Friday, September 30, 2005

Bitching About 'Lost'? I Know!

Yeah, so it's two episodes in and I'm already complaining about Lost. And no, I'm not at the "Where's Adebisi?" place yet. Mostly, I prod Lost because I like it, and I think if it weren't for a few maddening tendencies, I'd be able to love it.

Case in point, the season's first two episodes, which easily could have been fused into one episode. I've probably bored all my Lost-inclined friends with how much I dislike the flashbacks, but come on. The backstory we got on Jack in episode one and Michael in episode two added absolutely nothing new to the characters. I understood the point of the flashbacks early in season one – establish characters with dark and complicated pasts; provide deep character development in a short amount of time. But now things are just getting redundant. Oh, you mean Jack is a caring and devoted doctor with a hero complex who has difficulty making leaps of faith? You don't say! Michael is a caring and devoted father who didn't want to give up his son? It's practically tattooed on his forehead.

Take away the redundant and pace-killing flashbacks, and all of a sudden you've got one pretty tight episode, combining Jack, Locke, and Kate's POV while entering the hatch. That way, the tedious "I'm going to draw a line down the middle of this ocean - you stay on your side and I'll stay on mine" subplot with Michael and Sawyer would have seemed diversionary rather than excruciating.

I don't expect or really want the show to answer all my questions about what's going on. That's not my complaint. I like that the answers we've gotten thus far have led to more questions. That's the way it should be. It's the ridiculous padding by the largely pointless flashbacks that drives me up the wall. With a dozen major characters, thirty-odd nameless background players, and half an island full of "others," it's shitty to put the viewer through episodes of Jack's Crippled Wife or Michael's Unrealistically Placid Baby Mama.

Oh, and enough with the numbers, already. Because: really.


rick said...

See, I think I disagree with you and I'm as guilty of bitching about "Lost" as anyone.

1.) I actually enjoyed the "concurrent" time arc of the first two episodes. The hatch story was obviously the stronger of the two, so the first episode rightly built on that. The gaping holes in the first eps. pacing were filled in with the second ep., while the raft shenanigans were (rightly) treated as the second story.

2.) As for the flashbacks, while I agree that some of them meander right into redundancy, I think we have to give the writers the benefit of the doubt on this one. The "Michael" flashback is a good example. There were lots of little things, esp. during the scenes where Michael was getting beat up by his wife's attorney, that make me think the writer's have a much darker direction planned for the background of Michael's character. Unfortunately, we all just have to wait and see and in only an hour (or 40 minutes w/o commercials) there's only so far the plot can move.

3.) And, I'm with you on the numbers. Hell, I know 'em by heart after having them beat into my skull for months. Do *something* with 'em. Do it now!

mathan said...

The concurrent story thing was tolerable, if only because it did fill in some things that many of us were curious about.

But the Michael story and flashback were too much of a bad thing. Couldn't the writers have found something better for Michael and Sawyer to do? They lost me when Sawyer wasn't screaming in agony when the scene started and he dove into the (salt)water.

Joe, it could have been worse; the writers could have showed Locke's POV as a flashback in the season 3 debut.

As for the numbers, I don't know them by heart, but I do know them when I see them. I'm not quite annoyed yet, but that's probably because I haven't invested that much into the show.

But do count me in the "where is Adebisi" corner. I saw his name in the opening credits and I was excited, only to be disappointed when I couldn't figure out which of the "other" silhouettes he was.

Here's hoping for a Jun & Boone POV next week!