June 6, 2010

LOST Conversations. part 3

Hi Losties!

Here is another segment of shared thoughts from fellow LOST friends.

A few friends shared their honest thoughts and honest perceptions with me about the show, the story and its writers, the LOST community, recappers, bloggers, podcasters, theorists and fans. It is enlightening to see how the journey was for the them over past six years. I thought it an interesting idea to collaborate and post  some of their thoughts here.  I will post a series of these shared thoughts so be sure to check back.  Also I encourage you share your LOST journey with us, so leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

Shared Thoughts from Kim Muller. Educator and Book Bawk:
This story gave me a whole new concept of looking at life, death, and beyond. Sure, stories like Lord of the Rings and even The Dark Tower series touch on this a bit, but Lost showed us what we can and need to do in order to be happy, and, in my humble opinion, it meant reaching out to others (no pun intended.) Every character who reached "the end" in the Church had to extend his/her life in a way that ended a piece of selfishness in him/herself and brought him/her closer to others, and in turn, closer to the goodness that we each are capable of finding in ourselves. Of all of the characters, the two who I enjoyed seeing this change in the most were Sawyer and Juliet. Sawyer is the obvious one for these changes, but Juliet made such a huge sacrifice to keep a near stranger company, and her reward in that decision was love, which seems to sum up what they all gained in their own ways.
I have turned at least twenty high school students into "Losties" by showing them the pilot episode as a stretched parallel to Lord of the Flies and to another class to show a parallel to Alas, Babylon. However, I think I was wrong with The Lord of the Flies parallel. William Golding's novel was an allegory showing each reader how man will naturally choose savagery over order, peace, and goodness every time. In my opinion, Lost showed the complete opposite, and I think Jacob somewhat noted that to the final four candidates when he mentioned how lonely and sad their lives were before coming to the island. Each of them, especially Sawyer, chose a path of loneliness, inner violence, and isolation. Only by allowing others in can we find goodness and peace, which they each did.
On a personal note, I was reading The Shack at the time of the series finale, and I think the two media merged and reacquainted me with the afterlife. I also enjoyed the fact that Lost is one of the few shows where a brain is required. I noticed that EVERY one of my students who really enjoys reading watched Lost, even if it was to make fun of the plot.

Shared Thoughts From Amy from LostBlog:

“Instead of dumbed down TV, LOST is dumbed up TV; it’s designed to make us all feel stupid.” – quote from Amy’s favorite LOST watching pal.

I openly admit it. The only reason I watched the very first episode of LOST was to scope out Matthew Fox. That man is totally hot and very sexy. As I watched that first hour, happily feeding my imaginary lust for, quite possibly, the grumpiest man on TV, I remember being impressed with nearly everything else I was seeing on the show. The set up was cool. The characters were interesting. That first hour was beautifully shot, written, produced – even the music was cool. I was impressed. THEN:

All of a sudden, out of nowhere, a loud, unknown, unseen, scary-as-all-get-out Thing snatches the pilot of Oceanic Flight 815 right out the fuselage. Pfft. Blood spatters on the window behind a freaked out Kate.
I never missed another episode.

When people ask me why they should watch LOST, my answer is always the same: One day you'll be sorry you didn't. When the sum total of human intelligence crystallizes into a vortex of unyielding creativity, it is indeed a beautiful thing, but when it happens on network television, son, you’d better thank your fucking lucky stars and pay attention. It won’t happen again in your lifetime.

In case you missed it, LOST just redefined TV for the 21st Century.

At a time when the most lucrative mass media products are reality TV and internet porn, Team LOST managed to put together and pull off a show that defies definition, breaks every rule and remains, to date, the most ambitious creative undertaking in television history.

Think about it. From its inception, LOST tossed out the Lowest Common Denominator theory of television viewers (that’s like you denying your own DNA, btw).

More importantly: it forced a major studio (ABC/Disney) to create an entirely new marketing strategy specifically around this ONE show. That means ABC/Disney had to reconsider and redefine “the viewer.” [That almost never happens, like EVER.] And it did all this while, at least for the first few years, losing a fortune for the network in production costs.

[If that’s not the very definition of “most ambitious,” then I’m the frickin’ Queen of England.]

However, most importantly for us, it did all these things while satisfying the primal need that binds all human intelligence together: It told a great fucking story.

That’s what finally reeled me in for good. The level of collaboration required and the sheer magnitude of detailed visual and auditory story telling used on LOST sets a new benchmark for the medium known as film/television [Media is plural form of Medium. It’s a Latin thing. Try not to let it bother you].

I couldn’t believe it then, and I can barely believe it now. This show broke boundaries all over creation, and it was still BRILLIANT. It still WORKED. It still made MONEY. It still told the STORY.
Problem: the story doesn’t make any sense.

That’s right. I’m just gonna say it. On its surface, LOST makes NO SENSE whatsoever. Okay, boys and girls of TV watching land, what does that tell you? That’s right! You MUST look beyond the surface for it to make sense. It is not optional. This means you can not take ANYTHING on LOST at face value.

That means the show has put the responsibility for how much you do or don't enjoying watching it directly on your shoulders. As soon as you stop looking beyond the surface, your enjoyment of the show fades. That is, if LOST makes no sense whatsoever to you and you hate it, then (according to LOST philosophy) it’s your fault because you wouldn’t look past the surface.

Basically, you're eating soup with a fork. You'll never get more than a taste, and you’ll always be hungry. [Bummer for you. It's really good soup.]

LOST’s primary message is fairly simple: Don’t judge a book by it’s cover (HA!). That is, don’t let the traditional blank-minded, spoon-fed, spongy, traditional gimme-it mode of TV watching lead you astray.

In essence, LOST respectfully requests that you Mcwatch TV someplace else.

So that’s it in a nutshell, folks. Between breaking new ground, breaking the rules, redefining the viewer and demanding a minimum level of critical thinking and investigation from each and every viewer, LOST pushed me into the best of all possible worlds: The glorious land of academic investigation affectionately known as “WTF?!” [Ahhhhh-yes. The English major’s dream world].

LOST forced me to question my assumptions. It challenged me to find, consider and balance all the evidence. It made me think, rethink and then think again. It did all these things because I accepted LOST for what it is from the beginning: A puzzle, a riddle, and a great fucking story.

When credits rolled on “The End,” I was just as excited as I was when I watched the pilot. The show isn’t “finished” anymore than a puzzle is finished once you sort out all the edge pieces. Now that we finally have all the pieces, it’s time to begin. I’m totally jazzed to go all the way back to the beginning and start over for the last time.

Which, ironically enough, means watching Matthew Fox footage over and over for hours on end.
[Could this show be any more awesome? I don’t think so!]


  1. Karen, I can't get the link button to work to continue reading with these Lost Conversations (parts 1-3). Am I doing something wrong??

  2. No. I think that is one of the issues I had with blogger...they don't like when you modify their template at all.
    So for now I'll remove all the "read more" buttons.
    Does everything show up in the sidebar?

    You can do so much more with a blog layout ant template over at wordpress.

  3. Thanks, Karen. That works and it looks like everything is showing up in the sidebar as it should, too. Now I have some reading to do.. :)


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