Top critical review
31 people found this helpful
To help you decide ...
on 30 January 2010
My partner loves this series and I just about tolerate it hence 3 stars. I am going to try to give a balanced review of why you might or might not enjoy watching this series that reviewers have reviewed as `absolutely brilliant' down to being `absolute rubbish' without giving too much away.
Why you would enjoy LOST
If you want something at the end of the day to take your mind off things then it will definitely do the trick. The basic scenario is interesting - plane crash on a desert island that is far from deserted - and the characters well-defined for the most part and interesting, with flashbacks to their lives before the crash helping you to understand them and why they do the things they do. None of them are pure blood goody goody brave heroes and most of them are at best flawed and at worst severely dysfunctional. Plenty of surprises in the flashbacks as you find out that what you thought they were they are not at all. In fact, if you like mysteries you will be up to your ears in them with plenty to think about.
Even in the quieter times the action is still quite fast-paced and the kind of camera-work used in Heroes is used here too. As long as you like sci-fi you'll be in your element by the middle of the second series. The overall situation is fairly realistic and be ready for a fairly high body count, even including central characters. The contrast between different characters and the dynamics are interesting and tend to be fairly fraught creating more drama than just the situation itself creates. The episodes are 40 mins so watching 1, 2 or 3 in an evening is possible giving you a lot of flexibility. Since it takes place on a tropical island you might also enjoy watching it for all the sunshine if, like us, you live under grey skies for most of the year.
Why you would not enjoy LOST
It isn't that any of the above is not true. In some cases it is that it is too true. For instance, you may find yourself suffering from `mystery overload'. The first series quickly generates over a dozen mysteries, very few of which are solved, even by the third series by which time several more have arisen. The dysfunctional nature of so many of the characters and their almost total inability to communicate may irritate you, especially when you would have thought that with their background they would have had better communication skills. The collective survival of such a group may strike you as highly improbable. You might find you don't actually like many of the characters and don't really care what happens to them. Unfortunately, or realistically depending how you look at it, it isn't always the ones you don't like who die. If you love HEROES you won't necessarily like this. It is less well structured overall and you'll probably find the characters a lot less likeable.
If you thought this was going to be a realistic account of survival on a desert island you'll be bitterly disappointed as the sci-fi elements kick in and take over in series 2 and doesn't let up. If you abhor plot flaws there are plenty. Here's an early example - a French woman who can speak good English and knows she is not in French territorial waters sends her distress call in French - Duh! If you can't watch surgical operations without cringing there are a fair few bloody ones along the way as the main character is a surgeon. You might feel cheated after watching an hour or two of flashbacks on a character and next minute they are dead and only pop up again in other people's flashbacks (there is life after death for a LOST actor!).
I hope that is a fairly good overview and will help you decide whether this is for you or not.