Sunday, 31 January 2010

Lost Coutndown: The 7 Great Narrative Mistakes

Lost can be good, but it can also crash into a brick wall. And for the relationship I have with this show, it seems a little dishonest to do five posts about how awesome it is. So here's one antagonistic post for the road. A lot goes on in Lost, usually simultaneously, so often little mishaps and even the bigger ones don't get too much attention. But they are there, believe me. Here are the worst of them.

7) Wow Libby was in the mental institution with Hurley? That's crazy. I can't wait to find...Never mind.Now Libby did seem pretty extraneous on her introduction, the third tailie that nobody wanted. But then they worked hard at making her a stronger character, gave her a relatively sweet relationship with Hurley and that hit us with the epic twist that she was his buddy in the mental institution. Finally getting us interested. Then they killed her. Fine, well done guys, I wasn't expecting it. Urah for you. But I wasn't expecting it because its straight up bad storytelling, and left a pretty major plothole utterly unaddressable. An example of why people got frustrated with this show.

6) Wow Walt has powers? And he got taken by the others. That's crazy. I can't wait to find...Never mind
Yes I suppose this one isn't entirely their fault, given a small boy's unfortunate habit of growing up and as hilarious as it would have been to see a six foot tall Walt still pretend to be 12, it may not have been practical. But I submit this to you, Lost Writers. You must have known this from the start, yet you asked a question you had no intention of answering. Which is a classic example of the writerly douchiness this show is occasionally capable of.

5) Meet the Tailies. Now watch them die!
An expansion of the Libby issue, but on a grander scale. So basically we spent a season with these new characters, doing all the necessary spadework, slowly and steadily integrating them with our core characters, giving them backstory and benching existing characters to do it. Which would have been fine if they were long term introduction that you had any intention of doing something with. But no, they were all dead by the fifth episode of season three, barely a year after they were introduced. So all that digging in was for exactly jack shit. Well except for Bernard I suppose.

4) Ben 4 Juliet
This is an interesting one too, because this is not necessarily bad in its conception. And seeing Ben's twisted view of romance may have been interesting. But basically after they came out and said that Ben had schemed to keep her here for years and was in creepy love with her. They essentially benched it. Never to be heard of again. To this day. Maybe they'll get back to it in the final season, but the complete ignoring of the long-running love of a very important character to the show seems a little careless. Its almost like they were skeeved out by their own storyline.

3) Michael's back for season 4! To be shamelessly shafted!
Michael's exit was big deal. He went out with a body count, and was the first regular character to leave the island. His eventual return was going to be a big thing. So when we found out he was coming back for season 4, it was like whoa shit. But as far I can tell, they basically brought him back to kill him. They had no other interest really. He appeared in only four episodes, counting the finale as one, two of which he had only one scene in. He was too big a character to gave this crass treatment to. Lazy stuff.

2) I know what this show needs. Two randomers who can't act.
Nikki and Paulo. People sure did hate them. I hated them. But I don't buy the writers excuse to why it failed. They were like it didn't work because people didn't accept that they had the right to be a part of our well established group, very subtly blaming us for their mistake. Well yeah. But also because you did it flat out badly. The other survivors could have provided us with a character we liked and had a vested interest in, but your two choices were basically talentless eye candy. It was appalling writing, where the flaw was not with the idea but the execution.

1) Thinking that Jack, Kate and Sawyer a.k.a the triangle, is the most fascinating aspect of the show. Well Show-runners, you got yours.
The beginning of season three was the darkest time for Lost, critically speaking. There was a huge backlash and Heroes was the hip new kid on the scene. It failed not because of what happened necessarily, but because of what didn't happen. There was next to no Locke, Eko, Desmond, Charlie, Sayid or Sun and Jin. And Lost is a show where everyone has a different favorite character or aspect. So yes some people liked the triangle, but some people didn't, a lot of people didn't and the fact that so many of our favorite characters were no shows was a betrayal of what this show is about basically. The six episode mini-season was the biggest written failure Lost ever gave us, not because of badness per say, but because it sidelined what makes the show great and accentuated the parts we tolerate. I didn't go where it should have gone and that got right in our frustrated little faces.

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