So in case you're living in a subterranean cave or you lost your head during the first gulf war and had it replaced with a melon, you are aware that tonight is the series finale of Lost.
Thank heavens for fact-checking. The Lost fans (do you call them LOSErs?) in my office have told me that I'm getting a bit too hopeful - today is not the SERIES finale of Lost. Merely the SEASON finale of Lost.
Dammit. Well, that blew my load - clearly you know where I stand on this TV show. So much for a catchy/quirky/silly intro and segue! Well now that you know, I'll just go ahead and say it.
I'll give you a few reasons, but you can find a ton more at this 10 Reasons Why Lost Sucks web page or this recent article Why Lost Sucks This Season on Film.com. It's comforting to know I'm not totally ALONE in my distaste for the program.
However, I didn't always think that Lost sucks, mind you. I was in fact a HUGE LOSEr back in the day - through seasons 1 and 2. Back then there was direction, there was intrigue, there was drama and Ian Somerhalder.
God I'd watch him painting the side of a barn. Or I'd paint the barn for him if he promised to watch me labor intently.
But then something bad happened - Lost became extremely popular. Now, in other countries (UK, I'm looking at you!) it doesn't matter how popular a non-reality, non-sitcom program becomes. It is contracted for a set amount of time - the arc the story, and then it is gone. Think of The Office. Or recent US arrival, Summer Heights High. Or think about Extras, which Ricky Gervais produced for us Yanks using the old rule book.
Why is this? Because when the story is written, it has a beginning, a middle, and an end. This way writers are able to make the story cohesive, ensure that it moves forward at the right place, and that all symbols and pitfalls are foreshadowed and in the right place.
Well I am of the camp that believes Lost would have been amazing if it hadn't been extended as far as it was. Because, once the writers told that the show might go on indefinitely, they probably shat their pants. They knew the ending! The story was perfectly set and organized to REACH that ending.
Now the fat cats were telling them to extend it. To pad the story. To streeeeetch it out. This started happening, I'll say, in season 3. It wasn't until halfway through that the sinews began to split. Creating what I have come back to and then promptly turned from in disgust 5 times now.
Lost is a hodgepodge of meaningless flashbacks given meaning in further meaningless flashbacks. Questions are pulled out of thin air to give us something to ask about and wonder about. Every time I turn it on (once a season, usually) they are so deep in a story quagmire that it's impossible to think it's that same group of Losties I loved so much in season 1.
Hatches give way to ghosts give way to getting off the island gives way to being still on the island, having a book club. When the story wanes, new random characters randomly appear on the island. New mysterious doors magically appear in mountains or trees. Someone has a flashback where they learn that the guy we though was their brother in season 3 is actually their murderer in the future.
Yes, for the past few seasons Lost has sustained its fan base by fucking shit up, unfucking it up, and refucking it up continuously.
No thank you.
But, I'll admit this: I may start watching again next season. I'll bet this season that a lot of "questions" are being answered, and things may be tying more closely back to season one and "starting to make sense." That is because we are drawing closer still to the ending that the writers originally created ever so many years ago.
In fact, I won't be surprised if next season is absolutely butt-sexingly fantastic. It'll be the ending in all its glory that I was looking for halfway through season 2 when they started getting locked up in monkey cages and having flashbacks about absolutely nothing.
So enjoy your finale tonight, LOSErs. I'll rejoin your ranks for the next, and thankfully final, season.