Thursday, September 07, 2006

DVD Picks: Finding "Lost"

This week's pick was pretty easy.

I've never been a fan of the phrase "post-modern." To me, it's always been one of those non-sensical, pseudo-intellectual phrases that one usually drops into conversations at parties to make one sound cool.

But if there was an example of a post-modern TV show, "Lost" would be it. It's a series that can't be appreciated with just its weekly viewing Wednesday nights. The Internet sites — both those produced by ABC in relation to the show and those created by fans — and multiple viewings either through reruns, downloads, and now DVD, is practically essential to appreciate fully what the writers pack into each episode.

One can view "Lost" once a week and enjoy the series, but odds are a lot of key clues and visual moments are missed. This isn't an episode of something like "CSI," in which what you see is what you get during the initial viewing.

So for "Lost" fans or those trying to catch up with one of TV's best series, Tuesday's DVD release of Season 2 comes at a perfect time with the Season 3 premiere rapidly approaching. The DVD set contains seven discs, with the final one being mostly extras.

Season 2 was full of hits and misses. You have to admire the way the show's producers took chances, introducing new characters and continuing to extend the show's mythology. My lone concern is that "Lost" will go the route of the "X-Files" in which the mythology collapsed under its own weight because the writers tried to continue to raise questions and throw in twists without ever solving the show's initial questions.

It's possible "Lost" may go that route, but right now it remains pretty flexible in terms of what it is doing. The producers introduced new characters, some of whom were terrific and stuck (Mr. Eko, Desmond) and some of whom didn't (Ana Lucia, Libby). Characters that had outlived their usefulness (Boone, Shannon, Michael) found their way off the island one way or another. What's left are some of the deepest-drawn characters on TV.

FRAK-TASTIC: If you can't wait a month for the season premiere of "Battlestar Galactica" (and I sure can't), you can tide your appetite with "webisodes" of the series produced specifically for Series regulars appear in these 4-minute installments that bridge the gap between last season's cliffhanger finale and this season's opener.

Like the "Lost" DVD, it isn't essential viewing in terms of keeping pace with what is going on, but it certainly enhances the experience.

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