October 17, 2007

LOST in Addiction

Print More

I first started watching LOST over winter break of last year. In dire need of a little rest and relaxation after a taxing freshman year, my sister and I (both normally active and sociable individuals) sat in a state closest to vegetation as I ever hope to come for three entire days. We paused only to return and rent each subsequent disc, driving up to thirty miles at times in pursuit of the next season or to avoid any number of incurred late fees. My introduction to the series, as well as my feelings of self-disgust created by my three-day obsessive TV binge remains quite representative of my love-hate relationship with LOST.
All last year I would look forward to my weekly drama fix. Come Wednesday night, though as much as I looked toward 10:00 with anticipation, I dreaded the type of person I would become. Every week, for one hour, I became the type of TV viewer I despise most. That girl who comments on every action, gasps at plot turns, shouts out warnings to the television screen, presents openly all of their horribly misguided guesses, and addresses, and relates to the characters as if they were real individuals. I completely ruined the viewing experience for everyone else present. I hate LOST because I swore to myself I would never experience this level of obsession, dependence, and impractical interest in a TV show again back in middle school after my fixation with the NBC soap opera Passions. Yes I love LOST for its ability to transform amazing plot turns, overly exaggerated drama, and seemingly ridiculous circumstances into something wonderful, gripping and brilliant.
From week-to-week, viewers like myself are left with intense life-or-death plotlines unsolved, completely unforeseen relationships, as well the most humanistic glimpses of sexual tension, emotion, and survival instincts. Americas has loved watching with over 20 million viewers in the first seasons living out their fears and wildest adventure fantasies from the safety and comfort of their own couch. Tantalized weekly by uncertainty of survival, extreme conditions, horrifying fears, and sometimes the utterly unrealistic and mythical, viewers are left with a giant real life survivor or game of Risk, in which the audience holds the clues and must fit together the puzzle pieces. Plus, who doesn’t love watching a badass, tattooed doctor, with all his immense emotional baggage, save innocent (or maybe not so innocent) plane crash survivors from island natives who may or may not be somehow affiliated with a scientific experiment gone wrong?
Unfortunately for ABC, more than tenmillion viewers have already given up on LOST, because after several seasons the puzzle pieces are still not fitting. In fact, somewhere along the line it appears as if the producers have lost the picture as well. Although not lacking for creativity, with no tidy ends, fleeting ratings, and sixty more hours of island drama on the drawing board one has to wonder if LOST will ever make it to a foreseeable conclusion. After winning a 2005 Emmy, 2006 Golden Globe, and numerous other awards in the last season, ratings have dropped down to an all time low of 12.8 million viewers. LOST’s complicated plot turns, unsolved mysteries, and questionable basis on reality has turned many viewers away.
But not me. I have dedicated too much time to quit now. My only hope is that LOST’s writers can pull something out of their drug induced imaginative series, because if LOST flops I may just die. Although my obsession is completely irrational and entirely too time consuming, I refuse to stop now. I look to February with much trepidation. As much as I want and need that hour of my life back, I know for me and the rest of the most loyal fans it marks the beginning of three more years of obsession, anxiety, and, of course, great TV.