Wednesday, June 30, 2010

“Lost” – I should not have been surprised

For the sake of online courtesy – this post contains spoilers - so if you, like one of my co-workers, haven’t yet watched the finale and still plan to…first of all, don’t, but secondly if you will – then don’t read this post.

I started to write a little commentary on the finale of Lost the day after it aired but I put off completing it because I wanted to get the pics shown below (screen shots saved as jpgs from when I DVRd the show) to go along with this post. And then, life and other things demanded my time, and so here…finally, I am completing my thoughts.

For about the last 5 years I have been a fan of the TV show Lost. I started watching it when the first season was re-run before the beginning of season 2 and thought it was captivating and entertaining. There has always been the theme of good vs. evil, light vs. dark, faith vs. reason present in the show, and so it was of no surprise that there were religious and philosophical themes that played out heavily in the show, even imbedded in the names of the characters. Many of the character’s names are associated with varying social, religious, or scientific historical figures: John Locke, Daniel Faraday (for Michael Faraday), Desmond Hume (for David Hume), Christian Shepherd (was a drunken philanderer), and Charlotte Lewis (for C.S. Lewis).

Also, as best as I can remember, the only explicitly religious (in the sense of organized religion) characters were Roman Catholic (Charlie was devout before drugs, Ecko pretended to be a priest, and Desmond had formerly been in a monastery). There are probably more, but these are the ones that I thought of off hand. And as far as religious themes go, several of the main characters had a significantly relevant history (back-story) with the Roman Catholic church. But aside from these nods (or jabs, depending on how you look at it) toward Christianity, nothing about the idea of faith in the show was really compatible with Christianity. And what I mean by that is that there was nothing Christ-focused about the faith of the show, and in this way I believe that the show was utterly hostile to true Christian faith.

Now, I was truly a fan of the show and liked the sci-fi themes and mystery, but I remember the first time that the characters found something from the Dharma Initiative that I groaned inside because I knew that dharma is a Hindu concept, and I was not excited to see Hindu themes in the show. But going forward, there were references to religion, faith, and destiny that were ambiguously tied to religion (if they were even connected that much). So when the finale ended with all of the main characters meeting in a church that has symbols from Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and many other religions before Christian Shepherd opens the doors to the sanctuary for them to be enveloped in a bright white light I should not have been surprised. I think I can sum up my thoughts with the same words that I spoke to my wife just after the final scene. “Really… Really? So I’ve watched six seasons of Lost for an ‘all-roads-lead-to-the-light’ universalistic spiritual resolution?” My whole way of thinking about the show has been irrevocably tarnished by this blatantly anti-Christian conclusion to the story. My main problem now is a personal and introspective one: why did it take this slap-in-the-face of the finale to make me see (or at least to stop denying) how anti-Christian this show was?

Now why my revulsion hit a high point at this event and not at other ones during the series – I don’t know. Perhaps my reaction was more acute because this seemed to be the most blatantly obvious commentary by the writers on their religious worldview that they had for the show. Until the finale, the religious stuff was all background to the story, but in the finale it took center stage and became the story.

But even if the final scene of the finale (pictured above) wasn’t a Coexist love fest of ungodly spiritualism, the prevalence of ambiguous faith and mysticism should have been enough to have me tune out long ago. As captivating and fun as the show was, the philosophy communicated is at odds with everything that I stand for.

I was shocked and upset by the conclusion of Lost, but I am now more frustrated that I was shocked by it. I should have seen it coming, and I should have not subjected myself to the wasted hours of mind-numbing amusement (a = not; muse = think) over the past five years. This gives more weight to my thoughts of unplugging from TV and movies almost completely. There is very little that is positively worth-while, or at the very least harmless, that I can watch if I’ve actually thought about it before hand.

1 comment:

Michael said...

lets chat about this E.J. Long time no blog. =D

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