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Lost: Because You Left - The Lie

Season 5 Premiere of "LOST" on ABC

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LOST time I'll never get back

  • Jan 27, 2009
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In September of 2004, ABC premiered their new show "LOST" to rave reviews.  The show opened with a gripping plane crash, engaging characters, and a mysterious island with intriging powers.  In January 2009, season 5 of the series began with none of the appeal of the original.

Rather than continue to unfold and develop the mythology of the first season, "LOST" spirals out of control by introducing new random elements for the island and its inhabitants, creating more and more questions for the viewer without answering any.  Last year they introduced teleportation -- This year, the newest attribute of the "LOST" island appears to be "Random Time Travel" where some (but not all) inhabitants of the island are randomly jumped forward and back in time along the island.  Rather than conform to the industry standards of time travel set forth by "Back to the Future" and "Terminator", "LOST" creates its own set of time travel rules which only appear to follow whatever rules are convenient to achieve the writers' goals.  Here are some of the rules I interpreted from the episode:
  1) You can't change history or the future, unless you try really hard.
  2) Some people travel through time as a group while others don't
  3) Stuff you are carrying or are "nearby" might time travel with you... or might not.
  4) People who time travel might die.  Or might not.  Seems to be like a bad case of the bends.
And just in case you stepped out out to get a beer when the first "Time Skip" event occured, "LOST" beats you over the head with it over and over again throughout the two hour episode.  "We get it... time is jacked up".  During the first few seasons, "LOST" revealed story elements by creatively interweaving the current events with flashback events to help tell their story.  Apparently, they've just given up and decided it would be easier to throw in a "time travel" element to tie up any loose ends they forgot to mention earlier.  I have to give the castaways on the island credit, though -- despite this monumental revelation that they've just jumped through time, no one seems to be freaked out by.  They all just take it in stride.  But I guess they cope with this kind of stuff better than I do -- it's been 5 years for me since a giant Smoke Monster came and devoured some of the original survivors and I'm still creeped out by it.  The castaways, on the otherhand were able to put it behind them in a couple days.

Another unfortunate departure from the original appeal of the series is a lack of interesting characters.  Through the first few seasons, we learned the backstories of several of the castaways which helped to explain their motives and personas.  By this time, we realize that just about everyone on the plane was a jackass and they're all better off sequestered on their far away island, anyway.  By season 3 and 4, everyone was second guessing who the good guys were and who the bad guys were.  At this point, no one really cares.

Speaking of intriguing characters, "LOST" was originally hailed for providing a little something for both the guys AND the ladies -- whether it was Sawyer losing his shirt to go swimming, or Kate hiking through the humid jungle in her tanktop, "LOST" provided plenty of eye-candy.  As season 5 starts off, Sawyer still can't find his shirt, but unfortuntely, "TIME TRAVEL" hasn't helped his physique.  Instead of jungle hikes with Kate, we get Hurley.  Lots and lots of Hurley.  To make matters worse, the directors decided to remind us how fat Hurley is by constantly providing beyond close-ups close-ups  (Sample images included).  In several instances, the Hurley Afro barely fits on the screen.  While I'm on the topic of direction, I'd also like to point out the new tactic for evoking suspense.  Before each commercial break, the viewer is treated to an intense violin crescendo to enhance to emotion of the shocking new discovery recently revealed -- however, in most cases, the big surprise was hardly interesting at all, yet, lke Pavlov's dog, the viewer is expected to salivate for more while waiting through the commercial break. 

For a season premiere, "LOST" failed to deliver.  They could take a page from "24".  "24" has no qualms about nuking a Southern California city or assasinating a former US President in order to get the viewer hooked.  In contrast, "LOST" treats us to pathetic cameos of washed up actors from previous seasons.  Unfortunately, I'm invested enough in the show that I feel I owe it to myself to sit it out through the last season, but that doesn't mean I can't bitch about it along the way.

Hurley's Face to Scale Hurley Sad

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November 23, 2009
Nice review. Can see how people get fed up with lost but i am too attached to the characters now i have to watch to the end cos as with many TV drama - "i want to know what happens!" It has been heading in a bit of a silly direction but still love the excitement and fickle, gratuitous teases/questions/revelations! Any idea when the next (hopefully final) season of lost is coming? The worst case of a show's plots going sour and ridiculous is smallville (on season 9 now!) but i still love it even though i know it's so stupidly ridiculous - may have to write a post on it!
April 06, 2009
Nice review... I don't agree at all, though, and I've found myself completely addicted to this show. I also find it strange that critics of the show have almost A) never watched past the first season or two and B) claim that they won't be "taken" by stupid plot twists and storylines. You're not watching Lost for its educational benefits, people!
April 07, 2009
I have to admit -- The show has picked up this season since the underperforming season premiere. Don't get me wrong, they're still all over the chart, but at least something is happening. Also, don't mistake me for a "fly-by-night" LOST fan. I've been there since the beginning, but perhaps now with a more judgmental eye.
April 02, 2009
Thanks for pointing me to this review, Butter. Andrew, while I didn't see the show, I am sure your take is spot on. LOST lost me after the second season. I thought the first season was awesome, and I was pleasantly surprised they kept me engaged. I didn't think they would have enough material to keep it going for an entire season. Apparently, 5 seasons is too long.
April 01, 2009
'Rather than conform to the industry standards of time travel set forth by "Back to the Future" and "Terminator" '... that's brilliant. I was laughing my ass off the whole time I read that review. You should start ghost writing for Bill Simmons or something.
January 28, 2009
Wow. wow. I thought the premiere was amazing and gave us so much insight. I loved how we saw Farriday back in the Dharma camp. I need to write my positive review ASAP.
January 27, 2009
Hi. I'm Levi and I'm a LOST addict. At first I was amazed, excited, and couldn't wait until my next good dose. Then, after a while it took more to get as excited. Now I feel like if I drop it cold turkey, I'll start to twitch but I know its doing nothing good for me. The stories are completely whacked out now. I feel like the storyline that was at one time somewhat real, has gone completely sci-fi. Oh that and they missed some basics of the time travel aspect. Contradictions such as the quote "You can't change the past or the future. What happened happened, and what will happen is still going to happen." but then they would change scenes to when Jon is shot in the leg. That means there is interaction with those not time traveling; thus an impact on time. DUH. okay. down off my soap box I go.
January 27, 2009
great take andrew... i didn't know you had it in you... nice work. Your review along with all of the comments make me very thankful that i turned of this series during season 1 when the trees kept shaking. I asked myself "do i really care that much what's in the trees... and am i really going to let these TV producers suck me into something as stupid as monsters in the trees" i didn't buy in... and now after 5 seasons of feeling like i've been on the outside looking in... your review is making me feel soooooo much better about how much time i've saved by not wasting it on this show!!! Now excuse me... i need to get back to Seinfeld reruns.
April 01, 2009
Ha. Great comment.
January 27, 2009
I actually really enjoyed the premier, but I'm always happiest when I don't know what is going on and when the perspective shifts in both time and place. I don't necessarily want answers, especially in the first episode of the season. I want interesting questions, and a presentation that implies the writers have a cohesive plan and know the answers to the mysteries they reveal. But that was a great rant.
January 27, 2009
Did I miss something during the premiere? What questions did they answer? Believe me, I want this to be a good season, but I feel like they're getting further and further away from what hooked me in the first place. At this point, I don't think I'd be surprised to find out that they're cloning dinosaurs on the island now.
January 27, 2009
I think you're crazy. That premiere was amazing and I am so glad they are finally answering some of our questions instead of just asking more. When Anna Lucia showed up I about wet myself.
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Andrew ()
Ranked #23
I'm a technology early adopter. I thoroughly enjoy geeking out with the latest hardware, software and electronics. I probably have as much fun setting up, tweaking, and configuring systems as I do actually … more
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Original Air Date: January 21, 2009
Description: Season 5 premiere
TV Show: Lost
Genre: Series - Drama
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