As promised, I’ve been doing my best to get back on the bus. I procured Edith Grossman’s translation of Don Quixote and I’ve even started reading it. I can’t believe I waited this long. Footnotes elucidating the implicit irony of double entendres rooted in Latin may not be for everyone—so, fear not, I won’t go into to detail here—but they really do it for me. (And Rocinante is just so much fun to say!) By the time I finished the prologue I was grinning and thinking, ‘Yes, this is the book for me.’
Also, Lost finally became available on my Netflix queue. For a while now I’ve been curious to know what all the fuss is about. I have mixed feelings regarding anything J.J. Abrams related. The prevalence of Felicity reruns is the number one reason, after reality programming, that I canceled cable. I was an NYU student in the mid-nineties and that show was so fake. Aside from every set and scenario that didn’t ring true, the plot was pathetic. Let’s not even get me started.
And then there was Alias. Jennifer Garner had been in an episode of Felicity playing the girl some guy dumps for Keri Russell—a new depth for the ever-lowering bar in demanding the viewer’s willing suspension of disbelief. Anyway, I remembered her and as soon as I saw her kick ass in costume, I was into it. Plus, I’ve been on to Michael Vartan since Fiorile. Seasons one and two were rewarding, ridiculous, rollicking fun. But then they couldn’t figure out what to do next. They wouldn’t drop the Rambaldi plotline or introduce compelling new villains. Seriously, no one has ever given Quentin Tarantino less to do as an actor. The woman was still amazing to watch, but the series was no 24.
So, much in line with my attitude toward men these days, I came to Lost with low expectations and high hopes. I watched the first half of season one in one sitting and I was impressed. The pilot alone—with the opening shot of Foxy in the reeds and then the terrifying remnants of the fuselage about to explode and engulf oblivious survivors at any moment—was certainly an accomplishment. The structure, revealing elements of the individual characters’ back-stories in each episode while propelling the larger island drama, was well done. But I wasn’t hooked.
During the four days it took me to get to the rest of the season, I did not once consider the potential directions the plot could take. I didn’t really care what else was on that island. Having seen it all now, I wonder if they even needed that mysterious element? I mean, it’s not like this is another Gilligan’s Island. They have an engaging underlying drama with the mechanics and pitfalls of being stranded alone. If they do need the horror, why aren’t they using it better? No one was afraid to go into the jungle after a few episodes and it’s not like the bogeyman went away. It’s just that the writers needed to get to the caves and Ethan and Rousseau, and they got a little lazy. Newsflash: I hate lazy writers.
Still, there is a lot to love when it comes to the characters on this show. Who you think they are in the beginning and what you learn about them along the way, that’s what kept me watching. I want to know what happened with Foxy’s wife and how directly that mini-bottle of Vodka in his suit coat pocket related to his father’s alcoholism. And, frankly, it’s eating me up inside that the rest of the world knows What Kate Did and I do not. Everything about Hurley is fascinating and refreshing. And Locke, I dig you man. For real!