TV Roundup: Lost, #11
21. Kids In The Hall
19. How I Met Your Mother
17. The Simpsons
16. The Daily Show
15. Mad Men
14. Arrested Development
12. The Office (UK & US)
Before I started actually putting this list into various blog entries, I made a draft - and then revised it a few times (and, if I'm being honest, I should note that I've revised the remaining shows ranks a few times already since starting this little project). That's just the nature of these kinds of things, and my mildly compulsive tendencies.
And in that very first draft? This show was ranked, I believe, #6. Then, I thought it should be a bit lower and it slid down to #8, a number that resonated because, after all, this is a show that has six special numbers, and eight is one of them.
I'm talking, of course, about Lost, my 11th favorite show of all-time
|The numbers are bad!|
But let's take a step back, shall we?
Lost debuted in 2004, and immediately became a cultural phenomenon. Survivors of a plane crash (that would be Oceanic 815) on a remote island find themselves not only alone but dealing with seemingly unexplainable elements on this island, not the least of which is a polar bear, and a recording in French that seems to have been repeating for decades. What was going on?
The brilliance of the show was the use of flashbacks -- we learned so much about each of the main characters, and slowly realized that in some way, many of them were connected to each other in ways they didn't even know.
It's worth reiterating at this point that, with a few exceptions, I've tried to make this whole TV Roundup thing spoiler-free. With a show like Lost, that's significantly harder than most. I'll do my damndest to stick to that pledge, but I'm not making any guarantees.
Along the way, they meet (in no particular order) Desmond Hume (Henry Ian Cusick), Ben Linus (Michael Emerson), Richard Alpert (Nestor Carbonell) and ... well, you can already see how confusing this has gotten and we haven't even really gotten started.
The show's first two seasons were amazing - there really hasn't ever been something that captivating, something that managed to both confuse and delight me on a weekly basis. It stumbled a bit in the third season -- ok, "a bit" is being generous. Those who remember the show centered around Jack's tattoo's, or the entire concept of Pablo and Nikki, would probably argue that the show was on the verge of derailing. Thankfully, the producers recognized it -- and did something pretty remarkable in todays world - set a hard end date. By doing that, it truly revitalized the show and gave them the ability to write towards a specific ending -- one that, whether you liked it or not (I did), they truly did build towards. The writers insist that this was always part of the plan but I completely doubt that. Potential spoilers aside, here are just a few reasons why:
|What happened, Walt?|
- Clearly, the writers intended on doing much, much more with Walt -- and then for whatever reason the kid grew like mad. Of all the things they could have resolved, this should have been one of them -- and they just ignored it. (And, let's be honest -- on a show that takes place on a tropical island with a polar bear, time travel, a smoke monster and lots, lots more ... they couldn't come up with a lousy explanation for how a kid grew so fast he didn't even look the same? Weak sauce.)
- Without talking too much about it ... the show explained a lot of its plot beginning with the last episode of the fifth (second-to-last) season. If that was always part of the story, why wait that long?
- Again, trying to stay spoiler-free, one of the earliest theories about the show was poo-poohed by the producers, who called it silly, said that we'd be blown away by the "real" answer and then ... sort of ended up going with that in the very final episode. They did it cleverly, and in a way that was poignant and, to me, satisfying ... but still, I am pretty sure it means they didn't originally know where they were going.
I could go on (and certainly, many have) but I don't want to make it seem like I didn't absolutely love this show - I did, and I do. So, why isn't it in my top ten?
Here's one main reason -- with perhaps one exception in the Top Ten (and one I'll explain when we get there), every show there is one I want to re-watch -- whether that's selected episodes or the entire series from start to finish. I absolutely wanted to do this, and probably at some point will own the DVD set, because that's how I roll. But ... here's the thing. As much as I loved the finale, the "answers" that were given there sort of made it less interesting to go back. Without saying too much, many of the burning questions simply weren't answered -- and again, that worked in the construct of the show. But part of why I wanted to go back was to see how those mysteries were presented, and how they resolved. Now, that matters a whole lot less.
So, that means something - and, frankly, we are still so close to the ending that in truth, I was afraid of ranking it much higher. It's possible I'll regret not putting this even higher, but for now, I feel quite good about putting Lost as my 11th favorite show of all-time.
|Yes, this still kills me.|