Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Goodbye, Lost and 24

The End of an Era

There was surprisingly little news last week that was interesting at all, which is fine by me because I'm exhausted from the past week of my life and I just got paged a little while ago so I'm looking ahead at more exhaustion. Still, since I saw the finales of Lost and 24 I thought I'd give some spoiler-free thoughts and then talk a bit about the few stories I thought were worthwhile from last week.

I'm exaggerating a bit in the heading here: my life does not revolve around television. I'm not one of the Lost fans who live to watch it - I simply enjoyed watching it. For me though, these shows kind of do represent the end of an era for me - mainly 24 though. It was the first show I started watching with solid acting behind an awesome cast that always had me engaged. Of course, it dwindled in recent years but it was my first ensemble cast show that I couldn't get enough of. Lost was the first sci-fi show I really took a strong interest to. So it's weird thinking back to when I started watching these shows, it seems like forever ago.

As I figured, the series finale of Lost was as divisive as it could be. Let's face it: there was no possible way for it to satisfy everyone. It's kind of sad how mad some people got when the finale didn't force feed them the answers to all the show's mysteries. That's one thing I respected about Veronica Mars and that I came to respect from Lost: it catered to viewers who wanted to figure things out, not to people who only want a passive experience. If fans of the show re-watch the last 5-10 episodes, I think you'll find that most of the big questions were answered. The finale just put a bow on everything so we can all have closure on the show - that's it. That's what a finale is supposed to do, in my opinion. Explaining 6 years of information in two and a half hours would be silly. I personally really loved it. I was so worried that the ending would go for a lame or far-fetched conclusion to things, but instead it went for a more logical one when you think back on the past season. Of course, I'm a sucker for character-based stories and care more about those interactions than just plot, but I digress. If you were waiting out Lost to see if the ending was good, I say watch it if you're willing to accept that you'll be confused a lot and will have to piece a lot of little things together. Sure, we never found out what the deal was with Dharma or little things like that, but the main plot line was ultimately resolved despite how much some people argue it wasn't. If you're one of the ones who disagree, then I'm going to direct you to this explanation. If that doesn't satisfy you then surely the writers couldn't have.

As for 24: I was a bit let down with this season. It was enjoyable, but it felt very mediocre compared to season 5, which is now a gold standard for action dramas. So if you missed this season, then you didn't miss much. I think it's still worth seeing, but don't go out of your way for it. I think the show ended the only way that it made sense to end it given the nature of 24, and I was glad for that. I was afraid that they'd go for something really crazy to end the show, but I'm glad they instead went with a more sensible approach. Excellent acting across the board. Not the most intense 24 season finale by far, and definitely not the most tragic, but I was glad that it wasn't a cop out.

Google TV

This is pretty big: Google has announced Google TV. It's one of those things that you have to say "it's about time" when you hear what it is. It's essentially a product that tries to bridge the gap between our computers and our TVs that the Internet has created. It's a bit short of what I expected out of what had been called IP TV, but given the fact that Google will have open APIs I think that it has plenty of room to evolve. If the principles behind Google TV were to merge with TiVo I think I'd piss my pants. It's really just a way to consume web media and interact with rich content on your TV, but it doesn't bring together dealing with your traditional television content. Apparently we'll see hardware this fall and we'll know more then.

Google Wave Now Public

Google Wave is now available for public consumption! If you don't know what that means, you'll want to start here. I'm interested to see where this will go now that the hype surrounding its initial announcement has died down. It's a really cool product, but it feels like a solution looking for a problem. It would be cool if integrated with Google TV though for better interaction with remote friends and family during TV shows.

Diane Birch

I'm fading fast here so I'm going to leave you with a video I took from a Diane Birch concert I took last week. It's a cover of a 90s classic:

The concert was really awesome, by the way. I posted another video here if you liked that one. I highly recommend supporting her if you liked that video, too.

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