Friday, January 29, 2010

Why I Watched the Lost Opening (No Spoilers)

By now, every Lostie in the world has heard that the opening 4 minutes or so of Tuesday's premiere has surfaced online. I'm not going to post it here, but if you want to find it, it's damn easy.

I used to be a raving spoiler whore. Somewhere along the way, I decided that except for casting notices or episode titles, I wasn't going to spoil myself on the shows I really care about and invest in. A lot of the shows I follow tend to be geeky or mythological in nature, or benefit from the sudden jolt of a plot twist or character death (Lost, BSG, Dollhouse, Fringe, Supernatural, Dexter, True Blood, etc.), and I just preferred to experience that in the way the producers intended. It doesn't diminish my enjoyment knowing what's going to happen necessarily when something is well crafted, though. Back in the days when Buffy and Angel were on the air, I was spoiled for virtually every single big development, and I still kept my eyeballs glued to the screen, and get just as much pleasure watching those eps now on DVD as I did when they first aired. I just went through two series I missed the first time around (Friday Night Lights and The Wire), and being pop culture literate, I had a general idea of what happened in each. It didn't affect my appraisal of their quality or viewing impact at all.

However, there are few events in TV geekdom as anticipated as the final season of Lost. I've marveled at how many of Lost's big twists over the years have been kept under wraps ("We have to go back!"), and this year Damon and Carlton have been particularly coy about the storylines and techniques set to unfurl starting Tuesday, going so far as to have all the promotional gear up to the premiere not feature any footage of the upcoming season. And WE'RE ALMOST THERE. Only four more days.

So why did I look?

One, because I was weak, and have no willpower to resist major temptation. (Those who know me won't find this worthy of a BREAKING NEWS! banner).

Two, because I don't think the footage would be out there if Team Darlton thought it shouldn't be. (The backstory is, winners of a contest were sent a flash drive with the first four minutes of the premiere on it). Do you actually think that someone in ABC's marketing department, much less the producers of the show, thought they could send this footage out and that it wouldn't be on the internet spreading like wildfire in a matter of minutes? Knowing this, do you think that they would actually come up with this contest, and disseminate the footage in the most easily shared fashion (as opposed to flying people in for a sneak preview, or having them log into a secure site, or some other high security execution) if they didn't anticipate this? They know what they've got and where they're going, so even "if" the footage got out there, they have to believe it's not that big of a fucking deal.

And you know what? It's not.

Given what happened in the season 5 finale, "The Incident," we know what Jack was trying to accomplish. There are many, many possibilities and repercussions for how that could play out and what it means to the characters on and off the island, however, and the leaked snippet of the premiere doesn't really tell you anything that you couldn't have guessed for yourself a year ago. In fact, 99% of the Lost fans I've talked to all expect the first episode of season 6 to start a certain way before we really come to grips with the implications and mysteries of the season and it's storytelling devices. Also, the first half of the leaked footage is just a repeat of the season 5 finale, so there are only a couple of minutes of anything "new."

So, if you've watched it already, you know what I mean. If you haven't, don't worry about about putting yourself in a sensory deprivation chamber until Tuesday night, because it's not going to bring about the end of the world if you're somehow exposed to it or chat with a fellow Lostie who has seen it. Better yet, just wait until Tuesday, because the really good stuff most certainly starts happening more than 4 minutes in.

Namaste, y'all.