Lost Season 1

This post is the first in a series of reviews of Lost.

lostseason1This first season is incredible.  I don’t think there’s a single wasted episode (the worst episode is the pilot simply because we don’t really get to see any of the story-telling savvy these writers are known for.  We just hear a monster).

A lot of people chide the show for losing its roots; that is, people initially liked how the survivors on the island learn to catch their own food and find water and deal with each other in a place with no laws.  Personally, I think it was a stroke of genius to make this show something a little more sci-fi and a lot less Survivor-like.  The writers could’ve gone the easy route – tell me if you think this is too far fetched for a network show:

There are 14 main cast members and 25 background people; sometimes the background people die, but the main cast never falls by the wayside (that is, until there are some contract disputes, then they mysteriously start dying off).  There are a lot of love triangles and a lot of conflicts between different races, but they all generally get along in tents that are much too extravagant for the survivors of a plane crash.  Eventually, after four seasons or so, Lost becomes a modern day Swiss Family Robinson and the Smoke Monster becomes their loving pet.

Disney is evil.  Ask ANYONE who's ever worked for them.

Disney is evil. Ask ANYONE who's ever worked for them.

Not too far off from what you’d expect from ABC (owned by Disney).

Instead what we get is a masterful creation where the lives of the survivors before they reach the island intertwine with the their current lives to show us how and why a certain character behaves in the way that he/she does.  This way, there’s no explaining; there’s no exposition.  And since very little actually happens most of the time, the whole show becomes sub-text and it’s up to the viewer to decide what is really going on.

To tell you the truth, I wish I was this savvy with Tiny Life.  I think the only exposition I have is required, but I’ve been thinking about it a little too long; maybe I don’t really know what the reader needs to know.

I have two complaints about this first season that I’m glad the writers eventually correct:

  1. They seemed to have been running out of “I’m trapped on an island” stories pretty quickly.  The whole “Others” storyline is fascinating (at least at this point), but a cave-in?  Prophetic dreams?  I’m glad they scrapped some of the typical television crap and tried to do something only X-Files has succeeded in achieving: a show that is intensely interesting given a silly premise.
  2. John Locke as a “dues ex machina” got pretty old pretty quickly.  I understand that they fess up to it (even name an episode after the concept), but Locke coming in to explain to the various characters how their pasts relate to their present is no where near as interesting as the “Locke has faith in the island as no one else does” motif that permeates the rest of the series.

Spectacular.

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6 Responses

  1. I don’t like where the shows gone. Too much business not enuff mystery.

  2. […] Lost Season 2 Posted on November 6, 2009 by Nick This post is the second in a series of reviews of Lost.  Read the first here. […]

  3. […] Read the first review here. […]

  4. […] Read the first review here. […]

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