Screenwriters Have ‘Lost’ Their Touch

by Shannon Baldo

With “Lost” recently premiering its final season, it seems as though everyone can’t help but discuss what may happen in the last moments of ABC’s popular, mysterious program. From Facebook statuses to text messages, the show seems to be our age group’s favorite topic, and most people assume that I, too, am of the “Lost” persuasion. So I’ve decided to spend my 600 words this week on the sentence you probably didn’t think I would write: I don’t like “Lost.”

'Lost' premiered its final season Feb. 2 on ABC.

I’m sure it’s a surprise – nearly every fan of the show I’ve met has praised its intricacy, character development and writing, all of which I prize overwhelmingly in television. Plus, many people believe that “Lost” is a top critic’s choice, yet I haven’t read a positive critical review of the show in years, probably the same amount of time since I stopped watching.

Now, don’t yell about my unfairness quite yet: I watched the first two seasons avidly. The first season pulled me in with its intense focus on characters and its allusions to the six degrees of separation theory, and the second season added the complications of the Dharma Initiative while delving into themes of humanity vs. nature, colonization and the role of technology. These seasons pulled me into the show completely; I lived every week for Wednesdays, and I even joined online forums to discuss the complexities behind every episode.

Yet in the third season, “Lost” began to fall apart for me with the introduction of the Others as relatively developed characters and their secret, modern Other village. I kept my optimism, hoping for a return to the greatness of earlier writing, but at the start of the fifth season, after trying to look past nonsensical flash-forwards, unseen love triangles and invisible spirit-men, I couldn’t hold on any longer.

To me, “Lost” abandoned its sense of realism completely. The show’s movements stopped making sense, and plot holes appeared in nearly every episode. The writing offered practically no development in character or in plot. New individuals merely appeared with two-dimensional personalities and identities never fully established, and when an episode dragged on for a while something strange happened, usually without any explanation.

I can grant the existence of an uncharted island, a mysterious smoke monster, a hidden bomb shelter, even those damn numbers – but I have to draw the line at unrealistic writing built on illogical sensationalism. And after my obsessive loyalty to the show through its first few seasons, the downfall of the writing seems like nothing less than treachery to its legions of dedicated fans.

I know that “Lost” has managed to maintain a strong group of fans at Transylvania, and so I must say to this community: I do not blame you. You merely have more faith in the writers than I do – a fault likely due to my cynicism as much as to your mindlessness.

However, as a gift to you as evidence of my admiration for your unfathomable patience, I have scoured the internet for the most jaw-dropping, secret spoilers I could find for the upcoming season, and I present them to you here – with all seriousness, of course.

The shadow monster begins violently attacking people, clearly indicating its infection with the island’s version of rabies.

The island transports itself to the moon.

Dominic Monaghan and Emilie de Ravin return to the show as their characters Charlie and Claire and realize that leaving “Lost” was the biggest mistake of their careers.

We finally learn where the castaways have hidden their razors and makeup.

Inspired by the fandom of the show, Jack and Sawyer finally become lovers, a passionate affair which continues through the series finale.

All of the characters realize they are related to each other, making the insane amount of sex in the show rather disturbing.

We finally meet the Professor and Mary Anne.

In the final episode, the audience realizes that they’ve spent five years following a show that goes nowhere.


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