3 thoughts on “LOST and The Weight of Glory

  1. Dear Clayton,

    The threefold juxtaposition of graphics, music and prose in this piece is a remarkable achievement.

    I have been doing some of my own thinking about LOST, and so look forward to reading your thoughts, and even more, to thinking with you about this piece of television history.

    Let me only say that I have been through the finale more than twice, and still need to get a handle on it – indeed, I think I need to review all six seasons, start to finish.

    Does all this mean that television is a medium capable of producing art that is on par with the best cinema?

    With literature?

    Is it too early to ask these questions?


    • Thanks, LD. Putting this together was my first way of trying to unpack what I saw as remarkable in this series. I have been through the finale several times. I am more satisfied with the conclusion now than I was at first, given the challenges the writers faced, the overall trajectory of the narrative, and what was best about both the show’s concept and its execution. (Over the course of the year leading up to season 6, I did review the previous five seasons, in sequence).

      No, it’s not too early to ask the questions, to my mind.

      I’ll only offer a few thoughts now. I look forward to learning what you thought about the show along the way.

      I do think television is capable of producing art on par with the best cinema. Some have said that we are in a golden age of television, and will point to LOST as one example. LOST made an ambitious effort to adopt the scope and quality of cinema — the entire show was shot on film, which is an incredible expense, and was scored as a film would be. Perhaps these choices contributed to greater care regarding the whole effort, as if consciously rising to the medium.

      On par with the best literature? Perhaps the narrative could be fairly compared with some of the best serial literature. Out of justice, I would not hold it to the standards and demands of something like Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, or an epic of Homer, but to the kind of thing Dickens had to produce for the newspaper on a regular schedule. I do think the material of the entire show could be edited down into something that would suggest a greater wholeness or sense of proportion, which I became aware was lacking as I reviewed all of the episodes. In the end, some episodes contributed almost nothing to the overall narrative arc, or traveled down paths that had either been followed before or were even at variance with the show’s basic themes. But overall, I was very impressed with the series.

  2. I think this is going to be fun!

    I have some reflections regarding both medium and genre that I need to clarify, but I, too, am certain that the way the show was shot and produced is very significant.

    More later.

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