Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Is being Lost still fun?

J-Pod could not disagree more:

Trust me. Lost can't "unjump the shark." It's over, and viewers have figured it out, which is why it's lost 40 percent of its audience over the course of this year. The show's central gimmick has been to lay out a mystery, leave it unresolved, then go on to layer a new one on top of an old one. There are, I think, at least 20 pieces of plot that have been left out there to rot. For you fans, they include: What happened to Michael and Walt? How did Eko's plane from Africa end up on the island? Why did the Smoke Monster kill Eko? And on and on and on. You just can't do this to an audience. It's a giant con game, and eventually the people you're trying to con get wise and turn on you with savage anger.

I must disagree. Yes, we have been floating along that river of discontent since the middle of last year as well. Something has changed though.

What was so exceptional about this episode was a very simple, basic thing: it was fun! And because it was fun, it was entertaining in spite of the Twilight Zone-ish knock-off plot.

Last week was likewise fun. Is it plausible that Hurley could out-con Sawyer? Of course, but it was entertaining watching him do it anyway.

All this consternation was a result of this post earlier in the A.M. that pointed to this discussion of tonight's episode:

What’s good?

* The great Elizabeth Mitchell.
* The great Nestor “Batmanuel” Carbonell.
* The many exciting reveals.
* “Well, we’ll do our best.”
* “I think your research is really gonna have a major impact on us.”
* “Why were you fine with those things?”
* Benjamin Linus, who appears on the dock from nowhere.
* James Ford, finally behaving like a human being.
* Hurley’s sit-down with Juliet generally and “We buried him over there” in particular.
* “She’ll be dead before then.”
* “Because I did it to her.”
* The scene in Ben’s kitchen.
* The return of the 815.
* The return of Mikhail.
* “Do you trust me?”
* “I know why you want me to go there.”
* “Downtown.”
* Much more.

I guess what it's boiling down to for me is that for the first time since Season 1, I'm finding myself wanting to watch again. Even if it's simple, implausible entertainment-television. That's not so bad.

If it can't be ground-breaking, meaningful TV, I'll settle for fun.

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