Meta-Media
June 2, 2008 10:05 AM   Subscribe

"Lost is a far more ambitious piece of media, which uses the entire web as its canvas and its entire audience as its creators. I'd suggest this piece of work - Lost, when viewed in its entirety - is truly new."
posted by lunit (99 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
I can't believe they moved the island!
posted by anazgnos at 10:07 AM on June 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


I know it's an old article, but I still think it's worth posting, and he links to the examples in the text, so I didn't think it was necessary to also link them here.
posted by lunit at 10:10 AM on June 2, 2008


Also, if anyone hasn't seen them yet, here are two alternative endings to the season 4 finale. (spoilers, obviously.)
posted by lunit at 10:14 AM on June 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Also related: (MeFi's own) Adam Savage on the Lost Season 4 finale
posted by Plutor at 10:16 AM on June 2, 2008


It certainly is a revolutionary, visionary marketing dynamic that maximizes affiliate bandwidth and branding conversion potential. A veritable post-2.0 metaphor that has reinvented cross-promotional cost-per-click revenue inversion. A delectable, robust model for impression traffic turnover.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:17 AM on June 2, 2008 [14 favorites]


I'm a fan, but my main problem with the show is that all of the people on the plane have to be the least curious people ever. They avoid asking simple questions at pivotal moments that would really, really clear things up for everyone.
posted by odinsdream at 10:20 AM on June 2, 2008 [4 favorites]


I could never tell if "Lost" was supposed to describe the castaways or the scriptwriters.
posted by SaintCynr at 10:23 AM on June 2, 2008 [6 favorites]


It certainly is a revolutionary, visionary marketing dynamic that maximizes affiliate bandwidth and branding conversion potential. A veritable post-2.0 metaphor that has reinvented cross-promotional cost-per-click revenue inversion. A delectable, robust model for impression traffic turnover.

You're super-keen on buzzwords, aren't you?
posted by tybeet at 10:24 AM on June 2, 2008


"I'd suggest this piece of work - Lost, when viewed in its entirety - is truly new."

If only the blog post was. But okay, so even if it were new, what is the value in the linked post beyond, "In 2006, television producers are using the internets and product placement to promote their offerings"?

If it's "Rabid fans of any particular television show will congregate to talk about it, only today they use blogs and forums, instead of usenet and fan clubs" or "Almost twenty years after Twin Peaks, and almost fifty years after The Fugitive, TV audiences prove to still really dig multi-layered mystery programs which slowly reveal answers to a central puzzle"... I confess I'm still not sure what makes this qualify for an FPP, or where the opportunity for discussion is. The links in the blog post are pretty weak, demonstrating only that in 2006, the author was breathlessly fascinated by the idea of Television Without Pity (which has been around since 1999, so not actually a revelation), and the Amazon promotion. Shrug.

Maybe Agent Cooper can help me.

Or maybe one has to be a really invested Lost fan in order to care? In which case, I'm pretty sure it's not FPP material.

Or maybe I'm just annoyed that the blog author wasn't able to ever grok that the site is properly abbreviated TWoP? Seriously, no telling.
posted by pineapple at 10:25 AM on June 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'm a fan, but my main problem with the show is that all of the people on the plane have to be the least curious people ever. They avoid asking simple questions at pivotal moments that would really, really clear things up for everyone.

Or, as has been stated elsewhere in a popular blog post... "You uncurious motherfuckers!"
posted by Parasite Unseen at 10:25 AM on June 2, 2008


Umm...are there really any shows/movies/comics that don't have huge interactive web presences anymore?
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:26 AM on June 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ah yes, ridiculous plotless exploits which leave the participants in fear and doubt, with no end in sight.

But enough about the current administration.

What's "Lost"?
posted by Aquaman at 10:26 AM on June 2, 2008


You're super-keen on buzzwords, aren't you?

tybeet, I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that BP was being sarcastic.
posted by pineapple at 10:26 AM on June 2, 2008


Story-wise, I think Lost has succeeded at integrating with the web in a way that other shows (I'm looking at you Heroes) haven't. The ARGs associated with the show reveal more about backstory, but aren't required in order to still follow the show. With Lost, you can be as committed (following the podcasts, games, etc.) or just watch the show.
posted by drezdn at 10:31 AM on June 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Is it over yet? Did it have any kind of proper resolution?
posted by Artw at 10:39 AM on June 2, 2008


Yeah, I started liking the show but figured out pretty quickly that they had nothing resembling a cogent/consistent plot and were just making shit up, and not in a good postmodern literature or absurdist drama sort of sense, but just in the sense that they're bad at having a plot.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 10:45 AM on June 2, 2008


Is it over yet? Did it have any kind of proper resolution?

Rocks fall, everyone dies.
posted by yath at 10:47 AM on June 2, 2008 [4 favorites]


Guess the article author was new to Alternate Reality Games, huh?
posted by Addlepated at 11:11 AM on June 2, 2008


I'm really looking forward to the show being over, so that some enterprising young man in his parents basement can release a torrent of every episode of Lost re-edited to put all the scenes from every episode in chronological order. Not a single flashback/forward ever again.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:13 AM on June 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


I have found that the show is immeasurably more irritating now that I've read this post about the Lost writer's script style from MeFi's own Matthew Baldwin. Also: McSweeney's handy synopsis (spoilers ahoy).

In regards to the main article, I don't really see how Lost is unique, the same sorts of para-media are formed over any moderately complex TV show these days (see for instance Battlestar Galactica, which also has an exhaustive wiki and endless boards and forums), and Lost pretty much copped its open-ended, unresolving style from Twin Peaks in the first place. The ARG angle is a little new, but again, certainly not unique to Lost.
posted by whir at 11:16 AM on June 2, 2008 [7 favorites]


now that I've read this post about the Lost writer's script style

Definitely looks like a case of obscenity as the last refuge of the inarticulate motherfucker.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 11:22 AM on June 2, 2008


whir - Wow - how fantastically. fucking. irritating. !!!!
posted by Artw at 11:23 AM on June 2, 2008


Seriously. It makes me want to stab JJ Abrams RIGHT. IN THE FUCKING. EYE!
posted by whir at 11:24 AM on June 2, 2008


I am impressed with how they went to such lengths to obfuscate plot direction and hook viewers deeper through The Lost Experience. Two seasons ago, I was addicted to Lostpedia. Many fun hours did I spend trying to interpret glyphs or read the blast door map. Ever since the numbers fell by te wayside, the show's gone downhill. By now, their whole gag's got whiskers on it.

Back in the day, I wrote a paper on hypermedia in Magnolia. Remember how they had real websites and phone numbers and weird clue-like numbers? I thought that was wicked cool, too.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:34 AM on June 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Lost pretty much copped its open-ended, unresolving style from Twin Peaks in the first place

That's either giving too much credit to Lost, or devaluing Twin Peaks, whir.

Lost's model for revenue maximization (known colloquially to outsiders as episodic story telling) was pioneered by the X-Files. As long as the show is making money it will drag on and on and on all the while the writers promise there is some bible that tells them how to end it. Whatever.

Lost will end when the the advertising revenue and the DVD sales slump past a certain threshold. Anyone who says differently is either confused, lying, or doesn't understand supply and demand. We're talking Planet of the Apes here.

To this end viewers must recognize that the narrative is driven not by any artistic or storytelling muse, but rather by a boardroom full of suits who look at every episode's metrics and then dictate design by committee tweaks to the show. "Episode X did well among single women ages 28 to 38. That's a profitable demo, people! We must write more bare chests into the next season!"

Lost's creators will say otherwise. They are lying to you.
posted by wfrgms at 11:40 AM on June 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


I don't really see how Lost is unique, the same sorts of para-media are formed over any moderately complex TV show these days (see for instance Battlestar Galactica, which also has an exhaustive wiki and endless boards and forums), and Lost pretty much copped its open-ended, unresolving style from Twin Peaks in the first place. The ARG angle is a little new, but again, certainly not unique to Lost.

I am by no means an expert on the history of nerd shows, but what is - I think - unique about Lost is that there is content on the web, created by the producers, that's "canon", and knowledge of it enhances your understanding of the show. So much of the fun of Lost lies in figuring out how the story will develop - and if you have access to the information (hard won by others who played the weird games and found the videos - easily found by the lazy on wikis) then you have that much more insight into how things will develop.

Also, David Lynch didn't invent "open-ended, unresolving style" - Lost makes me think of old matinee serials more than Twin Peaks.
posted by moxiedoll at 11:47 AM on June 2, 2008


I quit watching Lost partway through the third season because I got tired of being jerked around by the writers. Was the fact that both of the first two seasons started and ended well but sucked in the middle part of the "plan"?
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:48 AM on June 2, 2008


Wow...why all the hate, people? Lost is the only show on non-cable TV worth watching these days IMO. Sure, it's not "high art" like the Sopranos or the Wire, but it's an entertaining enough diversion. Think a Stephen King novel for TV.

As far as the writers knowing where the show is headed, the creaters have negotiated for the series to end in 2010. I think most of those still loyal to the show (myself included) take them at their word, and that should they decide later to film their long-proposed "Zombie Season" (i.e. pull something out of their asses to keep the money rolling after the 2010 season), they would lose much of their remaining good fortune.

Although, to be perfectly honest, I would LOVE to see a bonus Zombie season. Or a Zombie spin-off sitcom.
posted by Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific at 11:55 AM on June 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Y'all are some impatient motherfuckers. What, did The X-Files sour all of you on this type of storytelling?

Or Alias? Twin Peaks? Jericho? The Guiding Light? What?
posted by WolfDaddy at 11:55 AM on June 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Lost has many of the same problems (and a few of the same strengths) as Battlestar Galactica. Both shows start out immensely strong with hints and setups that never pan out. Both shows change direction without much rhyme or reason, completely giving up on earlier promising storylines. And, frankly, both shows have made it clear that the writers completely make it up as they go along.

Is there any question that having at least the broad outline of what the fuck is going on down on paper before you start the show should be mandatory?

Don't get me wrong; I am a big fan of BSG and I watch Lost, but both shows have squandered a lot of early promise through inconsistencies and making shit up as they go along disease.

(Before I get asked, and I suspect I will, compare the menacing and inscrutable Cylons in the taut and brilliant Hugo-winning episode "33" to the whiny emo Cyclons of the last season or two. What the fuck, emo Cylons?
posted by Justinian at 11:55 AM on June 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


On the plus side, I think Babylon Five did the mysterious-overarching-plot thing well.
posted by Artw at 11:57 AM on June 2, 2008 [4 favorites]


wgrgms: Lost will end when the the advertising revenue and the DVD sales slump past a certain threshold.

No, Lost will end in 2010.

I'm a big-time fan, but I've long felt that if the writers manage to produce an explanation* that ties up even the majority of the various unanswered questions and loose ends, they will have achieved one of the greatest literary feats of our generation. I expected to be disappointed.

* that's not a cop-out like, "THEY'RE IN PURGATORY!!!" or "IT WAS ALL A DREAM!!!"
posted by 2or3whiskeysodas at 11:57 AM on June 2, 2008


We must write more bare chests into the next season!

All the more reason to bring back Daniel Dae-Kim. ROWR.

And what a way to waste Rodrigo Santoros. He and Dae-Kim should have been shirtless for the whole season.
posted by ao4047 at 12:02 PM on June 2, 2008


I lost interest in the plot and other sundry details during season two. I'm mostly along for the ride in that respect. The real reason I keep watching is Evangeline Lilly. At the risk of being exceedingly crass, I'd just like to say that if I ever had a shot at her, I'd hit it so hard that if you could pull me out, you would be the king of England.
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 12:03 PM on June 2, 2008 [4 favorites]


On the plus side, I think Babylon Five did the mysterious-overarching-plot thing well.

Far, far better in the concept than the execution. The setup was great. The payoff was ridiculous. The "get the hell out of our galaxy!" speech was actively embarrassing and painful to watch.

The show died when they replaced Sinclair with Sheridan. Don't even try to tell me that Babylon Squared wasn't supposed to be the last episode of the series. Don't even try; it's just too perfect and symmetrical for it not to be, whatever Straczynski has managed to fool himself into believing later on.
posted by Justinian at 12:05 PM on June 2, 2008


i_am_a_Jedi lacks risk-assessment skill.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:08 PM on June 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


KATE: Know what else is crazy? I killed my stepdad, who was actually my dad, by blowing up the house he was in. Then I went on the run for a long time. That marshall guy that's dying there was taking me to the U.S. to put me in jail.
Uh, what? He was her dad?
posted by odinsdream at 12:09 PM on June 2, 2008


blue_beetle: "I'm really looking forward to the show being over, so that some enterprising young man in his parents basement can release a torrent of every episode of Lost re-edited to put all the scenes from every episode in chronological order. Not a single flashback/forward ever again."

Here's a little taste...
posted by Rhaomi at 12:13 PM on June 2, 2008


I'd hit it so hard that if you could pull me out, you would be the king of England.
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 3:03 PM on June 2


Now you've gone and done it, you've reset the Cooter Clock.
posted by stavrogin at 12:26 PM on June 2, 2008


At the risk of being exceedingly crass...

Cooter timer reset!
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 12:28 PM on June 2, 2008


Buggrit, millenium hand and shrimp!
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 12:33 PM on June 2, 2008


* that's not a cop-out like, "THEY'RE IN PURGATORY!!!" or "IT WAS ALL A DREAM!!!"

I'm pretty sure the Lost writers have repeatedly stated these both are not the endings. It's partly why I'm curious what they have planned. Even if they just listen to their fans' theories, there are some really cool things they can do with this plot.

And if nothing else, you have to give them credit for keeping all of these really complex plot points in the air and juggling them without violating their "canon." There are so many arcane things, even stretching back to the first few episodes (Adam and Eve?), that still need to be accounted for. It must be like working on a really difficult math proof.
posted by naju at 12:45 PM on June 2, 2008


I love the fact that as every time I get bored with the TV Show (which has happened a lot less this Season than in Season 3) that there's always an internet game to explore for more content. I really, truly hope that the lines between TV, internet, video games, movies, podcasts and music continue to blur until every concept, every "show" can immerse us in different forms of media.

This is the real contribution of Lost, besides a great storyline. Making the audience a participant in mythology.

JJ Abrams for President!!
posted by Helixxx at 12:45 PM on June 2, 2008


Uh, what? He was her dad?

Yeah, her mom told her eventually. When they were at the diner talking, and Kate was telling her what a bad man he was I think? Maybe?
posted by inigo2 at 12:50 PM on June 2, 2008


Of course, none of this matters a bit if you don't care to watch the show in the first place.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:02 PM on June 2, 2008


Lost is frustrating as hell because the writers are capable of excellent episodes ("Walkabout" and "The Constant") that get lost in a lot of soapy cruft. Also, *coughnikkiandpaolocough*.
posted by RakDaddy at 1:09 PM on June 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


The choices are:

* Complete randomness (worked for The Prisoner!)
* Cop-out ending you've thought of
* Cop-out ending you've not thought of, or at least sufficently different that they can say you din;t think of it ("aha! It wasn't a VR prison, it was a reality TV show!")
* Something good!
posted by Artw at 1:09 PM on June 2, 2008


(RakDaddy - oops. Clearly I'm not doing a good job juggling the plot points!)
posted by naju at 1:13 PM on June 2, 2008


if I ever had a shot at her, I'd hit it so hard that if you could pull me out, you would be the king of England.

Bonus points for iron-dick metaphor.
posted by jessamyn at 1:26 PM on June 2, 2008


And if nothing else, you have to give them credit for keeping all of these really complex plot points in the air and juggling them without violating their "canon."

One of us is watching a completely different show. To me, the reason they don't violate their canon is that they don't actually have a canon. They just throw whatever seems cool at the time in and expect to come up with an explanation later. If they can't come up with an explanation or they run out of time or just lose interest or forget then we never hear about it again.

Who needs a canon when you can simply make it up as you go along and never explain or again mention most of what you throw in?

Lost is pretty much the exact opposite of Chekhov's gun.
posted by Justinian at 1:30 PM on June 2, 2008 [4 favorites]


Who needs a canon when you can simply make it up as you go along and never explain or again mention most of what you throw in?

It's a fun ride and by this point no one should be expecting airtight, clearcut explanations. The flash forwards and "oh they actually got off the island" were good twists that injected a interest back in the show.

I still don't know how the final Cyclon is though.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:35 PM on June 2, 2008


wfrgms: ... but rather by a boardroom full of suits who look at every episode's metrics and then dictate design by committee tweaks to the show.

We should be so lucky. You think they actually use math to make their decisions? Here's a summary of every DVD commentary I've ever listened to: "The notes from the network asked for 'sexy dames and wacky weddings', we ignored them and tried to make something decent instead".

I can only hope that the Nikki and Paulo nonsense (we need somebody the young people can relate to!) of season 3 was enough to shut up the network. They only have to make it another two seasons.
posted by Gary at 1:41 PM on June 2, 2008


Making so many people Cylons was the second worst decision Ron Moore made. Second only to the aforementioned change in the Cylons from a menacing, unstoppable monotheistic juggernaut to a bunch of bickering children.
posted by Justinian at 1:42 PM on June 2, 2008


Awesome twist: The final cyclon is an honest-to-god literal non-metaphorical toaster!
posted by Artw at 1:42 PM on June 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


Justinian - the level of mystical hand-waving, which had subsided slightly, is beginning to spike alarmingly these days as well.
posted by Artw at 1:44 PM on June 2, 2008


if you could pull me out, you would be the king of England.
I'm already King of England. Don't ask me the particulars, just that it involved Scott McClellan's head.
posted by joaquim at 1:46 PM on June 2, 2008


With all respect to Dan Hill (City of Sound), the web-based content of Lost is even more incoherent than the TV show. I like watching Lost, even though it makes little sense; it's 42 minutes of thriller/drama/mystery with occasional single-episode gems. For all that it's incoherent, at least it's quick.

However, I would never enjoy playing the Lost Experience ARG. It's just too long, too distributed, and ultimately, too inconsequential when put against the TV show. Perhaps 0.1% of the viewers have any real understanding of what happened in the Lost Experience plot (which is their own damned fault, since it was so wilfully confusing), so the ARG can only be seen as an impossibly niche adjunct to the show. Nothing in the ARG matters a jot towards the show, and I've been told that the game's climax was disappointing and vague. Why ARG designers still insist on making their games deliberately confusing, I don't know. They seem to believe that the process of putting together this story is somehow entertaining; well, maybe it is to the few dozen people who do it. But frankly I have better things to do than to read a wiki-based synopsis of an ARG.

And I say this as a full-time ARG designer. There's an awful lot of people out there who've heard about the Lost Experience. Perhaps there are millions of unique visitors who've hit the various Lost websites; speaking from experience, most marketers would say this was an unparalleled success. But how difficult is it to do this with a hit show like Lost? And how many of those visitors remember anything about the plot of the Lost Experience?

I am pleased that the creators of Lost decided to have a go at extending the story across multiple media; it's more than what most people do, and they have deservedly received recognition for their attempt. Unfortunately, it's pretty half-assed. It's not just the ARG that is poor, it's also the videogame - Lost: Via Domus received awful reviews, and the story (I read the spoilers) isn't anything to write home about either.

Back when I was at university and watching the first season of Lost, I had a wonderful plan to create an amateur, unauthorised ARG set between Lost Seasons 1 and 2. It would have concerned the passengers who died in the plane crash, and how they came about to be on the plane. It seemed to me like Lost was the perfect vehicle for an ARG. Well, I was wrong.

It is easy to make something truly new. It is much, much harder to make something new, that is also good.
posted by adrianhon at 2:20 PM on June 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


I still don't know how the final Cyclon is though.

It's okay, but dries out if you cook it too long. Braising. You seek braising.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:23 PM on June 2, 2008


There are only two more seasons of 16 episodes each remaining. It's pretty clear that after the Season 3 let-down, they finalized the end-point and have been moving fairly quickly in Season 4 to get there - (and with great results imo). It's been clear that they haven't been writing as-they-go this season.
posted by yeti at 3:09 PM on June 2, 2008


That's maybe why it sucked so hard.
posted by zouhair at 3:13 PM on June 2, 2008


I stopped watching when not a single character set out to secure any further information on all those skeletons in that cave back in early Season 2 I think it was. Like other posters have said, these are the least curious collection of stranded people ever. Man, fuck this show. Contrived plot-lengthening irritates the piss out of me. If you can't tell a story, don't bother trying. Watching Lost is like sitting listening to somebody who has just drunk a bottle of gin, ranting incoherently and, worse, boringly about the time they spent in the army, well past the point where they should have passed out in a slowly-spreading pool of their own vomit. No, they don't know how their story is going to end because they don't even remember how it began because they've taken so many detours, done so many u-turns, gone down so many blind alleys and through so many tunnels that not a single one of them has any fucking clue where they are any more. Lost also provides us with the most unsympathetic (or should that be least sympathetic?) collection of characters ever introduced to the television screen, the bunch of whiny clueless bitches.

It's for this same reason that I despised Carnivale. It started off so well, but then got to a point where it seemed that every second thing the characters said was "I don't want to talk about it" or "Leave me the hell alone!" because they were all mysterious and shit, and then the producers came along and said "OH WE HAVE DESIGNED THIS SHOW TO BE ELEVENTY-THREE SEASONS LONG, ROFL" and fuck them too.
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:24 PM on June 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: impatient motherfuckers
posted by bwg at 3:32 PM on June 2, 2008


Two seasons with seventeen episodes each remaining due to the strike. Also, they moved quickly this season partially because of the strike -- I think there was supposed to be a fair amount of backstory on Miles, Daniel, and Charlotte (the helicopter/boat people) that was sliced out for time.
posted by k8lin at 3:34 PM on June 2, 2008


BSG is dead to me. DEAD I SAY!

I hereby challenge that hackey god damned con man Ronald Dowl Moore to a cage match. Unless he can somehow manage to reimburse me for my wasted fucking time on that pile of shit.
posted by tkchrist at 4:46 PM on June 2, 2008


Has anyone else noticed that Mark Verheiden has crept up from being a wrioter to being a producer on the show? Good on him I say. Say waht you wnat about BSG, he gave us much better Aliens sequels than the movies managed to be.
posted by Artw at 5:02 PM on June 2, 2008


MetaFilter: Say waht you wnat!

But I agree with you completely Artw. Verheiden's 'Aliens' graphics novels were superior to the third and fourth movies (though I admit to a soft spot for the "Extended Edition" of 'Alien 3'), and ought to be considered canon. If there is ever a fifth film it should be Ripley waking up screaming "Alien: Resurrection was just me in purgatory!"
posted by turgid dahlia at 5:06 PM on June 2, 2008


...wrioter...wnat...

Acid blood ate through my keyboard cable.
posted by Artw at 5:10 PM on June 2, 2008


Thanks, anazgnos, for the spoiler. You can come to my house and have conjugal relations with my sister. Mods, maybe "spoiler" can be added to the flag reason list.
posted by zardoz at 5:23 PM on June 2, 2008


Spoiler? It aired 4 days ago. We can't all wait until you buy the dvd set this fall.
posted by Gary at 5:43 PM on June 2, 2008


Also, "moved the island" could mean anything. Emotionally? Spiritually? Sexually?
posted by naju at 6:36 PM on June 2, 2008


As long as Sawyer keeps wandering around with no shirt and Michael Emerson keeps bringing the creepy, I couldn't care less if it makes sense.


(That said, I'm spinning theories about polar bears and the frozen underground caverns.)
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:03 PM on June 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


wfrgms writes "Lost will end when the the advertising revenue and the DVD sales slump past a certain threshold. Anyone who says differently is either confused, lying, or doesn't understand supply and demand. We're talking Planet of the Apes here."

Yeah, except Planet of the Apes, in itself, is a tremendous film. Lost did not get the ball rolling with something earth-shattering. It was pretty good, at first ... well, it kept my attention initially.

Lost had me at the beginning, but it got tiresome pretty quickly. There wasn't enough to sustain it, and evoking a mysterious mood is just partway there. At least X-Files was able to laugh at itself (those were my favorite episodes anyway). At least Twin Peaks was surreal and visually interesting, and while the characters were strange, they weren't flat. At least it tried to go somewhere ...
posted by krinklyfig at 8:17 PM on June 2, 2008


LOST sucks.. there I said it.
posted by ChickenringNYC at 8:35 PM on June 2, 2008


Not very well.
posted by Cyrano at 9:33 PM on June 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh honestly. Well, I'll defend LOST against those who say they watched the beginning, quickly got annoyed, and then quit. I never watched LOST, and was finally, a few months ago, bullied into giving it a shot. Part of my reluctance stemmed from how boring it looked, part from my snobbishness about network television, and part from the fact that I (like many here, it seems) was still smarting from the cruel treatment I received at the hands of Chris Carter, with his deceitful assurances that he was going someplace. I can see how watching LOST on TV could quickly get tiresome, but when you watch three seasons in one go, it really works. It was a brilliant idea to make a science fiction / action adventure / romance / comedy / drama... and now it's blossomed into something really complicated and fun. (and maybe you'd love it if you gave it a chance on DVD). more importantly - for those who've brought up the x-files - are you sorry you watched it? because I fucking loved that show, and this one is entertaining enough that I'd consider a cogent finale to be no more than an impossibly clever cherry on top.
posted by moxiedoll at 9:34 PM on June 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


Lost should be ended now, there's no point in carrying on like this.

However, it should be replaced next season by the Ben Show. I love that damn character.
posted by voltairemodern at 10:37 PM on June 2, 2008


However, it should be replaced next season by the Ben Show. I love that damn character.

Is that pretty much what's happening already? Not that I'm complaining, that guy is fantastic. On the one hand, I'm glad the show is ending so that they can start answering questions instead of writing in circles. But it's going to be sad watching these actors fade away into bit parts and dissapointing movies (see also: Deadwood).

If they could leave the door open for a spin-off where Ben and Hurley drive around in the Dharma van solving mysteries, I promise I'll watch it.
posted by Gary at 11:24 PM on June 2, 2008 [5 favorites]


You people are insane. I fast-forwarded through most of Seasons 2 & 3, but this season had some of the most fabulous storytelling and acting I've seen on a TV series. Way more substance, way more "OMGWTFBBQ" and way less time spent flipping off the screen and yelling in frustration at fictional characters. Just read the TWoP recaps up through about 3.16 and then give it another shot. (Right now, my biggest complaint, and the most obvious contrivance, is with how many characters they're killing off. WTF is the point of being fated to survive a plane crash if you're just going to end up exploding two weeks later, or shot or buried alive or throttled by the smoke monster?)
posted by granted at 11:40 PM on June 2, 2008


Ben and Hurley drive around in the Dharma van solving mysteries

...and sharing Apollo bars.
posted by granted at 11:46 PM on June 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


this season had some of the most fabulous storytelling and acting I've seen on a TV

This season had just as much good storytelling as previous seasons, except because of the writer's strike, they were forced to distill their "storytelling" to episodes that moved the fucking plot along, which is why it appeared to be a solid season of stories. Rest assured, had the season gone the way they originally planned it, they would have had just as many shitty episodes.

This last season of Lost was like fucking Angelina Jolie for three hours straight only to realize right as you cum that it is, in fact, your mom.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:58 PM on June 2, 2008


...which is to say, great setup, awful payout. Or, to steal the best line from the last episode (and by best, I mean worst)...

SO?
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 12:00 AM on June 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'll be very surprised if Lost ends with a full-on tie it all up in a big bow ending. Because I assumed like X-Files they were going to try and spin it out forever. I can see spin-off films and Caprica Lost 2: The Other Island(s) on the horizon
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:09 AM on June 3, 2008


I was onboard for lost for the first two seasons, and then it just got...well, stupid. It's not new, it's not revolutionary. It's "Little Orphan Annie" and "The Lone Ranger" from ye olde days of radio. How's that?

Introduce a bunch of drama. Resolve none of it. Leave a cliff hanger to make sure people tune in next time. Use the cliffhanger to sell stuff. Rinse/repeat.

It's not new or revolutionary, it's just a fantastically effective way of sucking you in and stealing your brain, all while trying to sell you some shit. I mean, seriously. Showing every episode TWICE (The second time with pop-up-video) and people actually tune in and treat them like new episodes?

The only "new" or "revolutionary" part is that now people can spend their free time looking at the websites that are designed to suck you more in and show you more ads.
posted by TomMelee at 5:45 AM on June 3, 2008


Wow, for a bunch of folks who dislike Lost, you sure do spend your valuable time telling everyone how much is sucks in a thread clearly designed for those who like the show.

Never have I heard such bile and holier-than-thou commentary on a successful TV show. Hey critic, if you think Lost sucks so much, go make a better show. For Christ's sake! Has MeFi degenerated into a bitch-fest? Are you haters all "TV sucks...I dont watch TV...I'm awesome"?!? I wanted to nitpick some of the idiotic comments above...

a) the show has an ending! It always did...just no idea how long to get there.
b) they reshow the earlier episode to help those unable to remember what happened!
c) if you dont like it, DON'T WATCH IT!
d) oh, and what shows DO you think are good? If Lost is so bad, what is good in your apparently objective and accurate opinion?

...but I would go on too long. I just dont understand why people do this on the web...sh!t on a thread that interests others. Please...there are enough MeFi threads to participate in without having to spread your hatred and contempt to each of them. ARRRGGGHHH!!!

(I think Lost is one of the supreme examples of good episodic TV. Amazing Photography, Orchestral scoring, 3-dimensional characters (a major sympathetic character who is an Iraqi Republican Guard Torturer?!) A character who speaks mostly in Korean?), complex plotlines, sci-fi, drama, romance, action, etc....you never would have found even one of these on Everybody Loves Raymond or American Idol.)
posted by Dantien at 10:32 AM on June 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


I may have inadvertently left an ending parenthesis in there...which may open a wormhole in the spacetime continuum...apologies to all sucked in.
posted by Dantien at 10:33 AM on June 3, 2008


Wow, for a bunch of folks who dislike Lost, you sure do spend your valuable time telling everyone how much is sucks in a thread clearly designed for those who like the show.

Dantien: shut up. You are approaching silly reflexive fan-boy frothing, here.

I'm indifferent to Lost. What I spent my valuable time upthread doing was telling everyone that "a thread clearly designed for those who like the show" doesn't belong here.

This is METAFILTER. We FILTER. We DISAGREE sometimes.

If you want a bunch of "OMG YES LOST ROCKS, TOTES, BEST SHOW EVRRRR", there are places for it. MeFi isn't one of them. Try this one.

I think it's bad enough that a thread I believe to basically be "this is my favorite TV show whats yours check yes or no" has stuck around. But if there was enough conversation to come out of it, then fine. Believe it or not, "I don't agree with the popular opinion that 'Lost = television's second coming of brilliance and J.J. Abrams is the new Jesus'" is still valid conversation.

Stop looking for everyone to validate your own opinion. Lost is great, best evar. Lost sucks, whatevar. But either defend it intelligently or shut up. Don't castigate anyone who dares to disagree with you with comments like "Hey critic, if you think Lost sucks so much, go make a better show."

What's next, are you rubber and I'm glue, and neener neener? Aim a little higher, please -- or find the appropriate place for the level of bobble-head agreement you're craving.

(again... Clue: Not here. Try here.)
posted by pineapple at 11:31 AM on June 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


That was one hell of a smackdown, pineapple.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 1:04 PM on June 3, 2008


An unnecessary one, as he has me pegged incorrectly. Alas pineapple, I do not need others to agree with me. And, prior to your complete overreaction to my point, I actually liked what you had said. It's comments like "LOST sucks.. there I said it." that irritate me. Opinions with articulated reasoning and thought certainly do not. However, your complete disdain for my post is pretty calamitous, as it does nothing to further the discussion (neither does mine probably). I would like more thought into WHY Lost sucks, and not comments like "I got tired of being jerked around by the writers" or "They just throw whatever seems cool at the time in and expect to come up with an explanation later." which seem laden with ignorance about the show. These issues have long been addressed and clarified by showrunners or the press, but it sounds like a sounding board for "they confused me, so it sucks" which, Im sorry, is not real good discussion here at MeFi.

Again, someone explain better WHY Lost sucks, and I may even agree. Hell, I love the show and even I have issues with it. It's not be being the fanboy, it's those who think one wrong event, one bad episode, or whatever makes for a bad SHOW. I'll define this as the Indy4 syndrome...where one thinks the movie sucks almost solely on the basis that Shia LeBouf swings from vines.

Back off pineapple...you say it's okay to discuss, then slam me for doing that exact thing. And while you generally post substantive articles (You've never heard of Overture?), this thread DOES belong here.
posted by Dantien at 1:22 PM on June 3, 2008


ugh...he=she. I mistyped that, sorry Pineapple.
posted by Dantien at 1:26 PM on June 3, 2008


Dantien, your are JJ Abrams and I claim my five pounds!
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:31 PM on June 3, 2008


*looks around confused* Did I miss something?
posted by Dantien at 1:34 PM on June 3, 2008


And as fearfulsymmetry  slowly looks up 
-- standing right in front of him --
just FIVE FUCKING FEET AWAY -- Is JJ ABRAMS. JJ ABRAMS
Hello, Gary. Holy. Fucking. Shit.

posted by Artw at 1:35 PM on June 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Lost's Michael gives an interview about his character following the season finale. (Spoilers, again.)
posted by lunit at 1:39 PM on June 3, 2008


(You've never heard of Overture?)

Are you for real? You're calling up a FPP I made five years ago to try and make a point here?

you say it's okay to discuss, then slam me for doing that exact thing.

Oh, is that what you were doing in your prior comment? Calling everyone in this thread who doesn't like Lost a bile-filled, holier-than-thou hater... and MeFi a bitch-fest full of thread-shitters laden with hatred and contempt, with the articulate cherry on top of an "ARRRGGGHHH!!!" ...that's what you're alleging is "discussion"?

Ye gods of the FPP, thou hast forsaken us.

However, your complete disdain for my post is pretty calamitous

That word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

If you're trying to demonstrate that you've put away the Lost fanboy in favor of calm, reasonable conversation about media... it's not quite working, Seriously -- try TWoP. You'll love it.
posted by pineapple at 1:41 PM on June 3, 2008


Alright, I give up. My point is being ignored for various reasons, so I guess I should redact my original comment and go back to lurking. Success Pineapple! You got me! All I wanted was a thread where we had reasoned discourse and not pingponging opinions. I suppose I dream too much...

and just to wrap up loose threads:
a) not making a POINT regarding your old FPP. In fact, I complimented you.
b) I already said my comment didnt lend to the discussion. Thanks for agreeing with me!
c) Calamitous is being used correctly.
posted by Dantien at 1:48 PM on June 3, 2008


THEY CALL ME THE JJABRAMSAPOTAMUS
MY STORYLINES ARE BOTTOMLESS
.
.
.
.
.
.
*ahem*
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:05 PM on June 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


Yeah Pineapple.

Be more constructive with your feedback, please.
posted by turgid dahlia at 4:54 PM on June 3, 2008


turgid FTW
posted by Dantien at 5:03 PM on June 3, 2008


ROXORS & SUXORS LOL!!1!!
posted by ZachsMind at 5:30 PM on June 3, 2008


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