This is what I'm talking
about; a new action drama, with all the promise of three-dimensional
characters, dozens (if not hundreds) of plot possibilities, and the
promise of any number of plot twists to keep the ball rolling. Lost
is not only the best new show of 2004; it's quite frankly one of the first
times I've felt this good about a new network series, in a very long time.
The premise is as simple
as it is with great potential: a plane has crashed on an apparently
desolate island, 1000 miles off course, leaving a spattering of survivors.
How these people survived a plane crash that left the hull of the plane a smoldering
trash heap is a mystery. How they will survive, and how they can get home,
is another one.
survivor we've seen so far has a story to tell --and a very interesting
one-- with the core of the drama centering on the series' hero, Jack
(Matthew Fox). Jack is the man many survivors are turning to for advice,
being the only known doctor alive among the survivors. He takes this new
role with the perfect amount of apprehension yet responsibility. In short;
he's the perfect lead character for this series. The role is perfectly
cast, and perfectly written.
This is just one of maybe
a dozen three-dimensional characters in this series. Kate (Evangeline Lilly)
was in handcuffs prior to the plane's crash; why? Charlie (Dominic Monaghan)
hid something in the front restroom of the plane, which he goes out of his
way to retrieve; what was it? The plot surprises just keep on coming,
culminating in the final episode seen just prior to this review's posting,
where one of the castaways (Alias' Terry O'Quinn) is revealed to
have been confined to a wheelchair prior to the crash. What's up with that
What's great about this
series is that even bit players have well done character development. One
man's possibly terrorist past is implied. Another pair of survivors speak
no English. A young survivor (Roswell's
Emilie de Ravin) is in her third trimester of pregnancy. Another survivor
seems to be ready to fly off the handle, and is arguably an even bigger
threat than the possible terrorist. The plot possibilities here are
true that great characters are nothing if not given great predicaments.
That said; they have predicaments galore! This beach they crashed on is no
mere "Gilligan's Island" wannabe, somewhere in the Pacific.
There is a lot of weird stuff going on here, with the biggest (literally)
being a sort of invisible beast, stomping whole trees in the distance.
Whatever this creature is, it can apparently cloak itself to the
underbrush, and what's more, it's not too friendly, having killed the
plane's sole surviving pilot, by removing his skin (or...something). This
is actually one of many strange beasts in the jungle underbrush, including
a polar bear. Yeah, I know what you're asking; what's a polar bear doing
on a tropical island? That's what the castaways want to know too.
Not yet. Even the sillier moments of the series can be excused as being
due to the characters being under severe stress, in dire circumstances. At
one point the series' quasi-heroine, now-refugee Kate, washes herself in
her underwear on the beach. This scene was a whole lot of "Look at
the hot chick we cast as the lead actress," especially when she's
apparently just a walk away from the other castaways. Then again; people
under stress do weird things in stressful times. Maybe she just didn't
Much like how each
episode entices us with little morsels of new knowledge, it is perhaps
best to end the review here. Nearly anyone who watches TV is probably
already watching this series, so what is the point of a review? Suffice to
say that for those who aren't watching it yet --both of you!-- now is the
time to do so. This is one of the best serial dramas ABC has offered in
many years. Now all ABC has to do is realize what a gold mine they have on
their hands, and not (noooo!) stupidly cancel it. If someone does cancel
it, though; isn't there some deserted island we can send them to?
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