Jan 21, 2010

[TV] Lost: Season 1

Lost: Season 1It's practically unavoidable that we judge things based on other people who like them or talk about them in such high regard, especially with TV and movies. While intellectually we know the merits of a show or film should stand on their own but naturally we also weigh in with the power of opinion and the kind of people who share a passion for said show.

You get what I mean, right?

As much as I try to keep an open mind about things, I'm sure that I also fall into the trap of not liking something because the person who introduced it to me is someone I don't entirely like or when I know a person I don't think highly of also likes it. It's a bad behavior when you get down to it and it's something well all need to get past.

I may have judged this particular show prematurely based on similar grounds.

Lost is a radically different drama series brought to us by co-creators J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof via ABC. The show takes place on a mysterious island where a ground of airplane crash survivors find themselves on. It starts out simply enough as a sort of survival epic where the passengers of Oceanic Airlines Flight 815 try to figure out how to get rescued while trying to get a grip on the basic necessities to get through life on the island. As they begin to explore their surroundings, they soon start to discover that there's a lot more to the island than they think.

So for the next 25 episodes, the castaways find themselves facing a variety of challenges like mysterious smoke monsters, polar bears in the middle of the jungle and most importantly, the fact that they're not alone on the island.

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 12:  (L-R) Actors Emili...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

The central cast is built around a surgeon named Jack (Matthew Fox), a former con man named Sawyer (Josh Holloway), a girl with a dark past named Kate (Evangeline Lilly), and a man of mystery all on his own named John Locke (Terry O'Quinn). Among the castaways there are other characters of interest such as the former Iraqi Republican Guard Sayid (Naveen Andrews), an overweight lottery winner named Hurley (Jorge Garcia), a Korean couple named Jin and Sun (Daniel Dae Kwon and Yunjin Kim respectively), and many others. Each have their own back stories leading to getting on the flight and of course new stories from their time on the island. If I tried to get into all that right now, we'd certainly run out of time in the day since it can all just go on and on.

At first, the story all seemed a bit too weird to me and there were just too many plot hooks and twists that the writers kept throwing at us viewers. In the beginning this did feel rather exciting and new but over time it started to get annoying and a bit too complicated for my tastes and so it was getting harder and harder to get through the season since the set up was very, very long and I have to admit I'm not quite big on that kind of storytelling. However since I had started it, I needed to keep at it and get to the end.

I liked how they told the stories though with this season built around close-up shots of the eye of one of the survivors, thus leading to the whole episode being more centered around him or her. With such a large ensemble cast, it certainly provided a lot of material for the writers to expand on and a rich world to explore and things really started to get interesting once all their stories started to interconnect one way or another.

Plus it turned out the attention to detail for the show was beyond insane given how minute the clues to the overall story turned out to be. The show triggered a new wave of forum discussions, blog speculations and insider websites and books, all devoted to trying to unravel the mysteries of the series. The producers certainly had a bold vision for the show and didn't care about the possibility of getting cancelled after the first season - they set up some VERY complex storylines that will probably take years to full unravel.

Plus at the heart of it all is the island itself, which is practically a character in its own right. It holds way too many mysterious and dangers for the survivors that it seems almost surreal that they all manage to survive as long as they do.

The first season of Lost certainly presents a viewer with a refreshing new show concept to enjoy as long as you have the mind and the patience to wait for the story to truly unfold over time. I give this season 4 unstable sticks of dynamite out of 5.

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