Monday, October 25, 2010
A couple of notes: **SPOILER ALERT minor spoiler's for Lost and the Event** One of the biggest complaints about the series finale of Lost was that it never addressed all of the mysteries that came up over the course of six seasons. It has always been thought that Lost was about a mysterious Island. Yet, it is clear, even from the pilot, that this show is not about mysteries, it is about characters. Most of the mysteries in Lost come up in later seasons. Watching the pilot, there seem to be only two real mysteries: what is the "monster" that knocks down trees and kills the pilot, and how did a polar bear come to live on a south pacific island? Other than that, the show is driven by the characters. The creators of the show seem to always use the mysteries of the Island not as an end in themselves, but as a backdrop for the characters. Throw these wonderfully compelling and complex characters in the midst of a mystery and see what happens.
I was struck re-watching the pilot just how compelling these characters were and just how well they were acted. The Jack of the pilot is the same Jack we get at the end. Sure, Jack's character grows over the course of the series, but it is the same Jack. The same can be said for Kate, Locke, Sawyer, Charlie, Clare, Hurley, Jin, Sun, etc. It was as if these characters were perfectly formed before the series began and the show creators then threw them into a mysterious situation to see how they would react. The characters are believable, they are complex and conflicted like anyone else.
Take, for comparison, the characters in this year's attempt at another "Lost," "The Event." Brooke and I gave the Event 4 episodes, and were not impressed. I guess we would rather give our time to 20 episodes of Lost again. All of the characters are totally one sided and can be summed up in one phrase: Sean Walker: "Where's my girlfriend?" President Martinez: "I do not condone torture." Sophie: "I must protect my people." Blake Sterling: "The Aliens are lying." Everyone is just a stock character, there is no ambiguity, not interplay between good and evil. Everything is black and white, and boring.
So, instead of spending more time desperately trying to like a new show like the Event, the wife and I will be spending our time instead truly enjoying a fantastic show, Lost, even in another rewatch. I will blog about our rewatch from time to time, noting interesting character formulations and ways in which the show deals with religious issues.