Sunday, March 29, 2009

2 Things I Like About LOST: Season 5

After you can get over the initial facade of time travel and all the science fiction implications it carries with it, LOST has returned to its roots in season 5 to become a better show than it previously was. There are two things LOST does correctly for the most part that make it a much more interesting show this season than compared to last season.

The first thing that season 5 of LOST does correctly is reintroduce fresh, new ideas and concepts. Throughout the course of the first two seasons there are these crazy elements that make the show interesting, such as polar bears on tropical islands; mysterious, unknown groups who kidnap people from lists and take children; whispering voices in the woods; a radio signal repeating a series of numbers for the past so-many years; an underground hatch with a button that resets a timer every 108 minutes for an unknown reason; and so on. However, these new ideas and concepts decreased in growth up until season 4. Season 4 just took the established premise and used it as a war zone without introducing too many major ideas. They explained some of the older mysteries, but did not really expand the show into new territories.
However, Season 5 of LOST has finally took the show into fresh ground where they can do many more things that were previously not possible. By using time travel to jump into the island's history, the show engages the characters and audience in the backstory of the island without giving it to us through boring exposition with a foreknown resolution. By simply having the LOSTies in the midst of the action in the past, it makes the island's history much more interesting.
We also get two time-lines running parallel to each other, and the potential benefits of this concept haven't been fully explored yet. It puts the present-day LOSTies in a unique position by having to blend in with Dharma, or fabricate their identity as a "Hostile" in order to fit in. This concept also puts the other present-day 2008 LOSTies in a confused position as to what course to take next. The past season or two of LOST was becoming stagnant for treading the same ground over and over without making any new conceptual progress in terms of world elements (Jacob's cabin was one of the few new ones), but season 5 has finally introduced some new and interesting ideas that make the show entertaining again.

Continuing from that, season 5 of LOST also gives you little idea what's going to happen next. One main reason I did not like season 4 of LOST as much as the prior seasons was the unnecessary foresight of what was going to happen to all the characters. I understand that the flashbacks were becoming repetitive and useless, but the flashforwards destroyed an entire element of surprise by GIVING you the future outcome of the present situation. You weren't worried that certain characters were going to die--you saw them alive and well in the future. You weren't excited or tense when the helicopter barely made it off the island--you knew it was going to happen. Even though the flashforwards were necessary to give the show much needed life, they came with the unfortunate side-effect of being a suspense killer. During season 4, you almost felt like a passive viewer, because you were viewing a story while already knowing the ending.
However, in season 5, LOST has once again moved into a position where you have nearly NO idea what is going to happen next. That was one thing I loved about LOST during the first two seasons: you have all these interesting ideas, but you have no idea how they will be utilized and what the ultimate goal is for them (other than get off the island). In this season, you can finally sense that feeling again that you don't know what's going to happen next, and because of that you can be more engaged in the show.

As of right now, the time-travel concept is paying off for the show in its current state. However, it seems all too easy for the show to misuse this concept to fall in a convoluted plot mess. In the end, only time will tell.

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At 3/31/2009 7:18 PM, Blogger ifedajay said...

i'm going to watch the first episode tonight...i think

At 4/06/2009 6:58 PM, Blogger ifedajay said...

they traveled through time!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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