May 30, 2010

So, it’s been a week, and I’ve had time to fully digest the last episode of Lost. I’ve considered not writing about it, because I don’t want to be that guy, but whatever. Lost always seemed to be two shows to me: the first three seasons were a fantastic mystery show, and the last three seasons were a B-grade science fiction show, with all the time travel and ghost talking and whatnot. My first inclination was that the finale had a number of logical flaws, but, after talking to some diehards, I realized I was just overthinking it. Why were all the main characters in the church at the end? Because they were the main characters, and that’s what most fans wanted to see. I think they really missed a chance to make a philosophical statement here. If they’d all gotten into the church, and then someone pointed out that certain main characters were not fit to cross over into the afterlife. I mean, Sayid was a murdering machine. He butchered like dozens of people in one episode alone.  Even Sawyer shot an unarmed hostage, a hostage named “Mr. Friendly”, and as I recall Juliet murdered a handful of people in cold blood in her bid to get off of the island. How awesome would it have been if Christian had stopped them at the door to the church and been like “Are you insane? You can’t come in here.”

Anyway, rather than bitch and moan about how I didn’t like the last three seasons, with its hokey time travel, cliche character development, and contrived love interests, I’ll just mention the five things that I wish they had adressed. I won’t even mention how let down I was that the ‘answers’ to our biggest questions consisted of one character saying something like “So, you’re a ghost?” and another character looking straight into the camera and saying “yes I am a ghost that was me that time you saw that thing.”

#5 – Hurley’s Name

Hugo’s nickname was Hurley. Well, at least it was before the last season, when everyone just forgot and called him Hugo all the time. In season 1, he blurts out “My real name’s not even Hugo! It’s Hurley! And I’m not going to tell you why!” Or something to that effect. WHY WAS HE CALLED HURLEY?

#4 – No Seriously, The Smoke Monster

The explanation they gave for the smoke monster is seriously ridiculous. For the entire show, dozens of people refer to the smoke monster as a “security system for the temple.” In fact, Montand says that exact thing after the monster tears off his arm. In the first season, we see the smoke monster trying to ratchet people into holes, and at one point it seems injured when Locke throws a wad of dynamite on it. Also, it kills Mr. Eko after making some sort of value judgement about his life.Locke also makes it somewhat clear early on that there may be two monsters, when he refers to the one that he saw as “beautiful” and specifically states that he’d seen something other than the black smoke. And Ben can summon it to kill the freighter crew.  But later, we find out the smoke monster is an invincible creature that actually isn’t a security system for anything. So, this idea that the smoke monster used to be a dude is flimsy and not really… well, not really supported by anything in the first five or so seasons. I’d like the real explanation, plz.

#3 – We’re here to watch

The Other’s favorite past-time was kidnapping people. The first two seasons are edge-of-the-seat horror fests waiting for Ethan to show up and grab someone by the face. At one point, Jack is in a bear cage and all of the kidnapped people come out to meet him. He asks why they’re there, and the flight attendant friend of his says “we’re here to watch.” At the time, this line was stone cold genius. What did it mean? Why did she say it? My fevered brain worked overtime to unravel the mystery. Later, it’s revealed that the person Ben thinks is Jacob is actually the Monster in disguise, so the whole point of collecting the people on the lists and sending them to the temple, where they cannot be hurt by the monster, is… wait. What? The explanation for the kidnappings was awesome, before they mucked it up with this contradictory, confusing malarky about the monster.

It didn’t mean anything. Later, the kidnapped persons are either killed at the temple or blown up by Widmore’s artillery. I guess tying up loose ends on lost actually means killing off everyone other than the main characters, and forgetting that those side characters were at one point an incredibly important, integral part to the story.

#2 – Down with the Sickness

Wasn’t there a freaky disease people were supposed to catch on the island? Kelvin warns Desmond not to leave the hatch, or else he’d catch the disease, though this could likely have been a ploy to keep Desmond occupado. On the other hand, Desmond injects himself with Dharama-brand medicine every morning, and it looks like pretty serious business. Kelvin couldn’t have just cooked that stuff up himself to mess with Desmond. On the other hand, a whole lot of importance is placed, in the early seasons, on how anyone who has a baby on the island dies. Then Claire has a baby and doesn’t die. Whatever, she’s special. Well, she’s special in the first few seasons. Rousseau also mentions that her team was overcome with a sickness that forced her to murder them. The closest we see to this is the Dogan’s mumbojumbo about Sayid being infected with a darkness, which causes him to lose all feeling and empathy. Well, until there’s a chance to die like a hero, which he takes, because that’s what the fans want. Anyway. Seriously, whatever happened to this sickness?

#1 – The Dharma Initiative

The Dharma Initiative were the colonizers of the island, eventually wiped out by Ben’s nefarious plotting. Yet, in the episode LockDown, the DI airlifts supplies to the island. They’re an enormously powerful group, sponsoring research all over the globe, killing off half the people in Sri Lanka, and creating the system of hatches, barracks, and labs on the island. Yet, Ben murders their entire group, and the DI… is never heard from again. Oh, they can get to the island, as evidenced by the airlift, but they never bother to investigate the disappearance of hundreds of their personell at their most important research station. There was a time when I thought the freighter crew were DI operatives. Man, that would have been awesome. The DI is a huge part of the first three seasons, they’re pretty much the guarantors for most of the islands mysteries, and for some reason, (outside of BS timetravel malarky) they’re never heard from again once their team is wiped out. The others, especially at the end of season 2, are shown to have a variety of highly advanced technology, presumably taken from the DI (i.e. the dart guns, tazers, etc.)

There are so many other things wrong with the show’s ending. Desmond promised Charlie his death would cause Claire to get on a helicopter and leave the island. It never happens. The kidnappings. The idea of being a ‘good person.’ It seems obvious to me that the people that make lost have a sort of attention deficit disorder. They create all these awesome things that are super important at the time (i.e. the Others having super advanced technology such as those dart rifles, which they then never use after the third season, or the chip they implant in Jack to make him fall ill) and then, once they get their eyes on something new, they forget about it.

Eh. I’m glad it’s over. It ended as well as it could have. But I wish they’d made six seasons of the show they started making, and not three seasons of the original show and three seasons of vapid summer blockbuster.


The more things change…

May 29, 2010

I decided I’d take a shot at going to the Arab grocery store today. There’s a guy there that understand Moroccan, so we chat a bit, and when he asks me what I’m looking for, I figure, it’s a hot day, I might as well get a watermelon. I’ve been eating those things like crazy recently. So I tell him I want a din’djaal.

He comes back with one of the most god-awful looking things I’ve ever seen. It’s got black, rubbery skin. I think to myself, holy moley, Arab watermelons are freaking ridiculous looking. But I get it, and figure it’ll be an interesting experience, I mean, eating a black watermelon and all. The entire way home I’m excited I found such a ridiculously strange looking food.

Yeah. I looked it up after I cut into the thing. What I had asked for, and what he had given me, was an eggplant.

He’s on to me

May 25, 2010

Last week I had a visitor. Not so much a visitor as a walking, talking reminder that I’m an ass. But that’s not really the point. She got here wednesday, and on thursday we were having a goodbye party for one of the folks at work. We went out for Dim Sum. And, since it was the night after my friend arrived, I went with a mild hangover. Nothing too big, just a little fuzziness around the edges. I’ve certainly had worse and worked straight through them.

We’re sitting at the Dim Sum lunch, and I swear to heaven, the first thing to come out is a plate full of jellied chicken’s feet. I was super excited; I love trying ridiculously adventurous food like that. But for a fraction of a second, a horrible, paralyzing fear went through my brain that my boss knew I was hungover and was trying to provoke me into revealing it.

Nobody outgrosses me, hangover or no hangover. I’m like a handsome Andrew Zimmern.

Model Store

May 15, 2010

I went to the model store to buy some aeroplane paint and caulk, because model aeroplane manufacturers can’t put out a single kit where the wing/fuselage joint isn’t all jacked up.

Anyway, as I was going out, this scraggly dude with a long goatee was trying to get in at the same time. I said “I beg your pardon” and he started talking about how nice it was to meet someone who was polite. The entire time I was wishing he’d just get to the part where he asks me for change so I can get on with my day. Aaaaaaand, that’s all for this installment of ironic judgmental theatre.