Tuesday, February 2, 2010

LOST IS BACK!!! Wait -- shit. Lost is back. Does anyone have a length of rope?

[If you haven't seen Lost seasons 1-5 but plan to, stop reading. Jack dies, by the way.]

Oh, Lost, you immeasurably frustrating asshole of a program. Why can't I quit you?

No TV show has ever pissed me off so much as Lost has. Not Entourage, not Sex and the City, not even any reality shows.

I may want to see Turtle and Johnny Drama and E given a molten lava enema, but the exhilaration of watching that would be fleeting. Ultimately I just don't care enough.

Lost, however...goddammit. Goddamn this fucking show. Last winter, four or five episodes in, I finally kicked Lost to the curb. I was tired of waiting to find out what that black smoke monster was. And what do those numbers mean? Why can't anyone who dies ever stay fucking dead? Why is it that every season your solution is to introduce more characters when you haven't come close to dealing with the shit-ton you've already got? Who the fuck is this Jacob asshole? And dammit, enough of this boring-as-all-fuck Jack-Kate-Sawyer bullshit. NO ONE CARES. And now they're time-traveling? Seriously? And I'm supposed to keep paying attention when you WON'T ANSWER ANY GODDAMN QUESTION YOU'VE EVER RAISED WITHOUT RAISING LIKE FIVE MORE?!?!?!?!?!? FUCK YOU WITH A RUSTY SHOVEL! GET FATAL TETANUS!

It wasn't always like this.

Seasons one and two were heaven. As compelling as The Sopranos or The Wire. It was then that Lost sunk its teeth into me. I was Bella to JJ Abrams' Edward. The show didn't answer any questions back then either, but it didn't matter... We were in love.

I remember waiting desperately for season three to start. And when it did, things were wonderful. But just when it was getting on a roll came the first time I had the horrifying thought that maybe Lost didn’t really love me back.

After just six episodes that fall, ABC decided for some reason that the best thing for Lost and its fans would be to stop showing episodes of Lost. For THREE FRIGGING MONTHS. This was no Winter Olympics-like break in the schedule. This was no summer vacation. They just stopped showing episodes. No repeats, nothing.

I came to realize soon after Lost resumed that I definitely wasn’t Bella, and Lost was no Edward. I began to understand that I was actually Tina, and Lost was my Ike. And that three-month break was simply the first time I took a backhand.

I began to lose interest during the second half of season three, growing increasingly irritated at each successive episode's "big surprise" and every annoying cliffhanger that I knew would only go unresolved. The only really enjoyable parts were getting to know Desmond (along with Ben, the show's best character, IMO) and finally -- FINALLY -- seeing Charlie (the worst character) die. (Of course, he didn't exactly stay off the show for long, but the bright spots between beatings had to be appreciated, brief though they were.)

However, there was one last stunner. It turns out the flashbacks during the season-three finale (showing an oddly bearded Jack) turned out to be flash-forwards. When Kate showed up at the last moment and Jack exclaimed, "We have to go back!" it was like Ike had finally apologized (“And this time he meant it!”) and gotten me that diamond ring I'd always wanted and he'd always promised me. All was forgiven. He really does love me!

Alas, no. Ike did not change, he only got meaner. Season four... I don't even want to talk about it. I've done my best to repress most of it. But let's quickly go over the finale. Which fucking blew. Ooohhh, Locke was in the coffin? DON'T GIVE A SHIT. What's this? Ben turns some old, frozen wooden wheel and the island...moves? What in God's holy name are you blathering about?

Unlike how had I been roped back in following season three, this time I would allow no such thing. I would not be fooled again.

When season five began, I remember tuning in just to laugh at how stupid the whole thing was. I would NOT let Ike, with his once-charming smile, his soothing voice, come crawling back, only to emotionally molest me ever again.

So I quit.

I managed to smirk through four or five episodes and concluded that it was just gonna be more of the same. And who really gives a shit about the stupid smoke monster anyway. It’s probably just the island farting or something retarded like that.

It was a year of bliss. No more weekly mental-trauma sessions. No more frustration boiling over into near-homicidal rage.

But I heard things. Things like, “Actually season five got really good again,” and “The time-traveling stuff is pretty cool, surprisingly.” I tried to dismiss them. Ike could be at his most alluring when he wasn’t actually around. Absence and the fonder-growing heart or something.

And then I found out that the upcoming season would be Lost’s last. FINALLY, some questions answered! Could it be? Maybe I should give it one last chance…?

So of course I did. This weekend I powered through all 16 episodes of season five, and I’ll say this: It was damn good. The time-travel stuff – somehow – worked really, really well. And they actually addressed the black smoke monster! Woo-hoo! I mean, I still don’t actually know what it is or anything, but I know a helluva lot more now than I used to. (It was pretty cool, too.) And we actually met Jacob. After season four, I would’ve bet LJT’s life that Jacob never really existed and we’d never hear about him again.

So tonight, I’ll watch the premiere. I’ll most likely end up watching every episode. And I’ll probably spend most of the time annoyed, wishing I hadn’t been suckered in…again.

But maybe, juuuuust maybe Ike has changed. Maybe things will go back to how they were when we started. When it was nice. And this final season will be as fulfilling and rewarding and thrilling as it is in my dreams.

That or he knocks me the fuck out.


The Notorious LJT said...

i have never watched a single episode of lost, so i have no frame of reference.

Open Bar said...

You are, in fact, like a child who wanders in...

Weren't you there when Diesal and I were watching season 3? Or had you moved out by then? You probably would have remember the unadulterated frustration.

The Notorious LJT said...

i don't know. when was season 3?

i do remember nip and tuck though. i hated that fucking show.

Anonymous said...

Lost is possibly my favorite show on tv ever, and this is not a "lukeration,"(*) I am in fact giving a "testament" (**)
though I have to agree with Chris about how it did suck for a while, I also stopped watching about the same time as Chris, but have recently caught up
John Locke is the il na na, when the zombies, aliens or robot overlords show up (or you are stuck on a mystical island,) John Locke is the guy that will keep you alive...
Though I would love to see Ben negotiate with Senator Palpaptine, don't ever count out Locke, Ben tried to kill him twice, once successfully and John's now the leader of the others...
Don't ever mess with a guy with a destiny.
(if you are still reading this let me know, I owe you a beer, the password is "Coach K, AAAAAaa")

ChuckJerry said...

ah, coach K. Sweet, free beer.

I kindof liked Juliet. Although her name was Juliet. I guess she had to die.

I'm hoping for a Charlie, Shannon, Boone devil's threesome in the season premiere.

Side Bar said...

Lost is amazing. And last night's season opener was very encouraging.

But here is the thing: me and the wifey did not start watching Lost until about 4 months ago, and we watched seasons 1-5 on DVD.

There is no better way to watch a TV series than on DVD. It is an accelerator for great TV. It's like straining all that gross shit out of your orange juice and just having a nice glass of clean OJ.

The Wire. Sopranos. Mad Men. Lost. Whatever. These hour-long dramas come on for 60 minutes, once a week (sometimes less than that), and some of them are interrupted every 12 minutes by commercials.

Not on DVD.

On DVD, you can watch four episodes - a month's worth of programming for you first-run broadcast slaves - in less than three hours. You can get through a season in a weekend (as OB did with Season 5 of Lost).

And please, please do not talk to me about DVR. It is not nearly as good as having the commercials edited out, and 42 minutes of the show completely unadulterated.

There is absolutely no comparison. If the first four episodes of season 2 of your favorite show have a total of 45 minutes of just gripping drama in them, that's not too bad for the equivalent of a long movie. But 45 minutes of great TV over the course of a month? No thanks.

We had this experience with the Wire (watched 1-4 on DVD and loved it; watched season 5 every Sunday night and liked it, but it was not as good), Mad Men (1 and 2 on DVD, 3 on Sunday nights on AMC), and now Lost.

So yes, Lost is an amazing show, possibly my favorite ever. I loved Season 1, and was ready for a let down because everyone told me that the show didn't really get good again until season 5. But that was not our experience at all. We got all the way through season 5 without ever really picking a favorite, and without even really being able to distinguish one season from another - it was seamless.

But I am bracing for the DVD effect - if Season 6 of Lost is a let down, I'll know why.