turtle storyline planned, but scrapped it after watching that video.

Kumail Ali said...

Also, I totally didn't see your video before doing my "What's in the box?" thing. So.. yeah.

MMR said...

It's cute reading this, when all the stuff you're mad about happened YEARS ago for everyone else who is up-to-date with the show. If you think shit is confusing and bizarre now, wait until the end of this past season.

Lost is amazing. I think it's the best TV show that's ever been on TV. It takes some of the stuff Twin Peaks brilliantly began and pushes it to the most ridiculous extremes. It has no real-world logic, but only the logic of dreams. In a dream, you are trapped on an island and you see the ghost of a horse you knew in Australia, and something blows up but then no one ever mentions it again. That shit wouldn't happen that way in real life! But it does in dreams!! It is a meta-TV show and I love it. It only gets worse/better, though, in terms of "not telling you every tiny little thing" so maybe you should quit now, and get back to watching "Everybody Loves Raymond."


Kumail Ali said...

David Lynch's movies ARE set in a dreamscape world. Things make emotional and symbolic sense. But Lost doesn't exist in that universe. Lost pretends to exist in the real world, and they claim the world makes sense in a real way. If they can make it make sense at the end, kudos. I was wrong. Doesn't change the fact that the characterization is very weak. Kate goes from badass to lame in every single episode.

Now excuse me, I believe i have an Everybody Loves Raymond marathon to watch.

MMR said...

it's true what you say about Kate. Also I'm tired of watching Claire get bonked in the head every episode.

magicwoman said...

Great post! Me and my SO got hooked into the show after it started too - by renting season 1. Been hooked ever since...last season was possibly my favorite.

BTW - found your blog via Mike Fotis' blog...