Thursday, November 29, 2012

No, Not Purgatory. It Was...Calvin-Ball All Along!

I was a huge fan of Lost. I managed to avoid watching the episodes when first aired in order to enjoy each season in a Lost-binging weekend, when the DVDs were released. What a disappointment was waiting for us at the end!

>>>>>>> SPOILERS AHEAD <<<<<<<<

I started watching Lost for the deep personal stories that touched and interweaved with each other unexpectedly and mysteriously. I continued to watch Lost because of the paranormal mysteries that were hinted of having very normal explanations. Well, maybe not normal but at least logical. What was the Black Smoke? Why is Ben so important? Do the dead resurrect on the Island like Jack's father or dead means dead, like Ben's daughter? Why can it there be no children getting born on the Island? What do the Numbers mean? How was Lock able to walk again and why did he have to die at the end? Why did the statue have four fingers? And what about the polar bears, the one on the island and the other fossilized with a Dharma collar in ancient Egyptian ruins.

As it turns out, the creators of the series had no clue whatsoever. They kept throwing darts with notes on ancient, urban and and religious mythology on the board and then they tried to mold the resulting pulp of ideas into a semi-coherent narrative. This way, something was bound to hook your interest every week. Yet, they had no idea where the story was going. Not even at the end. Well, especially at the end.

I have to admit, I was truly addicted to Lost for Seasons 1 through 5. The problem with Season 6 was that, during the previous seasons, it had hooked us with so many lines that we expected either a fish or at least some uneaten bait at the end of them. Sadly, most of these lines simply ended, never to be picked up ever again.

No deeper meaning. No logical explanation that can tie around everything. Just a glowing (steampunk?) spring that for some reason "is important".

I could not put it in words until I came across Jonathan McCalmont's Blog, Ruthless Culture: LOST was nothing but Calvin-Ball. To those unfamiliar with Bill Watterson's brilliant Calvin & Hobbes comic strip, Calvin-Ball is an imaginary game whose rules are made up as one plays along. No one keeps score, no one plans ahead. And no one wins.

I did not expect the creators of Lost to provide serious answers to life's cardinal questions.
I did expect them to answer their own damn questions, though!

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