Friday, 23 July 2010

Of Lost Season 6

I've been sat on this post for months. I've gone through my head about how I'm going to put my feelings about Lost Season 6 down. Was it Lost's best season? No, that stands as either Season 1 or 4. Was it good? Of course, great even. I even stand by the finale as being on the best episodes the show has produced. Sure so many questions are left open but I found myself completely un-caring. The character and emotional story overrode all annoyance over the mystery. I still find myself not caring why Walt's powers were never explained. Why Libby was important and so many small inconsequential things. The End will make my favourite episodes of television this year, as may Ab Aeterno and a few others. But the reason why I can't put my thoughts down is because Lost is over. I've spent 5 years (not 6 due to differences in the UK and US) following and adoring the work of Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse and now I don't know if I'm quite ready to let go.

Lost is probably the most important piece of fictional work that I'll ever experience. Before Lost I was a gamer but then Lost opened me to so much more. I'd have never gotten into movies, comic books, books, music and most important of all television had it not been for television show. I read Watchmen because of Lost. I read The Stand because of Lost. I listened to some of my favourite albums ever because of Lost. I watched Veronica Mars and the Wire because of Lost. Not all of the direct links but the world online which Lost opened me up to was so vast that I've coasted along watching and experiencing so much. Actors works, blogs critiquing Lost, music inspired by Lost. Lost was a gateway drug to what has become my entire life.

To me Lost is by far the most important piece of popular culture ever conceived. To me.

Lost isn't perfect. There are too many narrative dead ends (the Temple), characters been underused (Frank), characters having no reason for existence (Nikki and Paulo (no matter how good Expose was), Bai Ling) and ultimately the flash sideways universe probably not playing as well on second viewing (particularly those before Desmond makes his triumphant return). But that's ignoring what Lost did so well. So many perfectly crafted characters from Locke, Ben, Desmond, Richard, Daniel, Mr. Eko, Sawyer, Juliet, Hurley and Jack. It gave us 'Not Penny's Boat', Flashfowards, flashbacks, new otherton, Sayid being generally awesome, Sawyer's nicknames, the smokemonster, Jacob, hatches and buttons and mind blowing plot twists. Also it gave us The Constant. Never has there been a more perfectly crafted episode of television (apart from maybe Lost's very own Through The Looking Glass).

So far this hasn't been much about Lost season 6, but the show overall. I apologise but now it's over I can't talk about this single season on it's own. Lost is longform narrative pure and simple, each season benefits from the preceding season. Sadly the nature of television means that it's impossible for Lost to be perfect, actors aren't available, budget, strikes etc. But the achievement of Lost is that despite all of these problems it was still insanely watchable, addictive, well crafted, well written, well acted. Lost is an anomaly in television. It's success will never be repeated and what it did should never be tried again. It needs to stay as it is. Would I like if Lost could have been made exactly as Damon and Carlton had envisioned? No constraints? Of course, but sometimes it was the idiosyncratic that made Lost so enjoyable.

Lost has it's place in my heart as being the piece of work that has defined my teenage years. That's a place that can never be taken by anything. I can't wait for this final epilogue on the DVD. I can't wait to see what the actors go onto do. I especially can't wait to see what Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse do. I'll be following Jack Bender and Michael Giacchino. I cannot overstate how much I love and adore this show. Maybe I'm a fanboy but Lost in many ways was my first love. The emotions its made me feel. Pure joy, sadness, excitement, tension.

But Season 6 then? It isn't perfect. The flashsideways would have benefited from Desmond coming in earlier on, the temple whilst necessary due to fan anticipation amounted to little more than a detour, the lack of answers to some questions will of course be frustrating. And the flashsideways probably won't play out as well on second viewing. But who gives a fuck?

Season 6 was all about the memories. Getting all our favourites back (particularly the spectacular and heartbreaking finale), giving a satisfying conclusion to the island story. It was a season where Jack finally became the true hero (and to a lesser extent chose Kate). The smoke monster became a main character. We found out who Richard was. Claire and her squirrel baby. Lapidus and his shirt. The Black Rock blew up. Ben finally got his revenge of Charles Widmore. Sawyer mourned the death of his true love. Desmond actually got his happy ending. Hurley proved how irreplaceably awesome he was. Jin, Sun and Sayid died within 10 mintues of each other. And so much more.

Then there was the finale. That perfect finale Everyone came back (minus a few notables) and we got the heart felt goodbye. One of the series most important lines was subverted, changing from 'Live Toghether, Die Alone' to 'Live Together, Die Together'. The finale was an encompassing of everything that made the show great, the characters. Everyone got their moment to say goodbye, and I was reduced to tears multiple times (Claire giving birth, Sun/Jin realising, Sawyer and Juliet, Jack's death). Even the controversial ending was perfect in tone. Then there was the mirroring of the series first ever scene as Jack lay dying in the bamboo he woke up in six years ago. Those final seconds were a perfect farewell to the show I loved for my teen years. I don't think anything will top the feeling I had being sat in my living room at 8 in the morning watch Lost end in such a cathartic way.

Lost was an irreplaceable force in my life. Whilst Lost Season 6 'only' gets a 9/10 the show overall merits a complete 10/10 for sheer personal and emotional resonance. Nothing I view will hold me, engage me in the same way. But at least I was able to experience it as happening and I'm deeply jealous of those who will be embarking on the Lost journey in the future because they might experience one of the greatest achievements in entertainment history with fresh eyes.

'See you in another life Brother' - Desmond Hume

1 comment:

IaSg14 said...

So you didn't like it then.