Monday, May 24, 2010

"Lost: Season Six Finale"

Okay, this post has nothing to do with cycling, besides being part of this cyclists life.  I don't usually watch television and I admit to being a snob when it comes to popular culture.  I don't think snobbishness is a virtue, but hey, sometimes it happens.  The idea is to fight it when you recognize it.  When I saw that the last season of "Lost" was going to air, I decided to see what all the hubbub was about (It can't be smart to be mindlessly opposed to whatever is popular.), so I went to Netflix and started on episode 1 of season 1 and I was hooked!  Before I knew it I was watching episode after episode--I caught right up a few weeks ago and started watching "Lost: Season Six" on the ABC website and on TV.  I loved it and I'll miss it.  I loved the characters: Kate, Jack, Locke and the gang.  I think all us fans are in a state of nostalgic mourning the day after the finale.  I couldn't wait for that finale and yet I dreaded it because I knew it would signal the end.

I also worried that the finale would be unequal to the task I expected of it.  There would too many gaps to fill, too many mysteries to explain, and I wondered, "Had the writers outrun their own imaginations?"  I think all these were true, yet I still think the finale was a success.  I'll admit, I walked away scratching my head, trying to understand what I'd just seen, but what makes that episode any different from the other episodes?  Nothing.  You can't say the writers weren't consistent.  So I asked myself, why was I dissatisfied?  Had I wasted my time with this show?  I can't afford to waste time.  The answer I came up with was a tentative "No."

I realized I had focused on the specifics, but the "Lost" writers (story-tellers) were more interested in the larger concepts and the elements of drama.  These they played superbly.  The themes and ideas of life and death; destiny and choice; good and evil; individual and community; floated constantly through and throughout.  Folks looked for clues in the Egyptian paintings, the statue, the names chosen for the characters: Jacob, Christian Shepard. etc..., but truly I now believe these were intended to demonstrate the universality and connectivity of religious and spiritual experience.  I don't think the "Lost" writers ever planned to get specific.  Unfortunately, this vague, lack of specificity, leaves us feeling a little...well, lost. 

The trouble is that any specificity gives away the mystery.  Even more dangerous, being more specific may narrow the audience, and judging from the commercials, it seems that ABC was taking care of business--literally.  It would be naive to expect otherwise.  Furthermore, in this multi-cultural, anti-religious age of ours, it would be highly un-PC to give too overt a nod to religion--especially with any specificity.  And so it was, I believe, that possible genius may have been a bit compromised by being too universal and vague, whether by accommodation or design.  Nevertheless, the dramatic expertise and the sheer largeness of these ideas carried the day.  I actually thought the alternate reality with the flashes of realization were excellent and very likable.  "Did you feel it brotha?"  There might have been a few technical issues like why are babies being born in alternate realities where everyone is dead?  Why is Baby Aaron in the church scene when they're all dead?  Is the baby dead too?  Notwithstanding, there was a beauty to that church scene--sad and peaceful at once.  The Lost writers had quite a task before them and I think they did a good job.  The final chapter on a fine piece of television history ended last night--it won't be forgotten anytime soon.


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