Wednesday, May 26, 2010

LOST - it only ends once...

Last Sunday was the LOST-o-thon: 2 hours of recap/interviews with cast and producers, followed by the 2 1/2 hour finale.  And if you wanted to hang around long enough, another hour entirely devoted to LOST on Jimmy Kimmel Live. It was exhausting.

Reactions have been mixed.

Much of Slashdot-dom hated it. They wanted ANSWERS, god-dammit. And while quite a few long time mysteries were addressed, not all were. So freaking what?

A lot of how I processed the finale (as well as the show as whole) is based on things I learned and taught as a once and future painter. I've learned to appreciate and celebrate the power of ambiguity. Works of great art (if television can be art) engage the viewer/audience in the creative process. The viewer essentially finishes the work by layering on their personal interpretation or meaning, based on their life and experiences.  Giving people explicit answers shuts off that dialog.

In the days that followed, there has been much discussion about what it all meant in the final analysis. Think that would happen if everything had been spoon-fed to us by the writers? And when some type of answer to a mystery was given, as often as not, the reaction was, "is that all?"

Another bitching point has been that there was a bunch of stuff over the course of the six year run that was filler that never really meant anything or went anywhere.

Lord yes. Consider the worthless tangent of Nikki and Paulo.

Again, taking a lesson from my teaching days, most great art is moments of brilliance held together by competency. Nikki and Paulo were filler, but competently done. Why was that story arc there in the first place? Who knows? Who cares?

Through much of the 2 1/2 hours of the finale I was all misty-eyed. By the time of the big pay-off at the end (if you watched, you know what I'm talking about) I was weeping like a little girl. No apologies.

In the final analysis (mine anyway) it was a good -- sometimes great -- 6 years. Some seasons were better than others, some shows were better than others. Whatever else you can say, it wasn't boring.

Like most of JJ Abram's shows I've watched, it was ultimately a character-driven show. Which is why so many people responded. We care more about the people than the mysteries. And the finale, as well as the show as a whole, delivered in spades.

I've already pre-ordered my copy of the 6 season blu-ray boxed set.

Bonus: here's a video oldest son sent me. Enjoy, as you go through LOST withdrawal.


The Whited Sepulchre said...

I'm still plowing through season 5 (work has been totally overwhelming) and I've somehow managed to avoid ALL spoilers about the finale.
One thing that I've picked up on, though, is that the last episode doesn't really resolve any of the "mysteries", it just ends the thing.
There are worse things that could've happened, I guess.

Dan Brekke said...

Hey: We're in the middle of Season 3. I have not had much of a prime-time habit for a few years, and it took some bugging from my sons (and the older one bringing DVD sets of the first two seasons) to get me to watch. We have Netflix streaming now, so we may make it to the last season by the end of the summer. I'm enjoying myself, and each episode and each layer of each character that's peeled away gives a lot of food for thought. I'll check in on this again when we reach the finale.