Friday, January 25, 2008

BLU-RAY DVD REVIEW: "Lost" Season 3 Blu-Ray Disc 3

Last night I got a chance to listen to the commentary for "Expose," episode 3:14 of "Lost." Written by two new additions to the show, Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, the episode stands out for fans for several reasons. First, the story brings back several dead characters we all miss - Boone, Shannon and Dr. Arzt. Second, the episode also stars Billy Dee Williams!! And finally, this is the culminating moment in the story of Nikki and Paulo - the most hated chracters on lost.

Nikki and Paulo were probably a bad idea from the start. Adding new characters that no one watching the show would know and no one on the show would remember (the gag of "Who the hell is Nikki" was a Sawyer classic line) seems like a recipe for disaster. And truly, a bunch of fans cried foul at their presence. Not me though - I actually did not mind the greedy little characters - and I loved this episode.

Um... ok. As I was saying - this episode rocks. The image above is from the opening of the episode where we find Nikki dancing in a club and after removing some items... um... she takes on Billy Dee Williams in a gunfight!! Actually, she is an actress on the show "Expose," a series that the writers apparently have broken 20 episodes of... odd. Anyway, the episode starts off well and keeps moving with some really interesting bits.

Uh... ok. So the episode shows several moments from the seasons past - the crash on the beach - Jack's "Live together Die alone" speech... all from the perspective of Nikki and Paulo. As a viewer, it was a ball to relive these moments - and it was also fun to watch these two new characters allow their greed to run their lives... to the point where they barely acknowledge life on the island! The episode is more like a wild "Twilight Zone" ep, with some really fun twists and a story structure that can be truly be admired. Well written stuff.

Um... uh... jeez... this review is derailing. Anyway, I feel, "Expose" is a great moment in Season 3 and I was sad to see Nikki... and Paulo go. But since they had to go - what an inventive fun way to do it. The rest of the disc has some amazing episodes, including "The Man from Tallahassee." The moment we find out how Locke became a cripple... whoa!

"Lost" Season 3 Blu-Ray Disc 3: A-

Nikki is hot.



Kern said...

I'm with you on Nikki and Paulo, and I'm glad someone else felt the Twilight Zone vibe from that ep. I never really understood all the scorn being heaped upon their characters other than the fact that people felt it may be taking away time from the more established characters.

I think the reason I never felt that they were a bad idea is simple. We knew the show was going to run several more seasons, so that would have been plenty of time to gently integrate them into a larger story if they'd wanted to.

In any case, I would have to say I personally found that ep to be one of my favorites all season. I am sucker for Rashomon styled multiple perspectived goodness in my entertainment!

Damfino said...

Only you Kern could drop a Kuroasawa reference after I wrote up a post featuring a scantily clad blonde in it.

I honestly did not know you were into Lost - cool!

Kern said...

Oh yeah, man. Totally dig the show. I think it's been an important part of an slowly churning undercurrent of what I might offhandedly refer to as "The New TV".

I think there could be parallels between "The New TV" and "The New Journalism" in the sense that both had very rigid formulaic boundaries which were deemed very standard. There isn't any question that in the case of journalism that good work had been done within that framework but when Tom Wolfe, Gay Talese, and Hunter S. Thompson popped around, it moved a whole art form in a subversive and interesting direction that would be loved by some and largely ignored and misunderstood by others. It's not a stretch that mainstream audiences don't immediately get it.

I think this happened with TV as well, and in my opinion, the watershed moment was The Sopranos which opened the door to adults who wanted something to watch that treated them like adults and not as though they were in a batting cage having fake laughs and tired pathos pitched to them night after night with all the subtlety of a ninety mile an hour fastball to the cerebral cortex.

Lost is an interesting case in that most of the shows I would call "The New TV" as it was able to acheive this without benefitting from the latitude that being on even a basic cable network like FX affords them. In a way I am still shocked at Lost's popularity sometimes, not because I don't think it's one of the most engaging shows on TV, but I wonder based on ratings for other far more dimwitted shows, how it draws such a large audience.

Short response: Yeah, I dig Lost.

Damfino said...

One thing you can't deny in this discussion is the dawn of TV on DVD - The Sopranos arrived as a TV version of a stand alone film every week - huge production values - real locations... and stories that did not necessarily follow a set pattern.

HBO alone does not get the viewer numbers to continue to fund a project that rarely re-uses sets and costs a small fortune for every hour... but the DVD sales were astronomical!!! The money made from DVD's is pure profit for the studios... this fact allowed Studios and large corps like NBC, CBS and ABC to invest more funds in programming that would cost more to produce than the regular half hour or hour drama!

Lost gets away with murder - they shoot exclusively in Hawaii and have scripts that often attempt a larger than TV tale! Although, more than Sopranos, Lost definitely does build a set and milks that set with it's story.

Thankfully, the creators now have an end date (or 48 hours of episodes) to tell their tale - this allows them to plan fully and really keeps them from wasteful episodes... something TV is well known for.

The concept of New TV is grand and wonderful - but if there was not money to be made... it would not happen.

Joss Whedon's Buffy is a nice in between show. They had sets they stuck to... but they also wrote complete seasons with a beginning and an end...

Damfino said...

And where the hell is your response to my hot girl and Kurasowa crack?

You are slipping.

Kern said...

Yeah, sorry about that. I got a phone call. I think I can manage to reference both Keile Sanchez's hotness and Kurasowa at the same time.

My response is that I'd like to put my Yojimbo into her Hidden Fortress, and I'd hit it like Seven Samurai.

Ta Da!

Kern said...

But to address your other comment about TV on DVD, you're absolutely right. I think that is a part of "The New TV"'s structure. Content has evolved in some cases, but one thing is undeniable and that is that time is at a premium, and with so many shows competing for viewers, studios have come to the realization that the way people watch TV is different as well. As shows take on a broader scope they become more ambitious, as you said attempting in a sense to be more cinematic. As such, the ability to watch an entire season in a few sittings is incredibly helpful and in some cases almost necessary to catch all the subtle nuances in a show.

I kind of liken TV on DVD to reading the single issues of a comic book as they come out, and then buying the collected trade paperback later on. Both serve important purposes. The serial nature of episodic tv and comics is great because it piques curiosity and excitement within the viewer/reader. With collected editions/seasons, one gets the benefit of taking a macro view of the piece as a whole, able to delve much more completely into the work.

As far as "The New TV" goes, I would say that The Wire has done the best job I've ever seen of doing self contained seasons that have worked toward creating a rich and complex world with seething with a life of its own.

Sheriff officer Greg the Bunny said...

She is HOT.

I'm having impure thoughts as I type with one hand.


Alexander said...

Sheriff-I agree fully. One handed typing FTW!