Thursday, May 17, 2007

Birds of a Feather: English Majors and 'Lost'


A large percentage of my friends in college were English majors; I was not. They liked reading novels and fiction because they found it fun ferreting out hidden meanings and symbolism in literary works; I just liked a good story.

For me, it was "just the facts, mam." This was enough. Besides, I wasn't smart enough for (or didn't want to bother with) all that "fancy figurin'" over allegory, symbolism and foreshadowing.

In other words, I majored in business.

Years later, I find this sort of fancy figurin' to be a little more fun.
What makes me think of this, and why I bring it up, is because this reminds me about what I like so much about the ABC show Lost. The show can appeal strongly to both sets off people -- those who like a surface story and those who want to be challenged with hidden meanings and what's boiling just beneath the surface, the MBA types and the MFA's.

People can enjoy Lost on multiple levels -- on the "just the facts" level and on a much deeper level, whether it involves biblical allusions to various Old and New Testament characters, literary references to Charles Dickens and many other writers, or movie references to the Wizard of Oz. I could go on and on.

If you're an old English major looking for some strong writing about Lost from a thinking man's perspective, nobody does a better anaylysis than Doc Jensen at Entertainment Weekly. Here's is Doc's latest take on this week's episode of Lost.

***

Of all my English major friends from college, not a single one watches Lost. This, I think, is a shame, because I think they'd like it, particularly my friends Frenchie and Elgy.

So here is my challenge for them:

* Tonight, watch or Tivo the Lost recap show on ABC.
Producers are promising "a look at some of the questions - and answers - about the mysteries of Lost, in preparation for the two-hour season finale!"
* Next Wednesday, watch the finale.

For people new to Lost: If you're not entertained or intrigued after watching these three hours, stop watching. But I bet this won't happen.

I think new viewers could get into the story fairly quickly, and that Doc Jensen's next-day wrap-ups would soon become a must-read.

Even for non-English majors -- like me.


5 comments:

Frenchie said...

OK, I'll take a look, but I'll have to use something called a "VCR" to record the show on a "videotape".

Electronic snobs and modern culture fans please hold your snickers.

Heck, if it was up to the "Eye" doctor, I wouldn't even have a TV.

But it is funny how those terms have nearly fallen out of common reference in just a few years. Joe, did these phrases even cross your mind or when you thought about recording the show did the term Tivo and only the term Tivo come to mind?

Elgy said...

I read your message too late to catch the recap.

Did you Tivo it?

Frenchy, how about you? (Snicker, snicker.)

Joey P. said...

one more thing: my friend Johnboy used to send out a Doc-esque day-after analysis that bit the dust around five or six episodes ago. When I asked him where it went, he said: Just read Doc Jensen.

Frenchie and elgie: do me a favor. Tape the finale. Watch it cold. Don't worry about catching up. And I'd be curious to see what you think. Or are you not smart enough??????

JR said...

You should loan them your DVDs of seasons 1 and 2. As for season 3, skip the first 6 episodes. Boring!

Frenchie said...

OK, and after all that, I missed it. I read this blog a day late to catch it. I guess if I had a Tivo that would have never happened. (read this last line out loud in a deeply sarcastic tone of voice)