Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Way Things Are Going To Go Down

ABC's Lost has been a show that has, well for lack of a better term, captivated the minds of people all over the world for the last six years. It has imprinted itself as a dynamic force in pop culture that is about to come to a close. The point of this blog will be to analyze and hypothesize about the show during its final climactic season.

Lost is a show built on multiple levels. If you like action stories, you get that. There are guns, fights, and explosions (even a hydrogen bomb!) around every corner. If you like character stories then you definitely get that. From its inception, Lost began with an interesting format of having each episode focus on a character’s life. For the first three seasons this meant that you would spend each episode toggling back and forth between the present and a flashback to better understand a character’s story and development. However, in true Lost fashion, they changed the game by introducing a rare technique, the flash-forward. After introducing the concept of toggling between the present and the future of a character we were able to be teased to see how they will get from their present state to the future story that we are seeing unravel. Lost’s choice of storytelling devices never ceases to amaze, perplex and keep its viewership guessing.

Certainly if you are interested in mystery stories then Lost is for you as well. The franchise has made a living off of mysteries. The whole show is based around an airplane that crashes on a remote island believed to be in the South Pacific. This island is steeped in a history, mystery and mythology that draw on many elements of real history, mythology and literature. Many of the common mysteries that bug the audience are as follows:

Where is the island and what are its powers?

What is the deal with all of the Egyptian hieroglyphics and references?

Why does a certain character, Richard Alpert, never age?

Who is this seemingly omnipotent and omniscient character known as Jacob?

What is the smoke monster?

What are the whispers that are occasionally heard in the jungle?

Why is there a 19th century slave trade ship known as the Black Rock located in the dead middle of the jungle?

What is the whole point of the show? For what purpose are the characters brought to the island?

All of these and more have had us guessing for years now, but no more. We will soon have all of our answers, and that is the point of this blog. As already mentioned, Lost is built on multiple levels. You can enjoy the surface level of watching people try to accomplish a mission. However, I find that the smarter and more knowledgeable you are, the more you get out of the show. Lost is full of allusions and allegories to literature and pop culture beyond number. Some character’s names are biblical or literary. Even story lines are sometimes near copies or at the very least allusions to other stories, some of which are fiction, others historical. Lost thrives off of religions including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and so much more.

I hope to analyze and give my take on the week’s episode. Sometimes outside sources will be consulted, references and listed to aid in better understanding what is going on so that we can best understand and enjoy this final season to what I believe to be the best show on television (I know, I’m a little biased).

This was just an introductory post. From here on out the usual post will appear on Wednesday or Thursday. It will analyze the literary worth and allusions in each episode and show what mysteries we have gotten answered so far. I will also be hypothesizing as we go along. The show starts on February 2nd, which means we have two more weeks without Lost. Next week I plan to give a brief recap of last season and list some things we should take away from that one to get ready for the new season. The week after that I will give my hypothesis on what I think will happen for season 6. From then on each week’s format will be the same, analyze and hypothesize. I hope you feel free to comment on anything as we make the journey to the end. Until then, Namaste.


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