Lost vs. Twin Peaks - A Comparison

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N. Needleman
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Re: Lost vs. Twin Peaks - A Comparison

Postby N. Needleman » Sun Sep 27, 2015 9:43 am

I mean, Lost ran for six seasons with a cast of thousands, was heavily promoted year after year, was publicly feted throughout its finale year with the kind of pomp and circumstance reserved for what it was - a long-running ratings-winner - as well as all throughout the week of its big ending. By contrast, when did TP air its last cobbled-together two-hour event? June? July?
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LostInTheMovies
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Re: Lost vs. Twin Peaks - A Comparison

Postby LostInTheMovies » Sun Sep 27, 2015 10:26 am

N. Needleman wrote:I mean, Lost ran for six seasons with a cast of thousands, was heavily promoted year after year, was publicly feted throughout its finale year with the kind of pomp and circumstance reserved for what it was - a long-running ratings-winner - as well as all throughout the week of its big ending. By contrast, when did TP air its last cobbled-together two-hour event? June? July?


Wasn't aware of it at the time, but my understanding now is it aired in early June as a Monday movie-of-the-week (ep. 28 & 29 combined) a month and a half after the previous episode has aired...and that it lost in the ratings to reruns of Northern Exposure. Must have seemed terrible at the time, but it (and the beyond-ignominious reception of the film) makes such a great story now coupled with the pomp and circumstance surrounding its return on Showtime. What a comeback.
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Re: Lost vs. Twin Peaks - A Comparison

Postby TwinPeaksFanatic » Sun Sep 27, 2015 11:07 am

It's true that in 1992 no one cared about Twin Peaks. Although I was probably too young to see it, I did see FWWM in the theater and very few people were there. But I wonder had David not directed the final episode of season 2 and sort of saved the mythology of the show, would fans have stayed so loyal?

Lostinthemovies I like the point you make in "journey through Twin Peaks" about how despite the fact that David didn't want to answer the question of who killed Laura Palmer, in a way it was good for the show. Knowing the answer opened up a world of possibilities for the Black Lodge mythology and what Bob is, etc.

Lost had so much power to write it's own end that maybe that hurt it in some way? I hate to say that, because I like when artists are free to venture where they choose. I've just always felt they didn't know how to tie it all together so they kept it broad and open to interpretation.

Jonah those comments from fans cracked me up. I didn't care much for Lindelof's attitude in particular at the end of Lost. He should have stayed quiet. :x
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N. Needleman
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Re: Lost vs. Twin Peaks - A Comparison

Postby N. Needleman » Sun Sep 27, 2015 11:20 am

I became more avidly involved with watching Lost when it became known that they were under network pressure to get their shit together and develop a real timetable for following through on their storylines and then ending the show. That was Season 4, and that's when they began just rolling the show out like clockwork until the end, often uninterrupted or with somewhat shortened episode orders, I believe.

I was no great fan, but I had way too much time on my hands in that period, and was curious to see what they'd do when forced to nail things down. As it happened I felt they still kept dancing in circles a lot, but they also had a lot more room to run than other shows - three seasons' worth. Things became very action-packed but it still seemed to not go very far for me. And the perennial plotting problem I had never went away; various groups splitting up to go do vaguely-defined, often ill-advised things by way of long, multi-episode marathon hikes through the jungle designed to get them to MacGuffin #34/the season finale, and whenever anyone asked why they were doing this or for what purpose, the answer was always something completely noncommittal like 'we just have to' or 'you'll understand when you see it for yourself' followed by that Michael Giacchino musical horn drop and a cut to black. That drove me nuts. And yet they always did it! Nobody on the show with a secret or a goal would ever simply say what they meant, and it was, IMO, a great parallel for the writers themselves. Unlike the audience, though, the characters would rarely question this.
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Re: Lost vs. Twin Peaks - A Comparison

Postby MasterMastermind » Mon Sep 28, 2015 10:41 pm

LostInTheMovies wrote:One thing I'll say in defense of Lost's long-term reputation is that at the same point in its own trajectory (5 years after the finale) hardly anyone was talking about Twin Peaks either. But maybe the following, while smaller, was more devoted? I mean is there anything similar to Wrapped in Plastic now (in internet form of course) where Lost loyalists congregate? Or are the hardcore fans more bitter & dispersed after the Lost finale than they were after the TP finale & FWWM (which certainly weren't very popular at the time although my trip through the Usenet archives revealed, to my surprise, that the majority of core fans - at least in that venue - seemed to like it).


Lostpedia and the IMDb boards are fairly well frequented, as well as various fan boards. A lot of these private boards were started to avoid spoilers.
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Jonah
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Re: Lost vs. Twin Peaks - A Comparison

Postby Jonah » Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:54 pm

I rewatched LOST twice in the last year (almost a year apart), including the last season, and I'm going to retract a lot of my more critical comments. On rewatch, I really enjoyed the show and fell in love with it all over again. While I think a lot of the points I made are still relevant (especially about some elements of the final season), I found on rewatching the show I didn't care as much any more about some of the loose ends in the plot, the lack of answers to some mysteries, etc. I still noticed some of these, and there were a few episodes that weren't as good as I had remembered, but overall I think it holds up well and works a lot better once you know where it's going and you're not waiting week by week over several years. I think too many expectations can ruin a show (and this may prove true for the revival of TP too). There's still a lot I wish they had done differently, and a few different directions I wish they had taken, but it's probably, next to TP (I think the original series of TP is my all-time favourite and nothing will surpass it; still on the fence re the revival), my favourite TV show, and I'd forgotten the strong emotions it can trigger in me, and how ambitious, fun, spiritual, and enjoyable it was. So, leaving aside some of my harsher critical analysis and initial disappointment, I think LOST is (mostly) great!
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Re: Lost vs. Twin Peaks - A Comparison

Postby LateReg » Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:14 pm

Jonah wrote:I rewatched LOST twice in the last year (almost a year apart), including the last season, and I'm going to retract a lot of my more critical comments. On rewatch, I really enjoyed the show and fell in love with it all over again. While I think a lot of the points I made are still relevant (especially about some elements of the final season), I found on rewatching the show I didn't care as much any more about some of the loose ends in the plot, the lack of answers to some mysteries, etc. I still noticed some of these, and there were a few episodes that weren't as good as I had remembered, but overall I think it holds up well and works a lot better once you know where it's going and you're not waiting week by week over several years. I think too many expectations can ruin a show (and this may prove true for the revival of TP too). There's still a lot I wish they had done differently, and a few different directions I wish they had taken, but it's probably, next to TP (I think the original series of TP is my all-time favourite and nothing will surpass it; still on the fence re the revival), my favourite TV show, and I'd forgotten the strong emotions it can trigger in me, and how ambitious, fun, spiritual, and enjoyable it was. So, leaving aside some of my harsher critical analysis and initial disappointment, I think LOST is (mostly) great!


I believe that watching Lost from the beginning with the ending in mind is a magnificent experience that shows that they seemed to know where they were going all along; the final moments make the opening moments extremely powerful, and there are at least three stated references in the first season alone to the main theme of the final season. I don't mind dropped plot points or unanswered questions - and there are far fewer of those than most would claim - when a series is all about the journey, as Lost most certainly was. Now, I do think it dips in quality here and there and spins its wheels more than it needs to, even during the home stretch (portions of season 5 left me very uninterested in my rewatch), but I do think the series is actually better on a rewatch than you'll think it is when thinking back on it. For me it was overwhelmingly so during not only its first season, but also its final season and in particular its divisive finale, which I disliked on first viewing but loved on my rewatch. The reason I loved it was because I interpreted the whole series differently because of that ending, and when that ending finally came, its execution was better than I remembered in no small part because my thoughts on what the series was about was also different.
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Re: Lost vs. Twin Peaks - A Comparison

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:30 pm

I think part of the problem with the final season is that Lindelof & Cuse felt too much pressure to deal with the mythology end of things, due to the puzzle-box cult that had risen around the show. Really, all that stuff at its best was just a prism through which to explore elements of the characters and the human experience. The speculation and freeze framing were fun at the time, and I still sometimes like to ponder stuff like what apparitions were and were not the Monster, and the logistics of the plot stuff. But that obsession in the fan base ended up polluting the show a bit in that last season, and it felt like there was a whole lot of meaningless trekking around the Island to check off boxes (what is the Temple? What is Jacob’s list? What are the Whispers? How did the giant statue become just a foot?). The finale, thankfully, was smart enough to remember what made the show great, and did a beautiful job of wrapping everything up on a human level. Even on a mythology level, a lot of things were certainly planned out more than most people think (the Monster’s distinctive clicking can be heard clearly in the fifth episode ever, right before Jack sees Christian, and I’m always shocked that people don’t seem to pick up on it). But I’m glad that Lindelof learned his lesson by the time he did The Leftovers, and decided to “let the mystery be.” Ironically, even though it arguably does a better job of exploring common themes between the shows in a more mature manner, I like The Leftovers a bit less than Lost in part because the mythology isn’t quite as fun. Lost is so iconic, the setting so simultaneously moody and vibrant, and on some level the messiness is part of the charm (it has that in common with TP). I do think that LateReg is correct in saying it’s about the journey, appropriate for a show that arises from a plane trip where most of the passengers never get where they intended to go. Lost is still one of my absolute favorite shows, with TP at #1 and Lost hovering maybe at #4 behind Mad Men and The Prisoner...but maybe inching its way above even those, depending on my mood. It’s a shame that anytime you mention loving the show, you have to do the kind of apology/explanation/disclaimer thing. Aside from stretches of the last season, there is no period of that show that I don’t love, despite the odd disappointing episode and the sometimes wheel-spinning plot, because there are always terrific character moments strewn along the way. And the seasons always built to such incredible highs in the finales, not just in terms of action but also emotion, from the raft to “not Penny’s boat” to Juliet banging on that bomb. You could always count on a Lost finale to emotionally devastate you, and the series finale certainly lived up to that. That’s perhaps one area where Lost has TP beat, for me...I’m trying to think of moments when TP makes me cry. Certainly the end of Episode 14, every damn time, and several times in FWWM (“Questions in a World of Blue,” “Birds in Hell”). In the new show, twice in Part 15 (Margaret’s death and Ed & Norma’s proposal), and I think that’s about it...maybe also the first time I saw Margaret in her illness. “Times TP Made Me Cry” could be its own thread!
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Re: Lost vs. Twin Peaks - A Comparison

Postby dreamshake » Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:19 pm

Mr. Reindeer wrote:I think part of the problem with the final season is that Lindelof & Cuse felt too much pressure to deal with the mythology end of things, due to the puzzle-box cult that had risen around the show. Really, all that stuff at its best was just a prism through which to explore elements of the characters and the human experience. The speculation and freeze framing were fun at the time, and I still sometimes like to ponder stuff like what apparitions were and were not the Monster, and the logistics of the plot stuff. But that obsession in the fan base ended up polluting the show a bit in that last season, and it felt like there was a whole lot of meaningless trekking around the Island to check off boxes (what is the Temple? What is Jacob’s list? What are the Whispers? How did the giant statue become just a foot?). The finale, thankfully, was smart enough to remember what made the show great, and did a beautiful job of wrapping everything up on a human level. Even on a mythology level, a lot of things were certainly planned out more than most people think (the Monster’s distinctive clicking can be heard clearly in the fifth episode ever, right before Jack sees Christian, and I’m always shocked that people don’t seem to pick up on it). But I’m glad that Lindelof learned his lesson by the time he did The Leftovers, and decided to “let the mystery be.” Ironically, even though it arguably does a better job of exploring common themes between the shows in a more mature manner, I like The Leftovers a bit less than Lost in part because the mythology isn’t quite as fun. Lost is so iconic, the setting so simultaneously moody and vibrant, and on some level the messiness is part of the charm (it has that in common with TP). I do think that LateReg is correct in saying it’s about the journey, appropriate for a show that arises from a plane trip where most of the passengers never get where they intended to go. Lost is still one of my absolute favorite shows, with TP at #1 and Lost hovering maybe at #4 behind Mad Men and The Prisoner...but maybe inching its way above even those, depending on my mood. It’s a shame that anytime you mention loving the show, you have to do the kind of apology/explanation/disclaimer thing. Aside from stretches of the last season, there is no period of that show that I don’t love, despite the odd disappointing episode and the sometimes wheel-spinning plot, because there are always terrific character moments strewn along the way. And the seasons always built to such incredible highs in the finales, not just in terms of action but also emotion, from the raft to “not Penny’s boat” to Juliet banging on that bomb. You could always count on a Lost finale to emotionally devastate you, and the series finale certainly lived up to that. That’s perhaps one area where Lost has TP beat, for me...I’m trying to think of moments when TP makes me cry. Certainly the end of Episode 14, every damn time, and several times in FWWM (“Questions in a World of Blue,” “Birds in Hell”). In the new show, twice in Part 15 (Margaret’s death and Ed & Norma’s proposal), and I think that’s about it...maybe also the first time I saw Margaret in her illness. “Times TP Made Me Cry” could be its own thread!


to be fair, lindelof and cuse really pushed a lot of the "puzzle-box cult" themselves. the podcast they did at the time as well as contemporaneous interviews really promised that every mystery would have an answer and that there was a plan for the series arc the whole time. obviously there wasn't and they kind of dug their own grave in that respect.
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Re: Lost vs. Twin Peaks - A Comparison

Postby AgentEcho » Sun Aug 19, 2018 8:27 pm

dreamshake wrote:
to be fair, lindelof and cuse really pushed a lot of the "puzzle-box cult" themselves. the podcast they did at the time as well as contemporaneous interviews really promised that every mystery would have an answer and that there was a plan for the series arc the whole time. obviously there wasn't and they kind of dug their own grave in that respect.


Yes, very good point. I was an avid viewer of Lost and regularly listened to the podcasts. Admittedly, those podcasts were very entertaining, but Lindelof and Cuse did plenty to help set my expectations and that negatively affected my experience of the finale. I don't think I would have liked the final season had I not had those expectations, but a friend of mind for whom I generally share taste binged the show on Netflix a few years after the show was over, and he loved it, including the last season and finale. For him the entire show was about the characters, and I bet it was easier to experience the show like that without the weekly hype machine that comes when the show airs.

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