Friday, April 14, 2006


Over on one of the V forums, I found myself in the position of having to defend Lost (the best show currently on network television—hands down) despite two episodes in a row that seemed a little lackluster. I actually disagree with Matt Zoeller that the recent Hurley episode was one of the best they've done, but I agree with him that Jorge Garcia is a fantastic actor (alongside Harold Perrineau (Michael) and Terry O'Quinn (Locke) on the show).

But the thing I wish I had read before getting into the message board fray was this:

"...this island is not exactly real and not exactly a fantasy or dream, but is instead a dramatic tabula rasa for the characters, a place where metaphors become tangible, real enough to see and touch and even converse with..."

And then Ian Brill expands on that a little bit more with "...I’m more interested in getting the characters into situations where their philosophies butt heads with each other..."

Basically I think the mistake people make with the show is thinking that this is a really long Twighlight Zone episode where we find out that the island is really in Hurley's head or it's really purgatory and everyone is dead or that the characters all wished they finally had time to read their books. A better way to approach the show is that it's NOT one big island mystery, but rather that the island is one big Twighlighty Zone on some Outer Limits where all the characters from Rod Serling's show get stranded together.

I love the overall mystery. I think it's fantastic and I love playing Thursday-Friday "what does it all mean?" But what I really love about the show is that it actually DOES answer the question none of us even knew we were asking: what would happen if William Shatner and Burgess Meredith and Jackie Gleason and whoever else were all forced to live together on an island after their respective Zone episodes? How would they behave together and what other shit would they continue to attract?

And that is actually where my problem with the last two episodes actually begins. I think, in some ways, the stories may have been a little too tied to the island. Hurley' plunge off the mental deep end would have had more resonance with me if we weren't asked to believe that the island was all in his head. Of course it isn't, or, if it is, they're not going to tell us that now. So it was no real surprise to find out that it wasn't all in his head after all. I liked the Rose/Bernard episode, but I think it may have been stronger if it hadn't just followed the Hurley one and then acted as the lead-in to yet another schedule break.


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