Thursday, October 05, 2006

lost in pair of guise

So obviously Lost went back on tv last night. Since I haven't written anything in here lately, I may as well post up the rough draft of the review I wrote for

Ready and begin.

The best thing Lost has going for it is its potential for misdirection. In other words, the best thing is its ability to keep us in the dark perceptually. In other words, it wants to keep us lost.

The surprises come right at the beginning of the season premiere. We’re treated to witnessing an everyday book club event complete with suburban housing furniture, tea and obnoxious suburban book club friends. Very normal. Then the plane crashes. Suddenly these aren’t normal people. We realize in this misdirecting flashback that these are The Others – the people who kidnapped our three heroes at the end of last season. Of course just because we call them “our heroes,” it doesn’t mean that all three of them aren’t actually ex-felons.

The Others (or “our villains”), now, are in the forefront. They have faces. They have a thriving community. Although we don’t understand why they do the things they do, we can tell by their reaction of the plane crashing in their backyard that what they are doing (at least to themselves) is urgent rather than sinister. Strangely, I’m inclined to believe Ben (the weird leader of The Others) when he said to Michael (the guy who betrayed his friends in order to find his son) at the end of last season, “We’re the good guys.”

The good guys? That’s a hard pill to swallow especially since we know that these people have kidnapped several of the doomed flight passengers and purposefully manipulated many of the rest. Of course a matter of perspective is in order. While the two groups have been busy miscommunicating with each other, several more of The Others lay dead at the hands of the doomed passengers than the other way around. Do these stats make Ben and The Others the good guys after all? Are our heroes really the bad guys, but we side with them because we know them better?

The only certainty is that every single individual on this island believes they are in the right. People may do unprincipled things, but nobody actively proclaims that they’re evil. They don’t even know they are, especially when they’re only acting in their self-interest. Circumstance may give us an opportunity to impose torture, deceive those around us and take what isn’t ours. The survivors are learning that doing such things may serve interests as well as provide for the common good, but such things are unprincipled. As a result, they need to deal with the “other unprincipled good guys.”

Everybody on that dang island is lost in just about every sense of the word. They all have so much potential to lose their way even more. In the meantime, we’re not given the perspective we need to prevent ourselves from getting lost. It’s fun to watch and no doubt it will be enlightening for all of us when we’re allowed to see the whole picture along with everyone else.

The truly great thing about the show is its presentation that the proper perspective isn’t always a certainty. Despite how good we say we are, a failure to abide to the proper principles truly gets us lost.


Blogger Abel said...

What? No link to your actual review? I did change a few words, you know. :-)

Tigers thumped the Yankees!!!!

Hope you had fun at the football game. We'll have to do a sports show on Monday!

October 07, 2006 8:41 PM  
Anonymous dre said...

I must say, I used to not enjoy Lost, but after that description, it sounds really cool. Even though i can't handle actually watching it, I do appreciate the idea behind it now. Lost, well done Jon.
Very Enlightening.

October 08, 2006 8:27 PM  
Blogger laura said...

So I think maybe they drugged Jack and got him to talk about his past and that's how they know all that stuff about his dad, where he went to school, Sarah, etc.

I can't think of any other way. I know they had Ethan as a spy and stuff, but Jack never really talked about his life in front of people.

So yeah, he was drugged and interrogated. I'm sticking with that theory.

October 09, 2006 6:03 PM  

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