Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Paying Too Much Attention: Lost and Me (Me and Lost)

* I've already done a few entries of Paying Too Much Attention over on the Alter Ego Comic Cast Facebook page, located here. They're located under the "Notes" section, if you're interested. *

Making a list of the "greatest" anything is a fool's task. The world has just gotten over an onslaught of these with the new year's arrival, but it's not necessarily contained within that period of time. After witnessing the creation of so many lists recently I came to a conclusion: humans love to make lists. You know who loves making lists the most? Nerds.

We'll list our favorite anything, our least favorite anything, list after list of what turns us on or off, and no matter how successful one list seems there is always another in the works.

I only bring it up because the premiere of "Lost" finally happened, and I want, so desperately want, to call it the greatest maxi-series of all time, but I know the kind of weight held by those words, and don't sling them around lightly.

- • -

When "Lost" premiered I was a very different person. Not drastically, I guess - for instance, I still cared about all of the things I do now - so my experience with the show wasn't what it is now. I can actually remember lying on my bed, flipping channels and accidentally witnessing the plane crash from the pilot episode. The sound was perfect, the visuals were exciting, the acting was sharp, and I felt as if I were there, on the beach with these poor souls.

I changed the channel. There was no mental mechanism controlling my hand, it just happened. My only description for why this happened is on that particular night I had no desire to see or read or do anything that required brain functions.

Later, the DVD had been released, and I'm not even sure what made it appear on my radar. As far as I can remember now, the series wasn't registering for me at all, and if anything I started to care - or at least think about caring - because a friend started talking about how great it was. I borrowed his DVD, and asked how long it would take before I was hooked.

"Dude...first episode," he said.

Five years, five DVD sets, hours of conjecture, guesswork, theorizing, and just plain nerding out, the show is coming to an end. The first episode of the sixth season proves to me that this whole "Lost" experience is having a huge effect on me, far more than any TV show ever has in the past, and possibly - just maybe - more than one will in the future.

It's a unique experience, because aside from being completely entertained by the show, it's also giving me a good sense of storytelling, the pieces fitting together wonderfully. A large number of writers - and every other role inside the movie/TV business - are working together so seamlessly, operating at such a level of success that is normally not seen.

I've been able to separate my enjoyment of the show into two categories, almost dividing my mind up, allowing it to exist on separate planes. Even after the last episode is aired, and secrets revealed or explained, I will return to this show and watch it again and again. It's good Sci-Fi, drama, comedy, action; it has, and will continue to teach me how to be a good viewer (a skill easily transferrable to other mediums: reader, listener, etc.), and it will help me understand the makings of a good story.

Maybe one day I'll do a Paying Too Much Attention that actually discusses the show and its plots, but right now I'm much more content with what the show is doing to me.

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