Now that the Inauguration of the Century has finally happened, and I can put all the distractions of the election away, I've been able to return to my first love: entertainment media. (Well, it may be my third love -- after the wine and the LOLcats.) In terms of television, I managed to keep up with some of my favorites even while the election was happening - the Daily Show comes to mind, as does Entourage - and even adopt a couple of new ones, like the supremely awesome True Blood and its bevy of not-quite-human guy hotties. I also ended up Blockbuster's perma-shitlist by repeatedly forgetting to return a season's worth of Battlestar Galactica episodes. (Needed to do some research to tell all those Cylons apart. Wait, which one is Athena, again? And why are there 3500 copies of her?)
But sadly, there was one that got away from me: Lost. Yeah, I'm lost when it comes to that show. And don't tell me that you're not, because I don't believe it.
I can't say that I didn't try. The Tivo was stuffed with episodes going back to late 2007. My daughter and I would watch them with a pad of paper to keep notes. "Wait, wait!" she'd holler, "What was that about? What's going on in that cabin? Who's that guy with the eyeliner?" And we'd zip backwards on the DVR, watch the scene again, write a few notes. Finally, we'd give up and decide to watch House instead, finding complicated medical mysteries a little easier to decode.
A cottage industry has arisen around keeping track of Lost. There are Wikipedia entries, detailed fan websites, even a guide in Fast Company. I'm sure that if TV Guide still had a robust print business, they'd tuck a Lost primer into every issue, and make gazillions of dollars off selling ads around it. (Are you listening, OpenGate? ) It was fascinating at first, but now it feels a little like that organic chemistry final I took sophomore year in college: immensely complex, exhausting, and kind of pointless. (I dumped my pre-med major after that wretched test in favor of Shakespeare, which I find complex, energizing, and continually relevant. If you need convincing, watch this.)
I started lurking at the local farmer's market, hoping to spy JJ Abrams, whom I've seen shopping there once or twice. I know he's not intimately involved in the inner workings of the writer's room, but maybe he could give me some clarity? Tell me what happened to the smoke monster? Whether Walt is now attending Harvard-Westlake? After a while, I decided I was more interested in what Chris Pine's hair looks like in the new Star Trek move. JJ, if you're reading this, give me a call, will you?
So, I have to cop to losing interest in Lost. I'm lacking the time or the brain cells, or both. Instead, I'm filling the Tivo with back episodes of Big Love, the better to keep up with the convoluted familial relationships of a bunch of double-dealing polygamists. They're easier to keep track of, frankly.
If, unlike me, you still have some hope, New York Magazine has published an excellent list of the twenty questions Lost needs to answer before it sails off into the Island-inflected sunset. Me, now that spring is in the air, I'm trading Locke for a couple of bottles of Loire Valley white, Mario Batali's asparagus risotto recipe, and an extra three minutes of American Idol. Frankly, I find Paula Abdul easier to understand.