I suppose what’s kept me away from Lost for so long was ignorance … ignorance mixed with the daunting task of overcoming seasons and seasons of ignorance when I finally caved to start watching. Once the first couple of seasons passed, and more and more people close to me were getting dragged in by J.J. Abrams’ brilliant mind, it was hard to not hear bits and pieces of plot/story. This made me even more reluctant to begin … I dealt with something very similar after M. Night Shyamalan’s The Sixth Sense came out in 1999 … I was very slow to the theater for that one (I actually never made it to the theater for it), but in my less-than-speedy ways, I had the ending, or the famous “M. Night twist” ruined before I had a chance to see the film. Aside from this really pissing me off, it kept me from seeing the picture for years … yes, that’s right, YEARS.
I was thinking about this recently as I was watching the first couple of episodes of Lost. As things were happening early on in the story, I had these things that I had heard about in the back of my mind keeping me from really being engaged in the story. Hearing about “the others” and the “Smoke Monster” … my mind, at first, was unable to expel these thoughts from its forefront while I watched. I was experiencing the same thing when I finally watched The Sixth Sense … the ending had been ruined for me, and sure, that movie seems to rely on the twist, as all the movie leads up to it, but there is important and riveting story regardless if you know the ending. Why else do we watch movies we’ve already seen, again and again?
So, as I sat down and watched episodes 7 & 8 of Lost, I found myself so ensconced in good, captivating story that after the episodes had ended, I realized that the entire time while watching I hadn’t once found myself trying to piece together things that I had heard, with what was happening on screen. I guess that is what good story is capable of … taking us out of our own minds for a bit, and placing us in its lap as the words and action wash over us.
So, with all of this said, Lost has captured me. I am on the island now. Sawyer’s back story was the one that really got me. I am sure there may be times along the way where these thoughts in the back of my mind will once again come to the forefront, but I am extremely confident in the abilities of J.J. Abrams et al, as they reveal more and create more questions that pull me out of my mind for a bit.
I’m ready to settle down in the lap of the story, as it slowly wraps its arms around me, and just hope he doesn’t turn out to be a dirty old man.