February 8, 2010
There's no point trying to clarify the LOST plot. Suffice to say, a plane goes down in the Pacific and survivors enact a quasi-civilized version of the Lord of the Flies on a literally lost island. And they want to get off. At least most of them. Most of the time.
LOST is about the chaotic journey to find sustenance, shelter, a semblance of stability, a trace of tranquility and a modicum of meaning.
Remember the tweener campfire game where each kid adds a twist to the last camper's storyline? That's how the LOST script feels - like a bunch of very inventive scribes are sitting around a fire (on an isolated Hawaiian beach, of course) and are passing along the narrative from writer to writer, with no dramatic restraints on confused chronologies, corporate conspiracies, dueling domains, grueling rains, morphing mythos, mythic beasts, astral magic, Machiavellian morals, mutating mergers, muddled bloodlines, muscle scuffles, fickle fidelities, Darwinian face-offs, filial fall-outs, familial showdowns, soaring shootouts, rollercoaster romancing, time travel and an astounding battalion of emerging and reoccurring characters. Everything but aliens. So far.
And that's what makes LOST irrepressibly fresh - the sense of no creative shackles.
Ripe for infinite possibilities, the amazing maze of action, inaction and interaction has escalated over the years, culminating in a literal bombshell being dropped. So a climactic trip home for a May finale feels unfathomable.
Perhaps not getting there will be all the fun.
Good news for former fans who suffered chronic fatigue from LOST's relentless slogging through hostile subsistence. Of late, writers experienced an epiphany: couch potatoes hunger for humor. No longer must viewers endure episode after episode with nary a chuckle. Re-tune in for a lot more laughs.
Accompanying the comedic infusion comes the realization that the vast cast no longer relies on variable layers of sweat to conceal or convey their acting skills. Had you noticed? The more the intense the emotion, the more lubricated the skin? Can you recall any of them with a dry face?
To check it out, get LOST. Finding the hours to watch the whole shooting match is pure DHARMA karma.
Watching LOST without the ads reveals the power of the script. Every single segment has a hook. Introducing the shows, The Complete Fifth Season Extras pose pertinent questions that clarify past and coming events, (as do the opening outtakes from apropos episodes).
Meanwhile behind the camera, one Exclusive Feature celebrates the 100th LOST installment. What a relief to see the laughter and camaraderie between actors and crew. Watching the interaction reveals smidgens of the real sweat, skill and smarts that were invested in the series. The occasion is topped off by a LOST island cake decorated with frosted DHARMA beer cans and the cast cast in sugar.
As for aliens, I spoke too soon. Sure enough, they visit as a Bonus. In Mysteries of the Universe, a documentary about the secret DHARMA Initiative operating from Nevada's cagey Area 51, extraterrestrials drop in and clear up absolutely everything baffling that befalls the Oceanic 6. Hah!
If you think those time travel flashes are giving Faraday and Charlotte headaches, Making Up for LOST Time reveals the machinations endured by those responsible for continuity - the script supervisor, costumers, make-up artists and construction crews. For the time trotting actors, their major concern was to come up with novel ways to grasp their noggins in agony.
Now, if you still aren't satiated, you can quench your curiosity for more LOST data. As a Blu-ray Exclusive Feature, you can enroll in the interactive Internet LOST University.
With a snarling polar bear mascot and course titles like Phi. 101: I'm Lost, Therefore I Am, you might think that the university is a farcical in-joke until you see that the recommended reading list includes Two Treatises of Government by John Locke. (Not the Terry O'Quinn John Locke but the 17th Century English Philosopher.)
Studio: ABC Studios
Cast: Josh Holloway, Elizabeth Mitchell, Terry O'Quinn, Evangeline Lilly, Henry Ian Cusick, Jeremy Davies, Jorge Garcia, Matthew Fox, Naveen Andrews, Daniel Dae Kim, Yoon-jin Kim, Emilie de Ravin, Michael Emerson, Nestor Carbonell
Length: 731 minutes
Rated: TV14 - LV
Video resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
DTS 5.1 Surround
DTS 5.1 Surround
English SDH, Spanish, French