Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Lost Finale

So, the finale of the TV series Lost aired last night, and already what it all means is being hotly debated on the interweb.

I wasn't a fan, and was watching basketball and then Saving Grace, another show that is about to be cancelled, and a real shame, because it is absolutely brilliant, with the worst bad-girl cop ever. Holly Hunter, playing way against type.

Lost was woo-woo all the way through, but the ending, as I understand it from just hearing about it via reviews and the web, doesn't seem to be a patch on the ending of a TV show of which I was a big fan, back in the early-to-mid eighties, St. Elsewhere.

This was a medical show, about a second-rate teaching hospital in Boston, St. Eligius, and among other things, a springboard for the acting careers of several well-known stars in TV and movies, including Helen Hunt, Alfre Wooddard Howie Mandel, Mark Harmon, Ed Begley, Jr., and Denzel Washington. Well-written, well-acted, a great soap opera dramady I used to love. No other medical show ever came close, save ER, and that only in the first couple of years.

St. Elsewhere was sometimes referred to as Hill Street Blues in a hospital, another great ensemble show of the period, and won like thirteen Emmys. There were a lot of story lines, many of them continuing, and they sometimes killed off characters, and always kept you guessing.

The series lasted for six years, and the final episode of St. Elsewhere went into one of the hoariest, shaggiest, worst science fiction and fantasy cliches of all, stopping to offer homage to all kinds of major TV shows along the way. There was a doctor hunting for a mysterious one-armed patient, ala The Fugitive; the group hug from the Mary Tyler Moore Show; references to M*A*S*H and The Andy Griffith Show -- Henry Blake and Floyd the Barber; and a fat lady who sang; along with a nod to the Who's Tommy.

In the final scene, the camera pulls back from a view of a snow globe in the hands of an autistic boy, and when you see his father and grandfather, you realize ...

... it was all a dream ...

(Bob Newhart did that at the end of his second series, in which he played the owner of a New England inn. This was a killer-hilarious scene that made the entire series naught but a dream by Bob the psychologist in his first show, but that one was really funny. The St. Elsewhere finale made me want to scream and hunt down the writer and producer to slap them and call them many bad words ...)


Mario Di Giacomo said...

The amusing thing about the St. Elsewhere finale is, thanks to a random cameo, it's possible to state that it and the Bob Newhart show take place in the same universe.

Ed said...

Gave Lost a try at first but couldn't get into it - woo woo was right. Besides, I think NCIS was on around the same time - or something else.

I wasn't looking forward to the Star Trek movie as much because of the Lost creative association - but I'm glad I made it all the way through the movie - a few people around my age walked out of the theater about halfway thru - it was a pretty good movie. The Kirk's dad character and mom part of the movie were really good - could make a movie about them - timeline doesn't mean anything in that series much now or ever anyway. Lost in Space - not so far, hopefully not.

Steve Perry said...

There's a guy on YouTube does an acoustic guitar version of the theme song I liked. I asked him for a tab but he hadn't written it down. Instead, he did a short instructional video and put it up.


Here's a great use for YouTube. Show and tell.

The Smoke Monster said...

Lost was definitely not a show for everyone, but it was satisfying if you managed to stick with it.