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Doux News: July 8, 2012

Getting Lost Again -- Darth Vader Made Me Post This -- Redshirts in the Limelight -- Coming Soon to a TV Near You -- Best Idea Ever -- This Week in Casts -- Set Your DVRs

Getting Lost Again

777 days ago, I watched the Lost series finale. I did not like it. I have spent a lot of time over the past two years parsing what went wrong. I’ll spare you the extended diegesis of my eventual realizations about the difference between allusion and hyperlinks, the role of para-texual elements in creating and governing “reader” response, even the correlative relationship of Lost to America’s decline in educational standards and our increasing unwillingness to fund liberal arts educations. Suffice it to say that rethinking Lost became part of a larger project of exploration into what I might as well call personal epistemology.

8 days ago, I decided to re-watch Seasons Five and Six. I chose to skip the earlier seasons because I’d seen them enough to remember them quite well, but I’d only seen Season Five twice, and Season Six once. Specifically, I wanted to see how Season Six held up once I knew how it all ended: I am a firm believer in the idea that we cannot begin to understand any text until we have re-read (or re-watched) it; otherwise, we get too caught up in plot to begin the process of interpretation and understanding. (The corollary is that if we can understand something having just seen or read it once, it’s not worth interpreting.)

I loved it. Without the distractions of Doc Jensen columns, Darlton podcasts, and wackadoo DVD Easter eggs, Lost is a damn good show. For all of the complexity throughout the six seasons, the finale has a simple, understated elegance. It affirms the possibility of personal change, it emphasizes right action in difficult circumstances, and it stresses the importance of participating in an interdependent community. Ethics aside, Lost tells a strong story about people, about salvation, about a crazy place where stuff happens—a description that could apply equally to the Island as to Earth itself. It is the best kind of story: a story about storytelling as an artistic medium and as a method of understanding ourselves.

For the past two Doux News, I’ve recommended shows we don’t cover (first Homeland, then Newsroom). This week, I recommend watching Lost again. If you haven’t seen it yet, join ChrisB and Libby in watching it for the first time. I think you’ll be glad you did.

Darth Vader Made Me Post This

Redshirts in the Limelight

John Scalzi, president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (and creative consultant for the short-lived Stargate Universe) has written a novel (Redshirts) from the point of view of the minor characters aboard the Intrepid. In an interview with the New York Times, Scalzi said, “All these people in all these stories who are just cannon fodder for a 10-second or 20-second dramatic moment—they have lives of their own, they have thoughts of their own.” I haven't read it, but I plan to. It made Will Wheaton cry--what more do we need to know?

Coming Soon to a TV Near You

A&E has ordered a 10-episode first season of “Bates Motel,” based on the eponymous location from Hitchcock’s Psycho, from showrunners Carlton Cuse (Lost) and Kerry Ehrin (Friday Night Lights). The show will focus on the events preceding Janet Leigh’s ill-fated trip, and will answer the question of whether a boy’s best friend really is his mother.

The seventh season of Dexter doesn’t begin until September 30th, but Showtime has released a new trailer for the show filled with…spoilers? Dancing cats? I simply can’t tell. You be the judge.

In a move the shocked absolutely no one (not even that distractable goldfish who is always surprised by the plant he has lived with for two years) HBO has renewed True Blood for a sixth season.

Eureka’s series finale will air July 16th. It’s always sad when one of our shows moves on to the great cable box in the sky, but I’m quite happy that Jess got me into this show, which is just about the funnest thing that’s ever happened on a Monday night. Thanks, Jess!

Best Idea Ever

Alex Kingston has a wonderful idea for a Doctor Who/Torchwood crossover featuring Dr. River Song and Captain Jack Harkness. As that is officially the Best Idea Ever, I suspect the BBC will jump right in and commit to six seasons and a movie. In anticipation of copious amounts of awesome, I'd like to nominate Dr. Song and Captain Harkness for the Sexiest Couple award.

This Week In Casts

Summer Glau will return to Alphas for three episodes in Season Two, which will also feature Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings).

Claudia Black (Farscape) will feature in a two-part episode of Haven entitled “Magic Hour.”

Sarah Bolger (The Tudors) will join the cast of Once Upon a Time as Princess Aurora (she’s the one with the spinning wheel).

Set Your DVRs

AMC is airing an hour-long episode of The Talking Dead (the fun irreverent post-game show that typically airs after an episode of The Walking Dead) on Sunday night (that's tonight for most of us!), followed by a black-and-white version of the pilot.


  1. Wow

    You've talked about Lost and I decided yesterday to plunge into it. Meaning, albeit at a slower pace that I did with Alias, I will go thru all of the six seasons for the next 3 1/2 to 4 months. At least one episode per evening...

    I'm glad that you like Eureka. I will miss it terribly soon....

  2. You're welcome, Josie! I haven't enjoyed this season of Eureka as much as Season 4, but I'm still going to be very sad when it's all done. It was almost always a show I could count on to make me smile widely a few times per episode, even when I wasn't impressed with the overall happenings.

    I'm very glad to hear you enjoyed your Lost rewatch. I loved it the first time through, I think because I always cared more about the characters than the mythology (even though I often got lost in the weeds pondering what the heck was going on). In the end, I found the series tremendously satisfying on a character-level despite some mythological incoherence and lingering plot threads. I'm hopeful that since Chris B keeps commenting that she's in it for the characters above all else, that she finds the series satisfying in the end. (Make sure you read some of the other site contributors takes on 'The End' when you get there, Chris! We had a variety of reactions to the series finale.)

  3. The Talking Dead is just terrific. I'll be watching tonight.

  4. Like Josie, I had some seriously mixed feelings about Lost's sixth season when I watched it live. I swear, I can still remember being genuinely angry when I first saw "Across the Sea." I sort of felt betrayed, which should be an indication of just how invested I was in the show.

    But I appreciated the season a lot more on rewatch, too. The first time around you're so busy parsing the episodes for clues and answers that it's easy to forget how exciting, funny, well-written and moving the show is. Although there were some elements of the season that I just can't get behind (Dogen, the Light, "Across the Sea"), there was also so much awesome stuff that I'd missed the first time around, especially during the flash-sideways.

    And Ned and Jaime fighting with lightsabers? Awesome. The Lannisters always pay their debts, and they find your lack of faith disturbing. :)

  5. OHara, I'm glad you liked the lightsaber fight. Thank you, Internet!

    Celticmarc, is this your first time watching Lost?

  6. Josie :

    Yes it is !!! MY brother is nuts about the series. NEVER seen it live. I've read about it, of course, saw some "documentaries" about it...

    But this is a real plunge into it (1). No distracting background (previous paragraph), just getting into it....

    We'll come back to it at the end of October (more or less). So far, I've seen the first 4 eps (in 2 days) and wow. Good stuff. Weird but good. (another of JJ Abrams' creation right)

    I've said it often thru my own comments...character development !!! I have a feeling I'm going to be happy this for the remaining, hum, 132 episodes....

    (1) Did the same with Alias, but at a faster rate, and whoah, I dreamt about it at nights. A bit too much LOL

  7. I'm rewatching Lost with my girlfriend (bought the complete Blu Ray set off Amazon UK for about AU$60! Never released in Australia, only the DVD set for about $130).

    We're almost at the end of Season 2 and loving it so far. It's a very interesting show to rewatch with so much content I didn't pick up on the first time.

  8. I highly recommend Redshirts. I borrowed it from the library and am on my second read through (for the same reason Josie mentioned above). It's pretty funny and I found the final coda to be very touching.

  9. George Lucas needs to create a new Star Wars film/TV series just so we can see Sean Bean using a light saber

  10. Ahhhhhh sweet memories.

    My summer 2012 plunge into Lost. Every dithyrambic rants I've made about this show, yes, I still maintain as of today. (And I DON'T do drugs !)

    And let me repeat again for the 100th time : Micheal Emerson is a fabulous actor. (Of course, the entire cast was sublime.)


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