Wednesday, August 10, 2005

TV Review: Lost 'pilot episode'

Yes, the cool and stylish teaser trailers on Channel 4 did get to me. So here I am blogging about the UK premiere of Lost.

It is quite easy to describe Lost. Think about those
reality TV shows, times it fifty thousand, hire photogenic and beautiful people, merge it with The Lost World and King Kong and you are close to what Lost is all about. Although, it seems Lost seems a lot deeper than all of these put together.

* possible spoilers ahead *

Episode One of the new Channel 4 drama (replacement to Desperate Housewives) opens with a bang - unusual for TV shows. A flight from Sydney to Los Angeles crashes on a deserted island somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. There are 48 survivors made up of just about every kind of character (all beautiful apart from a fat bloke) you can possibly imagine.

Let's see - there's the doctor, a former prisoner, a British 'rock star', a pregnant lady, a rich lady, a Gulf War veteran, non-English speaking/anti-social Koreans, electronic nerd, a troublemaker and countless hot and sexy babes who never seems to run out of Bobby Brown. There is also a mysterious bald headed guy and a labrador dog.

Oh and what seems to be monster lurking in the forest.

As the episode progress we learn more about the major players with flashbacks to previous events. (BTW, there are no voiceovers) Typically with this kind of stories, they wait in vain attempt for a rescue mission (but surprise, surprise - none came, they 'landed' 1000 miles away from where they were supposed to be) and will probably soon turn against each other (like Survivor and Big Brother).

Also, they have to learn to live with each other if any success is to be expected. Interwoven with the events on the islands are flashbacks to the pasts of some ten main characters lives. Step by step, we learn a little bit more about their diverse history and unexpected history, as the group's quest to survive takes shape in this unpredictable tropical island that is inhabitation by polar bears.

Okay, all these means it would be pretty predictable. But this is TV we are talking about and TV production companies are allowed to roam free with ideas as episodes progress and feedback from test audiences are received. No? Well maybe not. I don't know - I was trying to be clever.

The characters are pretty dense but I expect some deaths in the coming episodes. This is normal as 48 characters is just too much to keep up - even on TV series like this. The casts seems competent enough - well considering how much crap is shown on the telly this days. Did I mention the great for TV special effects?

Lost marks the return of quality TV programming. I mean what's not to like? It's like watching a long film which hopefully one day it will be (like X-Files) with an unexpectedly good cast (Dominic Monaghan is great as the junkie Charlie) and beautiful setting (Kaaawa Valley also featured in Jurassic Park).


Now if you will just excuse me, I will just nip over to E4 and watch the next episode.

Lost broadcasts every Wednesday on Channel 4 10pm


NiK! said...


Lost has been showing for half a season already back home in Msia on AXN (Astro).

I gotta say it's episodic feel and focus on each character's past from one week to the other reminds me of reading a weekly comic book.

I gotta say Jon Abrams has been able to make a perfect character driven series which is unusual for a TV format.

Enjoy the show mate and dinnae miss EVEN one episode !

Or if u can;t wait, like I do... just d/l the whole Season One using Bit Torrent.

Jon said...

Yes, but we had Desperate Housewives first. :P

I won't bother with illegal copies. Watching on digital telly is so much better (although I still envy those HDTV'ed ABC versions). Plus I just ordered the boxset of Nip/Tuck series 2, going to go through that.

Jon said...

BTW folks, I turned off Anonymous commenting for the time being. Sorry bout that but someone has been spamming this blog. Will turn it on later.

Kat said...

I watched the whole season 1 of Lost in 3 days. It's that addictive. Just a geeky fact. The pilot episode alone cost $10 million to make, making it the most expensive pilot ever.

I think I need help.

c0y0t3 said...

I tempted to make optimal use of my £126.50 annual TV licence by continuing watching the Lost episode on the E4 after the Channel 4, but the boxercise I joined earlier in the afternoon had knocked me down completely!Oh well, guess I catched up next week :(

Jon said...

I am so going to order the region one DVD...looks great probably worth keeping even.

Kat, when series 2 of Futurama came out I watched all 19 episodes in two days. I am a bit better these days.