Saturday, May 22, 2010

dharma karma

I don't know what I'm gonna say, but I gotta say it fast -- I gotta say it before Sunday.

I'm a huge fan and I'm about to go off. If you HAVEN'T seen all of Lost up to this point, begin watching it. Don't stop watching it until you get to the final episode of season 3. Notice I didn't say you have to watch the whole thing. Just watch to the last episode of season 3 and then you can decide if you want to commit to the rest.

Lost is finally ending. I don't wanna say "finally" though, because how can it possibly end when it's at its nonsensical peak?

Howsabout I get rid of my unanswered questions first.

Apparently it's really really hard to get to the island if you want to... yet (in order to explain Jorge Garcia's weight most likely) some plane somewhere has been dropping crates of Dharma food on the island. If Widmore really wanted to get back couldn't he just nab THAT plane?

The others had a special interest in Walt. Did they know he was a candidate? If they knew the candidates why didn't they kidnap Jack and Sawyer from the beginning?

So, the numbers... what's the deal with them? Still important? Does the universe itself still have something to do with them or has the nature of the universe drifted a bit more toward the whims of the two twin island deities?

I could quibble more, but I won't. I'll defend for just a second. As the creators have pointed out, Lost is a lot more about the questions than the answers. The questions are far more fun. Without the questions, the mystery as well as the mystique of the show would be gone and as a result, the charm.

True.

In that case, there could be dozens and dozens of unresolved questions this Sunday at 11:30 and not only would it not matter, but the show would become more legendary for maintaining its mystique long after it ended. Ideally, the show would have the best of both worlds -- a gigantic mainstream success with a cult following that will continue to discuss the Lost philosophy for years to come.

That is not the case, however.

Unfortunately, the burgeoning of questions piled onto the Lost mythology has simply made it creatively top-heavy. I'll be the first to admit that the questions are more interesting than the answers, but not when they contradict each other in hindsight -- which is what WILL happen unless they are resolved (or at least tied TOGETHER rather than just tied up).

Monday morning will come and instead of fondly discussing the questions, fans of the show will look at the inconsistencies and see sloppiness.

I know I'm coming across as a faithless first and second season Jack Shephard. Hopefully I'm wrong. I hope I'm wrong. I hope Lindelof and Cuse will pull something together that doesn't necessarily answer everything, but will at least make it SEEM like the chaos is worth it to TRY to figure out.

According to Carlton Cuse, the final image they shot of the show is the same image they decided on in the first season. Maybe that's true. Even so, I'm not necessarily impressed with stretching of the plot taffy in every random direction only to bring it back to where it was already. In the process that plot taffy got real thin and picked up lots and lots of gross dust and hair on the way back home. I think that analogy made sense, don't you?

Actually the whole point of the post is for me to say something completely different. I think that the story and evolution of coming up with the story of Lost may actually be more interesting than Lost itself. I heard it best on (I think think) the Firewall and Iceberg podcast where one of the guys said something like "Can you imagine J.J. Abrams sitting at home watching the most recent episode of Lost and saying 'did I seriously CREATE this show?'"

Here's what I really want and something I'd absolutely consume to the core: I want Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse to write a tell-all chronicling the history and philosophy of the show chronologically. What specific plot points were decided by fan interaction? What specific things were in place all along? What specific things were improvised? If anybody listens to them in interviews they are pretty open about many specifics, but not in the context of the completed show in hindsight. Oo! Oo! Better yet, a movie documentary filled to the brim with the executives, show runners, writers and directors. They could re-visit all their creative arguments and everything. I'd love that.

No guarantees though. They're under absolutely no obligation and... there is a mystique to maintain.

8 Comments:

Blogger (M)ary said...

I think Lost is like XFiles, it is more about the 'mind f&*k' then it is about plot. The producers and writers are just leading the viewers in a circle.
A coworker who loves the show says it is basically about good vs evil and she can't wait to see the finale. I responded, if is good vs evil, I don't need to see the finale because I already know that good always wins.

May 22, 2010 10:11 AM  
Blogger Iron Sparrow said...

Apparently it's really really hard to get to the island if you want to... yet (in order to explain Jorge Garcia's weight most likely) some plane somewhere has been dropping crates of Dharma food on the island. If Widmore really wanted to get back couldn't he just nab THAT plane?

Did Widmore know about the plane? Didn't he eventually find the island anyway? The plane could fine the island the same way the Others' sub could. If you'll recall, Ben and Richard both had stuff going on off-island.

The others had a special interest in Walt. Did they know he was a candidate? If they knew the candidates why didn't they kidnap Jack and Sawyer from the beginning?

The others were after children. Jack, Sawyer, Kate, and Hurley are the four remaining and the same four that Michael was ordered to bring with him. Coincidence?

So, the numbers... what's the deal with them? Still important? Does the universe itself still have something to do with them or has the nature of the universe drifted a bit more toward the whims of the two twin island deities?

Don't the numbers, the fate of the world, and the twin deities all answer the same question?

May 22, 2010 1:57 PM  
Blogger joN. said...

something told me i shouldn't have bothered putting in a couple of quibbles. something told me that's all that would be noticed about the post. yes. it CAN be explained why there are still dharma drops on an island where the dharma initiative itself has been eradicated -- but it's no longer enjoyable to make those stretches. perhaps actually there are too many ANSWERS that get in the way of probing the QUESTIONS.

i digress.

my point wasn't to simply whine about plot developments of the show. i'm just saying that in hindsight of the conclusion of the show, many branches won't tie together. in hindsight they will look shoe-horned and inorganic rather than fittingly weird and mysterious.

the count is on. about 19hours from now HOPEFULLY i'll be eating my words.

May 23, 2010 1:30 AM  
Blogger Iron Sparrow said...

Well, why DID you post quibbles then? This is the same discussion that occurred on the homestarmy blog. Do you want the story to be surrounded in mysterious backstory that lends mystique or do you want every little thing explained, answered, and tied up with a bow? You can't have your cake and eat it too. YOUR mind will always be able to fill in the gaps with something more satisfying than the writers, because it's YOUR mind. Is that your point? FINE I AGREE!

May 23, 2010 8:19 AM  
Blogger Saule Cogneur said...

If Lost wants you to accept something on faith and NOT be like S2J, I don't even know what that something is.

I thought they were completing the picture well until they did the Jacob episode, which seemed more like a stack of contradictions than anything else.

I think the episode will end with a "keep on keeping on" theme, a "the bad guy is gone but WAIT, there's more" theme, or a "the Island has let us leave/i s"gone" but WHO KNOWS when it will call people to its shores again."

I don't like any of these outcomes, so I'm just trying to enjoy the show for what it is - a stack of ideas that kind of relate to each other with a general theme but make less and less sense if you try to split hairs...kind of like Christian scriptures.

Ha Ha, maybe that was the point all along.e

May 23, 2010 8:36 AM  
Blogger (M)ary said...

I have only seen a few episodes here and there so I shouldn't say too much about the show. I believe that if you threw all the episodes in a pile and picked them out at random to watch, you could enjoy or not enjoy the show as much as if you watched the episodes in order. That is not a criticism but an observation. If the show was meant to be literal or linear, it would have remained a story about survival on the island.

May 23, 2010 2:21 PM  
Blogger Iron Sparrow said...

Are you going to post your thoughts on how the Finale correlated with this post?

May 24, 2010 1:57 PM  
Blogger joN. said...

i'll certainly post my thoughts. right now i'm simmering. lots of good and bad...

May 25, 2010 3:26 AM  

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