Intensities in Ten Suburbs

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Take Five: Reasons I’m Rapidly Regaining Interest in LOST

Posted by Andrew Unterberger on February 10, 2008

“Rescuing prime time…isn’t exactly our primary objective.”

It 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 with the show and moving on with my life, no longer watching, downloading or even reading plot summaries about new episodes. I felt my life was no worse off for the loss. But sure enough, I’m home on Wednesday night and flipping around, and I happen to come across the Season 4 premiere. And for whatever reason, I was plenty ready to let the show back into my life. Well, not whatever reason–I know the reasons pretty well. In fact, there are five of ’em:

  1. Flash-Forwards. Boy, was this clever. Three seasons of mining past backstories had gotten real old real quick–I could only buy so many coincidences relating to intertwining stories, inexplicable foreshadowing, and six increasingly creepy numbers before not even the presence of Bill Duke could make the flasbacks interesting. Switching to the flash-forwarding was exactly what LOST needed–something to add mystery to the show again while actually giving the audience new, interesting and relevant info to work with.
  2. Factions. I’m not a fan of there being too much togetherness in my ensemble shows. LOST was getting a bit too lovey-dovey with its selfless characters and general groupthink, but now it looks like the ideological dissent that has separated Jack and Locke for the show’s run is only a step or two away from devolving into all-out warfare, which is nothing but good news as far as I’m concerned. The fact that Jack is looking more like a trigger-happy meth addict every episode and Locke seems at most two steps away from performing a rituatlistic sacrafice to appease the Island Gods or something equally nutty doesn’t hurt either.
  3. No More Heroes. As I noted in my previous entry on the show, one of the main reasons I was retreating from the show was that the place the show occupied in my TV schedule–that of the mysterious, culty, sci-fi-ish show to puzzle and delight me every week–had largely been supplanted by Heroes, one of last year’s breakout shows. But the season ended sourly, and S2 showed a sophomore slump worse than an NME hype band. So until that proves to me that it can turn it around, the slot is once again vacant, and ready for LOST to return to my loving arms.
  4. HOLY SHIT NEW CAST. OK, forget about the fact that LIEUTENANT FUCKING DANIELS has joined the cast (and that once separated from the quiet integrity of his Wire character, I now realize what a creepy-looking person Lance Reddick is). LOST has added to its cast two potential future Hall of Fame That Guys in Jeremy Davies and Ken Leung. You’ll recognize Jeremy Davies as That Nervous White Guy, the kind of guy you’d recognize instantly without being able to cite a single role from his filmography, despite his being seen in films as diverse as Spanking the Monkey, Twister, Saving Private Ryan and Dogville. And Ken Leung is quickly cornering the market on That Hot-Tempered Asian Guy in The Inside Man, X3: The Last Stand, and the last season of The Sopranos, a sort of emerging Eastern equivalent to Ben Foster. The fact that Fisher Stevens is even promised to us in later episodes is just butter at this point.
  5. What Else is There? You man there’s a show on TV that’s worth watching? That’s on basic cable? That’s on primetime? That’s on in the middle of the week? How long has it been, a decade? When I start to think of the days of the week more in terms of what classes I have to go to than in terms of what’s on TV, you know something ain’t right. No TV show in recent memory has ever benefitted quite from dearth of competition as much as this show has, but at least it’s not Lipstick Jungle.

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