Thursday, May 27, 2010

Leap of faith

Alright, Lost. Be forewarned that this is full of spoilers about the season finale, so if you have yet to see it or any of the show and don't want it to be ruined, stop reading now.

I told myself I was not going to write about my opinion of the season finale. Everyone and their mother did that via facebook status updates. General consensus: you either loved it or you hated it. Perfect or awful. I was not going to subject anyone to my opinions, but then Nicole wrote a blog about it, and now I want to too. I'm such a copycat. So this is my responded blog to her blog about the finale of Lost.

It's hard to even know where to start. I guess my initial reaction. BAD. I called Nicole right after it was over and yelled at her about how I hated it (sorry about that) and how disappointed I was. However, I've had time to calm down since then and think about it. I guess I just have so many questions I felt were important to be answered that were just left for our interpretation. However, Nicole reminded me in her blog that this should have been expected. Lost has always left things up to the audience to interpret, which is one of the things I've always liked about it. As I mentioned before, I liked being confused. Here are some of my questions:

*If the LA timeline was a flash-sideways as the writers like to call it, and if it was created by the people on the Island as a place where they could all be together and find peace as Christian suggested, then why didn't everyone instantly recognize each other? Why did Desmond have to almost kill everyone to get them to see the truth? I like the idea that the people on the Island created this place where their lives could be different and they could all be together at peace, a place where Sawyer is a law abiding citizen, where Jack has an adorable Jonas Brother for a son and where someone FINALLY tells Sayid that they think he is a good guy (thank you Hurly! That might have been my favorite part of the entire show). Anyway, I like the flash-sideways a lot, I just don't understand it. I also like that the creators of Lost made up a new term and I hope other people use the flash-sideways. As long as they explain it. Maybe I will.

*Kate tells Jack that they are all meeting in the church and then leaving. Leaving what? Going where? I need to watch it again. I think Christian explains this a little, but still cryptically. The fact that they all meet in a church and there was a white light behind the doors implies that they are all going to Heaven, however not all of them are dead. I believe that the flash-sideways is a real place, as the writers implied, and if it is the place the characters can all be together, why do they have to go anywhere? Why can't they stay there and live together with their new lives together? Is it because Kate is still a criminal and Sayid is still a killer? Do they have to go someplace else to be able to have normal lives? From the beginning I hope the show would not turn into a everyone-is-dead-and-the-island-is-purgatory-on-the-way-to-heaven thing, so this might be the reason for my initial disgust. They were in a church for Pete's sake; it looks a lot like they went to heaven. BUT they are not all dead. So where did they go?

*What's with Ben? If everyone in the church is at peace and moving on, what's Ben going to do? Everyone in the church had someone, they were all paired but Ben never had a love interest. The only person he ever loved was Alex, who he sort of killed. SO, does this mean he is going to stick around in the LA timeline for a while, fall in love with Danielle and then adopt Alex? Then does he get to go? Then do Alex and Danielle get to see what everyone else saw? Basically I want more show. I need to know what is going to happen to EVERYONE. I did not have this problem with the last Harry Potter book. I was cool then with the weird flash forward ending and not knowing 100% what happens to all the characters. I guess with Lost it's different. I want to know what happens to everyone. To baby Jin/Sun, to Aaron, to Walt, to baby Charlie. Ok that's all the kids, but still, I want to know what happens when that plane lands with everyone on the Island. I just want to know everything! But Lost has never been into the whole tell-all thing.

*What's with the whole church scene anyway? This is more a point about something I did not like rather than a question I have. It reminded me of the part at the end of Return of the Kings, one of the 6 million places the movies could have ended where the hobbits all see each other again once Frodo wakes up. I hate that part. They are all hugging and jumping on the bed, then everyone else comes in and they are all laughing and standing awkwardly watching all the hobbits frolicking on the bed. I half expected Gimli to jump on the bed and start tickling everyone. If felt the same way about the church scene. Everyone was hugging and passing around Turnip head, and I just did not like it. I liked that they were all together and happy, but it could have been done another way, in any other place.

*Alright, the last scene while the credits rolled. Empty beach. Plane crashed, no people. You know what this makes me think? That everyone is dead and the Island WAS purgatory and the LA timeline WAS heaven. Anyone else? To me that was the writers saying, oh look, this is really how the beach was after the plane crash. Empty, because everyone was DEAD. But, this might just be me. Really I could have it all wrong, it wouldn't be the first time. I usually have to get Nicole to explain everything to me which is why this season has been rough to watch without her. I mean, we skyped, but it's not the same. Anyone else have a theory about the empty beach? I mean, it could have just been a scene of the beach after everyone left. There were no bodies, so perhaps I'm wrong. I hope I'm wrong.

Ok, so those are my questions. Just a few among millions really, but those are the pressing points. On to the things I liked about the finale, because come on, it was Lost, and I love Lost, so obviously I liked a lot of it.

*I liked how Jack was the last one to understand what was going on in the LA timeline. Everyone else fell for it immediately, the moment they saw the flashes of their Island lives, they knew what was going on. It was just great to see Jack reject the idea instead of believing, because that's how his character has always been. It's impressive that the writers were able to keep character traits like this going for six complicated seasons. And as Nicole said, the show has always been about the characters. And I agree, it would have been nice to see what was with the Man In Black more and all that jazz, but I also like that it was totally character driven from the start. Solid characters are as hard to come by today as original plots.

*Those romantic love montages. I'll admit, they were repetitive, and each time it happened was the exact same way it happened a moment before to the point where we probably did not need to see them all happens, but I liked them none the less. The one with Jin and Sun almost made me cry. And as much as I hated Sayid and Shannon together, I loved their flashes, mainly because they were form the first season which I loved SO much. And I liked how Hurly and Boon just sat there and watched. Funny guys. I never actually realized that every single character I cared about was paired up with someone else until that episode, how silly of me! I'm a sucker for the love stories in Lost, I admit it.

*I love that the Island is straight up magic. Have I said this before? I think I have, but I'll say it again. Thorough the six seasons we were always trying to figure out what was with the Island, why it healed people or killed pregnant mothers or why there was a smoke monster or what that weird light thing was. But it turns out that the Island is straight up a magic Island. That explains everything. All along Dharma and the castaways were trying to use science to explain away the things going on on the Island, when really they should have listened to Locke (the real one, not 2.0) and just have faith that everything happened for a reason. The Island is Magic, so of course setting off that bomb at the end of season five would create a flash-sideways timeline where everything is different. Duh. That's what magic Islands do. Magic.

*Vincent and Jack. Sigh. I wanted to cry when Jack died, but I just didn't. Even when Vincent came to lie with him. I guess years of biting the inside of my mouth and tongue to stop from crying during movies had made it harder to let those tears flow. But I was crying on the inside. All along Jack has been all about "if we can't live together, we'll die alone," and there he was, dying alone. Then along comes Vincent, the poor dog who's owners always ended up dead. Good form writers. That scene was a keeper. I still have this secret wish that the entire finale had been all from Vincent's Point of View over the last six seasons, but I'm sure that is just me. I'm sure he has had his fair share of adventures. He probably knows exactly what is going on, but no one bothered to ask him.

*Locke's friendly smile before he goes into the church. I'VE MISSED THAT SMILE! John Locke has been one of my favorite characters from the first season. He was always so kind and full of faith, it was hard not to like him. I was always mad at Jack for not listening to him at least a little. That smile was SO cute, I wanted to jump into the TV and give him a hug. I hate that the Man in Black used Locke's body for evil. And boy did he look evil at some points. The actor who played Locke really rules. However in the end, there he was, the old Locke we all know and love, back and happy! Love love love.

I think that about does it. I'm sure there is more I have to say, but this is outrageously long as it is, so I'll spare you. Final thoughts on the finale: could have been more action (less shakey camera Island exploding), more answers and about an hour longer, but I guess I'm ok with how it turned out. Nicole was right again, the whole show has been about the characters more than anything. More than the Dharma stuff, more than the magic Island or who was good and who was bad. It was about a group of people who were all broken, but through their relationships with each other found peace and were made whole again. The finale does accomplish this. So I guess what I'm trying to say is that I was wrong. It was good. It was Lost at its most confusing, which means it's best.

Farewell Lost! I miss you already, more than I can possibly say. People will be talking about you for years to come, and one day I'll write a dissertation all about your myth and legend, not to mention what you did for TV in general. You changed the world! Thanks for the good times.


Ps. I still wish Kate had died. Man she annoyed me. Oh well. We can't have everything we want.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Goodbye and thank you to ‘Lost’

Tonight is the end of an era, the end of an era filled with smoke monsters, polar bears, witty nicknames, 'others' and confusion. For the last six years I have watched 'Lost' with my friends, family and the world and have gotten all worked up again and again when the end of an episode left me craving answers. 'Lost' was always an event rather than a TV show. In high school my Lovettsville friends and I would get Subway every Wednesday and watch it Tivoed and without commercials. In college Nicole and I would literally run home from whatever we were doing that night to watch 'Lost,' usually with a pizza or pack of wine coolers. It never failed that we usually had something going on Wednesday nights that came dangerously close to the time 'Lost' aired, but we always made it work. This year I've watched it at home with my parents, normally while skypeing with Nicole so we could pretend we were watching it together and discuss why oh why Kate had not died yet. No matter what, I always made time for this show. It is the only TV show I've ever committed to wholly, blowing off other things just to watch. 'Lost' has been a friend to me for the past six years and as such I feel compelled to say a proper goodbye in the form of a thank you letter.


Dear ABC's hit SiFi drama LOST,

Thank you for being you. Thank you for mystifying me each and every week and always leaving me wanting for just an extra 10 more minutes of your complex plot.

Thank you for putting Dominic Monahan in a TV show right after the last Lord of the Rings movie was over and done with. I have a feeling I'm not the only one out there who started watching just for him. You came to the world in a time of need, a deep need for more hobbit action in the form of a guitar playing drug addict lover boy. We could not quit Lord of the Rings cold turkey, and by putting Dom in a TV show we have been able to slowly wean ourselves off week by week. We all cried when Charlie died, but at that point we were so invested in all the other characters that our grief could not last all that long, we had other people to worry about.

Thank you for confusing me. Really, I mean it. No other show out there is as…out there. I may have complained week after week and shouted to the heavens for some answers, but to be honest, I have enjoyed being confused. I liked never knowing what was going to happen. These days it is so hard to come up with an original story, and in this world of Stephanie Myers clich├ęs and Christopher Paolini and Cassandra Clare plagiarism, I have thoroughly enjoyed your story that started out so simple and has developed into something so bizarre and complex that it has the most avid TV watchers perplexed. Thank you for being original.

Thank you for jumping the shark. Once the Island started jumping through time, I knew it had also jumped the proverbial shark, and I was ok with it. Not many shows can pull this off, and honestly, I don't know if you did or not. I just know I have been enjoying it. If I had a nickel for every time I shouted WTF at the TV in the last six years, I would be able to pay off all my student loans tomorrow. I know of a lot of people who stopped watching after the 3rd season or so, people who lost the faith and quit. I did not quit, and man am I glad I didn't. I knew it would pull through, and it did. For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about when I say something jumped the shark, it's simple. It is the point in a TV show where the plot crosses the line into ridiculous and usually causes the death of the show. You did not die.

Tonight you will end, but never die.




Tonight the finale starts at 9. I work tonight. Till 9. What's with that? But I have a plan, and thanks to Beth's Tivo, I'm going to make it happen anyway. Clean fast, get out fast, watch 'Lost' for the last time.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

In retrospect, this maybe a bit sappy.

I just decided five seconds ago that I want to learn how to play "Have a Little Faith in Me" by John Hiatt on the piano. It has been one of my favorite songs of all time ever since I saw "Benny and Joon" for the first time back in my Johnny Depp phase that all girls went through after seeing the first Pirates of the Caribbean. I took a few things away with me from seeing that movie; a new found love of a young, Charlie Chaplin version of Johnny Depp, a deep desire to find and wear Joon's dress with the writing on it, and a new favorite song. It's such a simple, beautiful, sweet song that I could not help but love it. It does not even have to be necessarily seen as a love song, as most songs are. It can be about a love between friends, family members or just about having faith that the ones we love are making the right decisions in life. Sure, the third to last verse is specifically about loving a girl, but it doesn't matter. Songs mean what you want them to mean. For instance, my favorite Dada song, "Moon," is probably about suicide, but I could put up a quasi-convincing argument that it could be about a loving relationship. I think so anyway.

I just keep listening to this song on repeat, it's wonderful.

I have been lucky enough to never have to ask for my family to have a little faith in me. They always have. My parents have always encouraged my brother and I to do what we love, even if it won't necessarily lead to a well paying job or a job at all. They are putting a lot of faith in me at the moment, faith that going all the way to England to get a Masters degree in Creative Writing will be worth it. Every time I tell people what I'm going across the pond to study and they give me that funny what-are-you-doing-with-your-life-that's-a-waste-of-money look, (you know the one) I just smile and smile and shrug. What can I do? You only live once, and if being in debt for the rest of my life is the price I have to pay for living in England for a year doing what I love best in the world, then so be it.

Speaking of schools, I got a rejection and an acceptance letter in the mail yesterday. Weird that I'm still getting those. The acceptance was from GMU. Yes, I got in again. Even after my year off and my deferment, they still seem to want me, un-waiting-listed and everything. I sent them a cheery thanks but no thanks e-mail the other day telling them that I already accepted a place at Brookes. It's nice to be wanted.

The rejection was from WVU. That one hurts. I can take rejections, I really can, you have to be able to take rejections if you do anything creative. But, being rejected from the place I spent four years and love with all my heart hurt me to the core. I know I shouldn't be hurt at all. I knew lots of MFA students while I was there and heard them read and they were all brilliant writers far beyond my skill level. I'm not surprised I did not get in at all. But something about getting that rejection letter from my alma mater signed by my favorite teacher really kills me.

Mom says I should e-mail my teacher and ask why I did not get in, just out of curiosity. It could very well be because I already told him and all my other teachers that I got into Brookes and am 100% going there, but more likely it's because I'm just not good enough. I think I'll leave it alone. I don't want to seem like a sore loser. I still love WVU now and forever, no matter how many rejections they send my way. Maybe I'll go there for my PhD. HA. That's funny. I crack myself up sometimes.

A special thanks to a dear group of people who have also always had faith in me; my grandparents. ALL OF THEM. I love you guys more than I can say. Thank you so much for everything you've done for me and all you continue to do, I don't know what I would do without you. I promise I'll make something of myself in England, or eventually. I know this seems random and cryptic, but that's ok. Those involved know exactly what I'm talking about. I LOVE YOU <3

Alright, I need to go to a work meeting. It's a beautiful day in the world; I hope everyone gets a chance to enjoy it.

"When the road gets dark
And you can no longer see
Just let my love throw a spark
And have a little faith in me"