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Now that Premiere Day is upon us, I must discuss something that's bothered me lately: people talking about how they could never watch "Lost" because it's "too complicated" and they can't keep up. Or people who DO watch the show and think it's too complicated and they can't keep up. 

I am here to tell you that that is simply not true.  People call it a niche "serialized" drama, but that's ridiculous, because EVERY SHOW IS SERIALIZED (maybe not The Simpsons.  But almost every show).  All of them are better when watched in order, and that includes CSI.  But how many people actually do that, every time, never missing episodes?  Have you never watched a random rerun of a series you don't normally folllow?  You did fine, right?  I did fine with X-Files. 

The point is, your brain will not explode if you watch Lost out of order and/or come late to the party.  All those things people talk about, the secret clues and the ZOMG INSANE PLOT TWISTS you have to follow for years?  Completely unnecessary.  They're bonuses, certainly, and you can make them as complicated as you want to enhance your fun, but they are not required for basic enjoyment purposes.  How many people would say it's impossible to understand Grey's Anatomy unless you've seen it from the beginning?  Lost is the same way.

At its core, this is still a story about people surviving on an island.  Now, they have enhanced that island over the years, stuffing it full of more conspiracy and sci-fi than I'd like, and yes, there are roughly 2,000 characters at one point or another (though they also have a mortality rate of like 50% per season), but there are a limited number of important core characters at any given time.  Most of them are quite pretty.  The setting certainly is, and even when the stories jump to off-island locations, it's easy to figure out where and why.  So tune in, pick a person you like, and hope they don't die while they're off on rescue/hero/salvage/suicide/scouting/war missions.  That's really all there is to it.

Oh, also, it's quite relationship-driven, so you can tune in for that element as well.   Just know that the odds of your ship getting busted are even higher than the odds of the people within it dying.  
I have admittedly been here since season 2, and maybe I just soaked in understanding via osmosis, but I've put little to no effort into figuring out clues or answers of any sort, proving it's quite possible to focus solely on the minor subplots.  Cheers!

This message brought to you in honor of the fact that this is your last chance to watch a season in real time from start to finish, and I'd really like the internet to know that it is not the Top-Secret, Exclusive Clique/Cult its fans often purport it to be.  I'm not saying you'll love it, I'm just saying not to be intimidated by it.

[Edit: Also, apparently there's a 1-hour recap special before the premiere, which should give you a decent starting platform if you want to jump in tonight.]



( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 2nd, 2010 07:07 pm (UTC)
I watched a few episodes of "Lost" in its first season, and I couldn't get into it. It was too many people to follow. I have one friend who's been trying pretty hard to recruit me the last couple seasons, and she insists that I do need to watch it from beginning to end in order to get it.
Feb. 4th, 2010 11:56 pm (UTC)
Eh, that's understandable. If there is one way it's a niche show, it's that I know it doesn't have universal appeal. And of course, it'll make everything more *significant* if you watch from the beginning, because it does build on itself...I just don't think it does so any more than your typical scripted drama.
Feb. 2nd, 2010 07:31 pm (UTC)
You know, that's what had been keeping me away from Lost for the most part - part of it was that I was uncertain about the premise, but I've also heard that it was impossible to follow if you didn't watch it from the beginning and that the plot had taken so many twists and turns that it'd be incomprehensible to a new viewer, and I had no *cough* easy way of accessing it to catch up. But from the few episodes I have seen there are certainly characters I like, so maybe I'll give it a shot. Hmm.
Feb. 4th, 2010 11:59 pm (UTC)
I love your comment. It DOES twist and turn, but you can ignore a lot of the early turns and focus on the most immediate ones at any given time. They also have that handy "previously on" segment before every episode, so anything of particular significance gets highlighted.
Feb. 3rd, 2010 04:43 pm (UTC)
I fell off the LOST-watching band-wagon after season three, before things started getting REALLY weird, but the hour-long recap last night did a remarkable job of getting me up to speed.
Feb. 5th, 2010 12:02 am (UTC)
Good to hear. :)
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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