Lost: The Finale

Monday, May 24th, 2010 08:19 am
retsuko: (sexy espresso)
My viewing experience was somewhat colored by the fact that I had an entire 20-oz. Coke around 7:00. I hadn't drunk that much caffeine and sugar in about four months, and the effect (at least, at first) was a laser-like precision focus on the show. (This is the effect that I imagine Ritalin has.) Later, though, the high wore off and I felt myself crashing in slow motion, getting cranky as [livejournal.com profile] yebisu9 grew increasingly dissatisfied with the overall plot of the show and feeling like I had to defend it. This lead to a sugar hangover this morning, coupled with the flat-out weirdest dreams I've had in a while. (When the Daleks started attacking the apartment next to mine that inexplicably had an ocean in it, I knew that trouble lay ahead.)

Needless to say, I'm laying off the caffeine for another five months, at the very least.

Anyway, as mentioned above, Yebisu was often unsatisfied with the entire thing, especially the ending. My thoughts were generally along the lines of "haters to the left" because I thought it was a fine ending--not as definitive in some areas, but entirely conclusive in the others that counted. Spoilers ahead. )

Regarding the series as a whole, I realized about halfway through last night's episode that I had no desire to watch the whole thing over again now that the story was over. Maybe in ten years or so, or when I'm ordered by a doctor to have significant bed rest time (which is hopefully never.) (And I will either watch Lost again or finally get around to reading The Stand, which one of the book group guys swears is the best thing since sliced bread.) I feel like a second time around, the continuity errors would be more glaring, certain characters more annoying than ever, etc. etc.

I also wonder what the lasting impact of this show is going to be. I pointed at the Oceanic bottled water and said that it would make for a great Comic Con freebie; Yebisu snarked that by July, people will already have forgotten it. But I suspect it's not going to fade away as quickly as that, especially since I've heard several people say that they were waiting for all DVDs to come out before they started watching (and I honestly cannot say that I blame them for this strategy at all. Much easier on the viewing nerves!) I like that there was a show on non-cable TV that proved (yet again) that mainstream, largely character-driven sci-fi, could work and, for the most part, did not jump the shark. I also liked that there was no movement to sanitize this show for younger audiences; the marketing stayed firmly in adult viewing territory. I hope that one of the legacies of this show will be the realization that fans are willing to buy into a long-term program with a rich mythology/strong storytelling and the development of similar shows down the line.

EDIT to add: I forgot to mention one of the funniest parts of the show: right as the island started to shake, San Diego experienced a small tremor, an aftershock from the Easter earthquake. It was as if the forces of TV wanted us to have extra verisimilitude in our viewing experience! ;)
retsuko: (spork!)
Just when I am short on funds, the completed series of MTV's Daria is released on DVD. Daria, like The X-Files and Star Trek: The Next Generation, was one of the few geeky bright spots during my high school years. (Jezebel has a wonderful write-up on it here, along with a requisite, poorly recorded YouTube clip.) I was never as sarcastic as Daria, and I couldn't master her almost emotionless facade, but I was so happy to find a kindred spirit on the airwaves that I didn't care. Her high school was filled with stereotypes that I encountered on a fairly regular basis in my own school experience (particularly the brainless cheerleaders and jocks, who would try to get me to do their work during science labs) and her running commentary on the situations she was faced with were nothing short of brilliant. Given that my own mental running commentary could never be spoken aloud (to speak aloud in a bad situation was to be noticed, something I desperately wanted to avoid), watching Daria do it was a thing of beauty. I was lucky that like Daria, I had several great friends who made it bearable. My Jane Lane's were just as geeky as I was, and there was great comfort in being able to talk to them about anything and everything. But Daria was like the friend I didn't have, and seeing her on TV was just as comforting as my real life friends. Somewhere out there, I thought, there is someone who writes and thinks like me, too, and I will meet them one day. High school may be receding in the rear-view mirror of "Thank God that's over" but my fondness for this series will not.

Speaking of geeky goodness, last night's "Lost" was... odd. A hugely mythological origin story, but riddled with confusing non-answers and strange associations. I wanted to like it, because there were a lot of interesting details and a ton of Biblical references. But, mostly, I kept thinking of the writers' insistence at Comic Con several years ago that there was a scientific explanation for everything involved with/happening on the Island. Last night's episode was not scientific in the slightest, and proves that this comment was made before they knew how the series would end. I don't begrudge them not knowing their end game, but this sort of thing sets up weird expectations for me. Anyway, we're down to just two episodes (is it two or one?) before the finale, so I sincerely hope that as many loose ends as possible get tied up before the end.

Finally, in more geeky goodness, and thanks to some friends with cable and some friends who know all the best places on the internet, I've caught up on the new season of Doctor Who! Spoilers through Episode 5, Flesh and Stone )
retsuko: (lost no evil)
There's a fabulous "pre-season" write-up for "Lost" here at the Onion A.V. Club. Noel Murray has recently rewatched the previous five seasons and has a number of witty and intelligent observations about the show in general. Scroll down the page, and there's an eight-minute video recap of all the action that's taken place so far, minus flash-backs and -forwards.

Murray speculates about the season to come, and has a number of questions that he wants answered.

Whatever happened to the Oceanic 815 stewardess Cindy, and the kids Zach and Emma?

I suspect we will never find this out. There are actually a number of minor characters who I'm very curious about, but I don't think the writers have enough time left to deal with them properly; I shudder to suspect that maybe the writers aren't good enough to answer all those minor people questions when they've let them dangle so terribly in the past. The bigger question, of course, is why were these characters important in the first place? Hell, we know why children were so important to the Others now, but why squirrel the kids away way back in Seasons 1 & 2, only to be all open about them later?

Who are The Others, and what is their purpose? How vast is their reach into off-island affairs? How do they get on and off the island so easily? Who the hell is Richard Alpert?

Please, Lost writers, if you answer no other questions with this final season, answer these!

Is Locke actually special, or has he just been a pawn all this time?

This question could be answered pretty quickly and simply, and I bet it's a small reward we'll get in the first few episodes. OTOH, depending on the writers' willingness to answer the previous set of questions, it could get tied up in innumerable plot complications.

The questions I add to this list are:

* What is the Smoke Monster? Is it an actual monster, or a scientifically explainable phenomenon as the writers have claimed in the past? And where's it been hanging out all this time? (I saw a funny fanvid recently of a Doctor Who/Lost crossover, where Smokey was actually one of the Weeping Angels, just in different form. While it would never work, it's a fun answer to contemplate.)

* Are forces on the Island (well, Islands, plural, really) controlled by those with strong willpower? I think that Ben was in charge for so long because he was focused and purposeful; but then Locke came along and he was more focused and purposeful, and the Island appeared to choose him over Ben.

If we could answer any or some of the above questions, I would be very grateful. But, as Murray observes,

"I’ve had a blast watching Lost, and I trust that the final season will be entertaining at times and frustrating at others. (Such is the appeal of the show; it’s fun to get mad at it sometimes.) I've never been one to get overly dismayed by the notion that the Lost writers have improvised a lot of the show on the fly. There's a place on TV for the kind of pre-planned, tightly controlled narrative (as seen on The Wire, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, etc.), but the trade-off is that those kinds of shows are often slow-paced and largely uneventful on any given week. I like that the Lost writers think about what will entertain and surprise an audience from episode to episode, even if that means introducing elements that that prove to be dead-ends. As a pastime, I certainly have no complaints about Lost."

This sums up very well my attitude about this show at this point. Since there's no way the writers can wrap everything up, I just hope they tell a good story, one that's reasonably connected to what proceeded it and that answers, hopefully, more than a few of the big questions. I've had such a good time watching this show, and it's not been a guilty pleasure in the slightest (unlike that one season of Survivor I watched from beginning to end and felt terrible about afterwards). Lost has consistently delivered quality debate material, compelling characters, and I'm glad that the writers have enough foresight to see that a definite end point is a stronger place to be than syndication.
retsuko: (dramatic tension)
In Books:

Gourmet Rhapsody, by Muriel Barberry: This is a companion volume to The Elegance of the Hedgehog, and features some of the same characters. It's a detailed portrait of the dying food critic who's only mentioned in passing in the first book, and it's the story of his life, partially told from his dying perspective, as he searches for the final, perfect taste, and partially from the perspective of friends, relatives, and enemies. This picture of a man who's often identified as a lion, even in his own estimation, is wonderfully complex and flawed, and features some virtuoso writing about how food really tastes ([livejournal.com profile] owlfish, I'm thinking you'll really enjoy this part).

Fire, by Kristin Cashore: I ended up liking this better than Graceling, its companion volume, but only by a slim margin. The link between the two stories is an especially evil character, and while it was comforting to read with the knowledge that he'd pay for his evil (eventually), the reading experience was essentially a creepy one because I already knew what he was capable of. Fortunately, the heroine of this story is resourceful, brave, and clever; she's also the antithesis of said linked character, and by the end of the volume, she knows it. I also thought the love story in this book evolved more naturally and didn't seem to just appear out of nowhere. All in all, Cashore is a very good writer, and one who I have many, many questions for now. Highly recommended.

In Movies:

The Princess and the Frog: I actually saw this a while back, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. The artwork is stunning--I like how New Orleans in the '20s was lit like it's always sunrise, and the loving depictions of the buildings and people made me think that someone on the animation staff was able to go through their old family photo albums for source material. The story is actually surprisingly complicated, and though it features the obligatory, heteronormative love story and Princess Transformation in the last five minutes, it's quite satisfying. Tianna is a wonderful main character who sticks to her goals in life, and admirably so, in the face of uncertainty, tragedy, and temptation. The villain gets one of the most psychedelic animated sequences I've ever seen in a Disney movie. There is a trumpet-playing Alligator who longs to perform with the great jazz musicians of the era. And, best of all, there's a wonderful female friend, who comes through for her friend instead of being selfish. So much fun, even with small children screeching in the theater around us.

On TV:

First of all, The Onion gleefully lampoons Lost fans' oversharing of their anticipation over the final season. There's also a "blink and you'll miss it" 'Wire' joke which segueways very nicely into the first show I wanted to talk about:

The Wire, Season 3: Cut for spoilers, but mostly me waxing worshipful over some fantastic set design work. )

And, on the incredibly cheesy side, we have Robin Hood: Made of Awesome, Season 3: This program was most definitely interrupted to increase dramatic tension, and the first episode suffers a little for that, as it seems far too anticlimatic and overly done to fit in with the rest of the show. But then Friar Tuck shows up (ably played by the charismatic David Harewood) and helps Robin get his groove back, and then it's back to AWESOME as usual. I had forgotten how much I liked watching these characters bicker amongst themselves, particularly the Sherriff. At one dramatic point in the first episode, he whispers to the tormented Sir Guy, "You are teetering on the edge of dispensibility!", a comment which endeared me to him for however long he stays with the show. There's a new female character on this season, too, who seems to have TV-Brand-Heroine-Spunkiness: she's brave when it's appropriate to the plot for her to be that way, but other times... meh. Her major function thus far has been to prompt philosophical arguments between the heroes along the lines of, DO THE ENDS JUSTIFY THE MEANS?! I have little patience for philosophy in this show and just want to get back to the swashbuckling and AWESOME. I hope the character matures a little as the season progresses.
retsuko: (sexy espresso)

~HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL SEPTEMBER JANUARY?! *weeps* This isn't Agent-Mulder-in-a-burning-traincar-with-a-bunch-of-smallpox-infested-alien-corpses bad, but this is pretty bad.
retsuko: (seriously?)
Mere ranting alone cannot express my feelings. THEREFORE CAPSLOCK!

SO MANY GOOD THINGS ABOUT THIS EPISODE WHERE TO BEGIN?! But, so many spoilers, they simply have to go behind a cut! )

Non-spoilery-wise, I have to say that I am also impressed at the way this finale's storyline is being spun. There's fine building of suspense here, and no lingering on someone's story too long (except for lingering on Jack too long. But they *always* do that, so no surprises there, I guess.) All I have for next week is a deep sense of dread: there will be a high body count. :(


Non-TV-wise, the neighbors two doors down are having a loud party with lots of beer. Overheard thus far: "I AM FAR DUMBER THAN YOU!" @_@;;
retsuko: (lost no evil)
Neither can live while the other survives! Spoilers will kill them both if Smokey the Monster does not! )

Without spoiling anything, I can say that I love how all the mundane things in this episode, like the game of Risk, the phone ringing, and the doorbell, were suddenly filled with menace. One of the things I love about this show, besides the twists and turns, is how, against the backdrop of Island foliage and sabotage, nothing is what it seems--especially that which is most familiar to us, as viewers.
retsuko: (lost no evil)
May I just say? Best Episode Yet! )

Lost: Eggtown

Friday, February 22nd, 2008 10:32 pm
retsuko: (lost no evil)
You know when you totally call a plot point, and watch the plot unwind to this Big Reveal at the end, but you know what's coming?

I totally called this week's Lost. And that felt sort of good. )
retsuko: (lost no evil)
I can't think of a witty introduction, so let's go right to the spoiler-rific OMGWTFBBQ fuss! )

May 2016

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