Wednesday, March 01, 2006

"This here, this therapy, it's a lot like taking a shit"

~Tony Soprano
"I like to think of it as birth"
~Dr. Malfoy
"'s more like taking a shit."
~Tony Soprano

This blog has nothing to do with the Sopranos, although it is a dam good drama.

I just used the quote because tonight’s LOST reminded me a lot of break through in therapy, and when I think of that I think of the above Soprano’s quote because it’s the best metaphorically crude way of putting it, it’s relieving yourself for those who don't like to talk in four letter words (stupid high brow readers, ruining it).

This blog has everything to do with this week's LOST.

Whether you're into the show or not, you need to know that this weeks episode delivered better than the milk man that brought you into this world. For you fanatics that missed it, I promise, I'm not giving away anything by saying what I'm about to say;

The thing that was great was that there was set up, and delivery each time. It was like watching your favorite baseball team connect with the pitch every at bat and just sweep the freakin’ game...well as a Mets fan let me just say inning...(maybe game this year, as we say 'ya gotta belive')
The reason that people keep craving LOST is because of a genius formula: Hot people, beautiful scenary, and a story line with a plot that twist and turns with a clear determination to an end. In some ways, this formula could be thought of as Dallas meets Telemundo soap opera.

I mean this in a really flattering way. See, what you might realize is, as horrifically overdramatic as they are, Spainish soap operas are great because they know when to quit. The “on-air” lifetime for an average Spainish soap opera is one year. This forces the writers of these programs to have at least one cohesive story that runs throughout and write with a definitive beginning and end. Unlike American soap operas like Days of Our Lives, which has ran so long my mom watched it as a little girl and now her little girl still watches it (only once in a while...). Lost is clearly using this method but with a longer term (the producers/creators often speak of a 6 or 7 year plan).


LOST is setting out to tell a story within a designated time frame.

There’s an ending known, but the well plotted sequence of energic episodes makes this show’s structure quite similar to the classical epic structure, similar to the beloved form of Homer (author of the Iliad and Odyssey, not the Dad on The Simpsons).

LOST is also similar to Dallas because there are pretty people with dramatic personalities. The Dallas comparison is simpler because Dallas isn’t complex; it’s only family trees and a look who’s boinking who structure. LOST has the complexity of ‘Who the hell did what to you to make you this way right now’ structure with obviously dramatic personalities.

Why tonight’s show kicked ass, which is a positive review for all you non- slang speakers, is due to the effective use of flashback. Instead of going back to a character’s life before the crash, they dealt with a character’s unresolved issues on the island via flashback.


As someone who has experienced the joy of Post Tramatic Stress Syndrom, or PTSS for all you hep cats in the know, I might be a tad biased with my favor towards the “flashback” story telling.

The thing is, I was supposed to come straight home and work on my short stories tonight, instead I visited with some friends at a local watering hole, typed some notes on the subway, ran three blocks, put some tortellini on the stove, and then dropped everything without a second thought and was thoroughly entertained for an hour by LOST. That’s good television. That’s what television should do. It should make you watch, forget about life, but also spurn some sort of creative thought as to why you enjoyed it, or if not that, maybe to do something else. Television shouldn’t beget mindless television viewing, when done at its finest television should beget thought, conversation, and ultimately dissection similar to the effect of great literature.

So far we have about 10 shows that do that, and about 2000 that don’t.

I guess, for tonight, I’ll be thankful for the 10. I should really go check on that tortellini now….

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