Monday, June 20, 2011

PCP on TV - Lost Season 1 better late than never!

Welcome back to Pop Culture Panorama.  Today I’ll be talking about the TV show Lost.  I never watched Lost when it was first on the air, and by the time I wanted to watch the show, all I heard about it was that it was confusing and if you were jumping in to it late, you would be totally… well, lost.  I knew this would be a show I’d like, because I love the work of J.J. Abrams, especially Fringe, and I love sci-fi in general.  So this summer I resolved to watch the entire run of the show on DVD.  I just completed power-discing through the first season (including watching 17 episodes in one weekend), and these are my thoughts and observations about this show. (WARNING:  mild spoilers ahead if you’re like me and never saw the show before).

Continue after the jump for my thoughts on the show.

-          I can see why this show had so much critical acclaim and such a popular following.  It’s off to a great start.  The performances are excellent, especially those of Jack, Kate, Locke, and Sawyer.
-          I had no clue Daniel Dae Kim could speak such fluent Korean.  I’m used to seeing him from Angel and from Hawaii 5-0, so I knew he spoke perfect English, but it was cool to see him having to do pantomime to try to communicate with the English speakers on the show.  It actually shows how good of an actor he is, because communicating without a common language is very difficult.
-          In the 3rd episode, Jack says “We all died 3 days ago” referring to their “rebirth” after the plane crash.  I have a feeling that is a tremendous amount of foreshadowing that they are all in reality dead, and are in some sort of limbo or purgatory.  If that’s the case, then wow the show’s writers dropped a major hint very early on in the run of the show that that was the reality.
-          My belief that they are all dead was further confirmed when we learned in the next episode that Locke had been paralyzed before the plane crash, but now has full use of his legs.  That was a great reveal too, the way that they showed us that he had regained use of his legs, I didn’t see that one coming.
-          The last nail in the coffin though was when the 4 guys were escaping the island from the raft and they were commenting on how large the island was and that there was no way that an island that big could be uncharted or undiscovered.  They have to be all dead, or in some sort of alternate reality.
-          If Sawyer didn’t keep calling Kate “Freckles” I never would have noticed that Evangeline Lilly has faint freckles on her face.  The way he calls her that though, you’d think she’d be super-freckled like Lindsay Lohan.
-          I love how they interweave the characters to show that they were all connected even before the plane crash.  During Sun’s backstory, she gets a dog that we later learn Jin received while on a mission for Sun’s dad.  While Jin was obtaining the dog, we see Hurley on the TV very briefly, but don’t learn until Hurley’s backstory episode that he won the lottery and that’s why he was on TV.  I also liked how in Hurley’s backstory, they state that one of his holdings is a box company; I presume the same one Locke worked for before the plane crash.
-          I’m glad Sawyer told Jack before he left on the raft the story about how he had encountered Jack’s dad in a bar in Australia, that was a very touching moment.
-          I’m still curious about Kate’s full backstory.  We know she was on the run for a crime, and at first we’re led to believe it was that bank robbery she participated in.  Then we find out that the bank robbery came after she had gotten her old flame killed when visiting her mom at the hospital, but even then she was already on the run for something and they still haven’t explained that, so I’m wondering what her original crime was.  I wonder when we’ll get to that.
-          Jack was married before?  What happened to his wife?
-          Ok so what the heck is that thing that makes all that noise and uproots the trees and kills people?  Was it that cloud of smoke in the finale?  If so, what a let-down, I was rooting for a T-Rex or something.  And how come when Locke first encountered it, the holding still trick worked, but then in the finale, it didn’t?
-          I called as soon as they were introducing the Arzt character that he was going to die because of the dynamite.  He had “red shirt” written all over him.
-          Speaking of the dynamite, it’s a good thing Jack switched bags with Kate because she would have gone boom as she never took hers off when they were running for their lives, unlike Locke and Jack who had the bags with the dynamite. 
-          What the heck is the deal with the polar bears?  Do we ever learn that one?  Not exactly the right climate for that animal.
-          I’m expecting we’ll see the passengers from the tail of the plane soon, since I remember from ads at the time that Michelle Rodriguez was a regular on the show in the 2nd season, and if I recall correctly, she had a DUI while filming this in Hawaii.
-          Speaking of Hawaii, which Hawaiian island were they filming this on?  Oahu?  If so, I can’t wait to go back to Hawaii so I can get to where they filmed this, because wherever on the islands it is, it’s beautiful.
-          I wonder if the two characters from the airport that were making the cracks about Sun and Jin will show up in the 2nd season as other people on the island from the tail of the plane.  If so, I look forward to Sun telling them that she does speak English and knew what they said.
-         So the on-island body count for the season was 7 if I have my count right:  The pilot killed by the loud mysterious monster, the guy sucked into the plane engine, the woman that drowned, the guy killed by the Others for not giving them the newborn, Ethan shot by Charlie, Arzt learning why its bad to play with nitroglycerin, and Boone falling to his death.  I think that's all of them that didn't happen in flashbacks.
-          A lot of actors in this series with a lot of sci-fi cred from other shows either before or after this show.  Locke (Terry O’Quinn) appeared in the X-Files, Millenium, Roswell, and Star Trek TNG.  Rousseau (Mira Furlan) was Delenn on Babylon 5.  The man that Shannon had been dating in her flashback episode was actor Charles Mesure, later on V as the mercenary Hobbs, and before this was on Hercules and Xena.  Boone (Ian Somerhalder) is now starring on the Vampire Diaries as Damon, and previously had been on Smallville.  Jin (Daniel Dae Kim) was previously the evil attorney Gavin on Angel, and Sawyer (Josh Holloway) also once appeared on an Angel episode.  Charlie (Dominic Monahan) was previously Merry in Lord of the Rings, and later was on Flash Forward.  Claire (Emilie de Ravin) had starred on Roswell.  Sayid (Naveen Andrews) appeared in Planet Terror and Rollerball.   Ana (Michelle Rodriguez) was in Resident Evil and Avatar.  Michael (Harold Perrineau) was in the 2 awful Matrix sequels.  The pilot of the plane was Heroes' Greg Grunberg, who apparently is buddies with JJ Abrams because he's also been in Super 8, Star Trek, Mission Impossible 3, Felicity, & Alias.  Guest star Robert Patrick in Sawyer’s flashback episode was the T-1000 in Terminator 2.  And that’s just for the first season.  I wonder what other sci-fi actors will be popping up in the future.

Ok so those are my thoughts on the first season.  I’ll do these little wrap-ups after each season as I get through them this summer.  Oh the joys of not having children yet, I actually have the time to do things like this.  That will be changing this winter so I have to enjoy this while I still can.  Thanks for reading this, I hope you enjoyed it.

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