As an avid follower of ‘Lost’, it’s really hard for me to begin on why I believe that this TV show has revolutionized the way shows are made and what’s to be expected. But as anyone can see from the title, this review isn’t about this at all. In fact, it’s about the opposite.
For those of you who follow, recently a long hiatus for ‘Lost’ has been given after a six-episode, Season 3 story-arc that left off, of course, with the proverbial cliff-hanger. Jack Shepherd, who was captured by the Others at the end of Season 2 (along with fellow survivors, Kate and Sawyer) has the lifeline of the enigmatic “Henry Gale” (A.K.A. Benjamin Linus), the apparent leader of the Others, in his surgical clutches. He, in turn, tries to use it as leverage to buy freedom for his fellow captives, namely, in this case, for Kate. But somewhere within this struggle, there’s a love triangle, a known secret that would foil Jack’s plan of escape, and a vengeful murder attempt on Sawyer.
Okay, now that I’m done summarizing, I’ll get to the point. Where was the ‘Lost’ that I knew before all this action soap-opera tripe started to come in? I came into Season 3 expecting more mystery, resolution, and original character development. In short, I expected it to be good, which I admit, is very hard with all the hype that ‘Lost’ has created for itself. But instead of receiving anything marginally close to the things that made Season 1 and 2 gold, what do the viewers get? Forced action scenes, over acted sex scenes, and old characters that seem to get more obnoxious with each passing episode.
According to various sources (TV Guide being one of them), the ‘Lost’ writers mentioned how Season 3 will focus more on “action” and “adventure”, rather than the deep mythological atmosphere that dominated the show in the first two seasons. So let me get this straight, rather than spending more time on exploring the greater mysteries of the island and expanding on character exploration, instead we, the audience, must be treated to more people shooting guns, more people getting shot with guns, and more people getting hit with things other than guns? When I first heard about this, I remember saying to myself, “Come on, that isn’t necessary! This must be some kind of joke.”
But after watching the first six episodes of Season 3 that’s exactly what I got-an action-adventure series, with occasional emphasis on sex and people getting killed or injured over and over again (which, in this case, is mostly Sawyer). Along with all that, I felt myself getting further dragged along by character flashbacks that already cover the same territory that was covered in Seasons 1 and 2. Jack is a control freak, who’s been hurt by his father and ex-wife and who, in turn, hurts them back; yes, okay, we get it. Sawyer’s a con, with some hints of compassion-wow, that’s so new.
If something was never broken, why go and try to fix it? Apparently, this cliché never occurred to the minds of any of the writers. The reason why it didn’t occur? Maybe the Others got to them? Maybe the strange smoke monster threatened their lives if they didn’t cater the show to its enigmatic liking?
Or maybe, just maybe, the answer is more common than we think-arrogance. Success and self-comfort gotten so far up the writers’ heads that they think that they could get away with anything, including tweaking the original formula to better fit the mold of every other TV show out there (e.g. more fist-fights, more bullets, more sex, and less expansion of characters and series mythology).
Here’s my advice: when you have an original idea that’s successful, don’t try to “improve” it by making it into something less original. If you have an original idea and atmosphere that appeals to so many people, keep going with it. Yes, this is a harsh review of what was a good show from the beginning. And yes, I do know that there are probably going to be many die-hard ‘Lost’ fans out there who would probably lynch me for this. And yes, the first six episodes of ‘Lost’ Season 3 weren’t totally lost (pun intended), as there were some memorable scenes throughout the season (many of which come from the episode involving Sun and Jin). But honestly, if ‘Lost’ wants to be more ‘found’, it should focus on the things that made it ‘Lost’ to begin with.