I have to admit that I only tuned into Lost’s season premier because most of my friends on Facebook were so eager for the Wednesday night “event” (as ABC calls it) that I caught the fever and did something I haven’t done in five years.
I set the timer on the VCR. (Hey, I’m old school. I haven’t invested in TiVo yet.)
When I rewound the tape and watched the program, what impressed me most were the generous efforts of executive producers and writers to let us in on their secrets and invite us to enjoy the adventures with the characters, all with full (okay, maybe partial) knowledge of what was happening.
The highlight of the first hour came, of course, from Sawyer, whom I shall now assume is supposed to represent Everyman. When physicist Daniel Faraday refuses to tell him what’s going on as the stranded castaways find themselves traipsing through the jungle once again, the redneck from Tallahassee (sans shirt) gets fed up with the condescension and the cryptic replies and does something we’ve all been yearning to do since the second season. He slaps Faraday. Hard.
Faraday cries out in indignation, “These things would be hard for me to explain even to an advanced member of my academic field! How can I possibly explain them to you?”
Sawyer refused to accept that excuse, and so did we. And then something extraordinary happened. The physicist told Sawyer what was going on. And if you're a fan of the story of Flight Oceanic 815, you know this is a very big deal.
Faraday became what on some shows is the most annoying character: "Exposition Guy."
You all know who “Exposition Guy” is. He doesn’t get a cool cape or a superpower. He usually dons glasses or walks with a limp. He’s the scholar or commander or surgeon on the show who tells the intern what the complicated procedures mean as the camera follows him dutifully through his library or the corridor.
As educated viewers I shouldn’t have to remind you that this technique dates back to Shakespeare and earlier — a writer inserts several servants gossiping about the “state of things” in Act I so that we, the audience, can realize the central premise of the coming conflict and get prepared.