Saturday, May 29, 2010

Lost Ponderings


Lost has come and gone, but I'm still contemplating the finale and all the many hours I've devoted my life to this story. A few Lost ponderings that I've resonated with:

Julie Clawson on the power of narrative and community in a postmodern landscape: "This isn’t what TV is supposed to be about; this isn’t what modern storytelling is even about. And it’s certainly not what the modern American individualist has been conditioned to be all about. But the way Lost captured our attention and the way it (especially the finale) connected us on a visceral level to the longing to be a part of something bigger than just ourselves demonstrated that perhaps “the way things are” is not how they are meant to be."

Brett McCracken on how Lost embodied the post-9/11 world of globalization and interconnectedness: "Lost, however, is a show that seems more akin to the spirit and legacy of 9/11. It feels like a cultural touchstone that resonated with audiences–global audiences–in part because it embodied so many of the decade’s post-traumatic questions and preoccupations–that sense of existential unease, renewed spiritual interest, “Where are we?!” discombobulation, and “I’m not really surprised by anything anymore” resignation to the otherworldly unpredictability of this treacherous life. Polar bears on a tropical island? Unexplained smoke monsters? It somehow made sense in a “I just watched skyscrapers fall to the ground” world."

A friend forwarded this to me: Ken Tucker on the finale's overt Christian imagery: "For if there was one thing we can probably all agree upon, in the end, Jack Shephard was a Christ figure whose sacrifice saved many other people. The imagery could not have been more specific: Jack’s questioning and obeying of his father; his leadership of a small group of disciples; his final ascension (in TV terms, in a glowing white light). Even the piercing of his side by Locke/Man In Black was in the part of his body where Christ was speared while in agony on the crucifying cross."

I understand people's frustration with the finale. "But they didn't answer any questions about the island!" Perhaps that isn't the right focus. If you view the island as the end or the goal of the show, then you'll be disappointed. If you view the island as a means to an end, then everything falls into place. The goal is the not the island; the goal is community, relationship. Much like the beauty of heaven, if your goal is golden streets and the easy life, then you've missed the point. The goal is not a place, but a Person (three Persons, actually). So despite many Christians' anger over the "all roads lead to paradise" imagery in the final moments, maybe Lost gave us an inspiring picture of heaven after all.

1 comment:

  1. I like the way you put it. Even after almost a week, people are still talking about the finale with me and I have found that the more people think about it, the more they like it. I'm going to really miss all the theories I used to read online and the community that grew around the show. They're supposed to add a 13-14 minute epilogue to the season 6 DVD and I'm really looking forward to that.

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