Rants, Reviews, Musings, and otherwise unconstructive critisisms of what you like and why I'm always right.

Why LOST Sucks: As Told By Non-Watchers

I was reading an article about the television show LOST today and scrolled down to the comments, expecting ignorant, baseless opinions about how the show is terrible from people who don’t follow the show. These people never let me down. Enjoy!

“No TV show is worth the amount of effort some fans put into them.”

“I wish somebody could just explain lost to me in the form of a 140 character Tweet.”

“First season confused me, so i gave up.”

“did you know the writers of Lost used to make it up episode by episode and had no idea of where they were going with it? I stopped watching after season 1.”

“It quickly became obvious they were using random plot devices to hook viewers and string them along for absolutely no other reason than to string you along because it makes them money. They weren’t even interested in telling proper stories.”

“Convoluted for the sake of being convoluted. Complex for the sake of being complex. Plots and sub-plots simply because they can. It was and still is a complete mess and their methodology is just a series of nonsensical, known television plot devices to keep you watching for the sake of it. None of it was engaging, but the device works on a lot of people into making them think they are creating “interesting” plots and stories when the reality was/is, the actors and actresses are carrying the whole show. The show itself is piss poor.”

“Is it over???…the show is stupid in my opinion, had potential and then a polar bear and mysterious black smoke that could kill people showed up…i had a better time watching re runs of Entourage. ”

“No offense, but Lost fans remind me of babies clutching at a jiggling set of keys always held just out of reach.”

“I quit watching at the polar bear.”

“Lost, X-files, and Battlestar Galactica use the same technique. Never really explain anything. Just introduce a new mystery every episode that makes your forget about the previous mystery. You also need a fanbase that will masturbate logic to connect a bunch of threads that the writers really never conceived.”

“I keep worrying about what will happen when all of the mellowdramatic violinists are out of work when Lost is over. They have those damn violins in Every. Flippin. Scene. No nuance, no subtlety, just hit the audience over the head with ‘ooh, isn’t this shocking/scary/revealing/mysterious, cue the music.’ ”

“The show itself isn’t interested in telling a story, which is why I don’t watch it anymore.”

“I have never watched a show that felt more like a random encounter table from D&D brought to life and taking the “Random Encounter” thing a little too far. ”

“Six+ seasons to tell one interconnected story is just overkill.”

“The characters are extremely one dimensional, each being their own worst enemy with over stereotypical personal conflicts. finally, the relationships between characters are, at best, weak. the show incorporates the standard love-triangle scenario despite characters having little to no commonalities.”

“There seems to be no ‘law of reality’ that holds throughout the whole show – logic that is used to explain one event is often conflicted by the logic to explain another.”

“I started watching the Lost DVD’s last year and stopped somewhere in Season 2. I simply realized that it was going to be a long-term commitment to get any answers. Since we are a few episodes from the finale and many of my friends still don’t know what’s going on, I feel confident in my decision to stop watching. Maybe once the show ends, and I find out the ending, I can go back and casually watch it. That is, if they give any answers at the end.”

This is what you idiots sound like when you complain about LOST.

Let’s go over a few basic rules of TV, the most important of which is summed up by this comment.

“I simply don’t like Lost because I watch shows casually. I like watching an episode and being able to not watch another one for a few weeks.”

Most people watch TV because they are bored. They don’t want to follow complex stories or be forced to tune in every week, they just watch the shows they like because said shows go down easy, don’t require a lot of critical thought, and make sense in 42 minutes. They want to be able to tune into a random episode and not be left in the dark. There’s nothing wrong with this. This is why shows such as the various CSI and Law and Order’s succeed. Ever notice that whenNCIS became less of an ongoing story and more of a case-of-the-week series it suddenly got super popular? Ever notice how during weeks when CBS airs reruns the ratings barely go down?

Again, there’s nothing wrong with this. Except when you hold an obviously unique, high concept show and hold it to these standards! We get it, you’re too stupid to understand LOST. It’s the same reason shows such as Firefly, Dollhouse, Jericho, and others have gotten cancelled. It’s the same reason Flash Forward and V struggle to maintain their ratings. Most of the population doesn’t have the patience for these shows because they aren’t watching to gain mental stimulation. They don’t want to figure out puzzles and mysteries that are stretched over many episodes or seasons. They don’t want to experience character arcs that can last an entire series. They especially don’t want to have to pay attention to seemingly minute details or remember what happened last year to gain the reward of unraveling a complex narrative. It’s Transformers 2 syndrome. This is a movie which is more enjoyable the less thought goes into it, to the tune of $300+ million.

Those of us that DO enjoy shows like LOST watch because we enjoy all of the above. Most shows that subscribe to the idea that television can be a viable long-term storytelling medium do not succeed. Sometimes it’s because the show simply isn’t as strong in the various areas that any film based material is. Maybe the scriptwriting isn’t as strong, or the acting, or the production. Maybe it gets saddled with a poor time slot or channel that doesn’t give it a chance with enough viewers. Whatever the case, it’s tough to get noticed, even tougher to keep up a level of quality that keeps the audience engaged for the long haul. LOST, clearly, is one of the exceptions. I would put Battlestar Galactica on this list as well, as a show with complex narratives that managed to survive and continue at a high level of excellence. There are others as well, obviously, but you get my point. Even a LOST hater has to admit that the show has succeeded in all of its goals. It lasted a long time, the creators ended it when they wanted to without being cancelled, and it maintained *most* of its audience’s respect.

Do people who don’t watch/understand LOST just not like the fact that they seem to be outside of a following? Is this just some high school type “I’m not included so I will show hate towards it” cliché? Whatever the case, there are a few types of people I encounter over and over when it comes to receiving negative feedback about LOST.

1. The viewer who watched a random episode or two somewhere along the line and decided it didn’t make sense. These people are the worst for me. Would you turn on the middle of a film like Memento and then claim to have given it a fair shake? Is it fair to judge any story if you came in during the middle? It seems obvious to point this out, but I’m sorry, if you’re the kind of person that starts any show or film in the middle of the story, and then claims to have a legitimate opinion, you’re an idiot. Or, as you people would probably say, “your an idiot.” Can’t be bothered to learn proper grammar either, can you people?

2. “I watched the first season, then it got stupid.” This is my favorite and most common person. It’s tough to argue a subjective opinion like this, but I doubt very seriously that in these cases the show actually got “stupid,” and believe very much one of the following is true.

-this person missed an episode or more and couldn’t keep up
-this person didn’t realize that the show would be about more than just people stuck on an island, and they didn’t sign up for a show with, you know, interesting and unique storylines.
-this person is too fucking stupid to understand Lost.

It’s usually the latter, or a combo of all of them, but you get my point.

The worst thing for me personally is how many people I meet that have heard these negative things about LOST and have avoided watching it based on this reputation. Many of these people would enjoy LOST very much. A lot of them would probably end up liking it TOO much. But unless someone like me comes around to put the doubters in their place, I feel they are missing out on easily one of the greatest experiences of all time on any medium.  Lost succeeds not only from a unique storytelling perspective, it excels in all areas in which we judge good film. The acting, directing, cinematography, music and pacing are all outstanding. If you’ve never seen LOST, especially on blu ray (or at least in HD), you might not realize that this is probably the best looking show ever made. It rivals most big budget blockbuster films. Couple that with the genuinely intricate plot lines and story arcs and it becomes amazing it’s not easier for the haters to see why so many people are borderline obsessive about the show.

Look, I understand that LOST isn’t for everyone. I understand (let’s be honest, I take pride in being a cocky son of a bitch about this) that I have the ability to enjoy both simple fare and shows like this, what I would consider to be higher minded entertainment. I don’t ask that every person watch this show. It’s just television, after all! But, don’t try to take away our enjoyment of it or act like WE are the ones who are “falling for a scam.” The end result is we are entertained in a way that goes beyond what we actually see on-screen in that it promotes critical thought and in-depth discussion beyond the show. LOST has even inspired countless viewers to read literary works that it has referenced over the years. It has touched on ideas and themes that we ordinarily would only get from Oscar-winning dramas or cutting edge Science Fiction.

In the end, it really does come down to one thing. Most people are too stupid to appreciate LOST. If you are one of those people, deal with it. It’s not too confusing, it’s not pointless, and it’s undeniable how top notch all the film making aspects of the show are. We will be lucky if we ever again see a show of such a high caliber that is half as ambitious in ideas, themes and scope. This is probably the only show I’ve ever followed where there is zero, 0%, nada doubt in my mind that the series, which wraps up in a few weeks, will deliver a satisfying and incredible finale. If it somehow doesn’t, I’ll be the first one here to tell you that you were all right.

But you’re not.  I’m always right, remember?

(The average LOST hater forgets that I’m always right)

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EDIT:

This is the kind of thing I’m talking about. People making opinions even though they admit they watched 2 whole episodes: The pilot, and the finale of season 5. You don’t think you might have missed some important tidbits in ALMOST 100 EPISODES OF THE MOST COMPLEX SHOW ON TV that might have made you connect with it a bit more? Seriously?

http://austln.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/youre-not-going-to-be-having-any-other-conversations-other-than-lost-for-a-long-time/

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2 responses

  1. Woffles

    I’m pretty sure most of the people that commented on Lost mixed it up with Heroes, which is a complete shit-show. That or those people just have severe ADD.

    May 4, 2010 at 1:04 pm

  2. LOL @ Heroes.

    Lost rip off + running out of ideas by season 2.

    Yeah, you’re spot on, most of those critisisms COULD be applied to Heroes.

    May 4, 2010 at 1:11 pm

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