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hail HYDRA | by maryann johanson

‘Lost’ blogging: bored already

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[spoilers]

Man, it must be me. I was all excited that Lost was coming back, couldn’t wait to find out what was gonna happen — wormholes! conspiracies! polar bears! — and by about half an hour into last night’s two-hour series premiere, my mind was already wandering.
Oh, those first 10 minutes were indeed awesome. The clock at 8:15? *snort* The Dharma training film guy has a baby! Who is it? It’s gotta be someone we know, right? “The island’s hostile indigenous–” Hostile indigenous what? “It’s going to allow us to manipulate time.” I knew it! Jeremy Davies in the past! Locke gets time-jumped! Everybody gets time-jumped!

That’s when I started not caring. I didn’t realize that’s what was happening at first. I just wasn’t involved enough after that to give the show my undivided attention. Oh, look, Locke found the drug plane! Oh, look, it’s imaginary Anna Lucia! Oh, look, they’re back to making fire with sticks on the beach! Yeah, and…

The things I was thinking about were: Who wants Aaron’s blood sample?… I’m confused about where everyone is in time… Ah, flaming arrows — way to pick off the nonspeaking-role survivors and cut back on production costs.

In other words: I was thinking about puzzles, not about people. I realized that I’ve stopped caring about these characters as people and started being annoyed by them as collections of quirks. Yeah, we get it: Sawyer is the guy who makes up funny/mean nicknames for people. Cuse and Lindelof seemed so proud of this on the recap hour that preceded the new episodes. But don’t they realize that this is all that Sawyer is about anymore? And that’s really boring.

Because when it’s not about people, the puzzles are intriguing for only so long. Which is not very long indeed. If the puzzles — and the answers — don’t keep coming at a very rapid pace, then there has to be something else to be intrigued by… and the characters are not doing it for me anymore. Stuff keeps happening to them, but the stuff that keeps happening isn’t about them. Back in the day, when the flashbacks were driving the narrative, the intrigue was about people — who they were, who they are, who they are becoming. Of course the show could not have continued to flash back — well, unless the creators and ABC had been willing to end the show earlier — but those focus has not been maintained as the show has moved to being about puzzles. And that’s a shame.

I’ll keep watching… for now. I am curious to learn how the puzzles will be resolved. And I’ll likely watch these two premiere episodes again — maybe I was just in a bad mood last night or something. But it seems likely that I’ll be watching with only one eye from now on.


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  • bitchen frizzy

    [SPOILERS to previous seasons of the show]

    Never since I started watching this show have I been more frustrated when it cut away from a storyline in which something was actually happening.

    –”Stuff keeps happening to them, but the stuff that keeps happening isn’t about them.”

    Yep. And the epitome of this is Locke, who in half of his scenes literally does nothing whatsoever because he’s lying dead in a coffin, and in the other half is his usual wall of silence. He’s supposed to be a central and intriguing character, but with him the show has crossed the line between enigma and cipher. A character who reveals little is mysterious; a character who reveals nothing is boring.

    The flaming arrow scene annoyed me. It signaled the start of an entirely new tangent.

    Was anything resolved or established in this episode? Some of the artificial constructs on the island definitely predate the Dharma project (the big underground wheel thingie that rotates the island through time). Anything else, in the two hours?

    But yeah, I’ll keep watching.

  • Anne-Kari

    My mind was wandering as well, but I think it was because my brain was starting to dribble out through my ears.

    Too… many… plot… twists… flaming arrows… time travel… I heart Shih-tzus… does not compute…

  • Patrick

    The same bored/mind-wandering thing happened to me. I watched about 45 minutes of it and then realized I had found something else to do. The thought of finishing it feels like a burden, but I know I will…

  • D

    Ben. Is. Creepy. Very creepy.
    In a very cool way. Specially while talking to Hurley. Poor Hurley…
    Also, Sayid still kicks ass.

  • Andras

    Fell asleep before it was over – that’s a first for sure. I will finish watching tonight to see if the last few minutes will redeem the first 90+, but I seriously doubt it…

  • Vergil

    Everyone (somewhat rightly)complains about the relentless barage of unresolved puzzles, but the problem is that answering questions is about a two-point-three on the fun scale, while posing the questions can be an eight or nine without even trying very hard. The writers know this. That’s why they put off answering the questions as long as they can (if at all). I’m still enjoying the ride, but with the knowledge that the big drop always comes at the beginning of the roller coaster. The rest is of diminishing excitement, but if you can accept the end of the ride for what it is, it’s still pretty fun.

  • Limmic

    Wow, could you cry about this any more? Did you watch the show last season?

    And perhaps I should inform you, this was the season premiere, not finale, so why were you expecting a barrage of answers to you’re really intelligent questions.

    “Who want’s Aaron’s blood?” Wow, deep question. Answer: We will, without a doubt, find that out, so why say it like that. It’s perfectly fine to mull over the question, that’s what the writers want, and that’s what makes Lost great. But stating it as if there are tears streaming down your face is pointless, and stupid.

    If you’ve been paying attention over the last few years, the writers have done a tremendous job of not letting the show become stale and repetitive. They have had a number of game-changing episodes that completely throw everything upside down, what other shows have done that so well? It was inevitable that the flashbacks would go away or at least in their previous incarnation.

    The show is evolving, and wonderfully. It has answered a lot of questions, but if it doesn’t ask any more, then what is the point of next season? If you think they should stop creating puzzles and asking new questions, then apparently you want them to have NOTHING to do later.

    You’re probably one of those people that said we’d never get answers to anything. Yes there are some things they have promised but have not gotten to yet (i.e. the four-toed statue), but I have faith they will in time.

    Your quote “Stuff keeps happening to them, but the stuff that keeps happening isn’t about them.” shows that you must have been watching with one eye open the whole time. The entire show has been about how helpless they have been to what is going on around them. They crash, they are attacked, they fight amongst themselves, they are invaded (freighter), and they are rescued (well, a few at least), only to need to return. The show is all about these people who are basically being forced around by everything around them with hardly any free will. This is hardly a new idea on the show.

    Yes, like any show, there are elements that could be improved (i.e. Sawyer), but with a show that has this kind of scope and boldness, you shouldn’t nitpick. You also said you had a hard time following where they were in time, uh…yeah. That was the point, you the viewer, were as disorientated as the characters. Perhaps you wanted digital signposts declaring the date and time. There are inferences you can make with the timing of each jump, but you aren’t supposed to know precisely. For instance, a few of the jumps occur in the last few decades (having Dharma exist there), and some you could say, may have been much further back. The British guys seem to have older military uniforms and older rifles (perhaps WWII era).

    Stop nitpicking and whining about not having a tour guide take you through the episodes, if they are too hard to follow, go watch American Idol. Be patient, we will get the answers we are waiting for.

  • bitchen frizzy

    Nitpicking is half the fun, fanboy. Especially when the show intends it by making the clues subtle.

    –”…we will get the answers we are waiting for.”

    Unless the show gets cancelled before all the reveals.

  • http://www.myspace.com/numberoneshaqfan Will

    I think it’s more realistic to have things unresolved. It brings a reality to a fantasy world. How many things in our life go unresolved. You’ve said “I wonder whatever happened to…” a million times in your life and it has always annoyed me that television and movies wrapped things up so neatly. There are things in life that sometimes make you got “what the fuck?” and then when your investigation is fruitless you kinda just forget about them. Maybe it’s the writer being lazy but for me, that doesn’t really matter.

  • Vergil

    By the by…I think I’ve solved the main riddle (though I’m sure I’m not the only one to think of it). The Statue and Wheel aren’t from some ancient Atlantean type civilization (as some have surmised), but from the future. Anthropologists have long speculated that humans would probably loose their pinkies and/or pinkie toes as they are becoming superfluous, so the statue is of a human from the future. Smokie is from the future. Seems likely to me anyway.

  • http://www.newbspeak.com Newbs

    I dunno if I can agree with you on this, MaryAnn, there was a lot of good character stuff in these two episodes (which I just finished watching tonight). Admittedly, the Plot seems to be taking center square what with the abolition of the flashbacks, but there’s still a lot of interesting writing going on in Lost.

    I did roll my eyes at the introduction of yet another Mysterious Person Who is Manipulating Things for Unknown Reasons™ but for the most part I was captivated. It seems like we should wait for a few more hours before passing judgment on what’s happening here… and I’m just as excited to see the next episode as ever.

  • Ryan

    I must say, I struggled with Lost during the end of season 3…but in season 4 and this season they really reeled me back in. I don’t see the characters taking a back seat at all. If anything I feel ‘comfortable’ with some of the older, main characters, and am enjoying the puzzles of Benjamin Linus, Daniel Faraday, and Juliet.

    They still seem to be a little bit confused over how to best utilize Sayid, it’s hard to imagine that somebody so conflicted over their goals and confused as to whom is manipulating whom would be as quick as he is to initiate action–but it’s not inconsistent for him.

    I think what really tipped me back into the enjoyment column for Lost was getting the DVD sets and watching seasons 1,2,3,4…and realizing the writers weren’t making it up as they went along. (Except for the transition from season 1.5-2)

    Something you can’t say about Battlestar Galactica, which now has plot-holes in it the size of the Grand Canyon.

  • millie

    I loved it, and I’m psyched for this season. The focus seems to be back on the Island itself, which has gone back to being foreign and mysterious after being just a backdrop for a while. The only thing that made me roll my eyes was the “you have 70 hours” line at the end; I thought the urgency of the situation had been pretty much spelled-out already!

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