Making the world a better place, one show at a time.

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Washington, DC, United States
I guess you would like to know a little bit about the person making all these proclamations upon good taste and horrid characters. I'm Andrea and when I was 15 I fell in love. An hour after meeting "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" I was forever altered in the way only love can, and I never questioned for one minute afterwards that television offered me an amazing chance to experience lives and moments that I could never imagine. So now, when I'm not getting distracted by my real life, I write about TV. I also read, am finishing a Master's degree in English Literature, travel, am attempting to learn vegan cooking, am the 5th of 6 children, and drive my roommate nuts by constantly cleaning our already clean apartment. Now that we're old friends, time for you to take my opinions as the be all and end all.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Lost (0): Like Heroin, You Don’t Need to Try It to Know it is Bad for You.

Luke threw down a challenge: write about Lost. Do not doubt my ability to have unbelievable and verbose hatred for a show of which I have seen only two complete episodes. If hatred were rational it would not be hatred. And I hate Lost. So, fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night.

I do not believe that there is one single viewer in my age range who can look at Matthew Fox every week and not want to call him Charlie. In some cases a character becomes so culturally identifiable that the actor has a hard time adopting new roles. Other actors are just bad, and it doesn’t matter if they are on an island or running a restaurant and getting cancer, it is the same worthless looks of longing and boring martyr complex. Watching Matthew Fox is like experiencing an externally projected coma. Don’t try to say that it isn’t his fault if his characters are similar. Face facts, he is a half-trick pony! He would play Iago with that same stupid “I am wounded but noble” facial expression that makes me want to slap him in the face with a two-by-four.

“But, even if you don’t like one character, there are so many to choose from, there is bound to be someone you like.” Uh, no. What others have convinced themselves is variety I call writer's laziness. Having a huge cast actually relieves writers of creating identifiable, sympathetic, interesting characters. The more you have the less screen time each gets, therefore the less work each takes. Anyone watched Days of Our Lives lately? Same principle. Yes, in the first season each character’s back-story is revealed. One episode out of at least twenty-two, not that much. I thrive on developing emotional connection with characters. When your character list is the analogous to an ADHD kid off his meds actually caring about any particular character has to take forever. Once you meet them who knows if they will be back for the next four episodes. And why does this “mysterious and unknown” island seem to have more visitors than some Italian towns? Give me small portions of the highest quality, not an all you can eat deep-fired buffet.

All of these characters take a great deal of work for the audience to keep straight, and I am not opposed to the attention a complex show requires. Bring it on. But I have no patience for trying to juggle multiple plot lines that are going nowhere. And history is on my side. J.J. Abrams can set up a story like no other. He cannot finish one to save his life. For almost four seasons Felicity was so perfect; the graduation episode was so wonderful (Ben followed her in a loving reversal of the way she followed him, I sobbed like an estrogen junkie). This is where it should have ended, but no, there are six more episode involving time-travel (I wish I was joking but I am not). Not only are these episodes really thin as far as story goes, the event that precipitates the traveling back in time is fixed in the past, and doesn’t exist in the present. It is a glaring logical loop (you know like the ones Heroes is so good at). And who at the end of Season Four was still holding out hope for Noel? It was like Mr. Abrams looked at the beautiful show he had given us and decided that he just didn’t like us, so he would ruin it. (I do not own Felicity right now, because I am still upset about those last six episodes.) As if doing this once wasn’t bad enough, he did it again. Don’t we all remember just how much Alias defined our viewing week? What color would Syd’s hair be this week? Was Will ever going to get some lovin? Where would Syd get to go? When was Vaughn going to kiss her? What do you mean her mom is alive? What do you mean Syd has been dead? (The glory years of Alias amount to half that of Felicity so do the math, Lost was doomed after the first season.) For two years we rooted for tormented but persistent Sydney, we wondered just what kind of guy her father would turn out to be, and we drooled over Michael Vartan and Bradley Cooper. And I don’t know about anyone else, but I leapt to my feet in astonishment as the season finale of Season Two ended. And then, beginning with the Vaughn’s-wife storyline, we watched the slow but unstoppable decline; like meat as freezer-burn accumulates. Buffy recovered from Season Four, The O.C. recovered from Season Three, but Alias just dragged itself towards an obscure death. I am just not willing to go round three with a man who has betrayed my twice so heinously.

But endless frustration seems to be the ultimate draw of this show. I have so much more self-respect as a viewer than to purposely allow myself to be manipulated. You know that the new episode is not going to bring any resolution to any of the stories (except for the serial killing of characters, but dying doesn’t seem to stop these people), you know that you will have more questions when the hour is over, and you know that the preview for the next episode will look like it will give you what you want and you choose to believe that “this time it will be different,” and the next episode is the key. It is the fourth season people, and well, you are still buying the horse crap they are selling. I get frustrated enough by what I encounter accidentally, why would I tune into an hour of thwarted expectation that I know is going to be thwarted expectation. Lost is not (as a show) the drawing out of when the main love interests will get together. That is the ritual of courtship. Lost (as a show) is jerking off; you know it will not be what you really want but you do it anyway.

At this point I should probably stop. I am sure I have offended anyone who has read to this point. It makes me so irate that so much money, time, and energy is wasted on a show that will never deliver on its promise. Not to mention the viewers. (And I think the world of the people I know who watch Lost. Friends, I think you are intelligent people and this show is unworthy of you.) Each week people, who could be supporting amazing shows that struggle, like Supernatural, are allowing himself or herself to be manipulated and emotionally tortured.

But hey, this is just one girl’s opinion.

The TV Girl

Wait, I forgot some things.
I do not like dirty (as in not showered) men.
Evangeline Lily looks like a fifteen year old male soccer player.
No flight is so perfectly ethnically diverse. It is just unrealistic.

Okay, now I am done.

The TV Girl


Asiankp said...

Whoa...whoa...touche my friend. I however am a fan of Lost and while your post brings up some valid points, I'm going to start working on a rebuttal. On the other hand, you give an accurate and convincing argument and I love your analogy to the show with heroin. Yes, it feels good and great but only for a few hours and then you are left a bitter broken version of yourself. For the record, I have not actually tried heroin but have seen Trainspotting enough to imagine what it's like. But I do admire that you chose to write and watch a show that you despise.

Luke said...

Heroine isn't a bad analogy actually...

I am one of five people on the planet our age who hasn't seen Party of Five, so fortunately that doesn't taint my view of Matthew Fox. Though I do agree he is a limited actor.

I will think through more of a response as well.

I am glad you accepted my challege though!

Luke said...

P.S. Which episodes did you see?

Asiankp said...

Actually Luke, I'm another one of those folks who didnt watch Party of Five at when i think of Matthew Fox, I can only think of him as Jack Shephard.

Calah said...

Since KP is taking care of a rebuttal, let me just say...
I love Lost, but I kind of loved your blog entry way more.
Especially after this train wreck of a fourth season.