Friday, February 13, 2009

'Lost' is appropriately titled. Also: awesome.

SPOILER ALERT: This blog post contains vague and possibly accurate plot and character information about the popular television program Lost.

Okay: A long time ago, in ancient times, when the television series Lost had just begun, I decided that it looked stupid and that I would not watch it. My impulsive reaction was probably influenced by what seemed to be an inexplicable glut of deserted island movies, such as Cast Away, and, um, that Beach movie with Titanic DiCaprio in it*.

*When we were in college and had all sorts of endless time on our hands (because why study and do your homework today when you can do it NEVER), BRG and the 'Ster and Big D and maybe some other people and I camped out at the movie theater to watch the first Matrix movie at midnight on opening day. The theater was totally packed, and everyone was noisy and excited and generally unruly right through the previews up to when they showed a preview for The Beach, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, still fresh off his Titanic success. At that point the entire theater just totally froze out of complete and utter shock. The smell of fresh popcorn became mixed with the smoke of hundreds of snark fuses blowing at once. When the preview was over, there was complete awkward silence, so BRG and I yelled, "SINK HIM AGAIN" from the balcony, after which everyone got rowdy again.

Okay, so maybe my reasons for not watching Lost were not exactly airtight (Cast Away came out in 2000, and Lost didn't come out until 2004, and I'm not even exactly sure what The Beach is about.) But anyway, the point is, I didn't watch Lost or have any interest in Lost. Then, many years later, I discovered that EVERYONE I KNOW watches Lost, and if the subject of Lost is breached in conversation everything instantly devolves into ferverous Lost gossiping. I resigned myself to catching up on this whole Lost bandwagon thing because I can't stand being outside a heated gossip circle. I started by watching the pilot episode on my computer.

Here is what I knew about Lost prior to watching the pilot:
  1. Trapped on an island!
  2. There's a hobbit on the show!
Here is what I knew about Lost after watching the pilot:
  1. Trapped on an island!
  2. There's a hobbit on the show but it is normal-human-sized.
  3. Some dude is really into tracheotomies, and another dude gets sucked into a jet engine!
But then I got bored of watching the show and didn't watch any more episodes. [FAST FORWARD ABOUT A YEAR]. On Wednesday, Patron Saint graciously invited me over to his pad to partake in the ancient and sacred ritual of Lost Night with some of the gang. I reminded him that I had only ever watched the pilot, and that was a long time ago, but he was not concerned by these details. In fact, the gang was confident that they could get me up to speed, and volunteered to answer any questions that I had while watching it. Awesome!

Here is something interesting that I learned about the Lost experience: Prior to every new episode, they play the previous episode but with Pop-Up Video-style fact bubbles that reinforce and clarify important plot points. I imagine this would be extremely handy, except that I was too busy drinking to actually pay attention, so I can't personally attest to their effectiveness. One thing that I did notice about the bubbles is that they seem very inconsistent as far as narrative depth. One might be something like, "Jack is confused because he doesn't know that Julie knows that he knows about Julius, who is Jack's unborn father from the future", and then the next bubble will be like, "They are trapped on an island."

ANYWAY, so the gang gets me as much up-to-speed as they can in 15 minutes, and we dive into the latest exciting episode.

Here is what I know about Lost now:
  1. Trapped on an island!
  2. I didn't see the hobbit so he must have died.
  3. There is a monster called Smoke Monster, Monster of Smoke.
  5. Some people got off the island and now have to get back on the island because they miss the good times.
  6. Part of what makes the island time travel is a wheel called Donkey Wheel, Wheel of Donkeys.
  7. Donkey Wheel, Wheel of Donkeys has also been, at various other parts of the Lost timeline, Polar Bear Wheel, Wheel of Polar Bears, and Jim Wheel, Wheel of Jim.

    Heenkypants: They use polar bears because it's so cold.
    Grant: Why is it so cold?
    Heenkypants: We don't know yet.
    Grant: Where do they get the polar bears?
    Heenkypants: We don't know yet.
    Grant: Where do they get the donkeys?
    Heenkypants: We don't know yet.
    Grant: Why are there no donkeys there now?
    Heenkypants: We don't know yet.

  8. If the donkeys are broken or not there, apparently people get bloody noses because of ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDS.
  9. This one dude, who I think is named Jim, falls in a well which closes and finds the ghost of the father of some other dude, who I think is named Jack, who tells him to spin Donkey Wheel, Wheel of Donkeys, even though he just fell down a well and has a broken leg AND it's really cold AND nobody knows that time it is.
  10. Heenkypants, Patron Saint, Taco and I got into a really great heated argument about the paradoxes of time travel as they relate to this one chick who tells this one dude that he told her in the past that she will die in the future but this dude doesn't remember because he will do this in his future which is also her past even though they are both in the present sort of too. The argument was resolved when we discovered we were all saying the same thing, just loud.
  11. There is this rich dude, let's call him Colonel Fancypants, who sends a ship to destroy the island because he was there in the past and something blows up, I think, and there is a helicopter and some French people.
  12. Smoke Monster, Monster of Smoke, really lives up to his name.
  13. ALL six people who left the island MUST get back the island to make some crazy scheme work, but, oh, you only got 4 of them to agree? That's pretty good I guess.
  14. Everyone's name starts with a 'J', except for Kate, who Heenkypants wishes was back on the island so she could wear dirty tank tops again.
  15. There is an important lesson about when life starts in an unborn child, as it pertains to the 6 people who left the island who now have to get back to the island, because one of them is pregnant and/or already had a child! Does the fetus have to go back too?

Um, there is probably other stuff that I learned too, but it may require pop-up bubble refreshment before it really sinks in.

I am now totally hooked on this show!


Heidi said...

Who is "PS?"

Grant said...

GAH! I was trying to save precious time by abbreviating Patron Saint. Way to ruin my brevity.

Jason said...

I'm now going to start calling John Locke, "Jim", per Grant's version of the show. That way I can confuse people at work who think I don't know the difference between the office and lost.