During reading week I watched the pilot episodes and six subsequent episodes from Season 1 of Lost. It’s an okay show, and if I watched TV in real-time (over the air) this is the sort of thing that could nibble away at your weeknights until you realized you had none left. But. I watch TV only when I’m exercising on my elliptical trainer, and never broadcast, only DVD. (“Fortunately, I am immune.” -Spock)

The show has a very improvisational feel. It’s like they handed the writer a single line (“Charlie endures withdrawal symptoms”) and let them write an episode all on their own, inventing plot twists and so forth without regard for the other episodes. Obviously they aren’t doing that, because TV production requires sets, crew, etc. to be scheduled. But the show has that feel, which is all the more impressive because in these first few episodes, things like beard growth and cleanup activities on the beach have to be monitored for continuity.

But. The idea of a place where dreams come true and each person must confront their own personal demons blah, blah, etc. wears thin. The “what will they think of this week?” that the improvisational tone produces becomes “what stupid thing will they think of?” So I’m not going to run out and buy all three previous seasons. But I wouldn’t mind checking out the next volume from the library, in a couple of weeks or months when I’m less tired of the “overcoming one’s past” motif.

Lileks puts it best:

I tried to watch a “Lost” I hadn’t viewed, but I wasn’t in the mood – the repeats and missed episodes (again, the TiVo has failed me) have blunted my interest. … In short, I don’t have any more questions about the main characters; as others have noted, I don’t know why Hurley hasn’t lost weight, and I really can’t figure out why no one’s built a still.

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