Friday, April 16, 2010

How to enjoy Lost

First off, the ABC network drama Lost is freaking sweet. Second, I was late to this party. I grabbed my seat on the Lost bandwagon somewhere between Juliet smashing the hydrogen bomb and Juliet dying.

(I refuse to give a 'spoiler alert' to anyone in any instance. It seems arbitrary and unnecessary. If you decide to read an article about something, in this case a television program, in which you are not caught up with the story, it is your own fault if something gets spoiled. Why would anyone write about a topic and not make it as current as possible? That would be like me writing an NBA playoff preview column from the perspective of two weeks ago before we knew the match-ups.)

Now, I am sure it still is not clear when I began watching Lost since it is not really clear when or in what reality Juliet died, assuming she is, in fact, dead. The point is, I decided to jump in after season five had concluded, but well prior to season six, which turned out to be the greatest television-show-watching decision of my life. I was able to use my friendly neighborhood Hulu, and watch every episode in a row. Starting with the plane crash in season one, and ending with the plane not crashing to begin season six, I was in complete control. I would watch an episode, and if I was left confused, (which happened roughly 88% of the time) I would immediately watch another. If I was delighted and wanted to ponder what had transpired, I would take a few days before delving back in. I controlled the pace so Lost didn't control me. This is the ideal way to enjoy Lost. However, I am well aware this is not helpful to most people, nor me to anymore. Since I am caught up, I am now forced to wait a week between episodes like every other sorry sap. And it really is torture.

No worries though. I am here to help, with the ultimate guide to get the most out of your Lost viewing experience. The first, and probably most important thing to have at your disposal, is the ability to pause the program. I usually watch my Lost the next day online, rather than live on ABC. Or, for everyone who lives in the 21st century and has a DVR, you can pause while watching live on ABC. (I guess watching any program the next day on the internet is pretty 21st century too) This is key to give yourself time to react and recover. Two weeks ago, when Charlie was drowning in the car and Desmond had the flash sideways to connect the two realities, I was forced to pause. I literally got out of my chair and walked around my apartment saying "Oh man, oh man." Then again this past week, my mind was boggled when Libby sat down to talk with Hurley, a man she had supposedly never met before, yet could remember. Without this capability, you are at the mercy of the network, actually hoping for a commercial break that would not have come, so you could simply digest what had transpired.

The next key to maximizing your Lost enjoyment is simple. Have faith. I realize this is easier said than done. I, myself, have had times where my faith has wavered; I was considering turning to another, perhaps to Fringe or 24. (That's a complete lie. I never watch anything on Fox besides cartoons.) Have faith in the fact that the Lost writers will get us back. That is the key. No matter how far off we come, they will bring us back. So far, through five and a half seasons, I feel good about this. When the time travel started a few seasons back, I know many were skeptical that this show could right itself. Well no more. After a few island jumps and bright flashes, us fans know that it really does not matter in the least what year it is. When we first encountered the billows of smoke that seemed to emanate fear and death, we were worried that none of it made sense. Well no more. Now we all realize that the smoke monster did in fact bring fear and death; there was no reason to feel confused. When Hugo Reyes first started seeing people who were known to have died, and had the ability to speak with them, we might have been at our last straws. Well no more. Midway through season six, the loyal followers know Hugo Reyes can see and talk with people who have died. It is a real load off. So the bottom line is to have faith that the Lost writers will take us to the end of this journey safely, just as they have done thus far.

The last way to fully enjoy Lost is easier and more important than all the other ways to enjoy Lost. Never try to figure out what is going on. Never. It makes your whole viewing experience stress free. Don't worry about if Sayid is dead or not. They will let us know. Who cares why some characters in the 'alternate reality' can remember the other world and some cannot. Is the fact that Sun and Jin can never catch up to each other symbolizing something? Is each character's sideways life somehow reflexive of how they acted and the people they followed in the current world? Maybe, maybe not, but the point is, never try to figure this out.

If you follow all these tips, Lost will be a shining beacon in your life every Tuesday night.

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