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ISSUE 119 VOL 8 PUBLISHED 11/11/2005

"Lost" finds loyal following

By Erik Martz
Contributing Writer

Friday, November 11, 2005

If someone tells you to "get lost" this week, it might not actually be an insult. In fact, it might be an invitation to travel to a mysterious tropical island where polar bears roam freely, giant monsters patrol the jungles, and a heaping portion of mythology (with a side of character development) is the order of the day.

What is this strange place you ask? How do I get there? The answer is simple: Turn on your television, and tune into ABC's hit dramadventure "Lost."

Airing in its second season at 8 p.m. on Wednesdays, the show has struck a chord in television audiences disillusioned with contrived plots and the dubious run of "reality TV."

"Lost" relies on no such gimmicks, but exists in a class of its own: a 24-episode series of hour-long episodes that, altogether, play like one continuous film. For film buffs, "Lost" is a dream come true. For everyone else, it is a dream they never thought they could have.

The hit series follows the adventures and relationships of 46 survivors of a plane crash on a seemingly deserted island. The bait for the show’s rabid followers is that all is not as it seems.

Strange events, such as the polar bears and the giant monster, begin to occur on the island. As the series progresses, the viewer gradually learns how each survivor copes with these peculiar events. Most episodes unfold from the point of view of one of the survivors, simultaneously incorporating action on the island and events from the person's life before the plane crash.

As each survivor comes to grips with life on the island, they gradually come to grips with the jagged pieces of their past.

Students who have already caught “Lost” fever agree that the overall appeal of the show rests in its complex interweaving of character drama, suspenseful adventure and dense mythology, philosophical and literary references.

From nods to such literary works as “Robinson Crusoe” and Shakespeare's “The Tempest,” to the explicit naming of one the characters John Locke, the writers of the series are not always too subtle about their aims for the show.

Yet, the show still has an underscoring of mythology that should appeal to any college student. The great challenge, and the fun, of "Lost" is figuring out how the confusing maze of characters and events that make up the show will come together.

Despite such positive speculation, many "Lost" fans also see the show's progression as a point of concern. With no clear end in sight, many fear that the show might go the way of another high-concept show, “The X-Files,” which developed too many plot lines to ever tie up sufficiently.

While "Lost" has thrown out many plot threads, creators J. J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof insist they know how the story ends, and how each thread becomes a part of that story.

In the meantime, the "Lost" faithful will be content with tuning in every week to see what further mysteries might unfold on the island. Those who have not yet joined in can now buy the first season on DVD. If you do, make sure to grab some friends, turn the lights down, settle in, and prepare to get lost in this engaging series.

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