Sujal asked me several nights ago when I was going to go public with it. I knew precisely what he meant, though for the sake of denial, I feigned confusion. I now am willing to take the first of 12 steps: admitting the truth. I am a Lost addict.
In January, Sujal began downloading episodes off of iTunes. At the time, according to his site, he claims to have watched 18 hours of the show within 48 hours. That may have been a comment writing weekend for me, or perhaps I was just grading. All I recall was being somewhat appalled at the fact that he was watching SO MUCH TV. Of course, I would never do that. He would call me into his office to watch it with him, and I kept saying no, that I didn’t want to watch that stupid show about people trapped on an island, a glorified Survivor.
Slowly, Sujal wore me down. “Give me one hour of your life,” he said. “Just one hour. That’s all I’m asking,” and so I watched a new episode with him. While I was mysteriously captivated by the very beautiful people on the screen, I can’t say I was too engaged in the show because I did not know the plot. Another night he did it again. “Give me one hour of your life…” and he had me watch the pilot. At least now some of it made more sense.
Then Sujal went away on a business trip, and my spring break began. I tried to curl up all comfy in his office chair, still recovering from one hell of a cold and sinus infection, and I watched 8 episodes on Friday night (roughly 6 hours). The next day I watched about another 10 episodes. I began dreaming Lost episodes. By Sunday, I was irreversibly hooked (though in truth I was probably irreversibly hooked on Friday night). I finally finished watching the full 20 or so hours on Monday evening. (One hour of my life; yeah, right.) Sujal was a bit astonished that it took me four days to watch a season and a half. What would happen was that I might look some things up online in between, do a bit of reading about Iraq, Google some other references, look at pictures of Naveen Andrews, do a bit of wedding planning, etc. I believe I am quoting Sujal when he said, “Your guilt about watching so much TV is getting in the way of your TV watching.” And I think he’s right.
By Tuesday, I began to do a little reading up on the show, and let me tell you, Wikipedia has a ton of info on Lost, far too much — enough to make the biggest addict crazy.
In reading up on the show, what is interesting ias that it is full of interesting references both popular culture and literary/scholarly. I picked up on many of them while watching, but some I missed, such as how Desmond picks up a copy of The Third Policeman, a novel by Flann O’Brien that I read in college. It’s a relatively obscure novel, so I thought it was pretty cool that they use it.
I’m also wowed by the plot intricacies. In Wikipedia’s episode guides, they also have a breakdown of allusions, which is cool.
I am a character gal, myself, so I love interesting plot development and less-than-linear narrative. I love how the show reveals character in flashback, interweaving various hints to be developed later. Basically, I am impressed with the writing. That’s not to say the show is without flaws. Some of the sci-fi stuff gets really corny. Of course much of it is far-fetched and difficult to believe — mainly that so many extremely good-looking folks would have survived the crash, just statistically hard to buy. But it is TV. Once in awhile there is some downright awful dialogue, but on the whole, it’s some damn well-written, well-cast, and well-acted television. If you begin to watch it, I recommend watching it from the beginning and following its progression. There’s too much to miss otherwise.
Through accepting my addiction, I keep trying to distance myself from trekkies. Sujal says aside from not dressing up in costumes, I’m pretty much there. Okay, so I need to begin to accept that as well. In my defense, I say this: When it comes to breaks from school, I usually get obsessive about something. One winter when I was a senior at Bennington, I get obsessed wih Niagara Falls. I did a ton of research on the Falls, including reading books in the rare book collection at the Buffalo Public Library. One such text was the Legend of the White Canoe, a book length poem written in 1894 — by William Trumbull, a white man’s fantasy of a native american legend which either did not previously exist or which existed as a very different story. Now there is a boat named after this “legend” — The Maid of the Mist. Another break during grad school, I became obsessed with old issue of The New Yorker. They have the entre collection at the Smith College library. I spent hours and hours going through old issues, reading Dorothy Parker and Shirley Jackson. Fun stuff. So I choose to view this as another obsessive endeavor. So there! Perhaps I am not quite ready to admit to my problem after all.