Thursday, May 27, 2010

"Lost" is like a bottle of wine. A bad one.

I found this article in the NY Post about how Lost has been like a fine wine, always improving as it ages...

And, yes, after the series completion this past Sunday, a brief reprieve from all-things-baby, I think perhaps the writers did want the show to mimic the nuances of the bottled vine. How better to do this than leave so much of it up to interpretation?

Wine, indeed, the ultimate in subjectivity. The infinite expressions of colors, aromas, flavors, and textures can be as unique and individual as the people enjoying. Like a silver-tongued enthusiast coaxing descriptors and sensual imagery out of a glass of wine, so too has J.J. Abrams and the gang sprouted postpartum (sorry) questions and hypotheses:

Is the Island the source of good and evil?

The alternate universe: is it a purgatory created by the characters' existence on the Island?

Is the smoke monster/Locke the devil, or just a manifestation of evil?

What is the significance of the Dharma Initiative?

Who is Eloise Hawking?

There are hundreds of answers to these questions, all based upon the opinions of those evaluating the body of work. As with a wine: one's perception of sweetness may be construed as dry or off-dry to another palate. Or, Lost's setting is a biblical reference to an individual, while it's purely a matter of science-fiction to another.

Alas, the conversation and good-natured debate over a bottle of wine nevertheless converges upon a clear and satisfying payoff: sensual pleasure and the warm and relaxing afterglow of alcohol. Lost, on the other hand, has strung the viewer along with inticing mysteries and myriad questions, like the cryptic label of a rare and ancient bottle from a Parisian cellar. Along comes the final episode; the payoff; the kiss of booze to lull us into a deep and rewarding rest after years of anticipation, conversation, and speculation:

The show, as it turns out, is a irreconcilably corked bottle of '47 Château Cheval Blanc. As if sealed without a shred of care, and stored for years atop a running washing machine in a sauna, the writers copped out. Lazy. Pure laziness. And don't dare tell me there's brilliance in leaving the story open-ended. We paid big money for Lost. We invested countless hours of time, attention, and energy praising its brilliance. We laid it down in the cellar for six seasons, waiting for it to mature and develop, anticipating the culmination of our investment: pondering and analysis (which the show has done), and a delicious and satisfying experience, and maybe a little buzz (fail). Even a bad bottle of wine can do both of those things. Lost, however, is an empty bottle. Forget Cheval Blanc metaphor earlier.

So ABC and Abrams, when you release that pile of crap called "Season 6" on DVD, include a bottle of wine in the packaging. If you can't tie up the loose ends, at least get us too drunk to care.

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