Monday, May 31, 2010

Lost Vs. FlashForward: Which Finale Was More Frustrating?

Last Sunday, I watched the Lost finale live.

And by watched, I mean I saw the first two minutes, grew rapidly confused, and gave up. I was on the computer a lot, and only glanced up every so often. Just enough to know that they kept doing these reunion thingies. And my closed-captioning kept saying there was a little zap when the characters *realized* who they were on the island, but I never heard the little zaps. Whatever.
By the end of the episode (and the series), about a dozen of them are hanging out in a church and Jack shows up and everyone treats him like a king and Jack's dad walks out through the double doors into the light. And then we're back on the island and Jack is laying there bleeding from his side and Vincent lays down next to him and Jack closes his eye. The end.

I've read different people's theories, as well as their frustrations and raves, and I am no closer to, well, closure. The show ended in a crazy mishmash of people's stories, and somehow Jack is Jesus. And as my friend said, "Apparently, black people aren't allowed in heaven." Which is sad, but then again, we all knew Lost has not been kind to black people, or most people of color, for that matter. So it shouldn't be surprising.

I guess what I am saying is, I didn't like the Lost finale. The creators of the show who said it would provide answers to the fans were lying. Liars!

Now, the FlashForward finale. It aired last Thursday, and the husband (yes, I am now married!) and I watched it Friday afternoon. The episode was okay, that is to say, it wasn't that different from every other FlashForward episode. The only thing that made it different was knowing this would be the last episode ever of the show, which meant they needed to wrap things up in 42 minutes. That so didn't happen.
In fact, they set it up for a second season, one that would never come. I still don't get what happened with that Simon character (like, what was he DOING?), but I was rooting for that guy Bryce and the Japanese girl to finally meet. And I really wanted Mark Benford to be killed off, which we didn't actually see happen, but the building he was in exploded, so we're to assume he's dead. And John Cho can finally be the lead character. But wait...the show's been canceled. RATS.

Oh, and in the second round of flashforwards, we saw creepy Charlie as a teenager. She says something vague, I forget what it was, but I guess it's supposed to make us think her dad is still alive. Blah, who cares. We'll never find out.

So what we have here is an interesting comparison of series finales. For the first one, the show lasted six seasons, and the creators knew the end date, and they wrote the last two seasons with the end date in mind. And the finale sucked. In the other, the show lasted one season, and the creators didn't know it would be canceled until the show had already finished shooting, so they didn't write it with any closure. And the finale sucked.

What can we conclude here? That shows should have clear end dates? That end dates mean crap? That I am hard to please? Probably all of the above.

Here is what I propose, for the makers of future science fiction-y shows, and their respective networks:

DO set an end date.

DON'T add new characters and plot twists in your finale season.

DO answer every single question you ever raised. I still don't know why there was a polar bear in Lost and a kangaroo in FlashForward.

DON'T create a complicated show unless you're willing to put out a clear, easy-to-understand ending. I don't like open-ended finales that raise lots of questions and theories. What is the point of arguing about what a show meant? It's OVER.

DO shoot every single season finale with cancelation in mind. That means you wrap up everything from the current season.

(For networks) DON'T wait until the last minute to tell a show that you're canceling it. Either pick it up by March or don't pick it up. In other words, sh*t or get off the pot.

Last but not least...DON'T put a show on hiatus for four freaking months!!!

(Pictured: Bryce and Keiko finally meeting (above) and Jack and Vincent in the final scene from Lost. Okay, we can now officially stop caring about these characters.)


  1. The end of"lost" sucks. I've just wasted my time seeing that crap

  2. Sorry you wasted your time. At least you'll never have to see it again!