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Viewers are becoming ever more lost in Lost.
November 17, 2006 4:22 PM   Subscribe

Lost has started to attract criticism lately over its tendancy to offer more questions than answers to its viewers. With that in mind, IGN has this week produced a lost of its Top 50 Lost Loose Ends.
posted by Effigy2000 (97 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
I think this piece is on to something. The show should have had tight arcs and lasted two seasons. But it became such a hit that they are forced to string everybody along indefinitely.
posted by Rhomboid at 4:27 PM on November 17, 2006


As a total fan, none of this bothers me. I learned my lesson when Clare's abduction and memory loss (yeah, please!) dangled for an entire season - and was then beautifully integrated back into the plot. 'Lost' is a work of genius. Really.
posted by grahamwell at 4:34 PM on November 17, 2006


That's what I was afraid of - "X-Files Redux". I stopped after about 4 episodes, because I could see this happening.

Oh well, I'll wait and see if they ever tie things up and then buy the DVD's.
posted by jkaczor at 4:34 PM on November 17, 2006


It's a neat trick, but it only works for a bit.

BSG better give up the goods soon as well, or that "they have a plan" bit will seem rather silly.
posted by Artw at 4:37 PM on November 17, 2006


SPOILER!!!!!!!!! SPOILER!!!!!!!
Duh! It is called Lost. The whole point is to "lose" the audience. When everyone is utterly confused and the number of "lost ends" (we do not call them "loose ends") exceeds the square root of pi, the self-referential title will become self-realized. And then our so-called "world" gets sucked into the hatch (really, it will be revealed in season 73, a gravity tunnel, like a wind tunnel but with controlable levels of gravity.) Inside said hatch/gravity tunnel all of our "baby toes" (yes-- even yours) will be immolated by AI controlled Polar Bears who have "Deep Blue" chess playing and toe-eating hueristics that are so advanced you would not understand them without 8 types of PhD's. But I have already said to much...
posted by TweetleBeetleBattleBookie at 4:39 PM on November 17, 2006


*cringe* tendancy?
posted by jckll at 4:39 PM on November 17, 2006


didn't we all say the same thing over a year ago? i honestly didn't know it was still on ...
posted by mrgrimm at 4:40 PM on November 17, 2006


it's Twin Peaks in Hawaii. more expensive and without the genius, supercreepy, genius David Lynch pilot

Lost's number thing is just insane -- fans are going to get so pissed when it finally ends leaving a fuckload of questions unanswered. and you know why? because the writers lost their, ahem, plot!

it's well shot nonsense at this point. but I like the "LOST" white font on the black screen, it looks good

and yes, your favorite TV show sucks
posted by matteo at 4:44 PM on November 17, 2006


Lost sucks. I think the writers abuse the audience too much with this crap. The first couple seasons at least made sense from week to week but not it's just a steaming pile of mysterious crap.
posted by mathowie at 4:47 PM on November 17, 2006


This article, like most IGN articles, is terrible. The Numbers are explained here. More stuff is here. While I agree that it was bizarre and stupid to reveal this stuff on a complex web game rather than a well-written TV episode, it is at least an explanation.
posted by Arcaz Ino at 4:48 PM on November 17, 2006 [1 favorite]


"The Prisoner" - all 17 episodes of it - should be the model for shows like this; failing that, "The Singing Detective", 6 episodes.
posted by stammer at 4:50 PM on November 17, 2006


Loads of Lost theories.

I think the dangling loose ends left out Sawyer's apparent possession by Kate's biological father. And what really happened to Rousseau's expedition. And how the plane from Nicaragua ended up on the island. And one could probably go on for fifty more...

It's seeming more and more like there's nothing that could explain it all that doesn't involve a functionally omnipotent, capricious agent (or more than one.)
posted by Zed_Lopez at 4:52 PM on November 17, 2006


From Rhomboid's New York magazine article about two-seasons and scripted arcs:
"Now let’s imagine an alternate reality in which, say, Lost was designed to run for only two seasons. Rather than getting an increasingly tedious shaggy-dog story, we’d get 48 episodes of tightly plotted, expertly interwoven suspense. Viewers would be both more willing to sign on at the beginning (knowing their investment will pay off) and more inclined to buy DVDs later (either as catch-up for newbies or as a satisfying boxed set). Sure, the show won’t syndicate well, but shows like Lost don’t syndicate well anyway. And the series finale would be huge—the kind of event TV network executives drool over."
I agree.
posted by ericb at 4:53 PM on November 17, 2006


I followed the show during the first season, then got ticked off by the season finale with the final shot from inside the hatch. Horrible cliffhanger. Building up to some big revelation, then... nothing. Tune in next season! In the words of my room mate at the time, "That's some bullshit, right there." Never watched it again.

Too bad. Great cast, especially Terry O'Quinn.
posted by brundlefly at 4:56 PM on November 17, 2006


In the words of my room mate at the time, "That's some bullshit, right there." Never watched it again.

That's a shame. The start of series 2 is one of the great moments in television drama.
posted by Arcaz Ino at 4:58 PM on November 17, 2006


If you want to cut directly to the answers ....
ThE GrEaTeSt BlOg EvEr

'Lost' is fun. Enjoy it.
posted by grahamwell at 4:58 PM on November 17, 2006


I'd expand the idea of limited-run shows beyond shows like Lost. How many sitcoms start out with well-defined characters in a well-defined situation, funny and effective, and get played out long before they go off the air? I know, I know--if I were a TV producer, I'd milk every last dollar out of my big hit, too, and bring in Cousin Oliver to jump the shark, but as a viewer, and for the sake of art, I'd like to see more TV shows the deliberately run only one, two, or three seasons.
posted by not that girl at 4:59 PM on November 17, 2006


Lost really should give up its secrets ASAP and not give us any new ones. Oh, and Quantum Leap should've just gotten Sam home in the pilot. And Chaucer's pilgrims should just get to Canterbury already, dammit! I mean, really, what's up with all these stories?
posted by kimota at 5:08 PM on November 17, 2006 [1 favorite]


And someone pipes up with "I don't even OWN a TV" in 5...4...3...2...
posted by bayliss at 5:08 PM on November 17, 2006


Is this conversation something I'd need an internet connection to participate in?
posted by cortex at 5:13 PM on November 17, 2006


kimota, the problem isn't "what's up with all these stories?". It's that a show with fantastic potential is largely blowing it for economic reasons.

Imagine if every movie was 100 hours long, and they just kept projecting them until everyone in the theatre had walked out in disgust at around the 30-hour mark. That's how American serial TV gets made.
posted by stammer at 5:15 PM on November 17, 2006 [3 favorites]


up through season 1, i thought it was the best show on tv. 3 or 4 episodes into season 2, I started losing faith. By the time the god-awful summer-time ARG came around, my ambivalence was sliding into hatred.

I gave it a fair shot, but after the last episode, I'm finished with it.

The problem with the show isn't the loose ends, its the characters. They're one dimensional at best and completely random at worst. I don't give a shit about any of them, on any level. They don't seem to have any long term goals or any sort or drive at all. They just react to the things that happen to them in incredibly unrealistic and ridiculous ways.

I'll just give a single example-- Sawyer-- who has been whiplashed between charming con-man, puppy dog, and ruthless sociopath.

They've had two episodes that threatened to make Sawyer an interesting character -- the episode where he got all the guns, and the episode where he got the pacemaker implanted in his heart. The first time, they just kinda forgot about it and reversed it over a couple of episodes, the second time, they reversed it in the same episode. They do they a lot, they introduce interesting plot ideas, do nothing with them, and then reverse them for no obvious reason -- another case of that was how they handled Eko's death-- they went to find him, they saved him, and then he died again, completely negating the point of the 3 previous episodes.

Anyway, I could go on. But my point is that the loose ends aren't the problem, the shitty writing is. If people gave a shit about the characters they would go along for the ride on the mysteries forever. Scully and Mulder were the reason X-files was successful for so long, not the mythology. They were fully drawn characters that people cared about. That's all that matters.
posted by empath at 5:19 PM on November 17, 2006 [2 favorites]


Great cast, especially Terry O'Quinn.

Yeah, you definitely don't want to watch Season Two. The first few episodes with the conflict between Jack and Locke, the Man of Science/Man of Faith Arc are worth watching, but soon after that, they ruined Locke's character.
posted by empath at 5:22 PM on November 17, 2006


not that girl writes "How many sitcoms start out with well-defined characters in a well-defined situation, funny and effective, and get played out long before they go off the air?"

This is part of the brilliance of The Office. Two seasons and a christmas special were just about right.
posted by defenestration at 5:25 PM on November 17, 2006


kimota : "Lost really should give up its secrets ASAP and not give us any new ones. Oh, and Quantum Leap should've just gotten Sam home in the pilot. And Chaucer's pilgrims should just get to Canterbury already, dammit! I mean, really, what's up with all these stories?"

Each episode of Quantum Leap was a story.
Each tale of the Canterbury tales was a story.
Each section of Lost is not a story, it's a part of an endless non-story.
posted by Bugbread at 5:27 PM on November 17, 2006


Lost was always for losers, sorry.
posted by caddis at 5:28 PM on November 17, 2006


empath writes "Yeah, you definitely don't want to watch Season Two. The first few episodes with the conflict between Jack and Locke, the Man of Science/Man of Faith Arc are worth watching, but soon after that, they ruined Locke's character."

I actually enjoyed what happened to Locke. In season one, he was presented as the fucking man. Slowly, over time, his act fell apart, and we got to see what he was really like (everyone has problems... Locke has a lot). I think their plan is to have him gradually become the person he was pretending to be.
posted by defenestration at 5:32 PM on November 17, 2006


That top 50 list lost all credibility with me at #45: Why Were All the Guns in the Hatch?
posted by a. at 5:35 PM on November 17, 2006


The start of series 2 is one of the great moments in television drama.

Amen to that. Really just the opening 2 minute segment before the credits. I thought that they should've tacked it onto the end of the season 1 finale instead--what a cliffhanger that'd been.

I've watched up through season 2, haven't watched 3 yet. But yes, the criticisms are valid--ABC is simply milking the show for revenue dollars. Which wouldn't be bad if there were enough story to go around, but it's just more questions and somewhat pointless flashback sequences. The first clue I had was when they spent 2 or 3 episodes following the tail section folks, when that could've been wrapped up in one episode, easy. One flashback that lasts half an episode involves Locke and his dad in some sort of money scam--not boring, but adds very little to the overall story, or even Locke's character. And we still don't know why he's in the wheelchair.

The ratings are well down, so hopefully the creators--and ABC--will get the hint and start throwing the audience a bone or two.
posted by zardoz at 5:41 PM on November 17, 2006


it seems like their solution to the ratings problem is to pander to the jack/kate/sawyer relationship fans.
posted by empath at 5:43 PM on November 17, 2006


Lost has, more often than not, annoyed the shit out of me this season.

I don't think there's a mystery to be solved. Much like Abrams didn't seem to have any sort of resolution for the series-long Garibaldi story in Alias, Lost seems to be staying the same course.

Reading through that list it becomes more and more evident that there isn't a single unifying theory that could properly and believably resolve any of those loose ends.

it seems like their solution to the ratings problem is to pander to the jack/kate/sawyer relationship fans.

That has become the last straw for me. It's turning into goddamn Melrose Place meets Survivor.
posted by eyeballkid at 5:51 PM on November 17, 2006 [1 favorite]


I thought it was brilliant in the first season. The second season had moments although a shadow lingered just out of sight. The third season showed us that the shadow was Chris Carter giving a big thumbs up to the Lost writers.
posted by weretable and the undead chairs at 5:55 PM on November 17, 2006


Pre-credits scene to season 2 episode 1. One of the last things I really loved in the show.
posted by smackfu at 6:07 PM on November 17, 2006


That's what I was afraid of - "X-Files Redux". I stopped after about 4 episodes, because I could see this happening.

Hear, hear. This is exactly what turned my enthusiasm for the X-Files into sheer apathy. I only rarely watch TV, but a few episodes I saw in season 3 drew me in, and during seasons 4 and 5 I watched X-Files almost religiously, bought and traded old episodes on VHS, even watched syndicated re-runs. Halfway through season six, I just gave it up. There was no effort to keep the mythology consistent and no indication they'd ever close their arcs in any tidy manner. Everyone I knew who kept watching said the show was downhill from the end of season six on and my anticipated disappointment was well-placed.

Maybe Lost will do better in the end, but why they'd be able to avoid it when the X-Files couldn't, I don't know.
posted by weston at 6:09 PM on November 17, 2006


I think most of the "mysteries" on that list are just plot holes. I learned a long time ago that speculating on the events of this show is pointless. I stopped watching after the 2nd season.
posted by bob sarabia at 6:09 PM on November 17, 2006


At the end of season 1, I noticed that the producers' Pique Curiosity skill had surpassed my Television Repulsion skill.

With a +4 modifier to Will and a good saving throw, I withdrew.
posted by Moistener at 6:11 PM on November 17, 2006


The guy in charge of "Heros" always makes a point of saying his show will resolve things and not leave a lot of questions up in the air. I wonder what he could possibly be referring to.
posted by smackfu at 6:14 PM on November 17, 2006


Lost is a show much much better suited to watching on DVD, I think. You can blast through a bunch of episodes at a time, and not have to get hung up on the fact that every 2nd or 3rd episode, frankly, sucks in some way or another. That's my 2 cents...
posted by inigo2 at 6:20 PM on November 17, 2006


"Lost really should give up its secrets ASAP and not give us any new ones. Oh, and Quantum Leap should've just gotten Sam home in the pilot. And Chaucer's pilgrims should just get to Canterbury already, dammit! I mean, really, what's up with all these stories?"

That's a very ignorant thing to say. Unlike most TV shows, Lost just drags on for no reason. Most shows are about a central plot and different stories that happen around that plot.

The Simpsons: Dysfunctional family that is conflicting yet still strong.
Lost? Plane Crash, more to come next season.
posted by Cyclopsis Raptor at 6:23 PM on November 17, 2006


"At the end of season 1, I noticed that the producers' Pique Curiosity skill had surpassed my Television Repulsion skill.

With a +4 modifier to Will and a good saving throw, I withdrew."

posted by Moistener at 12:11 PM AEST on November 18

I sense that at least one other person in this thread other than myself is playing Neverwinter Nights 2 right now...
posted by Effigy2000 at 6:23 PM on November 17, 2006


The first clue I had was when they spent 2 or 3 episodes following the tail section folks, when that could've been wrapped up in one episode, easy.

Yeah, that was around the time I stopped watching. Plus during the beginning of season two I had a class on the same night that Lost aired, so my family taped the episodes for me (no recorder in my apartment) and I'd watch them on the weekends that I came home. Maybe it was because I was watching the episodes in chunks rather than one episode at a time, but after a while it just became too much bother and I lost interest. It became pretty clear that the writers didn't have a grand plan and were just make shit up as they went along. Back when the show started they gave interviews saying that no, they did have a plan, and that the weren't going to fall into the "X-files trap". Yeah, so much for that.

The show could have been amazing if confined to just a couple seasons though. What's the saying? "don't introduce a gun in the first act if you aren't going to use it in the third"? It's fine to have key mysteries in your show, but if you go on for too long without resolving them (all while introducing new mysteries), it's going to put people off. Oh, well. Maybe some shows in the future will learn from Lost's example and we will seeing a amazing plotted and suspenseful TV show with a satisfying ending. One can hope.
posted by kosher_jenny at 6:24 PM on November 17, 2006


Every indication is there that they have answers to these mysteries, they're just struggling between stringing it out (for ABC's money) and keeping it sharp (for their own storytelling merit).

They HAVE explained a lot of things. You just tend to forget because there is so much that remains unknown.

I enjoy the show, and I take it with a grain of salt. It is, after all, a friggin' TV show, and not the supposed be-all-end-all of storytelling. Cut it some slack.
posted by JWright at 6:28 PM on November 17, 2006


"The Prisoner" - all 17 episodes of it - should be the model for shows like this; failing that, "The Singing Detective", 6 episodes.

You're joking, right? The Prisoner is the archetypal build-up-intriguing-mysteries-and-then-ignore-them show. The fact that it was mercifully short next to a behemoth like Lost doesn't excuse the narrative half-assedness, and it sure as hell doesn't excuse episodes 16 and 17, for which I have no doubt Patrick McGoohan will be held to account in the hereafter.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 6:31 PM on November 17, 2006


It's remarkable how many people who claim to hate the show, will still take the time to draft a comment - talking about how much they hate the show.

Time well spent.
posted by mike0221 at 6:39 PM on November 17, 2006 [1 favorite]


stammer: Imagine if every movie was 100 hours long, and they just kept projecting them until everyone in the theatre had walked out in disgust at around the 30-hour mark. That's how American serial TV gets made.

A-freaking-men. This is why bittorrent plus British and/or Canadian tv shows are my best pals. I prefer two eight-episode seasons of Life on Mars, or three six-episode seasons of Slings and Arrows, to endless twenty-two episode seasons of The X Files, Lost, or any other American television show that would have been better served to have had a beginning, middle, and end pre-planned, rather than a torturous prolonged death due to a few years of good ratings.

The American television model is going to break, and the sooner the better, sez I.

Oh - And the Cylon's plan is mostly obvious at this point, isn't it, artw?
posted by tzikeh at 6:39 PM on November 17, 2006


On post-view (and boy, do I miss spellcheck):

The guy in charge of "Heros" always makes a point of saying his show will resolve things and not leave a lot of questions up in the air. I wonder what he could possibly be referring to.
posted by smackfu at 6:14 PM PST on November 17


Isn't the producer superhero comics writer Jeph Loeb? Yeah, cause when I want resolution I turn to a superhero writer...

Okay, that isn't really fair. Certainly most superhero comics will never get true resolution for their characters (as so many of these characters are licensed property by parent companies and make far more money for those companies with movies and other merchandise than their actual comics book will. I could talk more about this, but I don't want to get further OT) but are for the most part able to resolve their plots at the end of a story arc and move on to the next adventure.

Plus, I heard that Christopher Eccleston will be joining the cast of Heroes in the future, so now I'll have to start watching the show and get caught up before he appears.
posted by kosher_jenny at 6:40 PM on November 17, 2006


To each his own, I suppose. For me, Lost provides great entertainment. I don't think too deeply into each new "mystery" that's presented, but rather take each new development in stride and see where these crazy writers are leading the show.

The constant addition of new peripheral characters has gotten kind of annoying, though.
posted by roomwithaview at 6:42 PM on November 17, 2006


Probably the only reason I was able to get in to lost was because I heard about it after Season 2 was already half done. So, I downloaded all of the shows up to that point, and my sister and I watched them back-to-back.

The majority of the shows were pretty consistent in filming and pacing. Though it was apparent that directors varied. However, the final episode of Season 2 stood out to both of us as some kind of gargantuan fuck-up in terms of writing and directing. It was like everyone who had been in charge of the show was off on vacation, and left everything up to their incompetent children. Did no one else notice this? All the characters were acting completely irrationally. I haven't had much faith in it since then - especially from listening to the podcasts where the writers pretty much admit they make it up as they go.

The latest enormous cliffhanger immediately before a 13-week break is just inexplicable.
posted by odinsdream at 6:45 PM on November 17, 2006


Oh - And the Cylon's plan is mostly obvious at this point, isn't it, artw?

Chase some humans, not chase some humans, occupy a planet full of humans, hase humans again?

Actually all the unexplained, almost mystical bits of BSG now look like they might be...

.
.
.
SPOILERS
.
.
.

...nothing to do with the Cylons that have been chasing Galactica at all.

OK, so that's not actually a reasolution of anything, but it is an interesting progression.

(Also it turns out that the inside of Cylon spaceships resemble a fancy London bar)
posted by Artw at 6:54 PM on November 17, 2006


It's remarkable how many people who claim to hate the show, will still take the time to draft a comment - talking about how much they hate the show.

At least for my part, it's because while I more or less hate watching the show now, and I'm not watching any more episodes, the idea behind the show is still interesting, and it's still worth discussing from a 'where did it go wrong' perspective.
posted by empath at 7:12 PM on November 17, 2006


If people gave a shit about the characters they would go along for the ride on the mysteries forever.

I agree, and I think that each subsequent flashback (particularly this season) has made most of the characters less sympathetic and frankly more simplistic without actually adding anything to the show whatsoever.

For example, the most recent episodes about Sawyer, Jack and Kate have all been utterly useless. I didn't learn a thing about Kate from the last episode that I didn't already know. Especially on Jack and now Kate, they seem to be milking the romantic relationship for all its worth.

Also, in the beginning when they hadn't really singled out certain characters to focus on, there was a really interesting aspect to the group dynamic. By the second season, however, it became that things happen to a certain group of people, and the same certain group of people do things, and the rest of the people on the island build stuff and cook food.

Most of the characters have become so grating to me that I really don't care if they die. Which I guess is the right attitude to have, since when they can't figure out what to do with someone's story arc, they kill them.

At this point, I find the Others fresher and more interesting than the plane crash victims, and frankly trying to figure them out is what keeps me watching. That and seeing if they'll ever bring Rousseau back. Or explain the Black Rock.
posted by anjamu at 7:26 PM on November 17, 2006


I meant to say, they're milking [Jack/Kate/Sawyer's] past romantic relationships for all they're worth. Which is probably supposed to make us care more about who Kate "picks" in the end.
posted by anjamu at 7:27 PM on November 17, 2006


I've watched up through season 2, haven't watched 3 yet. But yes, the criticisms are valid--ABC is simply milking the show for revenue dollars.

I've always said that The Sopranos would have become the Greatest Series Ever if, ten minutes into the third epidsode of the second series, they whacked Tony, and then -- credits.
posted by eriko at 7:37 PM on November 17, 2006


Lost is still pretty good tv, if you stop expecting them to answer much. Season 3 has been helped a lot by not having any repeats. The show, IMO, has been fantastic when it concentrates on the characters. It quickly goes to hell when it starts bringing in all the scifi, plot driven crap.

At this point, it's a victim of it's own mysteries. There's nothing it can do to live up to the hype, nada. I watched the clip that Arzo linked to upthread and was surprised/outraged/disgusted at how mindblowingly mudane and uninteresting the "answer" to the numbers were. "That's it?!" I thought, "That's the fucking mystery they can't even bother to explain on the damn show, I gotta find it by accident on internet site?!"

Christ, I want those cops who tasered the UCLA student to "talk" to all of the Lost writers and producers.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:40 PM on November 17, 2006


Never seen Lost. But from what it sounds like, like matteo said, it's a poor-man's Twin Peaks. Actually, it also sounds a hell of a lot like The X-Files, which appended itself with a frickin' motion picture and still didn't have the balls to resolve any significant plot-lines.

C'mon man, it's television. Your show ain't going to last forever. Go ahead a kill someone. Blow something up. If I want Shakespeare I'd, I dunno, go read some Shakespeare.
posted by bardic at 7:41 PM on November 17, 2006


Mneh. I positively consumed the first season DVD's and fell in love, but halfway through the second season just stopped caring. Mostly it was because I loathed every character on that damn island -- Hurley was the only one at the time who seemed to be someone actually remotely functional. The lack of payoff on the mysteries, of course, was a big part of my dissatisfaction. Meh.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go get another helping of BSG crack. The majority of the characters may be arseholes there, too, but at least everyone has *some* redeeming characteristic.
posted by kalimac at 8:01 PM on November 17, 2006


If by "redeeming characteristic" you mean "are major hotties," then yes, I concur. (Excepting Adama.)
posted by bardic at 8:12 PM on November 17, 2006


Gave up on Lost this year. Done with it. Tired of being strung along with nothing satisfying being given to me despite my patience.

I think that New York magazine article is almost totally wrong. You can have (almost) never-ending stories, but you have to have mini-stories within them that end. Take 24 for instance. Each season is a more or less self-contained story. Same with Buffy the Vampire Slayer and various other shows I've enjoyed. I think you can make it 5-7 seasons without it being retarded. But Lost has been stretching a very thin hand for three seasons now without wanting to invent any new mysteries.

Battlestar Galactica has gotten almost equally bad. It was great, but as Artw said, it needs to give up the goods soon. Although I'm evening finding myself not bothering with it the past few episodes either.
posted by frenetic at 8:14 PM on November 17, 2006


Isn't the producer superhero comics writer Jeph Loeb? Yeah, cause when I want resolution I turn to a superhero writer...

Actually, the guy I was thinking of was Tim Kring. I dug up the interview I read, and his quote was: "We tried to learn from the pitfalls that other shows had fallen into. We sort of made a pact internally that we weren't going to be the show that made you wait for stuff."

OTOH, the article also mentions that Jeph Loeb wrote for Lost. So there you go.
posted by smackfu at 8:15 PM on November 17, 2006


"Go ahead a kill someone"

They have! The fuckers have killed off the hot blondes! Kate is alright, but she's just a lot of drama.

Libby was hot. When I found out they killed her off too, I didn't bother downloading any more episodes. Blah.
posted by drstein at 8:27 PM on November 17, 2006


The fuckers have killed off the hot blondes!

It would never happen in BSG! Infinite supply!
posted by Artw at 8:37 PM on November 17, 2006


The fuckers have killed off the hot blondes!

Not that Shannon gal, but weren't the other gals who were killed the ones who got real life DUIs in Hawaii? I also stopped and said "nevermore" after the end of Season 2.
posted by jessamyn at 8:59 PM on November 17, 2006


I'm still only halfway through season 1 on DVD, and I'm pissed at you all for the spoilers.

</kidding>
posted by ook at 8:59 PM on November 17, 2006


Halfway through season 1, they haven't even introduced most of the dead people.
posted by smackfu at 9:01 PM on November 17, 2006


Not that Shannon gal, but weren't the other gals who were killed the ones who got real life DUIs in Hawaii? I also stopped and said "nevermore" after the end of Season 2.

Yes. Ana Lucia and Libby. If I remember correctly they were both arrested for dwi on the same night too.

But I wouldn't read too much into that. How many characters have they developed just to kill off? 4 or 5, I think. That's one of the lamest parts of the show.
posted by bob sarabia at 9:32 PM on November 17, 2006


Wow, Jeph Loeb, really?

Run.
This is his best work.
Run now, and run far.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:35 PM on November 17, 2006


Oh, you're too good for John Marix now?
posted by Artw at 9:59 PM on November 17, 2006


OTOH, the article also mentions that Jeph Loeb wrote for Lost. So there you go.
posted by smackfu at 8:15 PM PST on November 17


Well, no wonder I lost interest in the show.

/snark

Imdb has him as a producer. Doesn't look like he's actually written any episodes though)

Wow, Alvy. There's even more suck in Loeb's past than I was aware of.

(disclaimer: I don't hate Jeph Loeb; I just think he's a mediocre writer and vastly overrated. Plus his Supergirl relaunch was/is horrible)
posted by kosher_jenny at 10:03 PM on November 17, 2006


i could be that lost is just a long term marketing ploy. Season 5 ends with zooming out from a tv screen and some kids with their new nintendo Wii v.2 magic wands controlling everything.
posted by th3ph17 at 10:50 PM on November 17, 2006


This is why, as much as I'd like to have seen more of it, I'm kind of glad Freaks and Geeks was cancelled early. It was great that they could wrap it up while the characters and situations were still interesting. It would have been a shame to see a show that started that well go into "garbage time".
posted by concrete at 10:57 PM on November 17, 2006


The guy in charge of "Heros" always makes a point of saying his show will resolve things and not leave a lot of questions up in the air.

Yeah, right. Heroes is moving so slowly it's pathetic; it feels like it's got a very similar problem to what folks are describing in Lost - namely, the network sees it has a hit and is sacrificing character development and story advancement so it can streeeetch things out as much as possible to make more cash. The news that NBC is planning to split Heroes' 22-episode season a la "Lost," with a 6-week break in December/January, doesn't bode well for a significant change from the "keep 'em guessing and give 'em no resolution whatsoever at the end of the first season" strategy that's ruined so many promising shows. What a fucking shame.

Someone at the networks really needs to figure out that closed arcs in a set season really can work at least as well as the insulting crap they're currently pulling on potentially loyal viewers.
posted by mediareport at 11:21 PM on November 17, 2006


How many other people are still fans but scared to say so?

*crickets*

Damn.
posted by absalom at 11:28 PM on November 17, 2006


Still a fan. Addicted, is more like it.

My only gripe about the show was the old way of scheduling, where they'd throw a repeat in there every once in a while or one of the dreaded clip shows to catch everyone up. The new scheduling, I don't mind so much. I have no interest in watching this mid-season replacement show. Or the show that comes after that, The Nine. I liked that one better when it was called Inside Man.

Season 2's opener was fantastic, and I think season 3's opener was a killer way of explaining a little more about the Others.
posted by emelenjr at 11:54 PM on November 17, 2006


Part of me is afraid to expound, for fear of being labeled an apologist, but booze has overridden good sense and, most likely, elloquence. That said:

I think the show hits definate lulls, but I think they are often the result of the big payoff moments I think the writers strive for (and many of you seem to think are non-existant. perhaps we are looking for different payoffs). Example: The build up and climax of season 2, I thought, was well done. In the aftermath, though, it left three independant, important narrative threads in need of resolution. Each required an episode to resolve. The episodes were not bad, imho. I thought from the 4th episode on, every episode has punched, entirely because of the setup provided by the 2 C+ episodes. In fact, I find that is a recurring experience with me and Lost. I think the setup episodes pay tend to pay for themselves in the long run as the season builds.

As to the "running it out forever" crew: I think they've been pretty consistant since the beginning that 4 seasons was the ideal, five at the outside. The party line, naturally, is that "the network owns it, and if they want it to go 20 years, it goes 20 years." (Not sure what kind of deal Bad Robot - the production company - has with ABC. Possible they could pull a big FU and just pull it off the air. . . If JJ Abrams didn't mind not directing MI:IV, etc.) Since season one consistant. Now, you can think they were just saying that or anything like that and, if so, congratulations, you are a cynic. Please do not provide me with impossible standards of proof. They've said it since season one. It is now season three. Check back with me at the end of season four.

I think the complaints about it having too much soap opera, too much pointless mythology, too long to answer the questions. . . well, you get the gist; they tie into the complaints about it seeming to be drawn out. A lot of that is just the nature of the beast of what they are doing. After all, the mystery *is* the show. I think they consistantly advance the viewers understanding of all the major plot elements, and revisit and advance the minor elements consistnatly. It is baroque and complex by design. That type of narrative appeals to me. The continual references to Dickens are the writer's answer to this: he was also accused in his day of spinning out his stories (which were all serial, pay-by-the-word affairs) needlessly and thoughtlessly. But, in the end, they became David Copperfield (which, incidentally, is one of my favorite books.)

And, yes, it seems like there are an impossible number of loose ends out there, but I've seen them plausibly work in threads I'd thought abandoned or even details entirely unnoticed. Because of this, I'm willing to give the writers the benefit of the doubt. So far, in my experience, it has paid off. When the loose ends become distractions, maybe I'll have problems, but I do not feel that way.

About the 8 on, many off, 16 comment(s) [aka why is there a huge break?] : I like it, honestly. I watched the first season on DVD, and finished just in time to pick up with the begining of season two. I found that the normal network scheduling strategy made lost very frustrating to watch. Having two weeks of advancement and build only to suffer through three of repeats is way worse in my opinion. The other majorly serialized show out there now (24) starts at the beginnings of sweeps #2 and runs straight through sweeps #3. If it could not do that, I am convinced it would fail. I think the producers tried to strike a balance between the two. One small block during sweeps one, downtime with an absolutely abysmal program designed to make people miss lost, then the entire rest of the season back to back.*

As to the ARG haters. . . yeah, I'm kind of with you. I thought the numbers were better as meaningless enigmas, but that's just me. I just checked lostpedia and followed their coverage. I'm ok with letting the nerdocracy do the heavy lifting of fandom for me. <3 internets. ps: what is the cylon plan? really? b>Really I mean, I think Ron Moore is brilliant, and I could be just as pedantic about BSG, but I don't think it's terribly subtle. I'll give you a hint: the first part is my mental state, minus the alcohol. The second part is a Chaucerian reference to a bird. The third part is babies.

*As to why it has to be this way. Consider, it takes 10 days to film an episode, with only 7 days between Weds. The only real argument I've heard on this front went something like "Well, CSI manages to make an episode every 7 days."

Hmm.

CSI production and set designers must find, on a weekly basis [~ next to the perma-sets ]: ~The CSI lab. ~A police office. A dingy room/high school locker room/hotel room/kitchen/East-Asian-Themed-Fuckatorium. Maybe a diner or something. Nothing a competent location scout can't put together quickly.

On the other hand, one week on a Lost script might ask for the following:
~Beach Camp, ~Hatch Interior, ~Jungle, London City Block. . . I think you get the idea. The flashbacks (which have been the weakest element in season three by far) necessitate some pretty major set designs on a week to week basis, all put together in Hawaii.

posted by absalom at 12:28 AM on November 18, 2006


It would be fitting if Lost just turns out to be an advert for a ski lodge.
posted by bob sarabia at 1:03 AM on November 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


Lost simply demonstrates too many problems characteristic of J.J. Abrams' shows. Whether or not you were a fan of 'Alias'. that show simply blossomed into a minor version of what Lost has become, with all of its Rimbaldi artifacts and missing mothers, fathers, sisters, wives and girlfriends.

And with Felicity, I gave up when it was clear that the show was just a big, dumb soap-opera, which was before the end of the first season and which fed 80% of Alias as that show lumbered into its 3 and 4th seasons. Was there a 5th season of Alias? I'd stopped watching...

The prosaic story arc is Abrams' thing, like twist-endings became M. Night Shyalaman's thing. And both can only work but so long before audiences become weary.

And look! Abrams is the guy that's going to be taking over Trek, with Matt Damon as Kirk and a rumored Tom Cruise as Spock. Sounds VERY expensive. More expensive than finding a bunch of unkowns and casting them as the crew of the Excelsior or some shit, co-contemporary with Kirk's period on the Enterprise.

I can wait. I'm NOT holding my breath for any of it. Not even if they stunt-cast Angelina Jolie as Nurse Chapel.

(Even then, I only expect that they'll only have enough money to hire the execrable Claire Forlani by the time they decide to hire someone to play Chapel.)
posted by vhsiv at 3:09 AM on November 18, 2006


Season 1 I watched mostly in one day, serially, with my girlfriend. It was new and potentially brilliant. As it ages and ignores it's earlier heights, it makes me feel fooled and played with. Which isn't always a bad thing, but take the audience somewhere.

This season's made me give up. I just can't force myself to believe that these people on the island have a higher calling to fuck with people unfortunate enough to land on the island. Even say the crash was effected by the island, so what?

If nothing else, though, Lost has sufficiently lowered my expectations for TV (it all goes to cack, with success and time). This has made BSG's season 3 worth all the praise one may heap on it.
posted by Busithoth at 6:47 AM on November 18, 2006


Someone at the networks really needs to figure out that closed arcs in a set season really can work at least as well as the insulting crap they're currently pulling on potentially loyal viewers.

Buffy, Angel, Verionca Mars, I think it's pretty clear all those shows work/worked. But the current TV style is the Big Mysteries angle, just like a few years ago every second show was some piece of reality dreck.

I'm not really seeing the comparisons with Lost and BSG, though. There's no mystery there. They're going to find Earth and ride rocket-cycles.
posted by Cyrano at 6:59 AM on November 18, 2006


If by "redeeming characteristic" you mean "are major hotties," then yes, I concur.

Shit, how do you think I can still watch Starbuck's scenes? ;)
posted by kalimac at 6:59 AM on November 18, 2006


Every week at The Fuselage there's a thread exactly like this. Titled Eh, could have been better it's full of helpful comments from people explaining how they could have written/directed/managed the show so very much better.

Yeah. Sure you could. That's why you're posting that "Lost is for Losers" in your underpants at nine thirty on Friday Night.
posted by grahamwell at 7:46 AM on November 18, 2006


I see a few episodes of Lost a year when my folks visit. What Lost most reminds me of are the old serials that WKBD in Detroit used to play late at night when they were still an independent station. Serials like Flash Gordon. Every episode ended in a cliff hanger. The show itself is very different, but when I saw a few episodes in a row I realized that the cliff hanger format hearkened back to the old serials. Maybe it's a cross between cliffhangers, soap operas and the X-files.
posted by substrate at 8:10 AM on November 18, 2006


grahamwell : "it's full of helpful comments from people explaining how they could have written/directed/managed the show so very much better.

"Yeah. Sure you could. That's why you're posting that 'Lost is for Losers' in your underpants at nine thirty on Friday Night."


On TV, quality sometimes sells, shit frequently sells. Networks hire people who sell; it doesn't matter if it's quality or shit. So, yeah, half those people on The Fuselage probably could make the show better.
posted by Bugbread at 8:19 AM on November 18, 2006


They're going to find Earth and ride rocket-cycles.


...and kids with super-jumping abilities!
posted by Artw at 8:26 AM on November 18, 2006


("and there will be" - no one rides the kids. )
posted by Artw at 8:26 AM on November 18, 2006


Lost Thursdays at The House Next Door
posted by dorisfromregopark at 9:19 AM on November 18, 2006


Canadian tv shows are my best pals

you totally lost me here

three six-episode seasons of Slings and Arrows

ok, you found me again.

I tend to think that HBO makes the only good television these days, but S&A is sweet.
posted by dreamsign at 9:31 AM on November 18, 2006


Not too much talk of what I consider the fundamental flaw nowadays: the flashbacks. It was a very useful and clever device at the start, since they could provide a lot of back-story without clunky exposition, before we knew all the characters.

But in the current episodes, it's usually a waste of time. We know the characters, and we want to see them interact with each other. Not in their own little standalone story. And ironically, the flashbacks themselves are stuck with a lot of exposition, since they have to explain a whole story in half an episode.

I usually just fast-forward through them nowadays.
posted by smackfu at 11:07 AM on November 18, 2006


The only possible resolution I can see for Lost at this point—with its endless cliffhangers, loose ends, and extreme drama—is a Trapped in the Closet convergence. Locke finds Tina and Roxanne in another monitoring station, Big Man and Bridget elope to the island, and everyone meets at the Par'Jays club for a night of reflection and dancing.
posted by wemayfreeze at 12:01 PM on November 18, 2006


Mike Nelson's said in a couple recent interviews that he thinks episodes of Lost would be good fodder for Riff Trax. Here's hoping he gets around to it eventually.
posted by sparkletone at 2:00 PM on November 18, 2006


My idea for Lost is that they eventually will get rescued or return to civilization. I would suddenly start doing episodes with flashforwards to after they are rescued instead of flashbacks to before they crashed. This would sort of reveal who dies, but it could be very interesting. We watch an episode about Sawyer and Kate trying to get back to their own island in continuation of the current storyline, and we are interjected with a flashforward that shows Sawyer visiting Kate in prison or something (not a brilliant idea, just a general example).
posted by flarbuse at 4:48 PM on November 18, 2006 [6 favorites]


.
posted by ZachsMind at 5:00 PM on November 18, 2006


maybe they could FLASH SIDEWAYS to PARALEL WORLDS!
posted by Artw at 5:12 PM on November 18, 2006 [5 favorites]


I'm just hoping they find Arvin Sloan in a cave somewhere, trapped, and willing to give them advice on how to defeat the Others.
posted by JekPorkins at 5:46 PM on November 18, 2006


MetaFilter jumped the shark when they killed off Miguel Cardoso.
posted by Kattullus at 8:36 PM on November 18, 2006


I'm still a fan. They do give us plenty of answers as time goes on, just not all the answers. And I'm fine with that. I don't mind the flashbacks, either -- they're just puzzle pieces filling in more and more about the characters. A good flashback makes a whole bunch of stuff that happened in previous episodes "click" into place. The flashbacks haven't all been great, but I don't have a problem with them.

I do have a problem with the weird introduction of the two new annoying characters who are supposed to have been there all along. Please, please, powers that be, fire them now. I also have a problem with the Jack/Kate/Sawyer love triangle, but that's because Kate annoys the crap out of me. Any episode that doesn't have much Kate is pretty good.
posted by litlnemo at 2:29 AM on November 19, 2006


Kate's gone from someone who's cute and interesting to someone who's completely unbelievable at this point. No way would she have done the nasty with Sawyer like that. What on earth were the writers thinking?
posted by bflora at 6:51 PM on November 19, 2006


flarbuse, your idea is pretty good. It could quite possibly reinvigorate my flagging interest in the show.
posted by econous at 10:51 PM on December 14, 2006


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