Mash WordUp

Things that I think and do

A review of ‘Lost’ – yeah, the Noughties TV sensation (briefly)

**Warning! May contain spoilers, but they’re from 2004 so it’s OK**

funny-tv-lost-achievement-unlocked

For a variety of reasons – which include (but are not limited to) the need to save money, excessive amounts of downtime and a slightly addictive personality – I’ve got quite heavily into Lost. Yep, the notoriously confusing and ridiculous TV series from about ten years ago. That one.

I remember it being a fairly big thing for a while, then rapidly becoming much less of a big thing when audiences got bored of needing Sherlock Holmes-like powers of deduction to work out what the hell was going on. I remember, and this shows how old it is, recording it on VHS and never quite managing to do it properly, then watching it a few days after it was on.

Inevitably, I dropped out of it after about ten episodes first time round. I was 13 or 14 and had other concerns and besides, I didn’t understand it anyway. So I have now started again and I must say I’m appreciating it much more. I even follow some of the plot.

I have a number of issues with it still. For a start, it’s bloody addictive and episodes are only about forty minutes long, so it’s easy to binge-watch. It’s also starting to get labyrinthine with the plot twists and intricacies, but that’s part of the mystery so it’s generally as gripping as it is irritating.  I can’t tell if it’s deliberate on the part of the directors to have incredibly slow-moving plots, or if it’s just the effect achieved by having far too many open storylines at one time.  I started to make notes on important events, but that stopped because a) it was a sad thing to be doing and b) too much stuff happened.

My main concern now is the complete abandonment of any lengthy coherence in the plot. For one thing, while there was (quite understandably) a strong desire to escape the island for most of the first series that seems to have vanished now. Maybe there was an episode where the characters got together and decided that they’d rather live a simple and charmingly rustic life on a tropical beach, but I missed that if so.

Also, the nice survivors (the ones who created their own nice little society, as opposed to the dodgy survivors who shout a lot and look unhappy) have just come across “Them” – a major plot development. I think it’s “Them” anyway, it might be “The Others”. Whoever they are, these people (who are also, interestingly, American) explained that it was their island and that they were merely allowing the nice survivors to continue with their little community. It was all quite threatening, a bit anti-social and overall not conducive to peaceful co-habitation.

Firstly, I hardly think that “Them/The Others” can really blame the survivors for making a little community on the island. There’s been no indication of rescue and they’re not really doing anything particularly nasty. And anyway, “Them/The Others” never bothered to go and introduce themselves. If they’d just pootled down to the beach and said, “Hey, so we were here first and it’s our island – you can stay here but don’t mess with us” things would have probably been much less tense and a lot less mysterious all the time.  Yet no-one seems to have considered the option of a reasonable discussion between the two camps.  I imagine this is why I’m not an HBO executive.

That’s another thing – everyone is always so bloody mysterious. They have conversations of the sort that a Telegraph reader might find in his daily crossword. People say cryptic and vague things, and nobody thinks to ask “why?” or say “what the hell are you on about? Speak clearly you knob!” Or, occasionally, people do ask for elaboration upon a particularly vexing and obscure comment but they are ignored and the speaker retains his/her air of intrigue and mystery (and being a dick).

An example of a typical conversation on Lost is as follows:

Scene: moody enigmatic bloke carves names of Biblical chapters into his large beating-people-up stick. Vacuous irritating woman comes over (cannot see what he’s carving).

Vacuous irritating woman: Hey. What are you writing?

Moody enigmatic bloke: …[long pause for effect]…Things I need to remember.

Oh for pity’s sake. Imagine that kind of talk, but for forty minutes. I think everyone would get a long better if they just answered questions properly. They might even have found a way off the sodding island.

Here’s my proposal to HBO’s script-writing department for editions of this dialogue:

Scene: moody enigmatic bloke carves names of Biblical chapters into his large beating-people-up stick. Vacuous irritating woman comes over (cannot see what he’s carving).

Vacuous irritating woman: Hey. What are you writing?

Moody enigmatic bloke: …[long pause for effect]…Things I need to remember.

VIW: Stop trying to be all moody and enigmatic. It’s not big or clever, it’s just a pain in the arse. I’ll try again: what exactly are you writing on your big beating-people-up stick, you massive knob?

MEB: Oh right, sorry. I’m carving Bible verses because I’m religious and they have great significance for me.

People might say it ruins the tension and inscrutability of the plot, but in the long run they’d thank me.

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This entry was posted on October 13, 2014 by in Humour, TV and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .
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