Thursday, February 22, 2007

Lost, Feb. 21 episode

by Jackrabbit Slim
The title of the episode was "Stranger in a Strange Land." Discuss in comments.


Blogger Jackrabbit Slim said...

Meh. This was kind of a filler episode, not much of consequence happened. I wasn't particularly dying to know what Jack's tattoos signified (and is the 5 a reference to the five seconds he allowed himself to feel fear in the operation he's discussed?) particularly since they are Matthew Fox's tats. Where in the timeline was this flashback? I can't remember if he had the tattoos when he got married, so was this pre-marriage or post?

I can't wait to get back to camp. We haven't seen anything of Locke, Sayid, or Jin and Sun since the hiatus.

2/22/2007 07:34:00 AM  
Blogger LesterG said...

The first two installments of 07 were a real bounce-back from the underwhelming mini-season, but last night was awful. I can understand why Lost is in a ratings freefall.

The sad thing is that I think the vast majority of the problems the show is experiencing can be easily corrected. Unfortunately, Abrahms and Co. seem willing to accept an Alias-type burnout and cancellation by their fifth year.

Still wondering what the much-hyped "three answers" were...

2/22/2007 08:01:00 AM  
Blogger jaydro said...

I agree.

But LesterG, haven't they already said they're going to cut it off at a hundred episodes? That would leave, what, a season and a half to go after this one, right?

2/22/2007 08:44:00 AM  
Blogger LesterG said...

That 100 episodes thing has been a little misconstrued. When the producers were asked about long-term plans back in 2004, they claimed they had a firm 5-season arc planned (which, from comments David Fury has made since leaving the show - I don't believe in the slightest).

More recently, they've been negotiating with ABC to determine a firm end-date for the show. Most of the reports out of those meetings have indicated a Season Seven ending is in the cards.

Regardless, the show isn't going to make it another year at the rate they're hemorrhaging viewers. I'd expect a timeslot change within the next couple of weeks to act as a band-aid...but it's going to take some massive creative changes and heavy marketing to save it.

2/22/2007 09:00:00 AM  
Blogger Nick said...

I actually liked this episode. No big reveals, but it was nicely done. Though hopefully the last we'll see of Jack and the others for a while. What the heck has Sayid been doing?

The hemorrhage in viewers was caused by a timeslot change, wasn't it? That's how I read it. Like you suggested Lester, some heavy marketing, big two hour episode, with some big guest star turns could do the trick.

I think they'll keep it around 'til at least season five. It has enough very loyal fans, to not say foreign viewers and healthy dvd sales to keep going for a while. Those were the main reasons (discounting dvd) the X-Files and Baywatch kept around for as long as they did, right?

2/22/2007 09:46:00 AM  
Blogger Jackrabbit Slim said...

I think the main reason they moved it back to 10 was to avoid a conflict with the juggernaut that is American Idol, which you would think would raise the ratings. I don't watch Idol, so it's a pain for me to stay up an extra hour (I'm old and need my sleep, and I don't want to tape it).

2/22/2007 09:51:00 AM  
Blogger Nick said...

I don't watch Idol, so it's a pain for me to stay up an extra hour (I'm old and need my sleep, and I don't want to tape it).

Could be a reason for the drop in ratings? The lateness of the show, that is (not you being old :) ).

How do the Nielsens measure Tivo? Seem to recall someone at the forums holding a long rant against their antiquated reading methods.

2/22/2007 09:59:00 AM  
Blogger LesterG said...

The 10:00 pm slot (as a rule) always has fewer viewers than the two hours before it, but I think there's no single answer to why the ratings are falling. There's been a steady loss of viewers since the beginning of last season that has become a torrent in the past two weeks.

I think the mini-season was a critical error both creatively and scheduling-wise. That, combined with a sudden timeslot change after 3 years, certainly haven't helped to stabilize the situation.

First and foremost, I blame the writers. At certain times this season, "Lost" has resembled a spin-off of itself more than the original series. I'm all for reinvention, but doing it in the third season is a little early. I think viewers simply miss the old cast.

The other big creative problem (and this came up in conversation I had with some people this morning): Lost is missing the fear factor. Remember the dread you felt when Locke first discovered the hatch? When the others would attack without warning? By putting a human face on the island's antagonists (without replacing them with a new mystery) they've robbed the show of one of its essential hooks.

Here's my prescription to save the show:

- Move Lost back to 9:00 pm with "Dancing with the Stars" as a lead-in. Yes, it will still face "American Idol", but their ratings were actually higher in direct competition with Fox's juggernaut than they are currently.
- Move the Others into the background immediately. Kill them, move them...whatever. A massacre of the characters by an unknown entity/group would solve multiple problems.
- More Locke, more Sayid, more Hurley. Are Jin and Sun still on the show?
- Less concrete bunkers, more jungle and beach.
- Bring back those end-of-episode shockers we enjoyed in season one (think: the light going on inside the hatch). It's a cheap, easy hook to maintain viewers. We don't care if Jack's aloe is healing Julliette's back.

2/22/2007 10:41:00 AM  
Blogger jaydro said...

Yeah, Lester, I was just talking to someone before last night's episode, and they said their big disappointment was that the Others just aren't very scary anymore. I hadn't thought about it making the show less compelling, because I had been expecting the Others to turn out to be the Good Guys in the end anyway.

2/22/2007 11:10:00 AM  
Blogger Count Olaf said...

I liked last night's episode because Jack is the only one who can semi-outwit the "others" and also not get his butt kicked for it.

The only letdown for me are the commercial breaks. There are far more breaks than the other hour-long dramas I watch (heroes, 24). When I rip the shows to DVD it's amazing to see a stretch of 10 minutes of show followed by 3 mins commercial then 4 minutes show followed by 3 mins commercial the rest of the way. It's ridiculous.

and they're doing the "two shows = one day" kind of thing so far.My theory is, in island time, it's only been 1/2 day since sayid, locke and the rest got back from burying Eko. I think Kate & Sawyer were rowing a boat at the same time Locke & Sayid told Charlie & Hurley that the island killed eko. Desmond's confession to Charlie happened at the same time as Kate & Sawyer were torching it up with Karl (unless they stayed by the campfire an entire day doing nothing). Perhaps Jack is 1 day ahead because the sheriff came to him at night to interrogate and then the next day was the execution.

Either way, at most, 36 hours have transpired in the past 3 episodes.

2/22/2007 11:31:00 AM  
Blogger Nick said...

I keep waiting for the Others to show there's some Big Master Plan, having fooled everybody, but keep getting disappointed. Them just being regular scientist people has to be the big let down of the season.

2/22/2007 11:48:00 AM  
Blogger Nick said...

Either way, at most, 36 hours have transpired in the past 3 episodes.

Yeah, but how much since the end of season two? Less than a week?

2/22/2007 11:49:00 AM  
Blogger Count Olaf said...

lostpedia says the first episode started on the latter half of day 66 and last night's episode ended at the end of day 74.

And the others hardly appear to be "regular scientist people" but they're much less scary than they first appeared. Although the sheriff gives me no warm fuzzies

2/22/2007 01:25:00 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

the others hardly appear to be "regular scientist people"

All right, somewhat irregular. But still, consider where they started out from.

From: Having Eko hiding from twisted Lost Boys dragging their teddy bears around, and fooling Michael with a fake village.

To: Running day care centres and bringing Jack to their real village all smiles and contentment.

Equals: a little bit disappointing.

2/22/2007 01:45:00 PM  
Blogger LesterG said...

But how they make grilled cheese sandwiches is a little scary...toothpicks are sharp.

2/22/2007 02:32:00 PM  
Blogger jaydro said...

Jack is the only one who can semi-outwit the "others" and also not get his butt kicked for it.

Or is Jack the only one the Others are really interested in, and they're just having their way with him after all? Jack can be pretty stupid at letting himself get set-up, can't he?

2/22/2007 02:34:00 PM  
Blogger Count Olaf said...

To: Running day care centres and bringing Jack to their real village all smiles and contentment.

Equals: a little bit disappointing.

Going all "clockwork orange" on Karl is a little disenchanting...but I did say they've become less scary. And they admitted last night that they all hate coming to the Hydra station

Jack can be pretty stupid at letting himself get set-up, can't he?

in previous seasons Jack has played the doofus more than once, but I think this season he's been much smarter...
Ben played Locke & Jack to a tee last season and I don't think Jack's forgotten. I just don't see Ben's master plan being take Jack to Otherville to replace Ethan all the while getting my stitches infected and having Juliet kill my enforcer. The guy's an evil genius, but that may be a little much. Juliet could still be playing him though...
Thankfully everyone will be back on the same island.

it looks like the next two episodes include Rousseau, Mrs. Klugh and Hurley & Sayid flashbacks.

2/22/2007 04:12:00 PM  
Blogger jaydro said...

I just don't see Ben's master plan being take Jack to Otherville to replace Ethan all the while getting my stitches infected and having Juliet kill my enforcer.

Do we know that Juliet actually killed anyone? (Cue Danny Pickett's appearance at the end of an episode two weeks from now.) Can you fake stitches looking infected? Okay, I'm probably going too far, but I think the Others have definitely played into letting Jack be the hero he wants to be. Juliet's and Ben's actions have all semed a little too convenient, haven't they? And the one thing the Others seem to be masters of is the psyche-out.

2/22/2007 04:41:00 PM  
Blogger jaydro said...

Not to go too off-topic (I don't this deserves its own post), but I've been looking at the comments page for this post so much, that Google Desktop has picked up on its RSS feed in my Web Clips box in the sidebar. Huh--I've had an RSS feed to Gone Elsewhere in Bloglines for a while, but it has frustrated me that while the posts generate feed content, the comments don't seem to. Only it appears that each post's page does indeed generate a comment feed.... Is there anyway to subscribe to an RSS feed for the comments for all posts? Or would I need something like Yahoo! Pipes to do that?

2/22/2007 04:52:00 PM  
Blogger jaydro said...

Blogger help reveals most of it. Looks like there was a comments feed up until April 2006 or so, but now we're just getting per-post comments feeds. I never knew.... A blog comment feed would be nice.

2/22/2007 05:10:00 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

Not to follow too far down the path to off-topic land that jaydro's cleared for us, but I've been half-thinking of moving over to some more robust blogging software lately, but haven't really looked into it yet. I'm a little frustrated with the commenting situation myself.

If anyone has any recommendations, let me know. Cheap is nice. Free is better.

2/22/2007 05:33:00 PM  
Blogger jaydro said...

Blog comment feeds are working for two other blogspot blogs I tried, so I don't know why this one's stops at last April--did it get turned off in settings or did we just overflow it?

Anyway, Brian, you just made me go over and take a look at Vox, which I recently heard good things about. FWIW, I think LiveJournal is worse than Blogger.

Or is publishing through some other source to blogspot what you had in mind (skipping Blogger)?

2/22/2007 06:20:00 PM  
Anonymous lora said...

Back to Lost (can't visit this site from work) I was so happy last week to be away from the Others...only to be dumped back into that dreary situation again this week. Despite her momentary protest against Sawyer's bossiness, Kate has become quite boring. I miss Locke and the rest of the gang.

I had to laugh at the bit about the tattoos, because I've always wondered what all of the Japanese characters people get on their bodies really mean. My rule is to be darned sure of what you're having etched into your skin for life.

2/22/2007 07:39:00 PM  

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