Some of the shows I’m watching this season may still be on probation, but I have quite a full Hulu queue.
Considering I’ve seen The Hunger Games all over Twitter for the past few weeks, and the raving comments I’ve read about it, yesterday I got the full trilogy. I had reservations, but decided to treat them more as unmotivated prejudice, and not let them get in the way of me making up my own mind.
The word I’m hearing all over the web is that NBC’s planned midseason hiatus for Community is merely a way for the network to see if the ratings will go up while the show is out of the way. As if to say, if the ratings do go up, maybe the hiatus will go on indefinitely—proving once again that television networks care nothing about quality, and that they’ll show you pooping dogs all day long if the vast majority of the viewers liked watching that.
In the past couple of days I’ve watched the entire first season of Glee, despite the fact that, after watching the first two episodes, I had decided I wasn’t interested at all. But since risking an anaphylactic shock is a lot of fun, I gave the show the Sex and the City treatment—that is, if I want to be able to comment on it (and justify my dislike), I need to have watched the whole thing, like I did years ago with Sex and the City. (Although in this case season one is as far as I’ll go.)
Call me short-sighted, but I don’t understand academic-level television criticism. I’m not saying it’s not interesting or it doesn’t stem from accurate—and often passionate—viewing; what I mean is you can bring to the table all the readings, all the theories, all the analogies you want, but if you lack a solid analytical method, it will show. And it will make your argument moot—academic, as they say.
Warning: if you haven’t watched the Lost series finale, or the final season, or the whole series, you might want to wait until you’ve done so before reading my ramblings. However, if you haven’t watched Lost at all I don’t see how you should be interested in this article in the first place. Nonetheless, and despite whatever my judgment may appear to be in this article, if you haven’t watched Lost—or are one those who watched nothing but a season-two episode featuring a strange Nigerian man carrying a stick and claim that nothing makes sense in Lost—I really advise you to point your time machine to September 22, 2004. Or just get the DVDs—whichever is easier.
I have no idea how some people can watch the finale of a show like Lost—an emotional episode, and also very controversial—and immediately start writing about it. I admire those people. All I could do yesterday, after watching the episode at 6 a.m., was wait for the evening and watch it again. I decided to focus on the good stuff, and tweeted extensively about it, possibly without giving anything away to those who haven’t seen it yet. That comes way before any analytic effort on my part.
So, here it is—my list of favorite things about the Lost series finale:
In a perfect world, good stories would never end. Wait—let me rephrase that. In a perfect world, good stories would always end gracefully. I don’t mean happy endings across the board. I mean good stories should always be allowed time to reach a conclusion after they’ve hit their narrative peak.
On television, however, the narrative peak often coincides with a peak in viewership—in ratings—and after that is reached the networks are just not interested anymore. A few months’ notice, if anything, and the show is gone. I will not delve into the historical implications of this. Current technology allows for easy storage of and access to all sorts of content, so it’s not oblivion I’m concerned with.