Lost (Seasons 1-6)

From the fecund imagination of J. J. Abrams, Lost broke onto TV screens in 2004 and I was completely swept away by its first season. The plot was built around survivors of a plane crash on an island cut off from the world. By not revealing anything about these people and imprisoning them on an island, the premise offered all kinds of creative leaps in story-telling. Abrams and team exploited this very well by writing some superb back-stories for the characters. I lost touch with the series during Season 2, and watched from the sidelines as it chugged through to completion in 2010. I jumped back in recently to re-watch Lost from the beginning all the way to the end, over a period of several weeks. Full of highs and lows, Lost offers a fantastic, but ultimately unsatisfying ride.

The standard format of each Lost episode is a mix of the happenings on the island interspersed with the past-story of a character. I found the back-stories to be much more interesting than the island story. The writers must have felt the same since the island story, which is engrossing in the first few seasons, goes totally bonkers soon after. They pull every trick possible from literature to bolster it up. Ideas of God, redemption, sacrifice, miracles, secret organizations, heaven-hell, alternate dimensions, time-travel, creation of life, nothing is spared to weave the yarns. But, ultimately their creations turn out to be grandiose and unconvincing. This is not say that Lost should not be watched.

There are many memorable moments and interesting philosophies that surface in Lost. One of my favorites was the thankless Sisyphean task of pressing The Button every 108 minutes. Despite some of its weak threads, Lost has some unforgettable actors who I had never seen before on TV. Jack, Kate, Hugo, Sawyer, Locke and many more characters whose faces are etched in my memory forever. Lost is a TV phenomenon that must not be missed, at least the first 3 seasons. In the later seasons, Lost demands such a suspension of disbelief that I was not willing to offer to its incredulous tales.

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