Did Lost Pull a Reverse George Lucas?


----------------

I loved Lost. When I first started watching, I couldn’t get enough. My husband and I blasted through the first season and then had to wait in anticipation for every single episode as it came on television. I don’t think I’d ever seen such a show before, having never watched Twin Peaks or other similar premises. I was hooked. I even dreamed of Lost.

Part of the thrill was watching the stories unfold, piecing together the story that just got more and more bizarre as time went on. Polar bears! Nuclear bombs! A time-traveling Scot! I mean, what wasn’t there to love?

So why am I not watching Lost right now? Why am I not glued to the screen awaiting every final clue, every last detail? Well, it comes down to the fact that I believe Lost pulled a George Lucas. But a reverse one. Which probably makes no sense to you at this moment, but let me explain.

When I watched the original Star Wars films, I was filled with hope (far beyond A New Hope) and wonder. My brain worked overtime to fill in the gaps: who Leia and Luke’s mother was, what the Clone Wars were like, what it must have been in the heyday of the Jedi. The mystery of it was overwhelmingly tantalizing. I devoured every piece of information I could get to try and make sense of the events leading up to Luke and Leia’s birth —I just knew it had to be spectacular.

And then came the prequels, and part of me died. Maybe I can’t really blame George Lucas for not living up to my imagination, but I could have dealt if the story fell a little short. The truth was it fell so short it turned me off to the entire prequel series. I just couldn’t cope. It ruined everything that I had imagined and turned it into a soap opera with Jar-Jar Binks.

No, I don’t think Lost went as far as Lucas did. But on the other hand, the disappointment I started to feel at the beginning of this season (and intermittently throughout the show’s run) is that the reveals just don’t justify the mysteries. And the worst culprit isn’t the devil in the details—my biggest disappointment with Lost has nothing to do with the actual nuts and bolts, the more science-fiction and fantasy related aspects.

Nope, it’s about character.

I will admit to my bias. I watch shows because I become attached to the characters. A good death or two is fine, don’t get me wrong. I’m not still bitter about Charlie. I swear I’m not. *cough* But I feel that Lost continually has re-invented characters all throughout the series (i.e. John Locke) or just rehashed the same old, same old over and over again (i.e. Kate and Jack). Either the characters develop so much that they are no longer recognizable (and therefore really hard to care about) or they refuse to change and get boring. Or, I suppose, their story gets so weird and wacky or soap-opera sappy that it’s just uncomfortable.

In the end, I find that the characters’ developments are just nowhere near what I’d hoped. What I’d hoped for never happened. When the mysteries lifted, the characters just couldn’t hold it up. It has nothing to do with acting and everything to do with the writing. I realize not everyone watches shows for the same reason I do, but I think that–since my approach is directly derived from fandom in general–there might be some readers out there who agree with me.

Now, I’m not saying Lost isn’t a good show. On the contrary, it’s done a whole lot for television—considerably raised the bar—and introduced audiences to speculative elements in a very mainstream way. I can’t complain about that. It’s better TV than a whole lot of crap that’s out there. Heck, I’d say it’s far better than many films, even. But as far as suspension of disbelief, I think the show left that in the dust a few seasons back. When the characters fall away at the expense of the plot, I think everyone loses. As a result, I’m not worried about spoilers and I won’t be up late watching the finale. In this case I really think I’d prefer to leave it all to the imagination.

What do you think? Am I off my rocker? Feel free to sound off in the comments.







46 Responses to Did Lost Pull a Reverse George Lucas?

  1. Lost has been jerking our collective chain for seasons now. I’m embarrassed by my willful gullibility yet I’ve stuck it out to see the finale, all the while knowing full well that the end would be an unsatisfying, convoluted mess – and I knew this well before the end of the last season.

    Nothing I’ve seen this season has swayed my beliefs. J.J. Abrams can setup series like nobody’s business, but is perpetually unable to complete stories in any satisfying manner. I’m frankly surprised that “Lost” wasn’t pulled before it could get a ‘proper’ end.

    “Lost” would’ve been a far more memorable, more evolutionary show if it had wrapped up after a 2 or 3 season run. Like “Heroes,” this has far outlived its original concept and is shuddering & staggering under the weight of its own massive pile of red herrings.

  2. Lost has been jerking our collective chain for seasons now. I’m embarrassed by my willful gullibility yet I’ve stuck it out to see the finale, all the while knowing full well that the end would be an unsatisfying, convoluted mess – and I knew this well before the end of the last season.

    Nothing I’ve seen this season has swayed my beliefs. J.J. Abrams can setup series like nobody’s business, but is perpetually unable to complete stories in any satisfying manner. I’m frankly surprised that “Lost” wasn’t pulled before it could get a ‘proper’ end.

    “Lost” would’ve been a far more memorable, more evolutionary show if it had wrapped up after a 2 or 3 season run. Like “Heroes,” this has far outlived its original concept and is shuddering & staggering under the weight of its own massive pile of red herrings.

  3. Lost has been jerking our collective chain for seasons now. I’m embarrassed by my willful gullibility yet I’ve stuck it out to see the finale, all the while knowing full well that the end would be an unsatisfying, convoluted mess – and I knew this well before the end of the last season.

    Nothing I’ve seen this season has swayed my beliefs. J.J. Abrams can setup series like nobody’s business, but is perpetually unable to complete stories in any satisfying manner. I’m frankly surprised that “Lost” wasn’t pulled before it could get a ‘proper’ end.

    “Lost” would’ve been a far more memorable, more evolutionary show if it had wrapped up after a 2 or 3 season run. Like “Heroes,” this has far outlived its original concept and is shuddering & staggering under the weight of its own massive pile of red herrings.

    • We’re totally on the same page. I gave up on Heroes after the first season, sadly. I only wish that our shows could last more than a season or two without being a) canceled or b) falling apart. Maybe that’s askin’ for too much.

  4. Lost has been jerking our collective chain for seasons now. I'm embarrassed by my willful gullibility yet I've stuck it out to see the finale, all the while knowing full well that the end would be an unsatisfying, convoluted mess – and I knew this well before the end of the last season.

    Nothing I've seen this season has swayed my beliefs. J.J. Abrams can setup series like nobody's business, but is perpetually unable to complete stories in any satisfying manner. I'm frankly surprised that "Lost" wasn't pulled before it could get a 'proper' end.

    "Lost" would've been a far more memorable, more evolutionary show if it had wrapped up after a 2 or 3 season run. Like "Heroes," this has far outlived its original concept and is shuddering & staggering under the weight of its own massive pile of red herrings.

    • We're totally on the same page. I gave up on Heroes after the first season, sadly. I only wish that our shows could last more than a season or two without being a) canceled or b) falling apart. Maybe that's askin' for too much.

  5. While, in a way, this article is a success since it made me log on the PC and write a response (I first read it on the iPhone in my RSS feeds), I did all this since I felt I had to let you know you just wasted a few minutes of my life (and I *am* a geek and a Lost and SW fan, among many others). No offense, but that felt like a pointless and uninspired rambling with no place on this website (but then again, so’s my comment)

  6. While, in a way, this article is a success since it made me log on the PC and write a response (I first read it on the iPhone in my RSS feeds), I did all this since I felt I had to let you know you just wasted a few minutes of my life (and I *am* a geek and a Lost and SW fan, among many others). No offense, but that felt like a pointless and uninspired rambling with no place on this website (but then again, so’s my comment)

  7. While, in a way, this article is a success since it made me log on the PC and write a response (I first read it on the iPhone in my RSS feeds), I did all this since I felt I had to let you know you just wasted a few minutes of my life (and I *am* a geek and a Lost and SW fan, among many others). No offense, but that felt like a pointless and uninspired rambling with no place on this website (but then again, so’s my comment)

    • Well, it was an opinion piece, that’s all. We do comment on geek culture at large, and it’s just something I was thinking about that I thought might stir some interesting discussion. Sorry it didn’t do the trick for you. ;)

  8. While, in a way, this article is a success since it made me log on the PC and write a response (I first read it on the iPhone in my RSS feeds), I did all this since I felt I had to let you know you just wasted a few minutes of my life (and I *am* a geek and a Lost and SW fan, among many others). No offense, but that felt like a pointless and uninspired rambling with no place on this website (but then again, so's my comment)

    • Well, it was an opinion piece, that's all. We do comment on geek culture at large, and it's just something I was thinking about that I thought might stir some interesting discussion. Sorry it didn't do the trick for you. ;)

  9. people who agree with this article are fat. plain and simple. giant fat faces and fat heads with their stupid fat brains and their fat asses crying about how fat they are while watching their fat assey nipple tvs

  10. people who agree with this article are fat. plain and simple. giant fat faces and fat heads with their stupid fat brains and their fat asses crying about how fat they are while watching their fat assey nipple tvs

  11. I agree with most everything, but I’m still going to watch.

    Was it saeson2, or 3, remember when Ben Linus told Jack about Kate, and Sawyer having sex in the cages, then asking Jack if he had loved Kate? I think back, WTH, did that have to do with anything, with the Others? Linus made it sound like The Others had an invested interest in their relationship.

    I had a feeling back then that it was all pointless misdirection.I could still be wrong, but seriously, what was the point?

  12. I agree with most everything, but I'm still going to watch.

    Was it saeson2, or 3, remember when Ben Linus told Jack about Kate, and Sawyer having sex in the cages, then asking Jack if he had loved Kate? I think back, WTH, did that have to do with anything, with the Others? Linus made it sound like The Others had an invested interest in their relationship.

    I had a feeling back then that it was all pointless misdirection.I could still be wrong, but seriously, what was the point?

  13. I don’t know guys. The Star Wars prequels were a travesty for a lot of reasons: lack of charm, lack of a compelling plot line beyond resolving mysteries, weak political viewpoints, wooden acting, unsatisfying and/or convincing romance in a story that needed it and unjust motivation for Anakin turning evil.

    LOST, as you said, isn’t that big a mess and the mess it is has been with us for a very long time now. The acting is still terrific. The relationships and friendships feel lived in and real. There are still great bits of comic relief mixed in with interesting twists and turns.

    More appropriately to the topic at hand though, at least it hasn’t chickened out. At least it still had the balls to finish this thing in an end of the world kind of epic way because the original premise deserved it. Let’s face it: there hasn’t been this much guess-work, theorizing and speculation over where a story was going since the lead up to the disapointing Matrix sequels that also had the guts to go big.

    LOST has always been a soap opera at its core. It’s a serial with improbable events, supernatural elements, science fiction elements, and fantasy… That’s a ridiculously tough thing to pull off and I’ve enjoyed the merger and the ride thus far. There’s so little on television for fans of escapist entertainment that it pains me to hear so many people upset that their theories didn’t pan out. LOST has been a lot of fun and it’s not always the destination but the journey that makes a show. Besides, I’ve lent the DVDs to friends and all of them are hooked so it’s apparent this show plays a lot better on disc than it did for the millions who’ve waited 6 years to discuss, theorize and leave dissapointed.

    An entire legion of fans will be able to discover this show on disc now and simply enjoy it for what it is… a pulpy, post-modern merger of escapist elements and relationships. I’m shocked at the amount of people who are now acting like LOST has become too silly and/or weird for them: What show were you guys watching before? It’s always been weird. And smoke monsters, ghost whispers and ghost visions have been with us since day one.

  14. I don't know guys. The Star Wars prequels were a travesty for a lot of reasons: lack of charm, lack of a compelling plot line beyond resolving mysteries, weak political viewpoints, wooden acting, unsatisfying and/or convincing romance in a story that needed it and unjust motivation for Anakin turning evil.

    LOST, as you said, isn't that big a mess and the mess it is has been with us for a very long time now. The acting is still terrific. The relationships and friendships feel lived in and real. There are still great bits of comic relief mixed in with interesting twists and turns.

    More appropriately to the topic at hand though, at least it hasn't chickened out. At least it still had the balls to finish this thing in an end of the world kind of epic way because the original premise deserved it. Let's face it: there hasn't been this much guess-work, theorizing and speculation over where a story was going since the lead up to the disapointing Matrix sequels that also had the guts to go big.

    LOST has always been a soap opera at its core. It's a serial with improbable events, supernatural elements, science fiction elements, and fantasy… That's a ridiculously tough thing to pull off and I've enjoyed the merger and the ride thus far. There's so little on television for fans of escapist entertainment that it pains me to hear so many people upset that their theories didn't pan out. LOST has been a lot of fun and it's not always the destination but the journey that makes a show. Besides, I've lent the DVDs to friends and all of them are hooked so it's apparent this show plays a lot better on disc than it did for the millions who've waited 6 years to discuss, theorize and leave dissapointed.

    An entire legion of fans will be able to discover this show on disc now and simply enjoy it for what it is… a pulpy, post-modern merger of escapist elements and relationships. I'm shocked at the amount of people who are now acting like LOST has become too silly and/or weird for them: What show were you guys watching before? It's always been weird. And smoke monsters, ghost whispers and ghost visions have been with us since day one.

  15. Lost was fun in the beginning, but now it can’t live up to its hype. It way jumped the shark two seasons ago….

  16. Lost was fun in the beginning, but now it can't live up to its hype. It way jumped the shark two seasons ago….

  17. It is was it is. Watch it, enjoy it and stop over analyzing it.

    When it started it was awesome, and it is still awesome now. I challenge you to go and find a PERFECT TV show or film.

    Good Luck.

  18. It is was it is. Watch it, enjoy it and stop over analyzing it.

    When it started it was awesome, and it is still awesome now. I challenge you to go and find a PERFECT TV show or film.

    Good Luck.

  19. Every week, I feel so sad that another 44 minutes has been sucked away from my life. I loved LOST in the beginning. But as it went on, I got the same feeling I got watching Battlestar Galactica – that the writers had no idea where the show was going – but hell, let’s just throw this or that in there to frack with the viewers. Then, at the end, when there’s one season left to explain it all, we get a sloppy wrap-up that disappoints. With both shows, I’ve found the fans come up with better explanations and theories than the writers do. So, I have expected for 2 seasons now to be similarly disappointed, as I was with Battlestar, and yeah, it’s pretty much looking like LOST is going to meet that expectation. I won’t be up late on Sunday either – in fact, this season, I’ve been watching a couple at a time. I haven’t even watched last week’s episode yet. Who knows – maybe I’ll be surprised, but I’m not holding my breath… :(

  20. Every week, I feel so sad that another 44 minutes has been sucked away from my life. I loved LOST in the beginning. But as it went on, I got the same feeling I got watching Battlestar Galactica – that the writers had no idea where the show was going – but hell, let's just throw this or that in there to frack with the viewers. Then, at the end, when there's one season left to explain it all, we get a sloppy wrap-up that disappoints. With both shows, I've found the fans come up with better explanations and theories than the writers do. So, I have expected for 2 seasons now to be similarly disappointed, as I was with Battlestar, and yeah, it's pretty much looking like LOST is going to meet that expectation. I won't be up late on Sunday either – in fact, this season, I've been watching a couple at a time. I haven't even watched last week's episode yet. Who knows – maybe I'll be surprised, but I'm not holding my breath… :(

  21. I agree that this last season is not answering the questions as satisfingly as I had hoped. It almost feels like this LOST season is it’s own show! Felt like the beginning of something more than the end. I do still love it and plan to watch the finale-tho I know there is no way to finish it properly! I think it will leave many questions unanswered. All through this first half it seems all they’ve done is add more mysteries!

  22. I agree that this last season is not answering the questions as satisfingly as I had hoped. It almost feels like this LOST season is it’s own show! Felt like the beginning of something more than the end. I do still love it and plan to watch the finale-tho I know there is no way to finish it properly! I think it will leave many questions unanswered. All through this first half it seems all they’ve done is add more mysteries!

  23. I agree that this last season is not answering the questions as satisfingly as I had hoped. It almost feels like this LOST season is it’s own show! Felt like the beginning of something more than the end. I do still love it and plan to watch the finale-tho I know there is no way to finish it properly! I think it will leave many questions unanswered. All through this first half it seems all they’ve done is add more mysteries!

  24. I agree that this last season is not answering the questions as satisfingly as I had hoped. It almost feels like this LOST season is it's own show! Felt like the beginning of something more than the end. I do still love it and plan to watch the finale-tho I know there is no way to finish it properly! I think it will leave many questions unanswered. All through this first half it seems all they've done is add more mysteries!

  25. I like the Twin Peaks reference. It’s very appropo.  TP was so super cool and interesting until the last few episodes, then the circle could not hold.  
    I never got into lost, but i imagine it’s the same deal. 
    As far as Lucas goes, he definitely gave up character and story in his blindness of eye candy.  The prequels rarely get watched in my home. 
    It is the same with the Matrix movies – all eye candy, zero substance.  They also have little replay value. 

  26. I like the Twin Peaks reference. It's very appropo.  TP was so super cool and interesting until the last few episodes, then the circle could not hold.  

    I never got into lost, but i imagine it's the same deal. 

    As far as Lucas goes, he definitely gave up character and story in his blindness of eye candy.  The prequels rarely get watched in my home. 

    It is the same with the Matrix movies – all eye candy, zero substance.  They also have little replay value. 

  27. Still love Lost. Love the ‘prequels’, the lateral story lines. It is actully coming together now. I can hardly wait for the finale. It’s called entertainment, not a college course. You need to let go and ride it

  28. Still love Lost. Love the 'prequels', the lateral story lines. It is actully coming together now. I can hardly wait for the finale. It's called entertainment, not a college course. You need to let go and ride it

  29. While I’ve been disappointed by the reveals this season, I’m still watching to the end. To a degree I think writers of shows like Lost and Heroes are in a tough spot. As fans we want a compelling, mystery-laden story arc with cliff-hanging suspense every episode that never drags and a satisfying, neat answer at the end. But the writers have no idea if they’re writing for one season or five seasons because the network could either cancel it or ask for another season. How do you write a good story arc in that environment?

  30. While I've been disappointed by the reveals this season, I'm still watching to the end. To a degree I think writers of shows like Lost and Heroes are in a tough spot. As fans we want a compelling, mystery-laden story arc with cliff-hanging suspense every episode that never drags and a satisfying, neat answer at the end. But the writers have no idea if they're writing for one season or five seasons because the network could either cancel it or ask for another season. How do you write a good story arc in that environment?

  31. Yeah, I think I agree. My biggest gripe is Jack’s son. WTF? Where has he been the last 5 seasons? I wonder if the writers ever intended to explain things. It seems like they are just trying to pull things together and it doesnt really make a whole lot of sense. And I agree with you about the character development. I am still bitter over Charlie, though :D

    Oh, and I’ll be up all night watching it.

  32. Yeah, I think I agree. My biggest gripe is Jack's son. WTF? Where has he been the last 5 seasons? I wonder if the writers ever intended to explain things. It seems like they are just trying to pull things together and it doesnt really make a whole lot of sense. And I agree with you about the character development. I am still bitter over Charlie, though :D

    Oh, and I'll be up all night watching it.

  33. I completely disagree with your article.
    The characters in Lost haven’t been re-invented, they’ve just been developed.
    I, personally have loved how the characters have grown, especially ones like Sawyer, Sun & Jin, Ben Linus. Don’t forget, the Locke we are seeing now isn’t really Locke.
    The flash-sideways have given us a look at how things would have happened if they never went to the island and is yet more character development that shows another side to their personalities.

    I think they will pull off as great an ending as they can and wait in anticipation for the final chapter to download :)

    @Raine: Jack’s son only ever existed in the flash-sideways and his mother is going to be a huge reveal in the final episode when they all meet up at the benefit gig. I’m guessing it will be Juliet.

    P.S. The Star Wars prequels were great kids films.

  34. I completely disagree with your article.

    The characters in Lost haven't been re-invented, they've just been developed.

    I, personally have loved how the characters have grown, especially ones like Sawyer, Sun & Jin, Ben Linus. Don't forget, the Locke we are seeing now isn't really Locke.

    The flash-sideways have given us a look at how things would have happened if they never went to the island and is yet more character development that shows another side to their personalities.

    I think they will pull off as great an ending as they can and wait in anticipation for the final chapter to download :)

    @Raine: Jack's son only ever existed in the flash-sideways and his mother is going to be a huge reveal in the final episode when they all meet up at the benefit gig. I'm guessing it will be Juliet.

    P.S. The Star Wars prequels were great kids films.

  35. Before you give up on Lost, trying watching it like a movie. 2 or 3 episodes in a row, from a disc, without commercials. I stopped watching Lost live because the commercials, plus the week wait for the next episode killed it for me. I went back and revisited it, and powered through a few episodes at a time without commercials and it was WAY more cohesive, and more enjoyable to digest in general.

  36. Before you give up on Lost, trying watching it like a movie. 2 or 3 episodes in a row, from a disc, without commercials. I stopped watching Lost live because the commercials, plus the week wait for the next episode killed it for me. I went back and revisited it, and powered through a few episodes at a time without commercials and it was WAY more cohesive, and more enjoyable to digest in general.

  37. It’s not just Lost and other tv series for me. All my life I’ve stopped watching shows (especially skipping the end of series) because I liked the story I was writing in my head better. I also do it with books, when the author starts down the wrong line and abandons my favorite characters for plot concerns I often close the book and let my mind fill in the story the way I want.

  38. It's not just Lost and other tv series for me. All my life I've stopped watching shows (especially skipping the end of series) because I liked the story I was writing in my head better. I also do it with books, when the author starts down the wrong line and abandons my favorite characters for plot concerns I often close the book and let my mind fill in the story the way I want.

  39. You, sir, nailed it. That’s EXACTLY how I felt a few seasons in, and now that it’s over? One big disappointment.

  40. You, sir, nailed it. That's EXACTLY how I felt a few seasons in, and now that it's over? One big disappointment.