Adventures in Geekdom: The LOST Finale
May 26, 2010 in television
*Note: there are no spoilers in this post; but you’ve probably heard how the show ends anyway…
I spend this Monday feeling hungover, even though I didn’t drink enough to warrant it. I woke up from bizarro dreams, with the music of Michael Giaccino playing in the background, and I felt a sense of loss.
I have post-party depression.
A few of my friends on Facebook were proudly announcing they were having to do nothing with the LOST finale, thank you very much. Which is fine. LOST had a finale like none other.
It wasn’t The Sopranos, Seinfeld, or even M.A.S.H. If any finale event was as polarizing to the haves and have nots, LOST was the one to do it. Unlike LOST, the larger TV show finales of the past were hyped for their long run (M.A.S.H.), or shows that had a decent following, but were ready for the end (Seinfeld). These shows’ finale events catered to the masses, as anyone could sit down and watch the finale, and at least have an inkling about the basics of the show (characters/relationships, plot, setting, etc.). I remembered watching the M.A.S.H. finale with my parents, and as they recorded it on their VCR, I knew finales of a TV series were something special: It was about being able to say that you were there, that you watched it.
Until LOST came to an end. Its finale closed the door on its non-viewers before the finale even aired, like a secret party thrown just for those who stayed until the end. Sure, anyone could have watched the LOST finale. But would they even have an idea of what was going on? No. The show took investment; whether it be emotional, time, energy, what have you, LOST (or the Island) needed those payments. I definitely spent my share.
I wasn’t a six-year Lostie. In fact, Mr. Marshmueller and I poo-poohed the show until we began watching it on Hulu last summer due to boredom and the lack of anything else to watch. We were sucked in, of course, and became part of the rabid fandom that most people on the outside call “geeks.”
We’re okay with being geeks. We hosted a private party, and we completely geeked out. We did it right–we decorated the event space as if our guests were new recruits into the DHARMA Initiative, and I created invitations as if they were letters from the DHARMA Initiative, or Oceanic Airlines claiming they lost their luggage. If we were to host any other type of party, we would have done the same. All it took was a little research (aka Google), a little time to create some items, and viola! Awesome looking party worthy of many geeks.
And yet, as I excitedly posted a photo of the decorated event space on facebook, only the Naysayers popped up and made snide comments like, “Nothing like this should ever go into something like a TV show.” Ah, yes, the anti-geek Naysayers. With one swipe of my finger, I deleted that Naysayer’s comment with a smile.
As much as I sneer at the Naysayers, I’ll admit, if I didn’t watch the show, I would be proudly claiming my lack of investment into the show, and joining them in making fun of the geeks.
After watching the show, however? I am proud to be a Lostie. It did so much more than plop my ass onto our sofa each week. It brought my family together; for Season 6, we spent each Tuesday taking turns hosting LOST Night. We shared videos and links with friends from college, and we tried to get another college friend at the LOST Finale party E! was hosting (sadly, she missed out).
Yet, LOST was a fucking TV show. And I am sad more people didn’t get to participate in the magic of it. I do hope some of the Naysayers let down their guard and watch it on DVD, for the show is much bigger than itself. No laugh track, no main character, no cheesy spin-offs. It was a Smart show; chock-full of time travel, electromagnetism, theories on death and what happens after it.
The Finale was done beautifully; no cheap tricks, no over-the-top nostalgia, no gimmicks. The end reminded me of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream; there are a multitude of theories about what the play is really about. Is it a dream? Is it a fantasy world? That’s the beauty of the play; it’s up to one’s interpretation. There are hints, but it only pushes one in the right direction. The LOST finale did the same. And yet, it was incredibly sad. It was hilarious; I will never tire of hearing Hurley say, “Dude,” or Sawyer say, “Son of a bitch.” It was also incredibly romantic without any extra baggage (which is why I have a problem with most romantic comedies); the romance of that deep-down emotional need for love, and to be loved, the intensity of that love, and what people will do to defend it.
The LOST finale was heavy; I am still processing it, and will continue to process it even after the booze has left my system. Some of the actors of the show claimed after reading the script for the finale, they had to sit down and think about it for a bit. The creators refused to talk about the show after the finale aired. Ever. At first I scoffed, but after viewing it, I understand. The finale was everything it should have been. It may have not answered all of the questions the show created, but I am satisfied with the ones they were able to answer. It wouldn’t have worked any other way.