I finally got a little free time and caught the “season premiere” of LOST and it’s second episode as well. I have to admit I was not in a hurry to watch the DVR’ed episodes… I just could not generate any enthusiasm for the show. Call it apathy after a great deal of disappointment last season and the incredibly long layoff.
I don’t know if the writer’s strike was the reason they waited until January 31st to premiere the first show of the season, but I don’t think so. I believe I read that the creators planned it that way so they could show all 16 episodes in a row with no weeks off. They believed that viewers would be happier waiting until later and not having weeks of repeats or no shows interspersed between new episodes. I have to say I disagree strongly. I am quite fine with having some repeats on here and there to stretch it into a full season… or a month off during the holidays. What I didn’t like was waiting almost 9 months for a new season. This show is too deep and intricate for that kind of layoff. Frankly I forgot a lot of stuff over that time, and I ended up watching the refresher episode before the new one. Like The Sopranos (which was far worse for time off in between seasons) LOST expects too much from it’s viewers to hang around and remain interested. I don’t understand why they can’t just do a 22 episode season like most TV shows have, then they wouldn’t have to fill so much to make it through the entire TV season.
I am sure that it will enjoy a good showing in the ratings, if for no other reason than the writer’s strike makes it one of the few shows on TV with a run of new episodes on tap. In fact, the strike is probably the best thing that could happen to the show, at least until they run out of new episodes.
One thing that I thought was hilarious was the promo they ran a few times saying “It’s never too late to get LOST“, trying to convince new viewers to drop in. Sorry, LOST is what it is… and that is a heavily serialize, very involved program that depends heavily on the viewer’s understanding of the previously developed mythos. No way can a new viewer just “start watching”… not without a DVD marathon about 50 hours long.
Be that as it may, the show is finally back on. I have to say that either the writers have finally gotten their heads around the ending of the series, or they learned some important lessons from the missteps of last year. This season has hit the ground running and is back to the great plot twists and story development that made it so gripping the first two seasons. So much of last year seemed like treading water… it wasn’t until the end that they got some traction. Not so in the first two episodes, where plenty of meaty storyline is being served up. I think the writers may have finally decided we know these characters well enough to trust us to understand where they are coming from and why they are doing what they do.
I love the “flash forwards” as opposed to the flashbacks of the earlier seasons. That is a very smart twist on the ‘jumping around time” storytelling that J.J. Abrams is so fond of. Locke’s character keeps getting more and more interesting. Charlie’s sacrifice was handled very well without too much mewling and mourning. The introduction of the “rescue team” and their different specialties is also a great foreshadowing device… especially the addition of Miles the paranormal psychic. Science just could not totally explain the phenomenons on the island. Even when you think you get one of the characters completely, they can still surprise you… I was shocked when Jack pulled the trigger on the gun he held to the prone Locke’s face meaning to kill him in cold blood only to find out the gun wasn’t loaded. That added a new layer to Jack, and Locke’s reaction was priceless. Watching these character’s grow as the island changes them is fascinating.
Damn shame about the writer’s strike. Not that I am missing TV much… 95% of the shows on TV are complete garbage. It’s just too bad that so called “Reality Shows” weren’t taken down with the rest of them. “American Idol” may be the biggest pile of steaming doggy doo ever to be a top rated show. But, there you go… it’s a top rated show and you only have yourselvs to blame, America!
At least we have several weeks of LOST and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (which I am really beginning to like a lot) to look forward to.
745 My cover art for the next issue of MAD, exclusive sneak peek from @entertainmentweekly website
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