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The past, present, and future lives of surviving Oceanic Flight 815 passengers are dramatically intertwined as a fight for survival ensues in a quest for answers after crashlanding on a mysterious island. Each discovery prompts yet more secrets, as the hastily-formed colony search for a way off the island, or is this their home?
As is usually the case with television shows, I'm about a decade late to the Lost game. This is a show that I actually meant to keep up with when it debuted back in the day, but I've found that I just can't devote myself to a weekly series; besides, I hate the cliff-hangers, and that alone would have turned me off to this particular series about three episodes in. By the time that it rolled around to DVD, I had sort of lost interest in it due to the hype and also due to the fact that I knew that if the show was as good as everyone claimed it to be, I'd find myself anxiously awaiting the second season on DVD just days after picking up the first season's release. So, moving ahead to the here and now, I recently discovered that the first four seasons of the show have found a home on Netflix's "Watch Now" service, and I decided to check out an episode or two to see what the fuss was all about. Like so many others, I found myself instantly hooked.
Review by Chad
Added: August 13, 2009
The show wastes no time in getting down to business, as the first shot that we see is the immediate aftermath of a plane crash on a remote island and the survivors who are trying to get themselves to safety. As the days pass, the survivors will find themselves tackling new challenges: finding food, water, medical supplies, and perhaps most importantly, safety from the dangers of this island. You see, this is no ordinary island: there are wild boars roaming about, polar bears, and something much, much bigger that can down a full-grown man in one bite. So, the wildlife is a little intimidating, but that can be dealt with to some extent: that much is true, but there's also that bizarre radio transmission that has been going for sixteen years, a transmission that claims that "it killed everyone"... oh, and it's also a transmission that is coming from somewhere on this island. If you think that all of this is odd, just wait until you get more than a couple of episodes into this season.
There are a little over forty survivors roaming the island, but the main roster for the season goes a little something like this:
Jack Shephard (Matthew Fox): a former doctor who also makes a damned fine leader.
Kate Austen (Evangeline Lilly): a no-bullshit woman who can take care of herself and who also has a shady past.
Sayid Jarrah (Naveen Andrews): an Iraqi soldier who specializes in communications.
James 'Sawyer' Ford (Josh Holloway): a cold-hearted scavenger who values his possessions above all else.
John Locke (Terry O'Quinn): a survivalist who is rather good at hunting and who also experienced a miracle during the crash.
Charlie Pace (Dominic Monaghan): the guitarist for a rock band who is also going through heroin withdrawal.
Claire Littleton (Emilie de Ravin): a pregnant woman who was on her way to give the baby up for adoption.
Hugo 'Hurley' Reyes (Jorge Garcia): the token comedic relief fat guy.
Shannon Rutherford (Maggie Grace) and Boone Carlyle (Ian Somerhalder): a bickering, spoiled brother and sister pair.
Michael Dawson (Harold Perrineau) and Walt Lloyd (Malcolm David Kelley): a father and son duo with a rocky relationship.
Jin Kwon (Daniel Dae Kim) and Sun Kwon (Yunjin Kim): a Korean couple who, unfortunately, do not speak English.
Later on in the season, one of the characters decides to plant a garden so that their food supply won't run out. In hindsight, I see this scene as the best representation of the season as a whole. Each episode presents us with new storyline seeds that are planted to be harvested later on, and as these fresh seeds are taking root, the other ones are just starting to sprout. Then, just when you look at the garden as a whole and think that everything is finally coming together, that second crop starts to rise to the surface and everything changes. You could say much the same about most shows on television these days, but few present us with so many "seeds" and fewer still deliver such a wonderful harvest.
Now, this does present us with a bit of a problem, and this is really one of my only complaints about the show thus far. You see, we're constantly being bombarded with these "seeds", but some of them fail to ever play out; something bizarre will happen or something strange will be said, but the event will quickly be forgotten about with no explanation given. I'm not talking about the handful of cliffhangers found at the end of the season, either - I know they had to keep us interested for when season two came out, but there are things that happened in the first few episodes that still have not been explained. Mind you, this is the only season that I have watched as of this writing so explanations may be coming later on, but there shouldn't have been so many loose ends by the time this season wrapped up.
I guess this is to be expected; after all, we're trying to keep up with a dozen main characters, a handful of other characters who pop into the picture from time to time, and of course, the various secrets of the island that bubble to the top every now and then. We're also being treated to backstory for each of the main characters that shows us who they were and what they did before they came to be stranded on this island, so to expect every last detail to be wrapped up with ribbons and a pretty bow may be absurd. This did bug me in spots, but it didn't bug me enough to spoil my enjoyment of each and every last one of the episodes.
Furthering my enjoyment was the characters themselves. I'm going to be blunt here: these characters make the show. This show could have easily flopped with a different group of people on the island, but we wind up with a diverse group of characters who aren't the simple shades of black and white that most shows are content to deliver. This guy may seem like one of the heroes... but he may have a dark side. That guy may seem like the biggest asshole on the island... but he may have his reasons. The depth found in these characters was amazing, and if you were to present this show to a dozen audience members, you could easily find that each viewer had a different favorite.
This can largely be attributed to the strong writing, but make no mistake about it: the cast members playing these characters certainly didn't slouch, and they were the ones who made the characters work. I could easily point to a few scenes and say "Yeah, the acting there wasn't perfect", but there are literally no main actors that I could single out as being anything less than amazing when you look at their performances throughout the season as a whole. This may not sound that impressive in most shows where there are only three or four "main" characters, but again, this show has over a dozen: finding that many people who can consistently bring their best was no small feat.
If you couldn't already tell, I've become a bit of a Lost junkie. I know that there are those of you who may snub your nose at the series due to its enormous popularity (I can't say that I'm completely innocent of that), but there's a damned good reason why it's so popular. It's an all-around amazing show filled with great characters and intriguing twists, and personally, I can't wait to get started on season two. 9.5/10.
- added 08/13/2009, 11:03 AM
When this first broke and was "the
thing" I had no interest in watching it. I
popped season 1 in with the intentions of watching
one episode while I ate. An entire season later, I
got off the couch. Very few shows have sucked me
in quite as fast as this one. Is it the greatest
show ever? Not at all. Is it addicting? You'd
better believe it. Just like Chad, I can't wait to
start the second season.
- added 08/16/2009, 11:32 PM
I love this show, it's so great. It was
recommended to me by some friends so I started
watching season 1 in January, couple weeks before
the 5th season was airing on TV. I was completely
hooked, finished the first 4 seasons in time to
catch the new premiere. Of course I won't spoil
anything for you guys, since that's the beauty of
this show. Things slowly unfold and I'm sure the
final season next year will be completely epic.
"Don't ever tell me what I
John Locke is
Norman S. Wolfe
- added 08/28/2009, 05:22 PM
So many plot holes...dos it even have a plot? If
I had no life, no wife, no kids, I would radder go
for "Who's Nailin' Paylin?" .
Enough said on this waist of good air
- added 08/28/2009, 05:45 PM
- added 08/29/2009, 04:32 PM
Hate to agree with Norm and rock the boat, but I
couldn't stand this season. Watched it all on Hulu
and must say that I did not find enough going on,
plot-wise, to really drive this show i n a
direction I could care about. I'm pleased that it
spends so much time developing character and just
giving us tidbits of plot, but only so many
episodes in can I take that obnoxious formula.
I've tried sitting through the second
one, but I jsut can't do it. It's not a terribly
4.3/10 for a couple
geuinely interesting chracters... and nothing
- added 08/29/2009, 08:00 PM
I'm only a few episodes in, so I'll reserve final
judgment until I finish. From what I've seen so
far, though, it's an enjoyable show with not a
whole lot going on. It has the whole "Star
Trek: Voyager" problem: if they get off the
island, the show is done; if they never do, the
plot isn't going anywhere.
of my friend said awhile back, "How good Lost
is will depend on the final episode. Only if it
ends well will Lost be remembered
I hope for the best.
- added 09/02/2009, 10:28 PM
Alright, just finished season 1. The maximum it
gets is an 8/10 but it could very well be down to
a 7/10. It's a great show, but it spends so much
time in flashbacks that I feel the present gets
cheated. Flashbacks always seem like a poor
storytelling device to me. They definitely have
their use (and on occasion are amazing), but I get
the feeling that the characters aren't growing
before me when they're in the past. The past is
already done, but the present is where they can
rise to heroism or find depravity and truely
become a monster.
It's much harder
to have surprises when you've already shown the
relative future. Either the viewer can guess the
ultimate outcome from the snippet you've shown or
the viewer was given a misleading view just to
screw with them.
8/10 if I'm generous
- added 09/30/2009, 01:47 PM
Besides the constant flashbacks that eventually
got annoying and boring, and a somewhat
predictable finale, I really enjoyed this.