Khoi Vinh on Lost

Pulling Over and Asking for Directions:

Granted, I’ve logged only a meager number of hours in the “Lost” universe but already it seems apparent to me that the pleasure that the show evokes has very little to do with unraveling its many mysteries. Rather it’s about the state of being mystified, bewildered and maybe a little bit frustrated too. Which is to say that, if you ask me, most of its devoted fans secretly don’t really want to understand what’s happening at all.

They watch each episode under the pretense that the narrative is moving towards some sort of resolution and that they’re participating in that resolution. But in fact they really tune in so that they can have their expectations and assumptions confounded, cut-off, detoured and further confused. In this, “Lost” obliges profusely and frequently, usually when the writers seemed confused or at a loss for purpose themselves. (To that end, I have to say that the show also has to be one of the most appropriately named television shows I can think of, exceeded in aptness only by “Cops.”)

For what it’s worth, I think Vinh ought to spend less time writing about grids and more time writing about pop culture — even though I disagree with his fundamental assertions.


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