Nearly every week, someone in your column is complaining about Lost
. They're upset that we don't yet know what the numbers mean, or they want to know why no one wants to get off the island anymore or something else. Why haven't people realized by now that Lost
isn't about the island, or the hatch, or the numbers or any of that? It's about the people who are on the island, or in the hatch or know the numbers. Why not just sit back and enjoy the ride from week to week?Answer:
That has been my point all along. One echoed by Brian K.: "I may be in the minority, but I don't want to know much of anything that's truly behind the island from Lost
. At this point, I do not believe any full explanation could satisfy me or the majority of the fans, even as much as they think they want it. I remember when John Doe
was canceled and the creators decided to release info about where the story was going and where John's abilities came from. Like many others, I thought to myself, 'Well, glad it got taken off before that
could happen.' Let me love the characters' histories, given to us little by little. The mysterious island is just gravy." Hear, hear.
Sandy writes in with a broader perspective: "I'm not the Lost fanatic you are (although I do watch every new episode on broadcast TV), but for a long time people have been claiming the show has jumped the shark and it's losing viewers because of the slow and intricate plotting. Actually, the Nielsen ratings don't indicate the true viewership for the show. It was one of the first shows made available on iPods and now I hear the producers are creating ancillary product for cell phones. I do think the show has great potential to last for years because ABC wants all the revenue it can squeeze from it!" Hey, whatever works.
And finally, Larry B. asks: "Do you think Lost is a critic-proof, perfect show? I ask because it seems when anyone writes in with a criticism of the show, whether small or large, you get very defensive in your response. Now, to a large part I agree with you: I love Lost immensely and liken it to a great, weird novel. There are very few episodes that I have disliked, and I hope it lasts for a while. However, my only minor quibble is that not much has happened over this season compared to last. Looking at the whole season, we had the tailies join, some dust-ups with the Others, Henry and the hatch and...? It also could use a little more group interaction among the main cast — something we saw more of in Season 1. So, again, these are just the tweaks I would make to a great program. Would you make any, or is it perfect as is?"
Look, Lost isn't perfect. No show is. More episodes or opportunities for the core cast to interact makes sense. It is weird when major characters, especially those in such a tight geographic setting, just vanish for weeks on end. But there are so many characters and stories to service here, not to mention the show's production demands, that I get why that happens. And I don't buy the argument that too little has happened this season. Adding the new castaways (leading to that brilliant episode condensing their first days into a single hour), the mystery surrounding Henry Gale, the disappearance of Walt and then Michael, the hatch itself becoming a major character with its own mysteries? That's plenty to dwell on for weeks if not months.