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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Friday, February 09, 2007

entry arrow9:38 AM | Get Lost

The New York Times has a snobbish article, by Alessandra Stanley, on the resurgence of fantasy (they call it "the supernatural") on television, specifically with Lost and Heroes. One part goes:

Lost is at heart a science-fiction thriller, while Heroes is more of a comic book, but both genres have a similar appeal: they provide an alternative society for those who don’t fit comfortably into their own. (That is to say, smart, socially awkward adults and all 12-year-old boys.)

It also says that this fascination is a harbinger of eventual "social decline." I want to say: "Oh, shut up."

I'm warming to Heroes, but Lost I already know and love. Unlike most friends who are similarly addicted, I didn't find the third season disappointing -- but I do acknowledge their growing antsy-ness and frustration over where the whole island mystery was taking them. Plus, too many characters we came to love were dying away. (And the whole Jin-Sun relationship squabble angle was getting a little too old.)

Then again, I came to the TV show waaaay later than most people. Never really followed the series, because the first time it aired over AXN, Mark wouldn't let me watch it. "What's that?" he'd say, and switch to something else. Many months later, I decided to buy the DVD of the whole series from the pirates, and that was when I got hook. I remember skipping work just to find out what happens in the next episode. I saw the first two seasons in roughly four days. (You can imagine how that marathon felt like.) And when the third season aired last year, I breathlessly downloaded the contraband copy of the first episode in YouTube (now whisked away, and slapped with a "copyright infringement" tag) -- and loved the shock of seeing The Others in completely new light.

Why do we love Lost? Because it's a good story. Because we love mysteries. Because it is patient and surprisingly believing in our capacity and smarts to follow convoluted narrative arcs (unlike most of episodic TV that has absolutely no faith in such).

So now this TV bitch is telling me that my fascination with Lost is a sign of societal decay? Why? How? It's the whole silly argument over realism vs. fantasy again. And really, that's old hat.


[0] This is Where You Bite the Sandwich