If you've been following me on Twitter recently, you may have noticed that I've been rewatching the first season of LOST. I'm actually rewatching the entire series, but you have to start somewhere.
Here's the thing: I HATE LOST. I don't know that I've ever hated another show (that didn't involve New Jersey or a Kardashian) as much as I do LOST.
So why rewatch something that makes me rage and yell and lose my mind? Because I'm trying to understand that hatred and to see if it holds up to a second viewing.
The first time through it took me ages to get into (at least 10 episodes), then lost my interest rather quickly, then pissed my off. By the time I got to the third season I was just powering through as fast as humanly possible so I could get it done, and stop being the ornery bitch the show was making me. By the time I got to the end, I was surprised I still had any friends left. But no matter what I say or think about my initial go round, there are people who really really love the show, and some of them are people whose opinions I actually value. It can't be completely without merit, right?
So far I've made it through the first season (for a second time), and I've discovered that there are, in fact, a few things I actually do like and that my distaste, at least at this point, is in all the opportunities I know they're going to squander later on.
But let's start with the good, like the very first scene of the entire series. The first 10 minutes or so of the show are actually pretty incredible. It's a really quiet opening that quickly expands into the chaos of the plane crash. It also sets up all your main characters quickly, but without forcing a ton of dialogue. You learn that Jack is your main character, a doctor, a likely leader, that Kate is the obvious love interest, but also very quick on her feet and helpful (they save the extra stuff for later), that Boone is probably going to be earnest but not very helpful, that Shannon is useless, etc. It's a great way to introduce a ton of characters and a HUGE situation in a way that gives you the most amount of information in the shortest amount of time.
Overall actually, the pilot two-parter is pretty good. Things move along at a pretty good clip, they introduce all the characters and their strengths and bits of their backgrounds (though if you didn't see the 'Kate is the prisoner' thing coming ...), and they set up the idea of the monster, the weird island mysteries, and the fact that others have crashed here before pretty well. It's after when things go downhill.
My biggest pet peeves are with characters that I either entirely hate, or that I feel are forced into certain development, rather than let to grow and change organically. It's odd, because, in a show that I feel had little to no real plan, they seem to need characters to do certain things.
Kate is the biggest example of this. I actually don't dislike Kate early on, though she's not a terribly original character. My first time through, I thought I hated her. This time though I noticed something: I only hate her when she's in scenes with certain characters. Mostly Jack. I really hate Jack, and I don't think they have the kind of chemistry necessary to really sell the relationship.
At the same time, I really like any scene Kate is in with Sun or Claire, or even Charlie early on. I want the female characters on this show especially to have actual relationships with each other, and whenever Kate has a scene with either Sun or Claire, you can feel the chemistry they have, the actual connection between the characters, AND THEN THEY DON'T DO ANYTHING WITH IT! There's a whole Kate delivers Claire's baby scene that's just over and done with and then those characters never talk. Kate and Sun actually bond in Sun's garden, but then you only get fleeting glances at their relationship after that point. Instead, it becomes all about her and the Jack/Sawyer love triangle, which to me is not nearly as interesting.
And then there's the infuriatingly stupid decisions absolutely everyone makes. From Jack wanting to be the leader but not wanting any responsibility, to absolutely no one thinking maybe they need to find food and water or burn the dead bodies so animals don't eat them, the characters in this show have about as much common survival sense as your average horror movie character.
Don't even get me started on the randomly dropped major plotlines (seriously, screw the polar bears and all their "isn't this weird" nonsense). We'll save those for later installments.
In the end, I think my biggest problem with the show is how much I want to like it, and how disappointed I feel when it sets things up only to let me down.