I recently decided to jump on the bandwagon and catch up on Lost. 103 episodes over the course of 5 seasons are available on DVD. I’ve made it through about 37 episodes and I’ve come to the conclusion that Lost isn’t about a group of folks stranded on an island on which mysterious things keep happening. It’s a social experiment to see if viewers are willing to continue to watch even though very little happens.
And then.. the wheels came off in my brain.
I should have seen it coming. I know better than this. I am in love with a storytelling medium that specializes in telling stories in which nothing of substance happens to a number of extremely important characters. The connection between my love for comic books and Lost should have been more obvious. The cast/crew attend comic conventions (San Diego particularly), which I sloughed off as being pop culturish and just a way to boost publicity. The connection was made when I noticed the credits in the middle of the second season. Jeph Loeb is a producer. If I comb over the first 35 episodes or so, I’m sure I’ll find more comic book creator links.
My interest in Lost was waning after the first few episodes of Season 2. I didn’t care much. As soon as I made the mental link between comic books and Lost, I was back in. If I can suffer through Dark Reign and Norman Osborne, I can suffer through Lost never providing answers.
The story seems to be moved forward by filling in back story and making links between characters. 37 episodes in, I have no idea what Dharma is. I have no idea who is providing supplies to the bunker. I have no idea where this bunker gets power. Comic books move their stories along in the exact same way. Instead of changing a character in a real way, they shuffle the pieces around within the world around the character. Batman subtly changes over time, but he’s essentially the same brooding and determined kid that watched someone gun down his parents.
Through this lens, I’m completely OK with where Lost is going and I’m along for the ride. Hopefully I’ll catch up before the new season and can enjoy the ride in the final season in real time. Incidentally, catching up on Lost feels exactly like catching up on a comic. When I wanted to start reading Powers by Brian Michael Bendis, I went back to the start and picked up all the trade paperbacks. I read them as quickly as possible and had to fight the urge to ask wikipedia who certain characters were. I feel the same way watching Lost. The CIA officer that let Sayid go? He looks familiar and I think I saw him in the jungle. Wikipedia would tell me if I’m right, but I have to avoid the temptation.
So.. tonight I’ll probably finish most of season 2. Tomorrow night I’ll probably pick up season three on DVD. It’s an interesting ride and I can’t wait to catch up and start watching in issues.