Lost in Cat-Tales

May 24, 2010

The Lost finale was last night, and considering the number of comic book writers who took a turn on the island, I figured it was worth an evening of my time, if only for blogging purposes today. I hadn’t watched for the past few years. The one time I looked in, I saw some kid (who I think might have been the French woman’s son) strapped into the eyelid-propper torture chair from Clockwork Orange. “Yeah, okay…” and I went on my way. For the past few years I have been very nicely holding up the show as an example for non-comic friends to see what most comic writers do: take everything that brought the audience in in the first place and wreck it.

So I went into last night’s viewing in pretty much the same spirit that I went to see the first Iron Man film: not expecting to have a wildly good time. Like the first Iron Man, I was pleasantly surprised. First, ABC did what they learned in that very first season with Lost and Desperate Housewives: shows that had too many secrets, mysteries, and half-told backstories for the average viewer to keep track of, particularly over the mid-season mini-hiatus. As I said back then, it wasn’t a case of thinking the audience was stupid, it was a simple acknowledgement of the fact that this is just a TV show and people have lives. For every person who can identify all the record albums in the hatch, there are 100,000 who have to remember to pick up the dry cleaning. So those recaps were very important, but there was a downside. Every time they necessarily began with the plane crash and the introductions, so every time they necessarily reminded you how good the show was in the beginning, why you came to like it, and that automatically drew attention to how far it had drifted off course.

Last night’s recap had none of that subliminal trouser-dropping. It wisely edited out as much of the dross as it could, so if you didn’t know any better, you’d think the show had never lost its way. One of the execs proudly declared “The mystery of the show is ‘Who are these people?’” as if they’d known it all along. Daniel Dae Kim (the actor who plays Jin) smilingly remembers that Season One was his favorite.

With that recap bringing the rest of us up to speed, so we could enjoy the finale alongside the die-hards who never left, the last chapter of this 6 year story commenced. I found it to be extraordinarily well-written. /spoilers follow/ Little structural touches like the “Sideways” Jack restoring Loche’s legs at the same time Jack is gearing up to kill Loche in the main timeline, that isn’t something we see very often in this arena. I was also impressed by the theme explored. Scratch that – I was impressed by the writing chops they brought to the task. I’m sorry if this offends anyone, but in my experience, comic writers as a breed don’t do too well when they tackle the big meaning of life stuff. As for the theme itself as a resolution for the series, I find it strangely fitting. Yes, we all die, but in the world of Lost there was an actual rule to that effect. Honest to god mandate of the writers room: you could snuff anybody except the dog.

The USA Today commented that the finale “like anything that is earnest and hopeful” will attract mockery in certain quarters. While I don’t feel it deserves it, I would like to submit the following to the Millerites and misanthropes who are currently firing up their 2-cycle weedwacker intellects for the task: We all die—except for the golden lab.

As for Cat-Tales… Okay, briefly: Seriously productive week. Chapter almost done. One possible additional scene I may tag on after the proof and polish run. I figured I’d decide later and sent it out to the betas for some pre-proofing commentary. That’s an unusual practice for me, but schedules (mine and theirs) are like the tides: they wait for no man, and they don’t stop for oil spills. I finished some video capture and cataloging that video for a TBA. Editing is next. Followers of the Dark Knight ARG know that I’m no stranger to simple video and not-so-simple Flash, but that was two laptops ago and, more to the point, there’s a new generation of software to contend with. Kitty is a little intimidated by an interface that looks like the cockpit of a 747 compared to the stuff I was using, but hey, gotta take the leap sometimes, right? We also had a little upheaval with the old forum problem. The All-Seeing Oracle could post regular messages but not create polls, so I had to step in there, just for the week. And it looks like we’ll be on a Wednesday-to-Wednesday schedule for a while with the caption contest. Got some stuff in for one of the summer projects—YAY—and what’s unbelievable is, as much as I was looking forward to seeing what this person came up with, it completely exceeded my expectations. I’ve said it before, it’s going to be a very purple summer. Meow.

Chris Dee

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