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  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by randombs View Post
    I loved it, and I'm not ashamed to say it!

    The plot was convoluted but I loved the characters so the finale was a nice pay-off.

    I've been considering re-watching it all ever since it popped up on these streaming services but never got round to it. Then Hulu queued up the first episode after I finished Game of Thrones a few weeks ago and I decided to let it run for a couple of minutes. What a cracking opening scene!

    A friend of mine binged it on DVD a few years ago and wondered what all the fuss is about but a large part of what kept fans drawn to it was the chatter afterwards. Without that, I wonder what my feelings would have been towards it. I'm sure I'd have loved it either way and recently I'm finding myself left out of TV chatter because everyone just binges everything the moment it's released(e.g. still haven't watched Stranger Things S2). Also, being in Japan means there's no one talking about these programmes at work so no pressure to get through them.

    I wonder if I'll ever find a chatty programme like Lost again...
    My brother and I watched Lost back when it aired all those years ago, and after each ep we would be discussing things that happened over MSN messenger, plus sharing info/links for the fan stuff out there such as theories about the smoke monster, the countdown computer in the hatch, etc. It was great fun, made it an altogether more entertaining experience and something to look forward to each week. Plus, whenever there was a filler episode where not much happened at all, it didn't matter as Prison Break was also airing around that time - there was always something happening on that Good times.

  2. #22
    Funnily enough I've just finished a full second viewing of Lost, mainly to see if my initial criticisms held up after all these years. I remember hating the ending of the show and felt, what I thought, justifiably cheated by the lack of answers. However upon a second viewing, and while knowing how certain elements pan out, I felt it was much better than I thought.

    The majority of questions are answered satisfactorily and the evolution of the show from a survival drama to a supernatural mystery is expertly handled. The show doesn't even resemble itself from the first season and that evolution is as ambitious as it is daring. I can appreciate that certain aspects of the story changed over the years but the show still remains consistent, it tries to explain as much as it could. Some things admittedly don't add up (the exact nature of the Smoke Monster and the motives and manipulation of The Others) but asking those questions still make the whole thing rather exciting.

    It was a great rewatch and it makes me appreciate the ending more.


    People claimed a cop out when they thought they were in Purgatory all along...but they weren't. They were alive during the adventures on the Island and some people did actually escape. The flash sideways timeline is just an eventuality that they all ended up at, at different parts and ends of their lives. I think it's the only way the characters could have a sense of closure. The advent of the Hurley and Ben epilogue cements this even more.



    It was always the characters that drove the show, the Island and it's mysteries were just the macguffin to serve them. It was never about the Island and that's what people didn't like in the end

    The show has gone up in my estimation and I ain't afraid to say so, it's still a hell of a journey.

  3. #23
    I was out several episodes into season 2. I felt the show was a poorly-written scam. The dodgy pyramid scheme of television.

  4. #24
    To be fair Season 2 does flounder quite a bit until 3/4 of the way through, it doesn't really go anywhere so I don't blame you dropping out when you did. If you didn't like it, you didn't like it. It's hardly a poorly written scam though, it does get more intriguing as you go through it. I think the perception of it's main failing is that it was too ambitious for it's own good. The audience has this idea of an Abrams' mystery box tenet that he notoriously never fills and this popular notion kinda spoils the experience. Just take it for what it is and enjoy the ride.

  5. #25
    But it was set up as EXACTLY that mystery box. The audience didn't create that notion - the show did. I can only talk about the show up until the first parts of season 2 but, by that stage, a pattern was already emerging. It was filler followed by a big surprising ending. Then in the next episode, we either wouldn't be with whoever saw that big ending or they would keep it to themselves for no reason whatsoever. And then we'd get filler and then another big surprising ending.

    When they hit the limit of how much they could drag out an element at any stage, where another show would resolve it, Lost instead chose to introduce a new element or new character and so establish a new beginning. It was a show of first acts that, up to early in the second season, were never paid off - not one of them. Introducing those new elements amounted to misdirection and then it seemed to rely on the audience not to put a clever mystery together but instead to put together theories on things that really had no answers, like bundling random pieces from a few jigsaw puzzles and letting people try to figure it out.

    So yeah, when they establish mysteries they are unable to solve, end in cliffhangers they can't pay off and pile on new threads without resolving old ones, I stand by my scam comment.

  6. #26
    I agree in part, a show like Lost is a victim of it's own length. The thing is most network shows nowadays follow the same template as Lost, it blazed a trail for storytelling in a similar ilk. Gone are the days of say Star Trek TNG with it's standalone episodes, most shows like to follow the mythology angle which goes back as far as The X-Files. You could probably say that show suffers from the same problems. I think most TV seasons are too long at around 23 episodes, therein lies the main problem...too long requires filler and therefore a meandering storyline. Lost does suffer from this until Season 4 where they started to consolidate episodes and tell a tighter story (although I understand this was forced on them due to the Writers Strike)

    More restricted episode runs are thankfully becoming more commonplace which allows for a tighter story experience. You could probably tell the story of Lost in around half the time but I don't know whether the order for so many episodes came from the network or the writers. If the network ordered that many episodes then you could see how the writers would have to stretch it out to the detriment of the story. I agree about the meandering structure you mention however I don't think you got far enough into Lost to see any of the payoffs you were talking about, it gets to them eventually.

  7. #27
    I agree about length. The large episode runs weren't designed for shows that change and develop over time and it has been shown since that shorter is better. Almost any large show from that time had filler episodes. If Lost had been 8 or 10 episodes a season, perhaps I would have felt very different about it.

    As for the idea that I didn't get far enough in, I had watched 20 hours or more! That's ten movies. If a movie series didn't pay something off in 10 movies, I think it would be fair enough to call it quits. A decent sitcom can pay off a story in less than half an hour so I don't think it's too much to expect.

  8. #28
    I think the main problem is that it could have been so much better if money wasn't running (ruining?) the show. I could see after the first series that a second series could wrap it all up and answer questions if it wasn't chock a block with filler. But the success of series one meant it got greenlit for an infinite amount of further series, basically being funded until people got bored, rather than being funded for as much as it took to tell the story. Not that they knew what the story was.....

    As it stands, it's a great attempt at a story ruined by taking liberties with what the viewers can handle before having a fit.

  9. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by charlesr View Post
    I think the main problem is that it could have been so much better if money wasn't running (ruining?) the show. I could see after the first series that a second series could wrap it all up and answer questions if it wasn't chock a block with filler. But the success of series one meant it got greenlit for an infinite amount of further series, basically being funded until people got bored, rather than being funded for as much as it took to tell the story. Not that they knew what the story was.....

    As it stands, it's a great attempt at a story ruined by taking liberties with what the viewers can handle before having a fit.
    Yeah it's a valid possibility, ABC saw they had a hit on their hands and asked the writers to keep it going no matter where it would go. It seems to be rare on network TV to have a fully realised plan for your show, it's all about how long you can make it last. I mean look at Supernatural, it's on it's 13th season so far. That's insane from a narrative perspective. I doubt if the writers planned all 13 years out from the outset, it was built upon because of it's popularity. The Walking Dead is another one, I honestly can't see the endgame with that show. It's going to write itself into a brick wall eventually. Lost made the most of it's abundant screentime though, it's slog to get through in some spots but the characters elevate to make it worthwhile.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dogg Thang View Post
    As for the idea that I didn't get far enough in, I had watched 20 hours or more! That's ten movies. If a movie series didn't pay something off in 10 movies, I think it would be fair enough to call it quits. A decent sitcom can pay off a story in less than half an hour so I don't think it's too much to expect.
    Ah 20 hours is nothing, you've gotta invest time to enjoy a network show. 87 hours at least *shudder*

  10. #30
    I think I'm remembering correctly that the shorter runs of Season 4-6 came about due to the showrunners and writers negotiating that end with the network. The network was keen on sticking to 23-25 episodes per season but as viewing figures and frustrations grew during season 3 the runners made the case that 25 eps means nothing if you lose all your viewers. By setting an end date it gave them a structure to plan towards and meant the show finished before killing its audience which has allowed it to be marketed ever since though I think they added one or two eps in the last season from what they planned.

    Supernatural is an interesting one in that it's success is so often overlooked due to the breezy 00's era tone the show carries. That show started with a five year arc loosely planned out and when it reached the final of those five they had a good idea season six would get picked up so stuck to the original ending but made one or two slight backdoors for the next run to build off. The next season they dealt with fallout then you hit the weakest of all their runs, the seventh season, where the show struggled to find purpose for itself. Then they got the guy from Being Human involved and Season 8 treated things as though the show was late in life so might as well go bigger with its villain and has largely dealt with the consequences of the previous run each year which has allowed it to always naturally roll on but never be in a place that wrapping it up would be hard. They seem to be slipping into another multi-year arc at the moment as Season 14 looks highly likely as well. Insane success that it doesn't get enough credit for.

    Walking Dead is frankly the worst for this. It lacks the frustration of Lost as the plot is obscenely simple but its the definition of a network led show where its success means the studio effectively says we're going to run it into the ground and none of the characters matter as they're all replaceable. That attitude breeds complacency and the show will never regain the viewers its losing. Looking back on the seven seasons I watched it through, I don't have much of an issue saying it's a show that has some good moments but overall it's a very poor quality programme, very little of it being of real value looking back.

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