Saturday , May 18 2024
Another look at J.J. Abrams' new teledrama Lost. . .

Things That Go STOMP! In The Night

J.J. Abrams’ new ABC series Lost, a happily hard-to-categorize adventure tale about forty-some airplane passengers stranded on an uncharted island, debuted last night with an episode so frantic and intense – opening on the immediate aftermath of the plane crash then flashing back to the moment when the jet hit an air pocket and started to tear apart – that you’ve gotta wonder how Abrams and company will maintain a comparable level of excitement over the course of a full season. But, man, those first fifteen minutes were some fun: screaming victims pinned underneath pieces of wreckage (one of whom loses a leg), pieces of heavy plane teetering over oblivious victims, explosions and a women who’s eight months pregnant. Talk about instantly grabbing your viewer!

Our plane-wrecked group has landed on an uncharted isle, one that’s prone to sudden and intense rainfalls and is at least (we later learn) a thousand miles off course from their flight plan. When three of our survivors – level-headed doctor Jack (Matthew Fox), tough-but-winsome femme Kate (Evangeline Lilly) and pathetically needy rocker Charlie (Dominic Monaghan) – venture across the island in search of the plane’s cockpit, the already grim stakes get upped considerably. Something big and noisy and unfriendly is also on the island; as it stomps through the palms, it makes their very tops sway. After our threesome discovers the cockpit and the still-living pilot, this unseen creature yanks the poor flyboy from the wreckage and deposits his mangled corpse in a tree. Perhaps these folks crashed on Skull Island?And what about that dog which briefly appears several times? Where’d it come from?
Abrams doesn’t just kept the focus on this threesome, and though we only get snippets of ’em in the pilot, I still want to know more about Jorge Garcia’s seemingly sedated hippie and ol’ reliable Terry O’ Quinn (still The Stepfather in my book) as a mysterious figure who holds off from the rest of the group. From the look in his eyes, you just know he has knowledge about this mysterious island that the rest of the cast lacks. Rest of the identified group (single mother-to-be, Korean family, middle-aged black widow, father and son, etc.) is primarily called upon to look freaked in the pilot, though a quarrelsome brother-and-sister team (Maggie Grace & Ian Somerhalder) look like they could provide some sharp selfish villainy.
With its ocean-locked premise, Lost is one of those series that looks like it’d be more effective as a mini-series than an ongoing concern. (Remember Earth2, the short-lived wayward space opera about settlers stranded on an alien world? Hey, wasn’t Terry O’Quinn on that show, too?) But Abrams has proven inventive in the past (he certainly did more with Alias than I initially expected) and on the basis of its whiz-bang premiere, I’m caught up enough to want to follow the series further. I want at least one half-seen glimpse of that Kong-like creature. . .

About Bill Sherman

Bill Sherman is a Books editor for Blogcritics. With his lovely wife Rebecca Fox, he has co-authored a light-hearted fat acceptance romance entitled Measure By Measure.

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