Lost

For the discussion of Movies, Television, Comics, and other existential distractions.

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BrianSiano
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Lost

Postby BrianSiano » Thu Oct 06, 2005 1:06 pm

"LOST is to television as MOBY DICK and HUCKLEBERRY FINN and GRAVITY'S RAINBOW are to the rest of American letters. LOST is to wildly inventive and utterly mesmerizing narrative as CITIZEN KANE, THE MAGNIFICENT 7 and THRONE OF BLOOD are to cinema since Edison's "The Kiss." LOST is to artistic creativity and damn skippy inventiveness as Smithson's "Spiral Jetty," Bosch's "Garden of Earthly Delights" and Richard Dadd's "Fairy-Feller's Master Stroke" are to painting."


Okay, you all heard the man. Think we can sustain a LOSt discussion thread?
"Everything... Everything... Everything gonna be all RIGHT this mornin'..."
-- Muddy Waters

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PeterPO
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Postby PeterPO » Thu Oct 06, 2005 7:03 pm

I love Lost. It is one of the half dozen reasons I still even watch TV. That said, I fear it will fall victim to J.J. Abrams' inability to sustain a series past two years. Felicity, the cute college stalker, had two years of clever writing and endearing storylines, only to fall victim to haircuts and timewarps in the last two seasons. Alias, which was probably the best spy show on television, kicked Bond ass for two seasons, and started a slow decent into mediocrity in its third and fourth and fifth (and I hope last) seasons.

That said, Abrams has assembled some top talent to keep Lost running: David Fury (Buffy) and Paul Dini (Batman: the Animated Series) to name a couple. So it is possible the show can sustain itself.

---Peter

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Postby KristinRuhle » Thu Oct 06, 2005 7:47 pm

someone asked on the Pavilion why we aren't talking about last night's Lost....hey, gimme a break, i TAPED it, and sometkime before next Wednesday I'll get around to watching the tape! Besides the spoiler issue, I dont want to waste my once a day post saying this.

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FrankChurch
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Postby FrankChurch » Fri Oct 07, 2005 10:01 am

Give me CSI and the West Wing.

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David Loftus
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Postby David Loftus » Fri Oct 07, 2005 10:04 am

Never seen it. Since we moved in July, we haven't even had a television set, let alone a DVD player. I would say it's been quiet, and I've got a lot of reading done, but I've been too busy with play rehearsals and performances instead. (Hey, wait'll I tell you about the live, old-time-radio-style performance of "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" I just signed on to for Halloween.)

Just like "The Sopranos" and "Six Feet Under," my wife and I will probably catch up with this on discs a season or two later, when we can watch a whole series of episodes in a weekend. (Still have to catch "The Prisoner," which I've never seen.)
War is, at first, the hope that one will be better off; next, the expectation that the other fellow will be worse off; then, the satisfaction that he isn't any better off; and, finally, the surprise at everyone's being worse off. - Karl Kraus

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FrankChurch
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Postby FrankChurch » Fri Oct 07, 2005 10:27 am

Isn't a bit elitist to say you do not have a television?

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David Loftus
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Postby David Loftus » Fri Oct 07, 2005 11:08 am

Depends on your point of view.

Did you see anything in my post that suggested I'm better off than I was, or better than anyone else, for having been temporarily deprived of a television?




Anyway, what's wrong with being elitist?

I am better than many other people are, at a number of things.
War is, at first, the hope that one will be better off; next, the expectation that the other fellow will be worse off; then, the satisfaction that he isn't any better off; and, finally, the surprise at everyone's being worse off. - Karl Kraus

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Ezra Lb.
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Postby Ezra Lb. » Fri Oct 07, 2005 12:43 pm

Wow what monstrous praise from HE about a TV show!

Well goddam I better just run out right now and get me one of them TVs and make sure I don't miss another minute of this classic production.

YEAH RIGHT!

I've got a better idea. I'll finish the last third of MELMOTH THE WANDERER, then read Martin Booth's bio of Aleister Crowley and then plunge into Burton's ANATOMY OF MELANCHOLY like I planned.
“We must not always talk in the marketplace,” Hester Prynne said, “of what happens to us in the forest.”
-Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

BrianSiano
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Postby BrianSiano » Fri Oct 07, 2005 2:03 pm

Wow. I had no idea that people here were so willing to discuss the TV show. I've never seen such detailed, insightful commentary.

Chances are, the character we find most compelling is John Locke. When he was first introduced, he seemed like some kind of deep-cover secret agent with incredible survival capabilities. one of those strong, silent types.

But as we learn more about his background, it's as though the Locke on the island is an entirely different human being. We learn of his _desire_ for adventure, despite a handicap. We learn how his father conned him in one of the most profound, damaging, and soul-scarring ways I've ever seen in drama-- and this was because Locke was a lonely, well-meaning, but weak and painfully _needy_ man with few inner resources. And this past week, we see a Locke who may or may _not_ have found a way of pulling himself together. (Assuming the Katey Segal character's not some agent of another con by Dear Old Dad.)

So the Locke that's emerged since the crash _might_ have remained that Strong Silent Superman... but he's still needy. He's looking for _direction_, and he's eager to follow even the hint of a Higher Direction. It's already led to Boone's death, which seems to have brought him back from his Personal Vision-Quest to the rest of the castaway crew.

But he's still easily _led_... just not by any humans around him. He's eager to follow the dictates of the training film (which was hilarious, of course). The damn thing's orders didn't make any kind of _sense_, but Locke dove (dived?) right into it, and came to tears when he couldn't find that higher spiritual authority telling him what to do. However, Locke will _not_ (or _no longer_) pay attention to the humans around himself. Hurley nailed it very well when he asked Locke why he lit the fuse even though Hurley was screaming at him not to. Locke will _not_ follow what others say... even when it's utterly foolhardy or dangerous to others.

So Locke's probably the most interesting guy on the island right now.
"Everything... Everything... Everything gonna be all RIGHT this mornin'..."

-- Muddy Waters

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That alarm and the computer

Postby BrianSiano » Fri Oct 07, 2005 2:17 pm

On another topic... this whole "punch the numbers in every 108 minutes" business. I'm sure nearly all of us saw this spelled out, and decided that it made _no sense whatsoever_.

We have some kind of alarm that counts down every 108 minutes. During that time, the numbers must be punched into the computer. If they aren't... well, catastrophe happens.

So _why is this?_ What is it that causes the countdown? Couldn't somebody find that causes it, and fix it so it _doesn't_ need this constant, inhuman maintenance? (For example, if it's like a valve that builds up pressure, then why not build a valve that releases pressure automatically?)

And the numbers are punched into a _computer_. So why not hitch program the computer into the alarm so the computer does the task automatically? (For example, couldn't the circuit that runs the counter be plugged into the computer, so the computer automatically enters the numbers?)

We don't need Johnny Cochrane to tell us that _it does not make sense_.

So it's _obvious_ that this whole setup can't be what Desmond claimed it to me. And assuming that Desmond's being truthful, both he and Locke are amazingly easy to convince.

The whole setup makes me think of an essay by Doug Hofstadter about nuclear war. Hofstadter described this village that's blackmailed by a madman. The madman's built a dice-rolling machine in the clock tower that'll destroy the village when it rolls seven sixes. But, if the villagers write postcards to the madman, every day, he will adjust the machine so it's less likely to roll the sixes. So the villagers start writing postcards like mad... but after a while, they start to write Not As Many, and then few, and then none, but the danger still waits...

But it also makes me think of a weird psychology game: can we con someone into staying with this dopey machine, performing this maddening task, for years on end?
"Everything... Everything... Everything gonna be all RIGHT this mornin'..."

-- Muddy Waters

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JaySmith
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Postby JaySmith » Fri Oct 07, 2005 2:41 pm

Brian,

I tend to agree with Jack that it's a psychological exercise, something abandoned long ago and used as a study in the limits of human endurance.

The oritentation film tells me a lot about what's happening on the island. How far can you push people before they snap, how do they snap and why?

The people seem to have been manipulated into being onto that Oceanic flight for that purpose, based on their past and associations.

But that's just me.

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Postby Douglas Harrison » Sat Oct 08, 2005 12:07 am

To me, Lost is a great show because, although I've only seen a handful of episodes at irregular intervals, I've had no trouble following the main narrative, I'm sucked in immediately each time I watch, and I'm sure I will eventually rent the episodes I've missed simply for the richness of the various backstories. Not to mention it's got Terry O'Quinn, who gave one of the all-time fan-fucking-tastic B movie performances in The Stepfather.

D.

p.s. Sorry, Brian: I'll give you some genuine analysis next post.

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akojen
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Postby akojen » Sat Oct 08, 2005 4:19 pm

I also love LOST, but I'm a total newbie. I've watched season two so far, but I missed all of last season's. Finder is going to catch me up, and I assume there are DVDs available for rental. Until then, I don't really feel qualified to participate in the discussion group. Oddly enough SO far, I'm not sure whether to follow Locke's faith-based path or Jack's logical one. And I'm short on faith in my life.

D -- I loved T. O'Q's performance in that critically flawed (but still enjoyable) film, too. :)

Amy
"Now give me some inner peace or I'll mop the floor with ya!" -- Homer Simpson

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FinderDoug
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Postby FinderDoug » Sat Oct 08, 2005 9:09 pm

The whole first season is out NOW NOW NOW, Amy. Netflix beckons you. That said, your primer will be arriving before too awfully long.

Brian - In keeping with the numbers and the potential for psychological games being conducted, I don't think the mention of B.F. Skinner in the orientation film was in any way coincidental.
"Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass." -- Anton Chekhov

BrianSiano
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Postby BrianSiano » Sat Oct 08, 2005 10:16 pm

Well, I' m holding off of any explanations for what's going on, mainly because there's so much that'd contradict anything I'd come up with. Maybe there's a behavioral-experiment thing going on on the island, but what about the interconnection of the characters' previous lives? The mysticism of the numbers? You see what I mean? Any insight we think of seems to explain only part of the whole... making them all very tentative.

So I always worry that the show's just making it up, with new red herrings every week, without any real solution behind it all. But I'm really enjoying it as it is right now.

Right now, I'm hoping they get back to Dominic Monaghan's character for a spell.
"Everything... Everything... Everything gonna be all RIGHT this mornin'..."

-- Muddy Waters


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