|Swiss Family Robinson eat your heart out|
Lost is one of those rare shows that is intelligent, funny, dramatic - basically all around good - and it gets good ratings. It defies genre boundaries, often being lumped into sci-fi due to some fantastical elements. Whether or not it can be considered sci-fi, it is without a doubt one of the best shows on television right now with the greatest character development I have ever witnessed.
The season begins with the crash landing of an airplane. 40 some odd people survived the crash, only to find themselves on a seemingly-deserted tropical island. They are faced with the trials and tribulations of surviving on the island, while also doing what they can to get rescued. The usual hardships are there, but these are superseded by seemingly supernatural situations, such as polar bears, murderous "natives", and giant killer tree-crushing invisible machines.
Every episode deals with the present tense of the characters surviving on the island, but each episode also provides back-story on one of the survivors. Throughout the episode information about a person will be revealed through flashbacks, memories that the character is having at that moment. It is in this way that Lost gives the greatest character development of any television show I've ever seen.
Not every survivor of the plain crash is given the spotlight. There are only a dozen or so characters who are in the forefront, with the rest of the survivors acting as fillers and extras. This means, in the 24-episode first season, each of these dozen or so characters gets at least one episode providing their back-story, with some characters even getting two or three. Each character has some really interesting back story, and these flashbacks allow the show to take place all around the world while still only being on a tropical island.
The acting is some of the best acting I've seen on television. The production value is absolutely superb, with the island becoming a character of its own. While some elements are quite obviously added in post-production, they are done quite well for a television show and it's only the trained eye that will notice. The dramatic elements of the show are tackled well by the great acting and flashback sequences, but they are well-balanced by the comedic elements.
There are plenty of running gags on the show, such as the fact that there are over 40 survivors, but we only ever see a handful of them. Scott and Steve are two names of the generic non-important survivors. Scott and/or Steve are always getting into some mischief or other off camera, despite the fact I think we only ever see them in one episode. Several of the main characters also provide excellent comic relief without ruining the overlying gravity of the situation.
The only real complaint I have about the show is that it takes a long time to answer the many many questions it creates about the island and everything on it. Every episode seems to end in a cliffhanger, and then that cliffhanger usually isn't resolved for another two or three episodes. While there's plenty going on to keep the viewer mentally stimulated, when you actually stop and think about it the show is somewhat slow paced. This is really just the nature of the beast when it comes to television, though. It doesn't significantly detract from the viewing experience.
I could write paragraphs upon paragraphs about the interesting characters that make up Lost. I could analyze the bizarre goings-on of the island. I could wax and wane poetical about the beauty of the landscape. In the end though it all amounts to one thing - this show is spectacular. Every episode will leave you wanting more, all the way until there aren't any more to have. If you like a good story then check it out, you won't be disappointed.
Written by Hyperion, 2005-12-04 16:42:06