01/10/2010. Contributed by Sue Davies
Lost The Complete Final Season 6. region 2 blu-ray: pub: Buena Vista Home Entertainment B0036DE0MW. 5 blu-ray disks 795 minutes 17 episodes with extras Price: GBP60.99 (UK)) stars: Evangeline Lily, Matthew Fox and Josh Holloway.
One of the most anticipated endings of a series ever, the finale of ‘Lost’ must surely stand alongside ‘M*A*S*H’ and ‘Friends’ as a huge television event. So much pressure was felt by the UK broadcaster Sky that the double episode finale was simulcast with the US at 5.00am in the UK to avoid spoilers and illegal downloading. Thank the dog for V+ and I didn’t have to get up early but I couldn’t resist for long, otherwise it would have been spoiled by Twitter or Facebook by the time I’d had breakfast.
So, to the blu-ray and there will there be people out there who have resisted watching and have kept themselves pure for the season on this pristine quality 5 disc set disc with the added bonus of no-ad breaks. I think there may well be those out there who can press the ‘season play’ option and lock themselves away for a lost weekend. There are also lots of commentaries if you like that sort of thing and one little final episode that might bring a little smile to your face. The first disc has the excellent ‘Lost In 8.15’ which is eight minutes and fifteen seconds to bring you up to speed on the first five seasons.
I envy those coming to this fresh but if we don’t watch it on transmission TV first it just won’t get made. We can’t all have the luxury of waiting for the DVD. Still there are also people, like me, who just want to go through it all again and nit-pick out all the clues and red herrings. It’s become a hobby for many and the virtual world is heaving with the clutter of six years of ‘Lost’ conspiracies. Witness how many books have also come out about cult series, including fluffs, bloopers and dead-end plots. ‘Lost’ is a series that has taken a lot of notice of its fans whilst still ultimately pleasing itself. It sort of knew where it was going and as an increasing rarity it was allowed to get there in its own time. If people are not satisfied with the ending they can blame the writers not the network.
After my own marathon session with Season 6 on blu-ray, I am have made a few decisions about the show, aside from wanting to move to the island which is now perfectly habitable due to the anti-black smoker law. I was impressed by how far the writers went to try to offer as much as possible to the fans of the show. They stuffed a lot into the final series. Even little details like names become significant clue to how the show will wrap itself up. It’s great to see certain characters like Boone, for instance, coming back to take a virtual bow.
What is often spoken about is the Science Fiction element of the show but it is the drama and melodrama around the relationships that really make it worth watching. A lot of the mystical and Science Fiction elements are not as powerful once we know about them and the weakest episodes are where they use these elements to progress the plot in a cheeky way. One of the episodes, ‘Across The Sea’, focuses entirely on the back story of the island and frankly it all looks a little hokey. The show is at its best when Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Hurley and the rest of the leads are on screen. The emotional content is way over the top and all the people are beautiful and even when they look a little rough around the edges they are still beautiful. Despite that, it manages to go from moving moments to action scenes to individual tragedies, so you can laugh and cry in the same forty minutes. It is well-made even if the depth is not that of a Dharma Initiative well.
There are several ending for our well-loved characters that might not make sense to us who value life so much. This is dealt with by the sideways slip that starts at the very first episode. Whatever happens to them we see them living a different kind of life where the plane did not crash into the island. Each character has ‘another life’ and a closer look indicates there are some parallels with their struggles on the island. The writers want us to believe in a deeper morality operating that might be acceptable to you or you might find it annoyingly smaltzy or over-simplified. As the writers cut ruthless swathes through people with quite a body count of extras, they also make the moments for the individuals we have become attached to over the six seasons. We might feel cheated by the deaths of key characters but the ending places a greater value on what we have learned from the experience. This show certainly owes a lot to the disaster movies of the 1970s as enormous office blocks caught fire, unsinkable ships sank and airliners crashed in to buildings but as the writers confess on the extras that one of their biggest influences was ‘Airplane’ it puts all our grand posturing about it rather in perspective.
We need our tragedies more far removed from real life these days and an exotic island is probably just about acceptably far enough away. What we have to bear in mind it that this is not real life but a hyper-version for those who find life dull. Think of ‘24’ with its amazingly resilient protagonist. This too takes a lot of lee-way with the human capacity to over-come but it would be a dull show if nothing happened and everyone lay around the camp fire like Shannon did in the first season.
I recommend you watch the whole six series yourself, preferably on blu-ray as the picture quality will have you rushing to book holidays in Hawaii. The synopsis is enough to make you aware of the content and if you have strong objections to the Science Fiction element then you won’t be reading this anyway. I imagine there are already many dissertations being written on this show but perhaps those writers should be thinking up the next big thing for themselves. This sixth season brings to an end the elaborate game played by the creators and leaves a space in the schedule for something new and hopefully just as innovative as this proved to be.
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