Intensities in Ten Suburbs

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Take Five: Reasons Why I’m Rapidly Losing Interest in LOST

Posted by Andrew Unterberger on February 18, 2007

A representative sample of the latest wonders rocking The Good Dr.ís world and plaguing his mind.

The third season of LOST has hit a lull in the ratings, and it’s easy to see why. I’m still watching it–I’ll probably at least see the season out before giving up entirely–but where the show used to be the high point of my TV week, the thrill is basically gone, and I’m watching the show more out of obligation than anything else. I have done much soulsearching and pinpointed five of the reasons why this might be the case.

1. The fragmentation of characters. Due to the show now having two locations for main settings, the survivor Island and the others Island, episodes tend to focus solely on one block of characters. Consequently, you get entire episodes, even multiple consecutive episodes, where main characters don’t show up at all–I can barely even remember the last time we saw from Jin and Sun, and who the hell knows what’s happening with Michael and Walt. The show’s ensemble nature was one of its main draws, by routinely forgetting about several characters at a time, the show is greatly weakened.

2. Getting harder and harder to suspend disbelief. For a while, it seemed like maybe the LOST creators wanted the show to be at least parlty grounded in reality, and that most of the show’s weird happenings were in some way explicable. But with the return of the Velvet Fog from the first season, who apparently wasn’t a big fan of Mr. Eko, and now Desmond’s apparent time-travel / pre-cognitive powers, it’s just getting to be too much. Being all about fate and such is one thing, but going the sci-fi route is not a good move for this show.

3. The ridiculously long break in the show’s airing. By trying to straddle both the Fall and Spring TV peaks, LOST leaves itself with a mid-season three-month gap in which no new episodes are broadcast. It’s extremely annoying, and it kills whatever inertia the show’s season had accrued for its first batch of episodes. By the time LOST finally came back this year, I had totally forgotten what had been going on when it left off, and more importantly, I had forgotten why I should even care.

4. More and more questions being asked without any getting answered. The polar bear. Those Portugese dudes in the season two finale. The fog. The button. The Others LOST has made it perfectly clear that they ain’t explaining shit. At best, they’ll answer one question, but in a way that gives rise to three more questions, leading to lots of “Oh, so that’s why X and X happened! Wait, huh?” quasi-revelatory moments. At first it made the show mysterious and intriguing, now it’s just fucking irritating.

5. Heroes. I’m extremely late to this show–busy on Monday nights and I couldn’t find a good download–but since a friend burned me a DVD of the first eleven episodes, I’m totally hooked, and it’s mostly for the same reasons that I was initially grabbed by LOST. It’s got a lot of the same appeal–diverse ensemble cast, can’t-wait-till-next-week mysteries and revelations, spellbinding set pieces and action sequences–but it feels much fresher than LOST does now, and it’s still in a stage where not explaining everything is still acceptable and even preferable. Supposedly the creators have a five-year plan for the show already mapped out, too, so here’s hoping I’m not making the same complaints about it two seasons from now.

3 Responses to “Take Five: Reasons Why I’m Rapidly Losing Interest in LOST”

  1. my kinetic android said

    You’re pretty much right. I especially like how Jack will always have that scene where he looks all intense with his eyes wide and says, “You want to tell me what’s going on here?” AND HE NEVER GETS AN ANSWER.

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  3. […] seems like just last season that my patience for LOST was running thin. Verily, I had all but disowned the show, making peace with the two and a half seasons I had spent […]

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