More like LESSONS from LOST. Okay, so I'm like way behind the times here. When the TV show Lost premiered I'd just had a baby and knew I wouldn't have time or energy to invest in this show. You know what I mean? Having to set aside that time to watch, forced to ignore other things so my burning questions from last week's cliffhanger could be satisfied each week at that exact hour. Not to mention the long grueling summers of repeats while waiting for a new season.
Can you tell I'm not really a fan of TV? I hate how shows get dragged out, and Lost was no different. BUT ... Hubby and I just finished Season 1 on DVD and it was so wonderful not having to wait for commercials. We've got the entire set just waiting to be watched.
And, we. are. hooked. Here's why:
First off, the setting. I don't care what anyone says ... To me, if a story has great characters, but just an okay setting, it's weak. But if it has both, great characters and a fantastic setting, I'm ga-ga for it. I've got a whole post on setting when we get to S.
But take Lost .... Set in gorgeous Hawaii (my fave place in the world). In the story of Lost, they could be anywhere in the South Pacific. (I knew it was filmed on Hawaii by the very first episode. What can I say, I'm Hawaiian at heart.) You could put the same ensemble of characters in New York, or London, or the south of France, and it'd still be interesting since they all have their own story. But put them in a beautiful tropical setting with zero technology or modern conveniences and see how they make do.
Then again, if you throw a bunch of boring characters in the same setting, all you have is the bread without the peanut butter and jelly.
Here are a few of my fave Lost characters, and why they work:
Dr. Jack: Total heartthrob. The committed to excellence do-gooder with soulful eyes and a secret wild side. And he's a brilliant doctor, no less. This is the guy everyone likes and needs. The foundation. The mediator. The leader.
Kate: Femme fatale with a good heart and bad luck. There's a sordid past here, and the fact we only get bits and pieces of it is genius. It makes us want to know more, and we can't hate her. We know she's a good person and admire her toughness. We want her to get a fresh start (especially with Dr. Jack) but oh the possibilities of a love triangle with sleazy Sawyer.
Sawyer: The character we love to hate. The sympathetic bad guy--so creepy he's sexy. He had a rough childhood which lets us understand his demons and why he's so selfish.
Kate understands him too, which makes her the perfect soulmate for Sawyer. But we like Kate and we want more for her. We want her to have a good guy who'll treat her right, like Dr. Jack. But oh, the sexual tension between Sawyer and Kate is practically boiling. And part of us wants them to be together too.
John Locke: My favorite. The troubled, disabled orphan who was just some average middle class manager of a box company, with a boss who was younger than him. Now, a skillful and wise man the entire group relies on, even though they don't realize it. Everyone looks to Jack as the leader, but really and truly, it's this guy who keeps them in check, on the side, behind the scenes. John doesn't want to be the leader--he wants it to be Jack too. But he plants his seeds in the background so Jack can keep things in control. It's like John's finally found his calling, his chance to be the man he's always wanted. And for that, we feel a bond with him. We like John because he cares about the others and he's triumphed over his painful past. He's not bitter, he shares his wisdom freely.
That is depth, and that's what makes people bond with a character.
Of course, the other characters are all awesome too. I love how we're getting to know them all, just as they're getting to know each other.
The writers of Lost made us not only care about the characters, but made us unable to stop watching. How?
1. By throwing us right into the inciting incident: the plane crash
2. Not telling us everything up front so we want to know more
3. Showing us snippets of the character's lives, not telling, and choosing which parts of their lives to show when, so that we HAVE to know more.
4. Keeping a momentum. There's always something happening, either on the island or in their past lives. Lots of action and a swift pace.
5. A setting full of mysteries. There is so much we don't know about this island that we're hooked as much by that as by the character's lives.
I can't help breaking it down while I'm watching it. Figuring out how the writers and producers pulled this off. Really, it's like a glorified Gilligan's Island, but it goes way deeper. Sure, a lot of the character's stories are predictable, but we like them enough to want to find out if we're right about our predictions. The idea of them all getting a fresh start together and a chance to step out of civilization and slow down, while trying to survive without modern conveniences is genius. Especially, in this modern day when we rely on technology so much. Here is this group of peeps who can't call anyone on their mobile phones, or google herbal remedies from their laptops, or stow away to play video games all day. How will they make it work? And will they ever get off the island?? Hubby and I think we'd like to stay. We'd be happy there.
And no spoilers!!! I know you've probably all seen the entire running of the show, but remember, I've just finished Season 1, and have a long way to go. We're loving it, though.
What about you? Did you get sucked into Lost? If so, what was your take away from it all? What made you come back to watch it each week? If you didn't like the show, why not?