Thursday, February 08, 2007

The Hater talks a little Lost

From avclub.com's The Hater:



The New York Times On Lost, Anti-Abortion Activists, Heroes

posted by: Amelie Gillette
February 7, 2007 - 12:38pm

A Wednesday afternoon game of make-believe:

Let's say you're a TV critic for The New York Times—more specifically, you're a TV critic for The New York Times who is notorious for getting basic facts completely wrong, Alessandra Stanley—and you want to write an article about Lost, which is back from a three-month hiatus tonight, and that's a pretty big story (at least for a television critic). The problem is, you haven't seen Lost since, oh, the pilot episode. Do you a). Spend all night watching most of the episodes and doing the necessary research or b.) Just wing it, and talk about Heroes, the supernatural, and random scholarly websites a lot, and hope no one notices?

We can stop playing right now because judging by today's New York Times, the real Alessandra Stanley chose b:

Anyone who thinks it’s a good sign that “Lost” is back has not spent enough time at the Web site of James Randi, a skeptical scholar of the pseudoscientific and the supernatural.
A fan recently posed this question online at randi.org: “Is a fascination and increased belief in the supernatural a sign of social decline?”
The answer came as categorically as the words under the Magic 8-Ball: “Yes. Absolutely.”
By itself, “Lost” may not be a harbinger of the decline of Western civilization. But alongside “Heroes,” as well as “Medium,” “Ghost Whisperer” and “Raines,” a new NBC drama that begins in March and stars Jeff Goldblum as a detective who solves murders by appearing to commune with dead victims, the collapse looks pretty darn nigh.

Uh-huh. Wait. What? If the popularity of supernatural TV shows means it's the end of the world as we know it, then shouldn't it have ended back when Samantha on Bewitched first twiched her nose?

But it gets even worse. After a long discussion of Heroes (anything to avoid talking about the specifics of Lost!), we're treated to this sobering characterization of the fans of "supernatural" TV dramas:

The fans of these kinds of serialized thrillers are unusually passionate and devoted, carrying a clout not unlike that of anti-abortion activists — their intensity is in some ways more powerful than their numbers.

Good analogy. Although there is a small difference in the degree of the "intensity" of anti-abortion activists and Lost fanatics—one group uses bombs, while the other posts messages in chat rooms—still, the similarities are striking.

But Stanley had to mention a few facts about Lost—afterall, that's what the article was about—and, true to form, she got most of them wrong:

Tonight’s episode begins with Jack poised to remove a tumor from Henry/Ben’s spine — to stave off the execution of Kate and Sawyer.

Not exactly. But close. Jack is poised to either fix the artery he slashed near Henry/Ben's kidney, or let him bleed to death. And Kate was never going to be executed. Still, close enough. It was only the biggest plot point in the last episode of the show you're writing an entire article about.

Unlike “Lost,” in which the only youngster, Walt, was kidnapped and is still missing, “Heroes” has one main character who is still in high school.

Walt's not missing. He sailed off with his dad in the last episode of season two—which was another major plot point, not just something that those anti-abortion-activist-level-crazy Lost fans would know about.

61 comments:

stephsmith said...

I think I'm offended.

Anonymous said...

A poorly written article, and some horrible points to support her downfall in society by way of Lost/Heroes idea.

Did Cartlon Cuse personally wrong this woman or something? It seems she is trying to link lost with some pretty nasty stuff...why?

- SadAce

aimee in little rock said...

I guess anyone with a computer can become a published writer now.

stephsmith said...

Has this lady not heard of Mary Shelley or Edgar Allen Poe?

Ralph- said...

i know i am gonna sound like a defensive lost nerd, but this is a really retarded article. who the hell are these people? "carrying a clout not unlike that of anti-abortion activists" that's retarded.

Anonymous said...

not real down with your use of 'retarded', but otherwise i agree, this article is teh stupid.

It seems pretty dashed together (the quoting of a random website is up there with 'the merriam-webster dictionary defines Lost as...') and the reference to anti-abortion activists was hard to stomach. I will say that I don't think it got the plot points wrong in essence and didn't really seem like it was tasked with reviewing the episode specifically. Oh well, it will probably convince the two people that read the television section of The New York Times that haven't seen Lost that it's not worth jumping aboard. Their loss.

That episode was awesome though. What's the deal with Dharma's wish fulfillment abilities? Like Desmond's precognition, that seems like a really bad idea thematically, but they haven't fucked up just yet.

andrew.

Mike Campbell said...

What was that compiney the guy said he worked for. Cause julet told jack "Dharma was a long time ago" So did this new one buy out dharma or become dharma. OR should we not even pay attention. I am thinking the latter.

Also if anyone has any amazing miracle cures could you pass them along, i'm pretty sure i havre the plague. :)

Ralph- said...

i am sure one of the many definitions of retarded, fit the description of this article. i did not call the person who wrote it retarded. i just thought that the article was "slow or limited in intellectual or emotional development" sure. that's it.

anyway, the whole thing cracks me up that people get so worked up about the people who get worked up about this show. why are they trying to give us grief for enjoying a show with many layers.

did the news in 60s say that star trek fans are no better than hippies? that would be gay.

do i have to explain that that last comment was a joke? i hope not.

Anonymous said...

sorry ralph, it's a pet peeve. i used to use it a bunch.

Karl didn't seem to be the type 'up for a little ultraviolence' but i guess he wasn't conforming to the social standards of otherville. Still, I wouldn't be surprised if his brainwashing kicks in and he kills a main character Manchurian Candidate style (or Naked Gun style if you prefer)

andrew.

Ralph- said...

i hope Ben chimes in on this one. HE LOVES BOTH manchurian and police squad!

i hope that carl freaking snaps! and we get a "New Character" Blood-Bath! i want to see Nikki Paulo and Carl, no holds barred in the Tiger Pit!

i will root for Nikki

Anonymous said...

Did any of you follow the LOST Experience at all?

Do you think the the company...
Mittelos Bioscience could be a company run/started by our friend and head of the Hanso Foundation, Dr. Thomas Mittelwerk? I think the names are too similar to be coincidence.


I know they say it is...
***Semi-spoilerish alert***

Mittelos is an anagram for something important in the series. It unscrambled is "LOST TIME".

But I think people are discounting the way the name is so close to Mittelwerk.

- SadAce

aimee in little rock said...

I picked up on the the "Mittel" connection, even though I only followed the Lost Experience for the first few weeks. That dude gave me the creeps, and I have a little sympathy for each of the Others now.

I wouldn't be surprised to learn that each of them have some sort of sob story for getting suckered into going to that island. Remember Inman's little rant to Desmond about how cool he thought the Dharma Initiative was going to be, only to learn that it sucked, and he got stuck there too?

This season is supposed to focus as much on The Others as season 2 focused on The Hatch Life and what-not, so we'll probably learn more stories like this. I'm really curious about Karl though. He's about the same age as Alex, and we know nothing of his origin.

PalmerEldritch said...

Ralph and Ben,

You can pick up Police Squad! for about $15 off of Amazon.

Gotta love the opening credits with Abraham Lincoln.

"The only bomb making he'll be doing is in the State Prison."

Ralph- said...

there is a picture of Me, Ben and Goonluca on our myspace page.

did you here that ana nicole smith died? weird.

Ralph- said...

i only mentioned that cause she was in Naked Gun 33 1/3.

You know who else is Dead?

Danny Picket!

wow. sorry to say this Sunloc, but i think we will never be able to find out if your theory was correct.

Jimmy said...

Poor Ana Nicole, I say. People at work are giving mer flack for being sympathetic and such, but that's their problem, I guess.

Yes, Danny is dead. No Danny and Colleen flashbacks! Bugger.

aimee in little rock said...

Colleen was a cuntrag and Danny was a douchebag, so that's one couple I'm happy is gone from the island. Sorry about the graphic language folks, but those people were both assholes.

Ralph- said...

well, our point of view is that they are assholes. we did not think sayid was an asshole to Ben Linus when he worked him over more than Danny worked over Sawyer. it is all perspective. but i am glad they are gone. ass fuckers!

aimee in little rock said...

Amen, Ralph!

The Office was funny tonight. But fuck them for the Jim-Pam teasing. It's getting so freaking old to me now!

stephsmith said...

If Pam marries Roy I will stop watching. I swear.

stephsmith said...

http://www.mittelosbioscience.org/

Click Projects
Juliet's login is jburke
and her password is Rachel

I'm glad eastereggs are back!

Ralph- said...

HOLY SHIT!!!

i totally forgot about all my thursday shows!!!!!!

I love living on the planet earth!!!

aimee in little rock said...

It's funny, because I'm having to train myself how to watch the show all over again.

I watch the first time without taking any notes (althought that's how I used to always watch it - just for entertainment sake & entertainment value).

The second run I watch with a notepad & take notes, but I have to teach my brain what to look for and pause/slo-mo at. It's funny.

DenAss said...

I was going to make some comment like, "Who fuckin' cares about some uninformed article in the NY Times?" Just enjoy the show and let the haters hate.

But I guess I don'ot have to do that anymore since no one is really talking about that.

About The Office: My wife just HAD to screw around with the fuckin' TiVo, and it didn't record The Office! Well, at least I still have iTunes and an extra $1.99 so I can watch it tomorrow. So you say they're still teasing a Pam/Jim reunion? Wow, who could have seen that coming?

and Oh, Yeah! The new LOST episode. Does anybody see ANY way that Alex's biological parents could be both Ben Linus AND Danielle Rousseau? I guess an obvious possibility would be that Danielle isn't who she claims to be, and was in on the whole Henry Gale con from the beginning.

stephsmith said...

Maybe Rousseau was brainwashed like Karl.

Jimmy said...

I like that theory, Steph, Denass.

Yes I thought something similar when the whole Dad thing came up. Tom, perhaps? Snatched a s a baby could mean that she "thinks" someone is her Dad.

Ralph- said...

"if you release me to Sayid, i promise that i will give you Alex back" - Ben Linus to Danielle (future episode)

*i feel it in my guts*

Anonymous said...

Steph, i can't believe nobody said anything about that mittelbioscience site - that's awesome! Did you click the current projects thing? And how did you feel when (and i pause to say this - spoiler-free people may want to look away) the observation island, the third island came into view! Sweet. And all just outside Portland! How clever!

TJ

Tall Guy said...

To come back to that article, its basic agument is the yawnsome old one of thinking that anything remotely fantasic or imaginative must be immature, and that fantasy/science fiction is a degraded form of storytelling, only good for half-wits.

But you don't have to believe in telepathy, aliens, ghosts, vampires and all that stuff, to be able to enjoy the dark dreamworld of fantastic storytelling. I'm very much a sceptic of paranormal things and I'm a fan of Randi, but I don't confuse fiction with reality.

Michael said...

i don't think thats an official site. All the official ones had links that you could click leading back to ABC or disney. I think its a well done fan site.

stephsmith said...

Over at the fuselage script supervisor Gregg Nations denies it's authentic.
http://www.thefuselage.com/Threaded/showthread.php?t=68245

Whoever created it had alot of knowledge about the episode.

PalmerEldritch said...

Kim and Aimee,
Are you planning on making your podcast a weekly occurrence like the Dharmalars? Or will we only get to hear you two once in a while?

And are some form of Scott and Steve planning a podcast comeback (of epic proportions)?

I'm really looking forward to a potential 16 weeks of Dharmalars goodness.

And 16 weeks of LOST isn't bad either.

Ralph- said...

i would not keep your hopes up for scott and steve. we can all wish, but dont hold your breath. i dont even know the last time i have seen steve on the blog

Anonymous said...

they did a good job of getting that site up quickly with a lot of particulars from the episode but it's definitely fan made.

thinking about Lost today, do you know who i don't miss at all? Ana Lucia. i didn't hate on her character last season, but i'm pretty glad she's not in the mix right now.

i don't know about Rousseau and Ben getting it on, but i like the idea that Danielle went through the brainwashing and that's why she so nutters. Certainly being alone for 16 years could mess with your circuitry but why not make her an others' sleeper agent. This cylon thing is getting out of hand.

andrew.

Mike Campbell said...

i finally got a good nights sleep last night. and the meds are making me feel good. I think my body was sick cause Lost hated us and didn't want to be on tv. But now that it has returned to us my body is happy again :)

Do you think Lost will have a few boring episodes again like last year. I thought fire and water and SoS were slow. I hope they advoide that but not every episode can be mind blowing.

Also i don't know how i feel about all the gun fights. people chasing each other guns ablazing. It looks like next week will have some gun fights too. I just don't know how i feel about guns on the island.

Ralph- said...


Land Of The Lost
. i know that this has nothing to do with what we're talking about, but i thought it was funny, non the less. I cant wait to record tonight. i had a lot of fun with this episode and am looking forward to the action packed adventure next week. Did i see a house blow up?

PalmerEldritch said...

Will this week be the Very Special Valentine's Edition of Dharmalars or next?

Just let Jimmy talk a few extra minutes for the ladies to enjoy.

Ralph- said...

i am not into holidays other than Halloween and Independence Day. Maybe we will discuss Valentines day. Jimmy makes everyday valentines day

PalmerEldritch said...

Well, maybe for Valentine's Day, you guys can wave American flags and dress up in Halloween costumes while you record the podcast?

Anonymous said...

This is the wrong place to say this, but did anyone watch the o.c. last night? What in the name of god was that all about?!

Back to Lost, carry on...

TeeJ

PalmerEldritch said...

TeeJ - Did the Smoke Munster wrestle one of Peter Gallagher's eyebrows?

stephsmith said...

My DVR is installed! The first thing I recorded was Star Wars: A New Hope. Then programed all episodes of Lost. I'll try to burn to SW to a disc. The greatest week eva. Well, since Christmas.
The Peter Gallagher comment was great.:)

aimee in little rock said...

I'm in class all day, and the blog blows up...

Nice job on the Peter Gallagher comment. My brother makes me watch the OC sometimes.

Since Alex was just a baby when she was taken, she would have no clue who her real parents were. Kinda like the indestructible cheerleader. She'll call the man who raised her "dad", plain and simple. Doesn't mean he's her dad.

Palmer, I am all about the weekly recording, but Kim has not really commented to me about that yet, so to be honest, I don't really know. I have every intention to, but I can't do it alone.

I wouldn't hold your breath on Scott and Steve.

aimee in little rock said...

Congrats on the DVR Steph; I was >this< close to getting Tivo myself, but then I had to go and buy a Mac to replace my dead computer.

Anonymous said...

Aimee's dirty little secret is Michael Emerson, mine's Peter Gallagher. I used to just want him as my dad, but lately, i dunno, he just seems the sweetest little thing!

But, yes, his eyebrows made an extraordinary attempt to appear completely independent of his general anatomy this week. I don't think they had a battle with the smoke monster, they are of course, the very beast itself.

TeeJ

P.S. Autumn Risser is my bitch, and Adam Brodie sits in my basement with the other monkeys in an attempt to write the greatest crime thriller ever known to man. So far their grand total is one word - chumbawumba (look it up on wikipedia.)

aimee in little rock said...

I already told you guys that Michael Emerson was demoted last week after the dream I had about Peter Petrelli/Milo Ventimiglia.

Ralph- said...

i hope you are using the term Chumbawumba as a reference to the UCB Frat characters

Anonymous said...

Ralph, I know not of what you speak of, please explain. My thoughts are with you for the podcast tonight. Give Ben a hug and tell him to do more impressions/ impersonations.

Laters everbody, i feel quirky and very English - need french wine, the bastards.

TeeJ

DenAss said...

Aimee, that was kinda my point about Alex and Ben. I'd be pretty surprised (ok, fuckin' shocked) if Ben was her biological father. Chances are that he's just the one she grew up calling "dad".

And do we even know DEFINITIVELY that Danielle is Alex's mother? Just because some crazy bitch says that a baby was taken from her a long time ago doesn't necessarily mean that it happened, right?

stephsmith said...

With my new DVR, I'm not gonna miss it when ralph- wins the Showcase Showdown- or whatever the hell that game's called.

stephsmith said...

Only fools are enslaved by time and space.
http://losteastereggs.blogspot.com/2007/02/only-fools-are-enslaved-by-time-and.html

DenAss said...

Steph,

Very cool find, but what the hell does it mean?

Anonymous said...

I'll tell you what it means, and i'll make this as brief and understandable as possible:
Basically it boils down to local symmetries in space, which is the symmetry that acts independently at each point in space-time. These can be artificially built with electromagnetism, theoretically, as in the Philedelphia Experiment. It means that time and space can be 'bent' (and i don't mean gay), as proposed in the Grand Unified Theory. Look it all up on Wikipedia - it's all there. But if you want a better explanation, read A Brief History of Time!

Ker-and-indeed-blammo!!

Anonymous said...

Oh - that was me...

TeeJ

PalmerEldritch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ralph- said...

wait. i said that.

PalmerEldritch said...

Shows how much I was paying attention, Ralph. Sorry about that!

PalmerEldritch said...

Hey, wait a sec...

Just re-listened to your Anna Nicole references, and I can't find any jokes about Batmanuel and Mittelos Bioscience killing Anna Nicole to placate Rosie O'Donnell into going to the island... If only I could undelete my previous horrible joke!

Anonymous said...

is craig dead

Ralph- said...

probably.

Anonymous said...

I forgot - there's a whole chapter on Space & Time in A Brief History of Time! Re-reading it now - it's fucking ridiculously cool.

TeeJ