Thursday, October 12, 2006

Just some quick notes about last night’s dramas:

(Here there be spoilers)

Lost probably provides more fuel for the side arguing that not enough happens. Which is true, if you believe that the only story the show is telling is about the island. Instead, I would argue that the show is about these people who are now physically lost on this island, but who all may have been spiritually lost for much longer. And if we don’t learn who these people are and how they came to be, if our viewing of their current circumstances isn’t informed by their backgrounds, then what is the point? We might as well just be watching a monkey in a smoking jacket sitting in a chair explaining everything to us. (That’s a reference to the highly recommended Lost podcast.)

(Speaking of the Lost podcast, this week, Damon LIndeloff wisely pointed out to people who don’t like waiting for answers that Criminal Minds on CBS is a great show. This week, Mandy Patinkin will be catching a serial killer.)

So, did anything happen on Lost this week? Well, we learned that Sun isn’t as trustworthy and honorable as we’d like to believe. As a child, she was responsible for a maid being fired because Sun blamed her for something that Sun had done. We learned that she did cheat on her husband, which may also explain how Sun can be pregnant on the island if Jin is impotent. (“This show never answers any questions!”) We learned that, when push comes to shove, Jin won’t kill when ordered to, and that he resents—or resented—Sun for putting him in the position where he would be ordered to. We learn that Sun will kill when threatened. We learn that the Others aren’t necessarily as tough as they’d like everyone to think, except for Juliette. We learn that Ben has been on the island all his life, which I believe would predate the Dharma Initiative. So they’ve been on the island longer than previously thought. And they have connections to the outside world, although if Jack thought they were lying about the World Series, I’m not sure why he didn’t at least suspect that the video of the game was faked. But still, we know it wasn’t, so the Others must have gotten it somehow.

So these are the sorts of things the average episode of Lost makes me think about, and that’s why I don’t accuse it of treading water just because it doesn’t explain where the polar bears come from.

And it’s getting late, and I still want to watch tonight’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy before I go to bed. (I work on Thursday nights, so I have to record everything to watch later. But I’m still really enjoying The Nine. Sure, it’s only been two episodes, but any more, I only give a new show about five minutes to hook me. So sticking with it this long says something.

As I said, I don’t want to spend too much more time blogging, but one connecting theme that developed last night between two characters was the idea of doing the wrong thing for the right reasons. Now, Jeremy killing the comatose bank robber is the sort of vigilante justice that we’re often meant to applaud, but I suspect it’s not going to work out all confetti and bouquets of flowers. It just doesn’t feel like that sort of show. And seeing Nick, the cop, sell out, even if it was to protect the others, was also a bit of a surprise. I had expected that story to be a fairly typical, “I’m going to do what’s right no matter the cost” storyline, and it turned left when I expected it to turn right. So this one is definitely a keeper as well.

And both these shows can be viewed, for free, online at ABC's web site.

I also caught the first episode of 30 Rock, the Tina Fey sitcom set behind the scenes of a live sketch comedy show. (Not to be confused—in any real sense—with the great Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, the Aaron Sorkin drama set behind the scenes of a live sketch comedy show.) I wasn’t bowled over, but I made it all the way through and want to check it out next week. Possibly more later.

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