As I wrote last month, in a post titled On Becoming A “Lost” Masochist, I got seriously hooked on the 2004-2010 TV serires Lost.
Well, this past weekend I finally made it off the island.
After nearly 90 hours of screen time, the family and I watched the Season 6 finale this past weekend, and, despite how much I enjoyed the show, the relief I feel is tremendous!
I say this without any amount of judgment: I can’t understand how people can watch television every single night on an ongoing basis. I know that, for lots of people, it’s a comforting ritual, but I just don’t function well with such a routine, and I’m practically ecstatic that I have the 45-90 minutes every night that I used to dedicate to Lost — watching 1-2 episodes per night — freed up for other pursuits. I’ve got house projects I want to get done, new songs to learn on the guitar, books to read, etc.
Of course, I’ll be haunted by the show for a while still. You can’t spend that many hours with a cast of characters and not get attached…or at least I can’t! I’ll miss them, actually. I already do!
Jack the mostly failing hero, Kate the hot murderess, Sawyer the lovable con man (yes, it seems there can be such a thing), Hurley the bear hug dude, Claire the hot Aussie, Charlie the recovering rock star, Sayid the tortured torturer, Locke the walking paraplegic smoke monster, Desmond the Dustin Hoffman doppelganger, Jin and Sun the world’s most adorable Korean couple EVER, and more.
I’m glad they all met up in the end on that tropical island in the sky!
In preparation for writing this postmortem, I did a little research, and I found dozens of fan websites and discussion forums, thousands of news articles, blog posts, and YouTube clips, and even the Lostpedia wiki, making it clear to me that some folks invested WAY more time into the show than I did.
Now, while I did this research, I’ll admit, I was interested in reading interpretations of the series finale (one example), as it, like the other 120 episodes, raised just about as many new questions for every pre-existing question that it answered.
And what I found, was nothing but astounding. Whether you liked the show or not, it’s hard to dismiss the impact it had on so many peoples’ lives, resulting in the exhausting analysis of practically every frame of every episode, the endless theorizing about the mythology of the show, and the wild prognostication as to where it was heading and how it would end.
It’s not every show/movie that inspires this level of interest, but the ones that come to mind most readily are Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, but years before that, and ever since, the whole Star Wars franchise.
Speaking of the latter, to wrap up and to illustrate the extraordinary and lasting immersion that fans will engage in, just by coincidence I came across a hilarious post at McSweeney’s today that parodies this kind of fandom, an analysis titled, On The Implausibility Of The Death Star’s Trash Compactor, written, it hardly needs to be pointed out, 35 years after the debut of Star Wars.
A brief sample:
Here are the problems, as I can ascertain them, with the Death Star’s garbage-disposal system:
1. Ignoring the question of how Princess Leia could possibly know where the trash compactor is, or that the vent she blasts open leads to a good hiding place for the rescue crew, why are there vents leading down there at all? Would not vents leading into any garbage-disposal system allow the fetid smell of rotting garbage, spores, molds, etc., to seep up into the rest of the Death Star? Would not it have been more prudent for the designers of the Death Star to opt for a closed system, like a septic tank?
2. Why do both walls of the trash compactor move towards each other, rather than employing a one-movable-wall system that would thus rely on the anchored stability, to say nothing of the strength, of the other, non-moving wall, to crush trash more effectively?
3. Why does the trash compactor compact trash so slowly, and with such difficulty, once the resistance of a thin metal rod is introduced? Surely metal Death Star pieces are one of the main items of trash in need of compacting. It thus stands to reason that the trash compactor should have been better designed to handle the problem of a skinny piece of metal. (And while I hate to be the sort of person who says I told you so, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that a one-movable-wall system would have improved performance.)
Seriously funny, but funny because it’s so close to reality.