Lost: TV series

I just finished watching Lost on Netflix. It’s a 6-season, 120 episode series from J.J. Abrams.

70 airline passengers trapped on a deserted island after their plane is ripped in two mid-flight. There’s espionage, danger, secrecy, and more back-story and intertwined histories that can’t help but weave an intriguing story that leaves you waiting for the next twist. Hurley is my personal favorite – the lovable bear that just tries to be friendly and hold everything together, even though his curse keeps him alone and frustrated. Dr. Jack Shepherd is the typical thinks-he’s-God surgeon trying to “save the world” while taking charge of 40+ people both as physician and leader. Sawyer is the con man with an almost ridiculous perception of what property is – whining about his stolen stuff was stolen from him.

The first 4 seasons I was on the edge of my seat. I laughed, I cried, I was truly inspired and really enjoyed the series. And without painting too pretty a picture of it, season 5 went straight to crap. Being so emotionally invested – not to mention having devoted so much time into it (about 60 hours by this point) – I finished the series anyway, while slowly developing a true loathing for having started.

What a waste of time. Now I’m frustrated because it didn’t really answer some of the questions and it was obviously closed up just to tie everything together with a bow and without a thought for how the viewer felt about the characters. I fully expected the cast to sing Kumbaya at the end with the Locke/not-Locke characters carrying the bass range in perfect harmony of each other and Charlie ditching his Ovation guitar for a banjo.

The worst of this was that the it ended much like the TV series “Dallas” from the 80s. Oh how that entire series became a punchline overnight after the “Dream Sequence” ending. While Lost didn’t end as a dream, they did manage to tie the whole time-travel/alternate-reality chain together in much the same way in mind-numbingly-slow near 2-hour finale. Sigh.

Was it worth watching?

Yes. Watch the first 4 seasons. They’re awesome!

But stop after season 4. Seriously, if you continue through 5 and 6 you’ll have sunk another 25 hours into it and have only additional frustration to show for it. Don’t waste your time.

Is it any coincidence that season 4, where things started turning to crap, coincides with the 2007-2008 writer’s strike?

12 Monkeys Rocks

I have to say that 12 Monkeys is one of my all-time favorite films.

Yes, I know the subject matter is a tad on the macabre side; definitely not a movie for the kiddies but 12 Monkeys really has it all.  It’s science fiction, drama, futuristic, comedy, and global climate propaganda all wrapped up in one.

I could watch Brad Pitt rattle those cages in the psych ward all day long and his litany on consumer spending is simply outrageous. Brad Pitt plays his part of mental hospital tour guide to perfection. “Wackos everywhere. Plague of madness.” Who thinks this stuff up?

The story opens in the wintry wasteland of the year 2035, where a virulent plague has forced humans to live in a squalid, oppressively regimented underground.

Bruce Willis plays a societal outcast who is given the opportunity to erase his criminal record by “volunteering” to time-travel into the past to obtain a pure sample of the deadly virus that will help future scientists to develop a cure.

But in bouncing from 1918 to the early and mid-1990s, he undergoes an ordeal that forces him to question his own perceptions of reality. Caught between the dangers of the past and the devastation of the future, he encounters a psychiatrist who is initially convinced he’s insane, and a wacky mental patient with links to a radical group that may have unleashed the deadly virus. Equal parts mystery, tragedy, psychological thriller, and apocalyptic drama, 12 Monkeys ranks as one of the best science fiction films of the ’90s

This is a must see movie. Just be sure to wait until the kids are in bed.