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Expectations

BMetcalf82 October 25, 2010 User blog:BMetcalf82

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Good day Everyone!

First off, I would just like to say that I am glad to be back. It’s been a long time since I have exchanged any decent conversation with folks about Lost. And I won’t even say that I’ve been lurking around here, because I haven’t been. I’ve just been doing a lot of other things that have taken up a majority of my time, both in my personal and professional life.

Second, while I am horribly disappointed with how season 6 wrapped up the series of Lost, I want all of the die-hards to know (myself included) that I have never once condemned the show, even after the credits rolled for season 6. I have had a certain amount of expectations set for the direction that the show would go, based on five previous seasons of questions and mysteries. Unfortunately for myself (and several others), I believe that season 6 was a let down for everyone who had been so invested in a show in which, in my opinion, was one of the greatest shows to ever air on television. Instead of having most of the questions answered (which they easily could have done), they decided it is best to quash our expectations by delivering the ‘ending’ that they had in their minds since season 1.

In a way, I have to give Team Darlton mad respect for reeling all of us in the way that they had. I can imagine the writing team confabbing about how to make an island-survival story (boring subject, really) into a multi-million dollar franchise and general household name. “Ok, we have all of these plane crash survivors, stranded on a deserted island, but its’ not really deserted. These ancient, nameless people have been living there for centuries protecting the island and the survivors are a threat.” “Can we introduce physics theories, magnetism, radiation, and time travel?” “Yeah! Great! And one of those survivors is paralyzed but the island makes him able to walk again!”

Essentially, what I have believed to be major plot points, have devolved into just, ‘one of those things that happen when you miraculously survive a plane crash,’ and it was expected that we just take these types of things and apply them how we want, rather than having them make sense in any sort of scientific fashion. Example: I remember in mid-2009, I was watching The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham on hulu. I wasn’t really paying attention, I just wanted some cool background noise while I worked. This was around the time of User: Mittelmans’ blogs about time-travel, string theory, real versus imaginary space/times. I looked up at the monitor just in time to catch Caesar flipping through a copy of Daniels’ journal, and I see almost EXACTLY what Mittleman was writing about and trying to make sense of. A crude series of lines and dotted lines were drawn to different points on the page. Along some of these lines were the words, ‘imaginary space, real space, imaginary time, real time.’ Middle of season 5 and they intentionally display this piece of information to the millions of people watching the show. What are we to think? This map of space/time and reality/imaginary reminded me of the ‘rules,’ of which Linus and Widmore have bickered about in a previous episode. We didn’t hear much more about those types of scientific/physical properties until the season 6 finale when Faraday suddenly wrote them out of his dreams, with no way of understanding. Is this how they were trying to explain their scientific mysteries in the show?

I’m sorry, but I feel that in almost every way, Darlton had used the show as its’ own marketing tool, in order to keep people invested with the characters, all the way until season 6. Of course, this would mean that all the mysteries would not be solved, but they never cared about solving them, only about the character driven story being written until the end with a substantial following of die-hard fans. It’s basic marketing practice, really. The good, old bait and switch. Tell the viewers that we ARE going to be solving the majority of the mysteries. Tell them that they will have closure. We will answer the big questions, sure, but we won’t spill everything. Sure, they’ve answered several of the mysteries, but I believe most of them to be cop-outs. Like the whole Black Rock crashing through the Statue of Tawaret, for example. Cop-out. Or even Hurley explaining the whispers once and for all, “Hang on, dude. I think I know what these are. Oh, hey Michael. Your stuck on the island even after death? No way! How do I get them to do what I say? Blah, blah, blah.” Cop-out. Black smoke manifestation of an embittered soul getting smashed between rocks, water current and the source? Cop-out.

Like I have said above, I have never condemned the show for being what it is (still a great show), nor have I ever stopped watching the show because I felt it was going away from what I thought it should have been. What I would like to say is that Team Darlton do some cruel marketing. They had me absolutely sold on the show after watching Walkabout, and they continued that same marketing ploy all the way until the end. Never answer the major questions, but instead string us along so that we feel more invested in the show and that we may actually find some closure to the mysteries and characters if we stick with it. Make promises, but don’t deliver in a way that could be expected. Aim low, its’ their own expectations based on the mysteries we have dropped clues for, but they don’t know that the story is going to be character driven so we will use that to our advantage. We’ll tell the story of the characters, but keep the mysteries hanging in front of them like a carrot so we can have them follow us to the end.

Brilliant marketing strategy, all thanks to the expectations that we had for the show.

I suppose the whole point is this…

We had expectations.

And so did they.

They won, we LOST.

P.S. It’s good to be back and I look forward to chatting it up with you folks again. How long I stay around, is anyones’ guess. Anyone have their expectations shattered as the show progressed? If so, then please explain. I’m sure that a lot of us have some things to say. Just keep it civil, please. It’s been a while since I’ve been around. Thanks, Everyone.

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