Brief, Insufficient Thoughts on Rewatching “Lost”

I won’t even try to be a Lostophiliac — there are legions of fans who know the series better than I ever will and who have analyzed it from stem to stern of Charles Widmore’s boat. All I want to say is that what I love about this show — despite its wildly inconsistent plot and often jarring transitions in narrative — is that you feel at home with these characters. Beyond the plot itself, you come to know and stake a claim if you will in the characters. You care about Jack and John Locke’s relationships with their fathers, you feel Kate’s inability to choose between Jack and Sawyer, you’re devastated when Charlie dies, you’re exulted when Desmond and Penny reunite. That is the novelistic quality of the show, one that exceeds even current successes as Mad Men, Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones, where plot takes priority (although the character studies of Don Draper, Walter White and Tyrion Lannister in particular are incisive, meaningful and relevant to the contemporary world). I watched Lost more for the back stories than for the hatch or the smoke monster. I watched for Sayid’s deep turmoil about having been a Revolutionary Guard torturer and a hitman and a man capable of horrific things and a love for his Nadia that feels real and profound. Aside from The Wire, which surpasses Lost on multiple levels without question, I can think of no other television series as novelistic or that involves an investment on a personal level in its characters than Lost.

Addendum: I do realize that network TV shows have limitations that don’t exist on premium channels regarding language and content. That Lost managed what it did is fairly impressive, I would say for a primetime network serial. And obviously, the point of any show is to turn a profit, so I understand that some of the more sensational aspects of the plot or character development had to conform to ABC’s need to make money off of this substantial investment. All I’m saying is that the writing and oversight of J.J. Abrams, Damon Lindeloff and Carlton Cuse were sensational in crafting both interpersonal narratives that were Downton Abbey-esque in their complexity in tandem with a plot so fantastic (in the fantasy sense of the word) that made such a compulsively watchable show.

 

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~ by Benji on 5 February 2013.

One Response to “Brief, Insufficient Thoughts on Rewatching “Lost””

  1. […] Brief, Insufficient Thoughts on Rewatching “Lost”. […]

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