Saturday, January 12, 2008

Waiting to get Lost

Lost is one of my favorite television dramas and I'm eagerly awaiting its return at 9 p.m. on Jan. 31 on ABC. Eight episodes were filmed before the writers' strike shut down production.

It took me awhile to start watching the series. Despite an overwhelming amount of hype, I resisted throughout the first season. I just figured, what was the point? I watched Gilligan's Island as a kid. I knew how every episode was going to turn out - the plane crash survivors weren't going to get off that island, otherwise the show would end. Where was the suspense?

But a friend had Season 1 on DVD, so I gave it a try. I was immediately hooked by the way the back stories of all the crash survivors slowly unfolded. I liked spotting some of the interconnections between the characters in their former lives, and trying to figure out what all of the island's mysteries meant.

Plus, there definitely a cinematic quality to the way Lost is shot. Visually, it's at times very stunning. I think you could easily take the subtitled flashbacks that tell the story of Jin and Sun, the Korean husband and wife played by Daniel Dae Kim and Yunjin Kim, string them together, and make it into a movie all on its own.

I think Lost has lost its way a little over the subsequent years. While I love mysteries, I'm not too enamored of the supernatural turn the story has taken. Sometimes I wish the plot would just move along. Characters are introduced who don't seem to play a big part in advancing things, and then they're gone. In the beginning, I figured that the creators had the whole series mapped out from start to finish. Then I began to wonder.

I'm sure I'll be writing more about Lost. But since there are still 19 days before Season 4 begins, here are a few interesting links that I found:

Damon Lindelof, the show's co-creator and executive producer, contributes an essay to the Why We Write series at Deadline Hollywood Daily. Here's part of what he has to say: "I write because I can’t help but make things up. I write because I love to tell stories. I write because my imagination compels me to do so."

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Matthew Fox talks about the surprise at the end of Season 3, in which we learned that Fox's Jack and Evangeline Lilly's Kate eventually make it to safety. "It really caught me off guard. I'm not sure I ever thought that people were going to get off the island," he says.

The 33-second trailer for Season 4 is tantalizing: there's a teaser that says "February 2008 - rescue arrives. Or has it?" Michael Emerson's Ben intones ominously, "Every person on this island will be killed." (Well, we know that Jack and Kate weren't killed becuase we saw them off the island in the flash forward at the end of last season.) Here's a slightly longer sneak peek from the season premiere. It clearly sounds like help is about to arrive, as Jack assures Kate that "we're really going home."

Are they? Eventually, yes. But I wouldn't count on it happened right away. I know there are only eight episodes filmed so far, but I hope this season we get some more answers, and not just more questions.

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