Series Finales: Lost and 24

June 1, 2010 in Entertainment, Shows by pacejmiller

Well, I finally finished watching the series finales of two of my favourite shows of all time, 24 and Lost. Here are some thoughts.

24

“Dammit!”

I started watching 24 from the beginning while the show was in its fourth season (2005) and have watched every episode religiously.  To me, it’s one of the most addictive TV shows of all time.  It’s the only non-comedy show that I can watch episode after episode all day long without wanting a break.

Season 8 is the final season for the series, and while it doesn’t have the freshness of the earlier seasons, this one was by far the most explosive (well, at least since the third season when we found out the President was the baddie!) and the most strenuous for Jack (with the exception of that time when he died for a while).  In the 24 hour time frame, Jack was stabbed (twice), shot, tortured, beat up, lost the woman he loved, committed treason (technically) and almost single-handedly started WWIII.  Not bad for a day’s work.

I would rank Season 8 up there as one of the better seasons of the show, probably somewhere around the middle.  It’s probably a good time to end the series, given there are only so many national security threats writers can come up with.  There have always been minor variations on the plots but honestly it’s pretty much all the same.

As for the ending, there was no big battle scene where Jack saves the day, but it does finish on a more subdued note that went for the emotional angle.  At the same time, it opened up the potential for a full length feature film.  I’m not so sure how well that would work though.  The previous experiment, 24: Redemption, was not totally horrible but there just wasn’t enough time to give justice to the plot or the characters.  Unless the film is effectively an immediate continuation of Season 8 then I think it would be extremely difficult for them to pull off.

That said, I’ll still watch it if it is ever made!

Lost

The most apt title for a series ever.  I started watching Lost from the very beginning in 2004 and have endured every single episode up to the bitter end.  It’s been one of those shows that blew me away at the start with all its intrigue, compelling characters, mysterious setting and hidden dangers.

However, as the show dragged on, it also became one of the most frustrating shows of all time, as questions were answered with more questions and flashbacks became flash forwards then flash sideways (WTF?).  All I ever wanted was some answers, and thanks to my stubbornness and stupidity I stuck with it, hoping that in the end all would be revealed.

How naieve I was.

The sixth and final season of Lost brought back an excitement I hadn’t experienced since perhaps Season 2, back when the storyline was not so convoluted that I had trouble remembering what the heck had happened before, in the future, and in all the different parallel worlds they existed in.  This was the final season, and we were finally going to receive some answers to questions that have lingered for 6 years.  Or so I thought.

Alarm bells started ringing when halfway through Season 6, we were still getting more questions than answers.  That’s not hard when you’re not getting any answers at all.  I started to fear that the rumours were true — that the writers, despite saying they knew how it would end, were simply winging it this entire time.  Or perhaps they were telling the truth in that they knew they would end it with a big fat question mark and leaving audiences more confused and “lost” than ever.

If that was their intention, then they certain succeeded.  The lengthy finale I suppose was satisfying on an emotional level.  We got to see most of the characters over the years come together in one cheesy, quasi-religious reunion full of hugs and kisses.  Yay.

But what I really wanted, just a couple of freaking answers, never came.  The only thing that became apparent was that the flash sideways in Season 6 were a kind of purgatory, a limbo world where each of the characters went after they died, whenever and wherever that may be.  But what about all the other million unanswered questions from the previous 5 seasons?  What the heck was the island in the end?  What the heck was the Dharma Initiative?  What the heck is the smoke monster thingy?  What the heck is the light?  Where did all these people come from and what the heck are they doing?  Why did I watch this show?

I’m lost.