I Don't Understand Anything Anymore (Part 1)

Debra Victoroff

Debra Victoroff
New York, New York, USA
September 11
Warner Brothers
Writer, editor, singer, artist. Still adore Obama. He is brilliant, sincere, unpretentious, classy. A true leader, gazing down, bemused, as the petty GOP contenders claw each other's eyes out like 13 year old girls. The country is poised on the edge of recovery, thanks to his steady hand: unemployment is down, the stock market is up, the car industry is back in business, and banks are paying back the bailout money, with profits going to the government. Bin Laden is dead, and our boys are coming back from Iraq, just as he promised. If only he could get his jobs bill past the obstructionist Republicans, who are willing to destroy the middle class simply to regain power, this country would be back on its feet in no time! So glad there is absolutely no competition for his office. All the sane Republicans know there's not one among them that could handle the most difficult job in the world, so they're in hiding, while their two representatives, Romney (aka Romney-the-Dog-Abuser) and Gingrich (aka Gingrich-the-Wife-Abuser) battle it out.

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 23, 2009 10:39AM

The Unbearable Stupidity of "Lost"

Rate: 22 Flag


Well I watched the premiere Episode of “Lost” the other night and I am so glad: not only did they explain what's been going on but they’ve given us a taste of what's to come. 

In the next few episodes this is what will happen: 

The whole island will turn out to be in a great big glass snow globe that is owned by some giants on a planet in the “Battlestar Galactica” galaxy, and every once in a while the giants shake it, which is what the white-outs are about, and why the island periodically disappears.  The giants will be revealed to be the characters on the island, played by the actors playing the people on the island (for which they will demand and get raises).   

The snow globe itself will be found in the backpack that comes floating off the steamship that blew up killing everyone on board except for like, forty or fifty of them who will show up later, to help rebuild the village which has disappeared because it was never built, or perhaps because the snow globe hadn't been unwrapped from under a Christmas tree somewhere in San Francisco because the parents bought it on a trip to Hawaii and then wrapped it in, like, September and then forgot about it in the bottom of the boot box (where they usually hide their Christmas gifts). 

The little child who finds the snow globe will shake it, and be transported to the island where he finds he’s Claire’s child and that he’s not going to get to have a love interest on the show because he’s too young and also happens to be the surrogate child (in fact the “lost” twin) of Jin and Sun who had a baby they didn’t know about when they had sex in the Green Room before they were appearing on “The View”.   The fact that she (the child) is white is explained by the fact that she has some DNA from one of the polar bears who used to be Locke when Locke was a white polar bear, very early in his career. 

Huh?  And we’re supposed to follow this? 

The whole thing reminds me of how I used to love "The X Files" and then grew to actively hate it because there was absolutely no care taken to anchor the world of the show with rules of the road, so to speak.  Like, here's a rule: people may only walk on the ground, head up, feet down.  Now let's say you're watching a show and everyone starts walking sideways, up walls.  That's a broken rule, because there have to be things that you can accept, things that are a given (like: "this is a world that has gravity"), so you can build your expectations off the truth.  (This particular breach didn't happen, or at least not while I was watching it, but other equally grievous breaches did occur and I stopped watching “The X-Files” because there was absolutely nothing at stake at a certain point.  No death was permanent; therefore there was no point in feeling anything at all when someone faced it).

I assume the writers would use as their excuse the fact that it (“X Files”) was a show about the supernatural.  And that's all well and good, but even when you’re dealing in a supernatural world, you've got to play by the rules that you must also establish at the beginning.  And near the last few seasons of the X-Files, the protagonists, Scully and Mulder would sometimes get infected with an incurable black dripping eye disease, that was 100% fatal.   The show used to have the B actors or the guest stars get infected with this thing and they would die or simply disappear (i.e., get better parts on “Law and Order”) and that was wonderful – I couldn't get enough of that dripping black eye disease! 

But then, the writers started giving it to Scully and Mulder even though it was THE DEADLIEST THING IN THE UNIVERSE.  And I think once or twice they actually died, or were shown in one of the last scenes in a given episode dying (or “dripping", which implied they were going to die), and then the next episode, they'd be back, having a hot dog at the Diary Queen, with nothing to show for having died a horrible death the previous week except for maybe a pair of progressive lenses. 

Well, this is where “Lost” is headed.  It will always be popular solely because of the characters and the small issues they face and the relationships between them.  But the writers seem to have no respect for the rules of their world; in fact those rules are completely flexible and pliable and it seems in terms of constructing the "Lost" world, that any element that a writer found cool or scary at any point in his life is welcomed with open arms.  I imagine this dialogue in the writers' room:

Writer 1:  Ok, I think I've got something here.  What if we had, like, black smoke that just poured out of the jungle like a genie from a lamp only no genie?

Writer 2:  Genius!  That sounds great! What would it do? 

Writer 1:  Um, nothing! it would just pour out and we’d have scary music and then it would, oh my God, it would go backwards!

Writer 2:  Oh my God, I'm in love with you!  Backwards!  

Writer 1:  (modest) Don't forget, I went to Harvard.

Writer 4:  (annoyed) How can we forget??  You bring it up, like every two minutes… 

Writer 2:  But what about white mist?  Things with mist are scary and the word "mist" reminds me of that movie called  "The Mist" and that movie was scary too. 

Writer 1:  Well, we can have mist too, can't we? (directing this question toward the show runner)

Show Runner:  I have got to tell you guys, it may be a lack of sleep but I think we're breaking new ground here.  I've seen shows have black smoke, and I've seen shows have white mist, but to have BOTH in the same show?  I see an Emmy. 

 (the two writers high five) 

Writer 1:  And they say network TV sucks! 

Writer 3:  Hey, I used to have a big teddy bear, only it was a polar bear that my parents gave me cause I liked teddy bears, but they didn't realize that I was so scared of it because it was too big to even pick up and had teeth, so I basically put it in the closet and never played with it once.  So I think in addition to human characters who will have backstories and personalities and all that dumb stuff, let's have big white polar bears on this tropical island and if we don't like them later, we can just never have them on again [even though they're like 15 feet high and must leave piles of polar bear shit absolutely everywhere and if this was an honest show, the islanders would constantly be stepping in it and swearing about it.] 

I’d say my first experience with a show that left me in the dust (or the sand) because of over-exuberant plotting (or, as we laypeople call it: “throwing everything we can think of into the pot because that’s what we were smoking last night when we should have been discussing plotlines”), was the Gothic soap opera “Dark Shadows”. 

Dark Shadows was a weird and cool aberration on afternoon TV: a gothic soap opera, a genre that is long over-due to be resurrected.  The basic premise was a community of characters that lived almost exclusively in this mansion (probably somewhere in Long Island now that I’m older and know where mansions are) which turned out to be haunted, or at the very least, filled with actors who couldn’t get work on anything legitimate and so were wandering onto the set for the free craft service table food.  

It started out in the present (the present of 1966), with a young governess who comes to the mansion to work (passing time before going to grad school at NYU I assume).   All kind of mysteries and ghosts started popping up which were really cool and fascinating (at least to my young mind).  Pretty soon there’re all sort of floating bodies, kidnappings, people emerging from portraits on the walls (my favorite effect!).  In later episodes they added time travel to the mix, and characters were traveling back in forth in time and becoming different versions of themselves in the 18th century (as opposed to themselves at an earlier time in their lives), bumping into different versions of other people in their social circle who didn't know those "other versions" existed, having not gotten together the existential airfare to make the trip.  

Does this make sense?  

Well, it apparently didn't either to the writers of Dark Shadows who admitted years later that they had completely lost the thread of the stories they'd constructed and didn't know who was stuck in what era or really what was going on anywhere (since on top of everything, they permitted people to travel forward in time as well, like those side-by-side escalators in an action movie where if you're a cop, you can jump from the "UP" onto the "DOWN" escalator if the bad guy is getting away, or if you just left your wallet in the airport bar).  

To make things worse (or "better"), they added a vampire thread, and the lead vampire Barnabus was constantly biting people on the neck having them join him in the land of the dead, sometimes in the 20th century and sometimes in the 18th.   After a while, you couldn't remember who was a vampire and who wasn't, since everybody was biting everybody (the STDs of gothic literature) and of course since people were kind of ashamed of being a vampire, it was all a big secret who was and who wasn't and then, sometimes, just to totally screw with your head it would turn out to be "just a dream". 

So I Wikipedia’d “Dark Shadows” just to see if I could recall some of these details, and guess what?  The entire first episode began, as “a dream”!  So the whole show was, like, a hallucination.  Brilliant!  Relieves everybody of the responsibility to have any connection to reality. 

So if you’re trying to follow “Lost” (what a great title now that I think of it), you’d better be prepared for the big reveal at the series finale, which I have a sneaking suspicion is going to be very much like “Dark Shadows”, if you know what I’m sayin’.

See also Paul Levinson's: 


and David Kordosh's:


copyright: dcvdickens 2009 




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Man, you crack me up.

I like LOST; I think in general it's good television. That being said, sure, some stuff doesn't make sense. Some things are recycled, some even cliche.

So what? It's entertainment. I'm not looking for rationality here, or, to be honest, consistency.

Supposedly they mapped out the whole show and the ending is already known. They're just writing how they get from point A to B (ofttimes by way of Z) each season.

Maybe that's true, maybe not. Still, it's FUN....!

Speaking of...fun post!

oh, how i loved x-files at the beginning.

what's frustrating about lost (and heroes, though i never got into heroes that much) is the creators/writers ran around telling everyone who'd listen that they'd never make the mistakes x-files made. then they went and made the exact same mistakes.
I try to watch it but just end up saying, WTF?

(rated) I dig the fact they are pushing the envelope, but where?

Take Care,
Shows like Lost, X-files and Fringe are hard to keep going because they go down so many rabbit trails to keep us interested, they end up boxing themselves in to an endless world of contradictions.

Shows are best to watch as single episodes not a complete thought. I did not get into Lost, but have been watching Fringe which is a sort of X-files knock-off. I keep telling myself it will end badly, but until then I will enjoy it.

If I want good writing and character development I will watch old reruns of Six Feet Under.
heee JUST my problem with this eternally stupid show.

You are my favorite recapper. I suggest you simply recap the show every week, by just making up what you wanted to happen instead of what actually happened. Trust me, no one will know the difference, and who knows, one of their writers might stumble across your blog and use an idea. Maybe they won't even plagiarize and pay you!
Very nice! Lots of smiles and some chuckles, but you made your point beautifully through humor. Not easy to do. And congrats on the Editor's Pick!

BTW: I know that this is good work because you captured my attention and I have NEVER seen Lost, and still enjoyed the piece.

Funny. But I still have faith that the writers are keeping track and that it's all going to make sense in the end.
"the STDs of gothic literature" Very Funny! I have had the same issue with shows like this and am glad someone else had the same feelings.
I have never seen "Lost" and, as a child, was not allowed to watch "Dark Shadows." Thank you for catching me up on both shows. Hey, ABC, how about a cross-over where all of the "Lost" characters are found in the mansion and then they get turned into vampires?

Fabulous post! Now please explain "2001: A Space Odyssey"
Love your take on this show.
I sometimes think that the ultimate TV show would be a bunch of morbidly obese folks stranded somewhere who have dance contests every day and either fall down cliffs or get crotch shots.
No cable at my house--thank god, I can get OPB...
That was hilarious. And as my old boss used to say ... "It's only funny because it's true." I've always been amused that with all that trackless jungle and all, no one EVER actually gets physically lost on LOST. They all seem to have perfect senses of direction. I'd be walking in circles until I starved to death (or got eaten by a polar bear)
Anyway ... I'm right on the edge with this show now. It's reached maximum kookiness, at least for me. You pile one bizarre anomaly on another, and eventually the whole thing tips over. It reminds me of my son, years ago, making towers out of the marmalade packets at a local restaurant. Eventually they tumbled and there were packets everywhere. Guess who got to clean it all up? Who's going to clean up Damon Lindelhof's mess? That's my question.

John Sayles made a good point in an early interview. He started his career working on trash movies and monster flicks. He wrote a movie called ... jeez, I can't remember. Wolfen? Howl? No, that was Allen Ginzburg. No, no -- The Howling. That's what it was. Anyway, he said the first thing they did was make up the Rules for Werewolves. That's a good idea, but it requires discipline and forethought. I don't see much of those qualities on weirdo island these days.
It all seemed so promising at first...my husband and I were true devotees ....it may have even saved our marriage...seriously!

But sometime back when all of the repeats disguised as "catch-ups" and "explanations" started...it became so irritating and we started feeling jerked around and toyed with...so LOST!

Didn't even bother Wednesday night to tell the truth...OS was much more attention grabbing not to mention the commentaries on Matthews and Maddow after the Innauguration...my prediction for Lost......last season...

Thanks for the laughs here....have had to laugh at us for being so sucked into it all for so long...maybe we just wanted to be on an island somewhere and young again on a beach....Ha!

I haven't seen much of the show, though friends of mine enjoy it. One of the things I learned about writing genre/magical realism fiction in grad school was the necessity of, just as you describe them, internally consistent rules for the world of your story, even if it is "unrealistic." I suppose the writers of "Lost" never went to grad school. And there's a lesson there for us all, because I did, and I earn WAY LESS than they do.
"even when you’re dealing in a supernatural world, you've got to play by the rules that you must also establish at the beginning."

I understand being lost by LOST, and thinking that the premiere was silly and hard to follow (though I thought it was pretty decent and not really that confusing). But you never made clear which rules the writers are breaking. Time travel has been a consistent theme of the show for awhile now and Ben said that bad things could happen if the island was moved. And of course shifting between present, past and future has been the MO of the show structurally, so it makes sense to me that the island might end up in flux. I think this season holds some good things in store. Only time will tell, so to speak.
Very funny!

I can't stand Lost, what a stupid show. I did watch it in the beginning, but it got too dumb too fast. I kept expecting to see the Sleestack from "Land of the Lost", a much better show, to start popping up on that island. The concept of Lost is actually a good idea, turned into a crazy, silly soap opera.
You're spot on that Lost's producers/writers broke whatever flimsy rules they established early on (as did Heroes, as the squirrel mentioned). This reminds me of an interview or DVD commentary, in which Joss Whedon talked about the need to establish the rules of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer early on. He spoke directly to your point. Without established rules, even in a supernatural series, the audience will stop caring. That Whedon stuck to the rules is one reason why Buffy was an acclaimed (if not nearly as popular as Lost) show.
Very funny and typically witty oh quarter sister of mine!

I'm similarly LOST after watching the show on and off for the past few years (I've lost track) with my teen kids. Everything looks like a direct, yet lifelike, lift from Riven; lots of knobs, dials, eerie paths through the flora and fauna of a surreal world.

I can't figure out where Hurley keeps finding caches of food, how Sayid finds time to practice his Ninja skills, and Ben finds a fresh supply of LSD to keep his eyes dilated all the time.

Thanks for bringing me to an understanding of "Lost". Hilarious!

Lost lost me at the 2,398th scene of the bug eyed man in a standoff, staring in shock, while the others started in shock, and then pointed guns and herded the captives of the minute off into some new captive scenario...

It has been as annoying as "X Files" with it's endless "The Truth Is Out There" garbage.

They need to hand it over to a team composed of Jerry Bruckheimer, Dave Chappelle, and the Cohen Brothers. Maybe even Quentin Tarantino. That'll settle things up.
Darkside - Thank you! Yes, it is entertainment, and I will still watch it for that reason. But the reasons I originally started watching it: great characters, real threats, tension that came from the intellectual mystery of why they were there, and what all their individual motivations were - have changed. Now I just watch it hoping the guys will take their shirts off, since that's the only thing I get.

Squirrel – Yes! Exactly. And keep an eye on “Fringe” which, by say next year, I predict will have exactly the same issues.

Greg – Really! WTF? Every time I watch it, I just get madder. And then I watch it again.

MTodd – Yeah, “Six Feet Under” was brilliant and consistent with every “rabbit hole” they sent us down. “Lost” is not. I made a prediction about “Fringe” above. Just wait.

Odette – Thank you for saying that! I am flattered, and a mutual fan. Re: my plot vs theirs: Truly no one would know the difference. And I am certain they will steal my snow globe idea! That’s why I posted here – so I have witnesses! (kidding sort of)

Monte – What a very nice thing to say! Thank you! It’s not just about “Lost” per se; it’s kind of a comment on the responsibility of any writer, not just TV writers, to be true to his own story. I hope I’ve made that point, just a little bit.

Verbal – I hope they do/are, I really do! I still watch it, I can’t help myself, but if they don’t tie up the Polar Bear thread by that last episode, I’m going to go ballistic.

Nerdyjen – Thank you. I think a lot of people have this feeling and I hope they (the writers) get the message. We won’t stand for it!

NotHappyCamper – OK. “2001: A Space Odyssey” was all about finding the last rent-controlled apartment in the Universe. Satisfied?

O’Stephanie – You are hysterical! Yes! Obese people dancing to get the weight off! We could call it: “America’s Funniest Fat Dancers Survive Getting Lost”!

Steven – thank you! Yeah, really, why does everyone happen to have a perfect sense of direction out there in this completely foreign jungle when they all landed here from their desk jobs? Haven’t heard “The Howling” mentioned in a long time – that was John Sayles? Really? Wow. Well everyone has to start somewhere. Even Jonathan Demme’s first film was “Caged Heat”. But that made sense at least.

Science Grandma – Yeah, I too do love those beach scenes. As for saving your marriage, well now I have to give the show some credit for those unintended consequences.

Lekkers – Seriously, I’d have it make sense for $30K a year, no problem.

Chris K – A teeny, tiny example of rules they are breaking, from a basic premise of simple human behaviour, is the constant marching around this over-grown island without the slightest worry about a threat that was established early: that of the giant polar bears. All they have to do is have one camper yell out to Kate as she runs off into the jungle (again), “Watch out for the giant polar bears!” I mean, are they a threat, or not? If not, is anything on the island a threat? No, because they’re all in a giant snow globe!!

AHuff – It is so disappointing, really, because it had such great potential. But it’s potential has been, dare I say it, “Lost”.
um, this is just so wrong...

Saying "what's the point of watching a show where the writers change the story as they go along" is exactly like saying, "what's the point of listening to jazz, or any talented instrumentalist take an improvisational solo? " Great musicians don't know exactly where they are going when they start improvising, and the whole fun of the live music experience is being a part of something as it's created. When the Lost writers find that an audience is loving a certain character (Ben, Desmond) they keep it going, just like a musician does when they feel the energy of a jam go somewhere and can sense a response! Great musicians take risks, and they don't always work out. When the writers took a risk with Nikki and Paulo, they found that the audience wasn't feeling it, and quickly killed them off. That's a luxury that many shows don't have.

You say that people like you need "rules," but I think you're the girl who goes to the Coltrane concert and just "doesn't get it."

I'm sorry the people who wrote for your childhood favorite "Dark Shadows" were bad "musicians," the type that just get real high and don't have any idea what they are playing, but don't lump the Lost writers in with that group.

Feel free to stop watching, I have a feeling that when the end comes, we're going to find that the writers knew where they were going all along, despite how "lost" some of the people in the audience felt during the show.
Speaking of lack of originality...

Do you really think you're the first person to adopt the whole "I'm pissed of at The X-Files" attitude, and couple it with an unwillingness to wait to see how the pieces fit together?
I tried to warch Lost two or three times, but kept getting"Lost". WTF is that show supposed to be about? I liked the dialogue of YOUR writers much better. At least they knew they had no idea what was going on. We could get ten writers from OS and blow that crappy show out of the tube.

At least your post made since.
love it. i watched the last 45 mins of it, and have yet to see the first part. i'm still trying to figure out what i watched. but i do love the show. it's like a bad boyfriend...you hope he'll change, but deep down, you really don't. watch "damages" on FX if you want to be REALLY deliciously confused.
Loved your post. It made more sense than the last season or 2 of LOST, unfortunately. I can't believe advertisers are still paying for time on this dreck.

I knew it was headed for nowhere when that little kid started showing up in the jungle talking but no one could hear him. That was my earliest clue that I was not going to invest my time in this program. They have to earn my viewership.
I'm usually happy to entertain serious criticism of Lost, as there are some truly valid critiques. That it's "unbearably stupid" or doesn't follow the "rules of the road," however, is..... well, retarded.

There are lots of unexplained events, confusing storylines, and ambiguity, to be sure. That you find them "stupid" says more about you, I suspect, than it does about this interesting and original tv show.

Your comparison to such shows as the X-Files and Dark Shadows is specious and odd. Your mocking of generic TV writers might be funny if your own writing wasn't so very mediocre and dull.

Ah well..... maybe "A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila" will bring order and sense to your universe once more.
I dunno why - I love love love X-files; and have watched every episode of Fringe (vs. Heroes, which just pissed me off last year) - but I never ever got into Lost. I know I was supposed to. I just didn't. As a consequence, I think it's an incredibly stupid show, and agree with you 100%. Thanks for the fun writing!
And here I thought "Lost" was an info commercial for a memory drug as yet to be announced.

Thanks for your "take"
I have a GREAT idea for a SERIES finale...The entire cast and all copies of subsequent episodes too!!!!!!! And we never find out where they went, and we never care!!!!!
Can't resist commenting. I too was brokenhearted about X-Files but in retrospect (now that the breakup pain has passed) I can appreciate what a gem the first five seasons were. And don't get me started about how consistent Buffy was. It is my all time favorite series and Josh broke every rule of human behavior he had established with his characters in the terrible final season. Still love her, though. And Lost is the same. OF COURSE there are internal inconsistencies. This is an epic story, the likes of which I don't think we've ever seen on television. I think it is dazzling.
"Lost" is still better than 98 percent of the dreck on the tube these days...

Confusing? You betcha... still wildly entertaining though..

Nice post though... :)

I have only seen commercials for "Lost". I actually thought at first that it was like "Survivor" except louder. By this time I realize it is some sort of soap opera with storms and men not wearing shirts.
It is interesting to see here so many educated people knowing so much about it and caring. As valid to write and comment on I guess though as many of the other daily concerns and OS blogs. May as well have some fun.
You are NUTS !
And I mean that in the most complimentary of ways ......
Wow! Excitement! Controversy! Who knew this little humor piece would start such a tempest?

Citizen Sane - Jazz also follows rules, even when jazz musicians are improvising. So does improvisational comedy. And of course I could stop watching, but as implied in my posts and in my comments, I'm essentially hooked. I just wish it was as good as its potential. And btw, I like Coltrane.

Sam - where did I say "lack of originality"? Can't find it. Perhaps you are referring to another blog site?

Michael - Thank you! Yep, the "story" of the OS community, with all its characters would make a great sitcom. Maybe even a comedy/drama. I'm fairly certain with this pack of writers, it's in the works...

FlourGirl - You are so right! The guy you love to hate and hate to love.

Pat-On-Mars - The writer's have really got to nail this down. I can't imagine how they're going to resolve the "Walt" thread since the actor who played him is probably 6'1" by now.

Walt Jr - FYI - the title "Follow the Rules" is not mine. The show is interesting, absolutely. But the writers let it get out of control, like a complicated, fascinating tract by the Uni-Bomber. Brilliant, but completely non-sensical. And I don't think you quite get the vibe here on OS. We're a supportive community of writers. This isn't a chat room for flinging insults. I think Yahoo.com might have more what you're looking for. And what is "Tila Tequila?" Does it have a plot?

Connie - Thank you! Glad you took it in the spirit in which it was offered. The world needs more people who enjoy a good laugh.

Attention - Yes! It would make SUCH a great PSA for a memory-enhancement drug!

Greg - No! I must find out about those goddamn polar bears!!

Hoop - Thanks for the tip. The two guys I mentioned at the end of my post also have done an excellent job of mapping the plot-lines.

Casaloma - It is dazzling for sure. Dizzying too. But it's going to lose its emotional impact, just as "X-Files" did if they don't straighten out their storylines.

Greg Thow - Yes, in fact, it's 98.9% better! But we're comparing it to a lot of crap. It really is in a league of its own and should rise to the standards it has set, or it will turn into a parody of itself.

AlsoKnownAs - Yeah, I have to say, I've never had a post before that's generated an actual controversy. Exciting! (however, it is, ultimately, just a TV show...) Ya never know what will touch a nerve.
The polar bears...remember when Kate and Sawyer were being held in the bear cages? It seemed clear to me that the bears were kept in those cages as some sort of experiment of the Dharma Initiative. I figured they were released as security. It made an interesting mystery in the beginning, but it wasn't all that important.
I kept reading about Lost and finally decided to watch it. I got the first season on DVD from the library, but I couldn't get through the first disc. Everything about it was bad, from my point of view. A lot of over-acting, bad dialogue, and melodrama. The fat guy was the most interesting character but he didn't get any good lines. I can only imagine what torture it must be to watch the show with commercials.
I loved reading this and enjoyed a good belly laugh. Thanks for a great ride.
I'm fairly new to OS but I sense I'm among people in love with the written word - a good feeling for someone seeking an outlet after a long dry spell. Reading comments is almost as good as reading the post that spawns them, and the ones here have been great. What a sensitive subject you've broached, and isn't it interesting the way some people focus on the argument rather than your brilliant presentation?
I was disappointed to read the WaltJunior comment. You really struck a nerve there - maybe he's got a personal involvement of some sort. Maybe ol' Walt's one of the writers for the show - that would definitely qualify him as an expert on Mediocre, Specious and Dull. I notice his profile's empty and ghosted - does this mean he's been ejected?
As a side-note, I stopped watching Lost after one of the first few Season 3 episodes when I saw a man in a leather jacket whiz by on water-skis. You must have seen him in a later episode.
Oyez! At last!

This is Stupid Television with a capital Stupe.

Narrative forms work according to rules, or break new ground because they torque the rules or re-think them in ways that respect the intellect. This show -- the "writers" -- simply think they can make shit up, randomly, under the cover of the rubrik of "lost".

You betcha. Lost, indeed. This show has set back the cause of experimental writing by 20 years. Not to mention IT ISN'T ENTERTAINING. Mediocre. Acting-as-fast-as-i-can isn't acting. Relationships we can't possibly care about.

No one behaves the way real people would in such "conditions". It would REALLY be: psychotic breaks, hyper-rationalization, reduction to the mean of pure survival.

None of us REALLY believe in the supernatural, because our own connect with it is thru fiction. Always. And ONLY.

So if real people found themselves on this islands with hoo-hoo tropical polar bears etc., it would bust us up but good. We would not get all let's-play-fort-in-the-backyard. We would fall apart. Want to see how it would really work? Rent "The Ruins".
Great post. Had me laughing. I don't watch the show but your insight of it all was funny to read.
ChrisK - Thank you for reminding me about that! Yes, the cages with the reinforcement food pellets. Now that makes sense. And yes, you are right; the bears aren't that big a deal but for some reason I am fixated on them.

Codger07 - Actually, the commercials sort of add to the tension. And I too like that character Hurley! Pretty brave of an American TV show to have an overweight actor in a leading role. Don't know of any other show that's done that. He (Hurley) even had a brief romance, which was actually quite sweet. I won't tell you how it ended up.

SumWunhu - (love your "handle" by the way) Welcome to OS! Yeah the comments on all the posts are well worth sticking around for. The best you'll see anywhere on the internet I'll wager. And my God! If I'd seen a guy in a leather jacket on waterskiis I think I'd actually break down and cry. Thank you for your flattering words, and I am so happy I made you laugh!!

GregCorrell - I can't believe you mentioned "The Ruins"! I actually read the book (didn't see the movie) this summer and loved it. Knowing you just a little (from OS), I think I can recommend it to you. Well-written, scary as hell - peeters out a little at the end, but still worth it.

Fireeyes24 - Thank you! I am so glad you found it funny, even without knowing the show. You are always so kind with your comments. I am so glad you're here (on OS)!!
I still think darkside had the best post. Because I agreed with him. I like the show, too. Haven't missed an episode and don't plan to. Everything will come out right in the end:)
Hey, I love a good snarky post as much as anyone. However, just as television shows that deal in the supernatural require a degree of believability, snark needs to be grounded in something other than pure snarkishness.

Lost, like the last two seasons of X-Files, can be an aggravating viewing experience. For me, though, and I admit I'm a fan, the show as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts. In other words, polar bears, smoke monsters, et. al. don't define the show for me. This would be akin to saying that because the Professor on Gilligan's Island could seemingly make anything out of coconuts and bamboo but was otherwise unable to repair a relatively small hole in the SS Minnow somehow delegitimizes the entire program. Nonsense! I bring up this point for a reason. If you look closely, you will find the Professor and John Locke characters to be eerily similar in ways that both support and defy logic. Furthermore, given the opportunity, who among us would not time-travel back to Gilligan's Island to rescue the Skipper, his little buddy, Lovey and Mr. Howell, Ginger, and Mary Ann? Surely, all of this is as clear as the Dharma Initiative.

Now, for some reason, I have a craving for a slice of coconut cream pie.
amen, sister!! i love bitterness and snark when someone is so so right and so funny. God, i hated the first episode. i don't give a shit about time traveling and could care less about people in the jungle again, especially if they've lost their camp. geez Louise, i thought there was a purpose for the Oceanic 8 but NOT. the only parts i loved were about Hurley. i cheered when he ran away from that hideous Ben and preferred to go to jail. wise wise man.

thank you. i'm so in the mood for snark and bitterness tonight. i just blogged the SAG awards and it was really fun. the few people who've read it -- forgot sunday nights are slow -- said it was really funny. tomorrow i start radiation therapy again. but tonight i laugh and i mock writers who are too lazy to write. i'm no longer a fan either. And I sooooo agree with you about X-Files. I got to that point too.

sorry for not shutting up.

love love love,

teddy and the wonderpup/service dogs: ella mae fitzgerald and cocoa chanel
forgot. rated and friended, since you watch tv. got to find more people like you!!
Very funny. Rated. I never watched X Files; not much of a tv watcher, actually, but "Lost" has been a favorite. Truthfully, though, the best part about the episode was watching the shirtless Sawyer trek through the jungle. That's enough to keep this girl tuning in, hee hee.
Thanks for this post - it validates my thoughts on both The X-Files and Lost. It took longer for me to give up on X-Files because of the Duchovny effect, but I switched off Lost in the middle of the 2nd season.
Somehow I guess when I was responding, I missed some comments, and so will respond to them here, completely confusing the chronological feed and perhaps doing to OS commenters what "Lost" has been doing to me. Sorry.

Stim - Thank you for pointing that out! Accomplished writers of science fiction, of magical realism, or experimental literature all establish a structure, even if it's other-wordly, so that fans/readers/obsessive compulsives understand the "world" that they've consented to "join" by following the tale. Wheldon knew what he was doing and broke new ground with the supernatural universe he created on "Buffy".

RobVlosky – Hey there!! Missed this comment, they’re coming so fast and furious (some of them actually ARE furious)! Yeah, how is it, after months on this island, Hurley has not lost an ounce, managing perhaps (I have to assume) to find an open fast food outlet?

Zumalicious – Such a great idea!! I really think the Coen brothers ought to be brought on as consultants. They do this sort of thing so well.

Trig – Well, if I wasn’t nuts before, this show is making me so.

Lisa – Yeah, Darkside makes the good (overlooked) point that it is, ultimately, entertainment, and if you enjoy it, watch it, and if not, don’t. I am in a personal conundrum however, since (as FlourGirl says in a comment here), it’s like a bad boyfriend; one who cheats on you and yet you keep going back to him. Aargh!!

DMun – You make excellent points and are a very funny writer. And I don’t mean to be “snarky” – I am legitimately pissed at a show that I want to be a fan of, and I refuse to let them get away with what seems to be self-indulgent purging. I bought “Gilligan’s Island” (I can’t believe I’m going here) because the whole premise of the show was based on the “rule” that they were trapped on an island. They never broke that established rule, otherwise, there would have been nothing at stake, and no point to the whole series. (I’m going to have to stop and read some Proust to get over this direction we’ve taken…). However, you make an excellent argument.

Theodora – I really try not to watch too much television because most of the content is so pathetic and depressing. This show, in fact is different, and could be great, but NOT if it makes the same mistakes “X-Files” made, which was ultimately to ignore the fact that people were actually watching it, and had made emotional commitments to its premise, its characters, and the facts of human behavior.

KyWriter – I’m with ya! Yes, along with the science, the science fiction, the deep character development and action-adventure, there are those men!!

AnnRhys – I’m trying to hang in there (the character “Sawyer” is my “Mulder”), but I’m truly hanging by a thread.
Hate Lost. Love your post. rated.
Very funny, yet poignant. I never started following Lost when it started up. Then, didn't want to jump in without seeing the beginning. Was just getting ready to star NetFlixing the first season. Now I'm on the fence - and it is not comfortable :-)

Many of your comments remind me a bit of the "Twin Peaks" series. The first season was wonderful - decent characters and fun detailed plot arch. Season 2 just got weird - and it seemed the writes just kept trying to "out weird" the previous episode. I had heard subsequently that indeed after the first season, they really didn't have a story line and just "winged it".

I think the best series from a story arch perspective was Babylon 5. The creator, J. Michael Straczynski, had the whole 5 year story in mind when he began. Not only was the plot planned out, there was very deliberate character development arcs that spanned the entire series. The characters grew or fell based on decisions that the characters made. It was really quite fun and very much worth the ride.
DeborahYoung - If I could actually slap "Lost" like it was a drunk in a bar, and tell it to "get a hold of itself" I would. Thank you for enjoying my little rant.

MagneticFields - I love that you are as interested in good story-telling as I am. Yes, "Twin Peaks" is another of these shows that could have been great but chose the path of self-indulgence (or marijuana-indulgence). I never saw Babylon 5 but the idea of creating a saga with a 5 year arc in mind makes total sense. Thank you for your thoughtful comments!!