Friday, April 25, 2008

If "Lost" Has Lost You As A Viewer, That's Your Loss!

The best TV show on Planet Earth returned to ABC last night after a five-week break, and it no doubt will suffer in the ratings because of the strike-induced hiatus... But who cares? Those of us who are still devoted to "Lost" have moved well beyond TV ratings. We no longer need Nielsen families to validate our faith in the program. Because "Lost" has survived its initial tentative years as a cultural phenomenon and journeyed safely into the realm of cult TV, ABC will stay with the show to its conclusion. And that's all I care about.

I have many friends who ventured to "Lost" with me nearly four years ago... watching the program every week and dissecting it ad nauseum in the office the next day. That lasted through season one and into the first half of season two.... After that, however, many of my friends figuratively "left the island". They grew tired of not having their questions answered.... They wanted "Lost" to be like every other show on TV. In this short attention span world of ours, they wanted the conflict raised before the first commercial break, and resolved by the end of the hour. Thank God the producers didn't go for that, because Lost would have never survived.

I do have a couple of friends who managed to jump in late to the game, thanks to DVDs... Watching "Lost" by DVD is like mainlining heroin, though. You spend a couple of weeks watching episodes back to back... then once you get caught up, you go through excruciating withdrawal immediately. Even in-season, you only get a fix once a week... and then once May comes, you have to wait another eight months!

Anyway - for those of you who once watched and have now fallen off the wagon, let me assure you that "Lost" is alive and well. If your justification for falling off the bandwagon was that the show left too many plotlines unresolved, I can assure you that your justification still works. But I will also tell you that the "Lost" experience is as rich as ever for those of us still watching. We have placed our faith in the producers of the program to guide us to its conclusion in another 41 episodes. If I see a polar bear running on the beach, I will not ask why. I'm confident the show will tell me why it its own time.

Google tells me it was Faust who said "It's not the destination, it's the journey that matters"... I don't know - I thought it might have been Arthur Frommer who said it... but it any case, when it comes to "Lost", it's the truth. No matter what happens at the end of the program, it certainly won't be as sweet as the ride on the rollercoaster that will get us to the end.

And with all that said, here's a tasty taste of next week's fix:

1 comment:

ccarl said...

I didn't realize the show was back until I found a new episode on my DVR last night. What a surprise!

I love the fact the show has gone from flashbacks for flashforwards. Instead of piecing together the past, we're now trying to piece together the future.

I hate the fact that it's taking so long to get answers, but that's also what I love about the show. (Same thing with "The Wire".) I want to be challenged.