Thursday, January 31, 2008

Sepinwall on TV: 'Lost' season four review

The "Lost" season premiere is tonight, and I couldn't be more excited, if only because I'll be able to discuss it with everybody. My column today:
The "Lost" season three finale was no fluke. The show has got its mojo back, and then some.

Explaining exactly how is tricky. Screeners of season four's first two episodes came with a laundry list of plot points ABC asked critics not to discuss, like "Any details about Hurley's (redacted), or that he even has a (redacted)" or "Who goes with (redacted) and who goes with (redacted)."

I won't fill in those (redacted)s, but here's what I can tell you: Nearly nine months after "Through the Looking Glass," last season's thrilling finale, the show finally returns with new episodes (and a new night and time) to demonstrate that, while the series' producers may or may not be con artists of the highest order, they are definitely not slow learners.
To read the full thing, click here. I'll be back tonight with a more spoiler-filled look at the premiere.

13 comments:

AyPNancy said...

Thanks so much for this spoiler free preview, Alan! I'm usually an avid spoiler seeker, but I'm entering this Lost season surprisingly spoiler free! I can't wait to watch the episode tonight. I hope the new motto is Less Others, More Hurley!

Filipe said...

One hour about how Hurley is usually right and Jack wrong??? Well, now I'm actually interested on tonight's ep. Congrats, Alan, your review did what last year's finale failed to do for me.

kc said...

I agree this show is more enjoyable when you can just jump into it like an amusement park ride...too much analyzing just highlights the shortcomings.

It sails along when you connect with the characters at an emotional level, highlighted within a scene and some spot on music. So even if this becomes a 'riding the bus with my Hurley' I will be sitting back and enjoying it.

David said...

Your article was spoiler free, and Tim Goodman's article (SFGate) was spoiler free, but combined they inadvertently spoiled it for me.

So my tip for Lost news/reviews junkies like myself is to avoid Tim Goodman this time around if you just read Sepinwall's review.

Alan Sepinwall said...

David, I just read Goodman's review, and you're right. It's funny how that worked out. If it makes you feel better, what got spoiled for you comes up within the first two minutes of the episode.

Taleena said...

Well I am more excited to see Lost return than I would have thought (thanks WGA!) and I am happy to hear the pace is picked up.

Dara said...

I too am counting the hours until tonight! And I add my thanks for you being spoiler free and now I won't read Goodman until after the ep.
I thought I would crank up the excitement by watching the "enhanced" season finale. Wow, pop up videos version of Lost really, really didn't work for me. But who was ABC aiming it at? According to an article in the NYT it was done without the producers input (which is a relief to know) but I found it distracting, reductionist, snarky and insulting to see it simplified down like that, but I think it would still be confusing for a new viewer.
Alan, did you see it? What did you think?

mcat said...

I was appalled that the very first pop-up said that it was a flash-forward. The best part of the finale for me was that moment at the end where it finally hit me what was going on. That "Oh my God! That's Kate! They're off the island!" moment redeemed every bad thing about last season. So for them to ruin that moment last night was stupid. Especially since I assume there were quite a few people watching last night who had maybe given up on last season and so hadn't seen it yet.

Anonymous said...

Great spoiler-free review, Alan! I saw the comments at the article, about the misleading--no, LYING--advertising for tonight's show. How does ABC get away with advertising a "2-hour event" when it's a one-hour clip show (the 4th or 5th one, I believe) and a one-hour episode? Why doesn't that infuriate as many people as it should?

dez said...

If you really want to avoid spoilers, don't read AOL's "Lost A-Z" feature. They don't even warn you about the got-damn spoilers on there. Sonsabitches!

allison said...

Another wise thing that Cuse and Lindelof have done is to open the season with a spotlight on Jorge Garcia as Hurley.

Hurley!!! Be still my heart. I cannot wait for tonight's ep.

Also, I had to laugh--I actually read some pretty extensive spoilers for eps 1 and 2, but they were so convoluted and poorly written that I have no idea what's going to happen in either episode.

mjryan said...

As someone who doesn't watch Lost regularly, and who only caught the very end of the season finale last year (and didn't see the "this is a flash forward" pop up this year...putting kids to bed) I loved the pop-up video. By following television and pop culture I know just enough about the show to not be entirely confused by what was going on. But, the pop up info helped fill in information that I didn't know, and frankly didn't really need to know to keep up, but that nevertheless helped the viewing experience.

I've never gotten into Lost for a couple of reasons. One, the time slot the first season wasn't conducive to a parent, without Tivo, that used the 7pm-8pm hour to put kids to bed. Also, when it took off and I read a few of the spoilers for the show, I had a very real fear that the producers had no idea where they were going and I would invest time in a show that wouldn't deliver answers and would just flounder to the end. However, when the producers said "this is how many episodes are left and we know how it's going to end" I got interested. Which is why I watched last night's episode and will Tivo tonights clip show and episode. It remains to be seen whether or not I'll watch every episode from here on out or if I will wait for syndication and let my Tivo work it for me. Either way, I at least understand the hype a bit better now.

jim treacher said...

Yet another reason to avoid Tim Goodman.