LOST:THE COMPLETE 1ST AND 2ND SEASONS- Finally as is my nature, I make time to pick up the occasional DVD series… this time around being LOST seasons 1 and 2 on DVD (got it for a great price) and seeing if it lives up to the hype. A little yes, but mostly no.
The yes comes with the first 3 episodes of season 1, which are fantastic.The third one being particularly effective with that music montage at the end, and closing-out with a closeup and sinister music. And at least in the beginning the series manages to be not predictable. Good stuff.
Though I’m distinctly aware this Survivor, Gilligan’s Island meets X-files premise is only going to hold up so long.
And pretty much that’s just what happens, the initial 3 episodes are phenomenal, but successive episodes are wholly underwhelming. With a dizzying number of directors and writers jumping in and out, the quality is very uneven, and a lot of redundancy and repetition as characters continually revisit foibles they supposedly dealt with a season ago. From the two torture episodes for Naveen, to redundant “I’m a troubled bad girl” episodes for Evangeline Lilly, the episodes after the initial three are very much, make it up as we go along.
Episode 1 A-
Episode 2 A-
Episode 3 A
Episode 4 -Good thing I wrote the review before episode 4. Because episode 4 the show definitely enters annoying soap opera territory and stays there pretty much through the whole season. Why do we have to do the scared stupid black guy thing every single show? Really, why? And honestly the more the show reveals about the characters, the less interested I become in any of them. This is the reason I typically avoid television. It always lets you down, and is filled with stereotypes.And what is the deal with talking to the asian woman like you’re from another planet. And since when did Saide become the professor, Stupid episode. C-/D.
This series is going to go off the rails like twin peaks.
This series would have been a fantastic mini-series, but as an open ended series… mystery shows just don’t work. Because they end up treading water, bullshitting the audience, just killing time to get to another season, stretching out a mystery until it’s infuriating swiss cheese and no one gives a damn, ala X-FILES, and TWIN PEAKS. The overarching comeon, titillation of the big reveal gets old, quick.
So again, this would have been a fantastic finite mini-series, but as a series, past the first three episodes… it’s utter soap opera time wasting crap. And I hate soap operas. At least the all tease variety.
Also the structure with each episode segueing into someone’s life, I find particularly boring. I find those scenes ham fisted, and the least interesting part of the series. I completely zone out, luckily on DVD I can fast forward through them.
Note to networks: Don’t force-feed people who these characters were before. Rather discovering that through their interactions is far more interesting. But I do understand the need to concentrate off the island occasionally, again because they want to milk a mini-series concept into a series. But do it sparingly, and not in this irritating ham-fisted formulaic fashion.
SEASON 2 Review
Addendum: All the above said, Episodes 5 and 6 of season 2 are enjoyable episodes (that cliffhanger in 6 is GREAT, though the flashbacks are still worthless, fast-forward material). A large part of my enjoyment of these two episodes is the leavening presence, the weight, and grace if you will, that the presence of Adewale Akinnuoyea Agbaje (Triple AAA) as Mr. Eko brings to the series. A great bit of casting, he steals every scene he’s in.
Mr. Eko is easily my favorite character of the show, being a great counterpoint to how annoying I find characters like Michael and Charlie and Kate and Jack, and pretty much the whole cast except for Jin, Sun, Locke, Sawyer, Rose and Sayid (when not doing those incredibly redundant and stupid torture episodes. I get it, he was an Iraqi, he tortured people. Get past it for goodness sake. And “oooh” the Irony by having the torturer being an Iraqi when we’re spending more than a fair-share of tax dollars torturing them and their ilk— stupid, lowest common denominator writing) .
Unfortunately this season, like the first, suffers from unevenness and inconsistency due to constantly changing writers and directors. Unlike the best shows and British television, that gives you shorter episodes, but provides a consistent vision by keeping the same writer and director through story arcs, there’s no such cohesion in this series. One episode could be great, the next could be filler or the pacing could be off.
Such as following a cliffhanger like 6, with an expository heavy episode. It would not have been my choice, you would think such a move would weaken the cliffhanger ep 6 setup.
But I have to say, I’m wrong. Episode 7 manages to build on the cliffhanger of ep6, and is directed, performed and edited fantastically. Wow. Three great episodes in a row.
If the rest of the season is this strong season 2 DVD may just be a keeper. But what are the odds of that.
And getting to those episodes the rest of the season fails to live up to the strength of episodes 5, 6, 7, 8 and 10( A great AAA episode!, with one of the first back-stories, Eko’s story, that I found interesting enough not to fast forward through.)
Viewed as a whole season #2, like season # 1 is a failure, and is not worth buying. Consider yourself duly advised. :).