Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Recently I learned that I’ve contracted some kind of contagious condition. I’m trying not to let it get to me, reminding myself that millions of people live with the same problem, and as long as they get their weekly treatments, they’re okay… somewhat. Still, I had avoided this thing since the outbreak a couple of years ago, but now I caught it, and I got it bad. Kinda wish my girlfriend hadn’t infected me -- on purpose, no less.

She got me addicted to “Lost”.

I figured I wasn’t at risk. I had built up an immunity to entertainment sagas with any kind of fantasy element a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. A dose of those damn Ewoks did it. Even when a new surreal strain of conspiracy-theory TV emerged, I wasn’t susceptible -- nothing of the sort could Twin Peaks my interest.

So, I told her, sure, baby, I’ll watch a little of Season 1 on DVD. Won’t get me hooked. I had already tried “24” and made it 24 minutes in before Kiefer’s voice put me to sleep. Couldn’t imagine this show -- which I imagined to be a “scripted Survivor” -- to be much better.

But I was wrong. I spent every free moment watching each episode, and every other free moment obsessing over it, walking around analyzing the rich developed characters and trying to figure out the mysteries of their island. I won’t spend another moment lauding the show here -- I’m way behind on this, and besides, I’m just starting to watch Season 2 before they premiere this year’s new episodes. So I don’t wanna hear any spoilers. I’ve avoided the hundreds of geeky fan-sites that discuss this show to death. I may have the bug, but don’t lump me in with those sickos. I ain’t no “Lost Boy”.

Though I will say that by nature of a long-running series, the writers may quickly jump the shark by introducing new questions without answering any of the old ones. I’m already infuriated by the devices in which information is kept from being shared: Charlie “saw nothing”, Claire has amnesia, Rousseau is insane and never gives a straight answer. Friggin’ soap operas. By trying to keep the mysteries going, they may lose the interest of viewers. Or maybe it’s just me.

Or maybe it’s that I’m a little jealous. I went to film school with one of the writers. Shortly after we graduated, he had gotten a real lucky break that jumpstarted his career. But he’s a good guy, a good writer and works hard. So I was happy for him, and I know he deserves the success. Besides, he was always involved with projects that weren’t my thang. He loves all that sci-fi stuff, and went from one “X-Files”-influenced show to the next. Even when I heard his new gig at “Lost” created a hit, and he won an Emmy, I simply thought: good for him, with his other-worldly tales of wonder. I prefer more reality-based stories. Although I can’t say that’s why I work for so-called reality television…

And now that I’ve seen “Lost” and am afflicted and addicted, admiring the clever writing, wondering what’s gonna happen with the guys on the raft, what’s down that hatch, why Hurley is still so hefty… I’m feeling a little jealous again. But I heard that my friend from film school left “Lost”, presumably to work on yet another series. I hope he’s moving up, taking a position on a program that gives him more creative control. Although, knowing our different tastes, that won’t necessarily mean I’d be that into his new show.

Unless, of course, my girlfriend gets me hooked on it, too.


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