Monday, 10 October 2016


“Once upon a time, I dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. I was conscious only of my happiness as a butterfly, unaware that I was myself. Soon I awaked, and there I was, veritably myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man.” - Zhuang Zhou

In mid-August I wrote a review on the TV Series “Lost”, which is a six-season show first seen on TV between 2004 and 2010. It concerns the survivors of a plane crash that are forced to work together in order to survive on a seemingly deserted tropical island. Halfway through watching the show, we were quite impressed and we kept on watching as the plot was good, the acting excellent and the production values high.

Well, we’ve lasted till the end of the show and we have finished watching it. Although, admittedly it was a little bit of an effort to keep on watching towards the end of the series. Plot devices that worked initially became messy as the show progressed. The morass of flash-forwards and flash-backs, alternate realities and simultaneous exposition of multiple plot threads tired the viewer. A lot of action and plot exposition that viewers had invested in and wanted logical resolution of just petered out and no explanation was offered.

From about the third season on, the supernatural aspect became more and more apparent and anything could be explained by pulling appropriate rabbits out of multiple hats and “deus ex machina” plot savers. The philosophical questions posed by the script writers became messy and what may have been started as a rumination of the essence of being and the meaning of life became a cheap clairvoyance session with a fake medium.

We valiantly kept watching but by mid sixth season it was becoming apparent that the series would end with a whimper, not a bang. So we watched the final episode and it was unfortunately such an anti-climax that we just looked at one another and managed to say: “Wait on, is that it? Surely not!” But there it all was, it had finished in a puff of smoke. Quite disappointing…

Yet, I guess, we were glad to have watched it and the moral of the story is, be very wary of the behemoth that the entertainment industry has become – especially so, TV and TV series. It’s all about ratings and profits and if a show becomes a money spinner it will be dragged out to extremes and the plot will end up as nonsense. In a way, that is why I tend to enjoy British series quite a lot. They tend to be shorter and meatier and punchier.

Should you watch “Lost”? I guess the answer is yes if you moderate your expectations and view it as escapist entertainment pure and simple. You may watch it with someone and tease out the philosophy that it is attempting to expose people to, but this is going to be hard work on your part. Otherwise it watch it and enjoy the good production, excellent acting some good humour and don’t expect fireworks in the end!

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