Here’s To You, ’92

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Catching Up, & Final Thoughts On “Lost”

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Remember me?  I was all bloggish and podcasty early in the year, but then work pressures, financial woes and a big-ass flood turned me into a do-nothing jerkweed.  However, during my do-nothingness, I have watched bucketloads of movies, in between trying to get money from various government agencies.  I hope to have lots of stuff to babble about in the near-future (if you even give a crap), so subscribe to me and add me on Twitter and all that garbage, and soon, we’ll be killing time together once again.

Lost ended a few weeks ago, and my urge to get back to the blog thing was inspired by this conversation with a friend of mine:

Lee: do you stil ever write jokes?

me: Sure, I post bullshit on twitter/facebook . . . Been meaning to get back to blogging, but the past cpl months has blown

Lee: yeah I wanted to see a full on take of the last shit episode of Lost

you know the one that ruined the whole goddamned show forever?

When Lost ended, I was very moved and verklempt and my face was gay with tears…For about 10 minutes.  Then I thought about the numerous questions they didn’t bother to answer.  Then I thought about the whole sideways timeline this season.  Then I started getting pissed.  A couple of days later, I had an email conversation with the aforementioned Lee.  Here are some snippets:

Me:

I like the final 10 minutes a little less with each passing minute.  Imagine all of the debating that you’ve done with folks over the last few years.  If I had spent that time just saying “Guys, none of this matters, Love is the answer,” I would have been right. ARRRRGH

Lee:

Maybe I was looking for the wrong thing all along. Maybe I should have realized a few seasons ago when they started selling out for complete supernatural explanations. I mean, the smoke monster made mechanical sounds, making you think there was a logical explanation but it wound up being an actual, silly fucking smoke monster. So I should have known. 

The characters of Lost are all generic archetypes. They aren’t particularly good or even well written IMO. The crazy plot was what held me. The story was what was genius — up until they copped out on the end. 

In no way was I expecting as full explanation, that is impossible. But there is so much shit that we have no clue about. Its lazy. between the first show and the 2nd, all the convoluted, complex meat was a red herring — very generically explained classic “good vs. evil, science vs. faith” allegory. This was suppose to be the smart show and they just sold out completely IMO.  

They lied. They had no ending. They DID make it up as they went along. And they knew people had grown attached to these generic  characters and they could pull that shit and it would satisfy most people. I think.

And back to me:

I’ve never cared about the “make it up as they go along” thing. ALL STORIES are made up as they go along.  That doesn’t bother me. 

The “alt-sideways is purgatory” thing could be sort of okay, but I actually would have preferred a simple (for this show) parallel adventure between the dueling timelines.  The execution of the final season was crappy.  The whole concept of this big heist caper that’s actually purgatory just didn’t work for me.  I appreciate the big idea & ambition, but the execution simply wasn’t on the same level.
Island-wise, I liked how all of that turned out.  I also like that Jacob and MIB were just more pawns in a neverending cycle.  I liked that the Others and the Dharma initiative were just additional groups that came to the island, in the same way as everyone else.  What I’m not fine with are the dozens and dozens of things that turned out to be red herrings, or simply “not important.”  It annoys me that there’s no way to make any of this shit match up.  It annoys me that I won’t be able to enjoy rewatching the show, because 50-70 hours of the fucking thing were meaningless.

Lee replied, but since this is my blog, let’s pretend I got the last word in.

Since this exchange, I’ve watched the finale again a couple of times.  I still think that final shot is perfect; in fact, I’m perfectly fine with where we left the island.  It ended in a big adventure and heroic death. Yippee.

Truth be told, I’ve softened on the idea of the alt-sideways timeline; I’m fine with it being Jack’s personal purgatory or whatever.  However, one sticking point remains:  The execution of this season was terrible.  The alt-sideways stuff was a total cheat; Why, WHY, if Jack is in his own personal limbo state, does the camera swoop out of the plane in the season premiere, and plunge to the bottom of the sea, where we see a Dharma shark and the four-toed statue?  The ONLY reason that was filmed was to fool the audience.  It’s blatant cheating.

Tons of stuff stick in my craw from this season:

–  Claire and Sayid’s mysterious “infection” that is completely irreversible . . . unless somebody talks you out of it
–  The temple bullshit.  All of it. Meaningless.
–  The alt-sideways themselves.  Desmond should have been brought in earlier for those to have any meaning whatsoever.
–  I didn’t mind the Jacob/MIB/Crazy Mom episode, but placing it 2 episodes from the finale was just stupid.  They could have put this episode in place of the Kate episode early in the season, and it would have improved the season tremendously.

For me, the problem with season 6 is that the writers were trying to be too mysterious, and they didn’t need to be.  You don’t want to answer everything about the island?  Hey, I’m fine with that.  I’m fine with endlessly speculating about stuff they didn’t answer; that’s part of what’s great about the show.  What I mind is bad writing, and this year, in terms of structure, plot and characterization, was simply the weakest of the show’s run.

A common complaint I’ve heard is that the finale is great, until the church scene.  I think that’s because it doesn’t fail as an idea; it fails as an ending to the Season 6 storyline.  If the rest of it works, then obviously they fucked something up.  The more I think about it, the more I wish either A) they had just gone with two timelines, then merged them through Desmond’s . . . whatever, or B) the Incident didn’t work, and the final season was spent on the island.  Regardless, it would have been better than the glorified fan-fic they gave us.

Bottom line: I love Lost, and hope that revisiting it in the future (after LOTS of time and distance) will entertain me, rather than piss me off.  I think that it will. Despite everything, it’s still the best show network TV has produced.  Put it this way:  I love Cheers, but I’m not speculating what Vera looked like.  This show holds a permanent space in my brainpan.

Of course, the best TV I’ve seen all year is Breaking Bad, easily, so maybe this whole conversation is moot.

YAYYYYY FATTY’S WRITING!

Lost: The Complete Collection [Blu-ray]