broadsideblog

What We Lose With The End Of 'Lost'

In entertainment, Media, women on May 23, 2010 at 10:25 am
From left to right: Faraday, Boone, Miles, Mic...

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I admit it. We’re planning our evening around tonight’s final episode of “Lost.” We’ll order in Thai food, the closest we’ll easily get to cooking Hawaiian.

Like many of its fans, I’ve lost interest in it at times, found the final season weird and sometimes mawkish — CJ Cregg as Jacob’s mom? Really? But one of the things I’ve really loved about “Lost” is its insistence that so many unlikely characters — the morbidly obese Hurley, the rigid and domineering husband Jin, the bitter Sawyer, the criminal Kate, the submissive Sun, the do-gooder Jack, the addict Charlie — each had a crucial role to play in this artificial universe.

I really liked that most of the key female characters — Kate (a previously unknown Canadian actress, Evangeline Lilly), Juliet, Sun, Ana-Lucia and Danielle Rousseau — were strong, wiry, no bullshit women, most fully capable of handling a firearm. (The wimpy, whiny Shannon was killed off early.)

It’s rare, outside of a show based on aliens or cops, to find so many female characters who are consistently physically powerful, emotionally resilient, able to handle everything from sewing up a stranger’s back (Kate) to surviving alone in the jungle (Rousseau.) Who will be the next Kate?

I loved seeing Koreans, an Iraqi, a fat guy and an inter-racial couple play integral roles, becoming leaders and well-loved by their community. “Lost” began six years ago, long before anyone else was casting such diversity. It never felt faux-diverse, as so many of these efforts do, just real.

I’ll miss that community. Many of us now live alone, work at home or are looking for work. We hunger for a lively, funny, quirky posse of our own. We don’t want to run from the smoke monster or shoot a polar bear or have to suffer a plane crash to find one, but the hard-won interdependence of the survivors of  Oceanic Flight 815 speaks to a powerful longing.

I’ll raise a glass of something festive — coconut milk? — and toast their farewell.

  1. A show that actually makes you think that also appeals to the mass audience is pretty damn impressive. It’s also the first show that relied so heavily on Wikipedia to keep the reader engaged through the volumes of detail the show demanded of the audience.

    I just hope they don’t kill the finale tonight. I’m still ticked at Battlestar Galactica after a year.

  2. My only regret watching the whole thing on Hulu is that I have to wait an extra day for the finale :)

  3. Seeing this post is like seeing a home-run! I am hooked on the show, am will be glad it is over- go LOST fans!

  4. I loved Ms Kelly’s article, in fact, much more than I did the TV series “Lost”. To be honest, it was in its third or fourth season by the time I tried to watch it, but it never made a bit of sense to me. I found it interesting and well done but unfathomable, like the plot to “The Big Sleep”.

    By the time a “Lost” series devotee offered to loan me season one on DVD, my mind kept replaying the criticisms about how this series went on and on becoming more & more convoluted as it went. Life is hard, TV shouldn’t have to be.

    What I did appreciate about the episodes I watched, and Ms. Kelly’s article was finding believable “average” people in extraordinary circumstances. This makes for good entertainment. I was inspired to see people overcome common obstacles we all have “just getting along”, in situations where their lives depended upon it.

    Also, since IMHO today, television is more like a mentor for society than a mirror reflecting society, it’s nice to see positive role models who look like us, along with the obligatory fashion model types (who to be fair, were very good in their roles). They had strengths and weaknesses and didn’t fit well into ‘sterotypes’, just like us.

    What more can I say than, Ok society, get busy and start reflecting.

  5. Any show that actually focuses on the (non smarmy, complicated, power struggle filled) cooperative efforts of a group of disparate strangers gets my vote. I will miss that spirit and, yes, inspiration.

  6. Raise a can of the Dharma Initiative’s finest!

  7. We have it taping on DVR — the wrap-up dog-and-pony show has had me reaching for the Kleenex on and off for the last 45 minutes — never underestimate the worth of a real, living symphony orchestra.

    The end of this series is a bummer not just because of the loss of a bunch of TV characters or the end of a weekday TV ritual. The producers were given a ton of money, a completely blank canvas and total freedom, and it resulted in the first-ever experience of reading a novel along with friends and loved ones. Why, oh why, can’t this be the norm instead of what (now) feels like a once-in-a-lifetime cultural opportunity.

  8. The music really is extraordinary; some of it reminds me of Samuel Barber’s Adagio. I assume there is some sort of soundtrack of themes one can buy.

  9. Great piece! What did the numbers mean? Watch them come up in this week’s Powerball +Lottery!

  10. I was a die hard fan until they went back in time to the 70’s and the Dharma initiative. Then they “lost” me. When the original questions were never answered and they kept introducing new characters (Ben a notable exception) without wrapping up old story lines, I gave up. Besides, this season it’s opposite “Glee”.

  11. I have yet to watch Glee. Maybe now that my Tuesday nights are free.

  12. I haven’t watched “Lost” since a few eps during the first season, but I did just watch the finale, and even though maybe a quarter of it made any kind of sense to me, I have to say, it was really well made and pretty touching. Does this mean I need to go back and watch the DVDs from the beginning?

  13. I realized tonight how many episodes I had missed so we’re definitely going to go back to the start at some point and watch them all again.

    I think the larger message is about the importance of love and community; the details become less relevant than the overarching message, which was clear to me may times throughout the series.

    I found the finale touching and poignant. I’m OK with loose ends as there was plenty to think about and mull over.

    • By the way, Caitlin, given how you planned to spend your evening celebrating the “Lost” finale, I want to come to your house for the big TV events of the future!

      And your point is well taken — I didn’t feel like I missed something by not knowing anything about the smoke monster to understand what they were getting at in the finale.

      Question for you, about which my “Lost” freak husband and I are disagreeing: was the church the afterlife? I say yes, he says not necessarily.

  14. Lisa, as long as you bring food, come on over!

    I think the church *was* the afterlife. I found it sad and moving.

    I cried. I admit it.

  15. [...] YesterdayWhat we lose with the end of 'Lost'Caitlin KellyBroadside2 days agoFour things I already hate about 'Sex and the City [...]

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