Boorish Journalist Can Get Lost

The Lost finale is about to air and I am pumped!

I understand that some people don’t like the show and that is their right.  I’m not one of those Nazis who feels a need to have everyone think the same way as I do but at this point I am not interested in a debate about it’s merits so this rant is just for the fans.  If you don’t like the show don’t bother reading this blog.  I’ll wait 15 seconds before you leave and then the rest of us can get onto what I want to talk about.

Wait a second…

And they’re gone.  Right.  As I said I am pumped.

I’ve loved this show from the moment Jack Shephard opened his eye in the very first scene and I’ve loved every mystery that has come my way since.  I even liked the first six episodes of season three and the episode where Jack’s tattoos were explained.  I liked the way Nikki and Paulo were introduced and I loved the way they were written out.  I’ve loved the flashbacks, the flash forwards and the parallel storyline.  I have trusted these writers and they have repaid me over and over.  I feel like I know how Catholics would feel if the rapture ever actually occurs:  a feeling of vindication.

That is why I feel I have to take this time to chat briefly about The Age’s Melinda Houston.  Now she may be a lovely person, I have never met her and what I am about to say has nothing to do with who she is in real life but her reviews of Lost have driven me mental.  Her constant harping on about a show that she quite clearly does not watch apart from the occasional episode or even attempt to understand makes her end up on my list of people that I consider to be quite clearly DULL.

Lets have a look at her latest column in which she “laments those long running shows that don’t know when to call it a day”.  Bam!  First mistake.  This is just incorrect.  Lost had the privilege of announcing it’s end date, a rarity in TV shows on free to air in the States.  From the moment it knew when it was ending it has been all systems go as we hurtled to this final episode.  Oh how the writers must lament they didn’t call it a day sooner, if only Melinda had been there to guide them to a speedy ending that would have made her happy.

She starts her report with a very funny “Hello…?  Hell-ooo?  Is anyone still out there?” clearly suggesting that no one watches the show anymore.  Bam!  Second mistake.  Millions of people around the world continue to watch it.  Is it the mainstream hit it was at the beginning of it’s run?  No, but it has retained a loyal following that numbers a lot more than say Masterchef.  Just because she quite clearly hangs out with people who would rather watch paint dry and then discuss it over a nice cuppa does not mean that no one in the world is still watching this fine show.  If Melinda doubts this check out websites…I’m sure she’s heard of them…and she would see that she is incorrect.  Again.

This is one of my favourite lines:  “Overwhelmed by its own success and the extent to which it could get an audience to repeatedly swallow the plainly ludicrous, the show ploughed on piling absurdity on absurdity until it’s addled viewers dropped from sheer exhaustion.  It just didn’t know when to quit.”  Nice one Melinda.  What a great call.  Do you watch Dr Who and exclaim with a knowing look, “There is no way the TARDIS could be that big on the inside”.  You must be fun at parties.  Of course the show is big with ideas, it is a sci fi show.  It was from the very start, when you admit the show was quite good.  Or do you think when a plane crashes that a lot of beautiful people would survive with no horrific injuries?  Do you think that it is quite normal to find a man living in a hatch pressing a button every 108 minutes to save the world?  If so your life must be just ace and I hope we can be friends so I can have some exciting drama like that.  Oh…and what about the monster?  Y’know, the one that is made of smoke?  That was there in the first season, that wasn’t ludicrous at all.  I know I see smoke do all sorts of wonderful things but that is usually when I visit my friends back in Adelaide and it definitely isn’t black.  Can you relate to that too, Melinda?

Quite clearly Melinda is one of those dull people that lacks ambition and resents others for having it.  Just last week she was extolling the virtues of that great show Poh’s Kitchen.  Yup, another cooking show.  That’s what we all need, something that tows the safe party line.  Another show in Australia where we take a runner up to a reality TV show, give them their own show based on them being attractive and make certain a woman is doing what she should be doing which is staying in the kitchen while the winner of Masterchef gets to write books because lets face it, she’s not as attractive as Poh.  Is this exactly how it works?  I have no idea but it is fun to express opinions on a show that I know nothing about, especially doing it with a condescending swing in my step.  I call it doing a Melissa Houston.

I love that a show that has delved into theoretical science as a backdrop for some of its stories is ludicrous.  But then again I bet that she thought that place where Blue Heelers was set was really that violent.  And remember this is not an HBO series; this is free to air TV.  To have some sort of ambition and not be a new CSI or Law and Order spin off seems to be some sort of detriment.  Maybe if it had been CSI Island Melinda wouldn’t have become so confused and felt the show had become ludicrous in it’s later seasons.

God there is so much to laugh at in her review.  When Melinda talks up Seachange as being a show to admire because it knew when to pull up stumps at three seasons I really begin to understand how dull she is.  Melinda claims Lost is ludicrous but then laments that a show like Eli Stone was cut before its time.  It must have been those George Michael appearances that got Melinda all fired up so please don’t tell her that he’s gay; it may ruin her dreams of life long love.

Bah!  Why do I read her columns on Lost if they make me so angry?  I guess because sometimes we’re attracted to things in reality that are just not good for you.  Maybe Melinda is my cocaine because she certainly gets my blood racing and I find it difficult to concentrate after reading her pious accounts of a show she doesn’t get.  I wonder if Melinda reads books the same way.  I’d love to have a conversation with her like this:

“Hey Mel, what did you think of Michael Chabon’s “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay?” I’d ask.

“Well I read chapters 4, 8, 15, 16, 23 and 42 and let me tell you, it made no sense.  I hope the last page answers all the questions I need or otherwise he may have just finished it at chapter 15.”

Melinda laughs at the fact that Lost has moved to the lesser Channel 7 to air it’s last season as if this is an indictment on the quality of the show.  I guess if Melinda believes in free to air TV being the barometer of quality then she must hate The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, Sex and the City, the Wire, the West Wing, the Shield and Homicide:  Life on the Street because all of those shows never finished in their original time slot or at all.  Yeah, they’re all pretty good examples of bad TV; thank goodness in Australia we have people with real nous who know when a show needs to go.

That’s enough on Melinda.  She’s probably very lovely in real life.  Saves kittens from trees.  Feeds the homeless.  Fights marauding gangs from hurting the weak and oppressed.  Good on her, I give her two thumbs up for that.

But when it comes to having any idea about what is quality TV then she can take her dull and antiquated views and just get lost.  I like ambition and Lost has been at the very least that, something that Melinda quite clearly lost a long time ago.  Do I have any facts to back that up?  No, I’m basing this all on her reviews of Lost.  Surely that’s enough ammunition for a person to act smug, right Melinda?

Namaste.

Justin Hamilton

This Island.

Somewhere between 1977 and 2004