Am I the Only Person Left Who Still Likes LOST?

5 May

HUGE SPOILER ALERT

I don’t get it. I really… I really just don’t get it. Is there something wrong with me? I- I don’t think so……. maybe- yeah, that’s it- maybe there’s something wrong with everybody else! Yeah! Yeah- no… no that doesn’t make sense… I- (exasperated sigh)

With only 4.5 hours of LOST left (that’s right! Finale got an extra half hour bitches!), I’m beginning to feel more and more like the last surviving LOST fan in the blogosphere. Even Doc Jensen admitted he didn’t like “The Last Recruit” that much, an episode I thought was a welcome return to form after the previous week’s ghost whispery debacle. I can’t really figure out what all the backlash is about- sure, this season has so far probably been the weakest overall since the third, and it’s had its fair share of ups and downs but it hasn’t jumped the shark! I’m still routinely entertained, intrigued, and occasionally moved. So yeah, maybe it’s lost some of its first season grandeur but that’s not a reason to just do a 180 and turn on it like it’s just been infected with the zombie plague! What gives internet? Why are you teeming with so many haters?

Take this curmudgeon for example, NYMag’s LOST recapper Emily Nussbaum. Week after week she declares herself a “hater.” A hater!! That’d be like asking me to do a retrospective biography on ABBA. It makes no sense!! How does NYMag even have the gall to give this butthead such a sweet gig? Hell, I’ll write their recaps for free, and believe me, they’ll be a hell of a lot better. I was hoping maybe there’d be some backlash against ol’ crankypants Nussbaum in the comments section, but no! There’s only like three people complaining about her haterdom, the rest either praise her for it, or call her unfunny prose “hilarious.” It’s a travesty!! WHAT’S GOING ON?!!! UP IS DOWN BLACK IS WHITE DOGS ARE CATS AAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

Sorry… sorry… it’s just, this is a very emotional subject for me. I love this show. I still do. And what’s happening to it now- I’ve seen it before and it’s the worst. I don’t really have a name for it, but I’ll call it “Over-Hyped-Big-Expectations-Disappointment-Syndrome.” This is a phenomenon that occurs when a legitimately good piece of media is torn to shreds by the blogosphere not because it lacks any quality but because it has become so hyped up and has built such a rabid fanbase that for it to not meet all of their expectations means complete and utter betrayal. The poor souls who are infected with what I will now call OHBEDS are literally incapable of liking the thing they think they should like. It’s not because the show/book/movie is bad in any semblance of the word, but rather that they have developed a psychological construct that literally prevents them from liking it. Miss Nussbaum is a perfect example. Representatives from the Alex Hilhorst Center for OHBEDS Research are already en-route to her home, straight-jacket and lithium pills at the ready. Week after week she will criticize LOST and its writers for anything and everything. If she ever liked the show she no longer can, not because it’s getting bad but because her brain is convinced the show will fail, that somehow, someway, it will let her, and the rest of its audience down. She may even be unwittingly criticizing aspects of the series she liked in the past, because at this point there is nothing the show can do to win her, or anyone else with OHBEDS back.

To me, people like Nussbaum are the worst of the worst when it comes to pop culture blogging. They are the exact opposite of someone who loves the show unconditionally- and no, I am not one of those people. If you’ve been reading these posts over the past few months then you know I’ve had my fair share of complaints about the sixth season. Yes, there are people out there who would probably still be satisfied if Jack turned out to be the reincarnated form of Christ and the Man in Black was an alien. But these people trump OHBEDS because they exude positivity, whereas people like Nussbaum just spread an illogical tide of negativity. For instance, she called the deaths of Jin and Sun a “cheap narrative manipulation meant to punch people in the tear ducts.” I’ve been reading that line over and over all morning, and I think it’s because I just can’t get over how nasty it is. If I was one of the writers on that episode, or the director or the actors or anybody involved with the series and I read that, I probably would break down and cry. To put all that effort and hard work into this creation that I truly love and that I thought others loved, only to find those fans turning on me just for the sake of turning on me- well, that’d be a pretty depressing realization for any artist.

The passing of the Kwons is a monumental LOST event that is sure to divide fans. Personally, I liked it. Both Jin and Sun were becoming third wheels, characters that only had stake in the larger mythos because one of them might have been a Candidate. They didn’t have much left to do, and their deaths were not only tragic in an epic, Shakespearean sense, but acted to show the audience a) just how high the stakes have gotten, and b) just how evil the Man in Black is. Damon and Carlton explained the reasoning behind the deaths in what I thought was a perfectly eloquent response, but in which Miss Nussbaum and many others found “infuriating.” Now here’s the thing: if you’re posting nasty comments or demanding Darlton’s heads on your blog because you were a huge Jin/Sun fan and you’re just bummed that they died in such a fucked up way, that’s perfectly fine. I feel your pain- I too loved Jin and Sun, and I felt my eyes watering ever so slightly as they kissed for the last time. But if you’re like Miss Nussbaum and the OHBEDS virus is slowly whittling away at your grey matter, then you’re under the impression that the deaths are some sort of affront to you as a viewer, that it’s nothing more than a puppet master pulling his emotional strings and laughing at you, the petty audience, for buying into his narrative conceit and actually feeling some emotions. Let me tell you something, Nussy, something that I’m sure will help you to be a better writer: every single thing you see in a TV show or movie is narrative manipulation. IT’S CALLED SCREENWRITING. That’s how it works. A writer crafts an outline, and then tweaks the details to tug on the audience’s heart in a desired way. So just because the writers wanted to kill Jin and Sun off to make a point about the villain and to make you cry doesn’t mean its some kind of deception. It’s just what goes in to crafting a story.

Personally, I’m riveted. I can’t wait for next week’s episode, or May 23rd’s epic 2 and half hour finale. Having watched shows like BSG and Farscape, I’m totally used to the “obligatory home stretch bloodbath.” In shows that deal with epic conflicts, there are always going to be casualties, and the bodies usually start to pile up as the series enters its final acts. I was expecting no less from LOST, which has already established itself as a cold-hearted bastard when it comes to the well-being of its characters. I already correctly predicted that Sayid would heroically sacrifice himself for redemption; in fact, I’m so good at predicting this show that when MIB handed Jack his backpack I knew he had put the C4 in there.

I both love and hate the fact that basically the past twelve episodes served mostly to set up the Man in Black’s long con. On the one hand, I think it’s great that his plan all along was to get all the Candidates killed, and that scene where Jack figures it all out was amazing. But it does make you feel like the first 3/4 of the season had little consequence, and the OHBEDS fever I’ve just concocted from reading Nussy’s recaps is making my mind want to use the word “conceit.” That being said, what a clever freaking plan, Smokey! I just thought it was cool to learn that he lied to Jack when he said he could kill all of them- being a Candidate is the same as being Jacob, so the only way MIB could kill them was to get them to kill each other, like when he tricked Ben into stabbing the Big J. If that’s the case, then Jack, Hurley and Sawyer could literally just sit on the beach and do nothing and Smokey would be trapped on the Island. Which is why I imagine Smokey’s next plan will be to threaten non-Candidates like Kate and Claire to gain leverage with the remaining three Candidates. Speaking of Kate, I’m surprised she wasn’t the one killed off last night as she is constantly being put in the line of fire and we’re constantly being reminded that she’s not a Candidate, and therefore, totally not important. She almost got stabbed by Claire, then almost got shot by Claire, then almost got shot by Widmore, then actually got shot. That’s one of the things I really like about the show right now: how pretty much every character except for Jack could have their life on the line.

That sense of danger is giving these final episodes a very gripping and dramatic feel that I greatly enjoy. I saw someone on Facebook say that every episode feels like a finale and I agree. So much is going on and so many people are dying that for the past two weeks I’ve felt like I’m watching the show’s final episode. And the fact that three of the main characters, characters who’ve been with us since the pilot, were offed last night speaks volumes as to what’s in store. If Jin & Sun can drown in each other’s arms four and half hours before the series’ final moments, then god knows what lays ahead.

One Response to “Am I the Only Person Left Who Still Likes LOST?”

  1. Sonny 05. May, 2010 at 2:13 pm #

    You might like this one:
    http://tomandlorenzo2.blogspot.com/2010/05/lost-s6e14-candidate.html

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