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5/14/21 | 17/52

Last week I saw an old co-worker I hadn't seen in almost a year and without thinking I gave him a hug. In my defense we were both properly masked and vaxxed and it was a spontaneous gesture. It was only later I reflected on this unconscious breach of protocol. The intention was honest and that has to mean something. I hope you remain more vigilant than me and you're ready to make the most of this beautiful day.


Previously on Lost

Having run through a number of other programs during the lockdown we just finished up rewatching the classic ABC television program Lost. This essay will concern that but don’t be alarmed if you haven’t seen it. I’m certain you will be able to find some part of this relatable. There may be some spoilers. If you haven’t watched it yet I don’t think you’re getting around to it now. This isn’t really about the show but I’ll get to that later.
The show overall holds up pretty well. I still love the use of cliffhanger endings, the sound design, the mysteries, the magic, the music. One of the reoccurring pieces of music sounds like a slowed down piano version of the great Hall and Oates song “One on One.” The show runners did an amazing job of unpeeling layers and playing with time and expectations and larger themes of fate, duty and faith. There are a few things that don’t come together perfectly but that’s to be expected from a tv show. I just learned about an additional final epilogue that attempts to tie up some of the loose ends fans were vocally upset about. It’s fine but not necessary. If you’ve watched the whole series give it a look. It’s short.
I remember this being an early internet show. I think social media was still developing and phones weren’t smart yet so my memory is of message boards and obsessive fans breaking down various theories, freezing screens to point out possibilities and a lively polar bear debate . It was also a weekly show so that left plenty of time to focus on each episode. I had totally forgotten about the writers strike that led to shortened seasons and a surprising amount of clip shows.
Like I said, as a whole the show holds up pretty well, but there are a few clunker episodes and weird characters. Those don’t bother me too much. No show is perfect. The part I wish they would have fixed involves computer effects. There’s an episode with laughable, Xena Warrior Princess level, Myst for PC quality, computer effects. The thing is, they didn’t need it. Before that they had done outstanding work with atmosphere, lighting, tense music, suggested terror. It is almost impossible to top a person’s imagination for terror. You don’t always have to show the monster. It is also a great reminder of how awesome practical effects can be. If you can’t afford it or the technology isn’t where it needs to be, think creatively and see if there are ways to work around it. Jaws comes to mind as an example.
Lost has a talented amazing cast of new and mostly unknow character actors. After the rewatch I want to commend them all. Great job! They were a part of something special. Just about every episode I would look one up on IMBD and say out loud that they’ve, “had a pretty good career,” and then list off the various TV movies and early 80s and 90s sitcoms and movies they were on for an episode or a scene.
I’ll be honest I don’t really know what a “pretty good career” is for an actor. I can’t imagine guest starring on 3 episodes of “In the Heat of the Night,” and being killed on “Law and Order,” are enough to get your kids college paid for. Sure there are commercials and plays but even being the 8th lead on a huge cult show like Lost only takes you so far. I guess there’s probably conventions and photo signings. Actually I don’t know what “a pretty good career” is for most jobs. Where is the ceiling for a plumber? Do UPS drivers strive to move into management? Is the daily work the “good career” part? Is just being paid to act enough for actors?
Once specific actor I want to mention is Nestor Carbonell. I noticed him earlier this year in the Nolan Batman movies playing the Mayor. I was certain he was going to be a villain because it looked like he was wearing heavy eye make-up. At the time I thought that was a truly insane choice but then he appeared in Lost again with the darkened racoon eyes. It turns out that’s just the way his eyelashes look. Surprisingly, there’s another actor on Lost who also has the perma eye liner look. I mention Nestor Carbonell because I have to imagine he goes in and kills every audition and when he leaves the room the casting team spends five minutes discussing if and why he was wearing eye make up and eventually conclude his acting is good enough to overcome that.
All of this got me thinking about patience in our relationship. I wouldn’t have picked Lost as a rewatch but Allison loves the show and this is her third run through. I’m pretty relaxed about what’s playing on the TV. I can always draw or write or look at my phone and exclaim out loud, “well she had a pretty good career….did a couple episodes of Justified, was on Broadway in Grease.” After the first season I found myself doing it so much that I started annoying myself but I couldn’t stop doing it. I can’t image how she put up with it. Maybe she tuned me out or it just started to blend in with the swelling score but some how we got through the whole series and we’re still married. Across time and against all odds, patience endures. In your face smoke monster!

Friend of the Week

Didn't have any reader submissions this week so I chose to keep the Lost theme going and included Walt's mysterious dog Vincent as this week's friend. I'm pretty certain he had magic powers but that was never fully hashed out. I assume he's still living his best life roaming freely and absorbing electromagnetic rays.

If you would like your animal amigo to be a friend of the week simply email me 3 pictures of them and I will do my best to try and capture their essence.
Thank you so much for choosing to spend these moments together. Now that things are starting to get back to normal I hope we get to hang out. Maybe share a meal or a cold beverage in a park. Don't be a stranger! If you ever miss a week you can always check out the archive link on the Serial Dispatch instagram.

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