Sunday, March 07, 2010

And... I'm Off!

Hello everyone! I'm heading out to the UK first thing tomorrow (Monday) morning. My hotel in downtown London says it has high-speed Internet, but that's what my hotel in Mexico said last week, so I figured I'd post this before I left to give you a heads up. I'm going to try to watch this week's episode from afar on Wednesday morning and see if I can post something really quick then (so it would go live probably around 3 or 4 a.m. EST and would be there when you wake up in the morning). I hope everyone is OK to wait until Wednesday morning, but just in case you're itching to discuss it sooner, I'll put up a holder post so you can start your chatting and then my post will go live. I was going to choose a couple of people to handle the post for me, but honestly, all of you are such great commenters I simply couldn't choose a couple. I'd have to choose 30 or 40 of you. And that could create a big of a blogjam.

I'm skipping out of the Globe and Mail chat, much to my sadness, simply because I'm meeting up with a friend in London (actually, he'll be my partner in presenting the paper at Slayage, and we're trying to write the thing while I'm over there) and it would be really tough to duck out at dinnertime over there to chat online for an hour. Instead I'll spend that hour relentlessly insisting to him that he NEEDS TO WATCH LOST. (He doesn't watch the show. He's a professor of English literature and popular culture. What is WRONG with him?! Feel free to post in the comments below your number one reason why he should be watching... I'll happily forward this on to him.)

Anyway, the fact that I don't get to chat with y'all in real time after a BEN episode is like not being able to chat after a freakin' finale. I'm so upset and wish it had been a Sun episode or something (not that there's anything wrong with Sun, but you know what I mean). And if you DON'T hear from me on Wednesday morning, it simply means that yet another hotel has let me down, and I'll be back online Thursday night.

Have a great week everyone!!


JennM said...

Hey Nik—hope you have a great trip!

Number one reason that your friend should watch? Because it's the ultimate in mysteries—who doesn't love a good mystery. I love the feeling of wanting to know something soooooo badly—and knowing that if I just hang in there, it'll all be explained:)
(I hope this is the case with Lost—we have yet to know if it will all be explained or not, don't we? But I feel like we're getting there! LOL)
Lost is also a great mystery because it leaves tons of room for interpretation and speculation, theories, etc. I LOVE TV shows and books that allow to makes guesses and be right or wrong. Tell your friend I say simply that mysteries are fun, and exciting, and Lost is a great one! So watch! :) LOL

EvaHart said...

Hope you have a great time!

Number 1 reason why you must watch Lost-
Lost may be a great mystery but it also has moments that make you cry, laugh and simply leave you speechless. With a diverse range of characters, brilliant acting and a narrative that evolves with each season, Lost doesn't just feel like a tv programme but an epic tale.
Hope you manage to convince him :)

Eugen Caitaz said...

Hi dear Nik!!! Welcome in Great Britagne!!!! Hope you will have great travel around England land!!! I will waiting your come back!

JS said...

Have fun in the UK, Nikki. Hope your paper goes well.

Why watch LOST? The story telling, the narrative arc that stretches across seasons, the excellent character studies, the acting, and the literary references. LOST can be in the eye of the beholder - people see what they want sometimes, depending on their perspective. At the very least, he should do it for the sake of his students and can use it as a tool in class. If he teaches any creative writing or film, he can use LOST to demonstrate point of view, parallels, story development, irony, ....

Why watch LOST? Well, why eat a gourmet meal? Why travel to an intriguing locale? Why read a challenging book? Because it engages and challenges multiple senses, it tests your intellect while providing base pleasures. It is arguably the best show on television, ever.

Or just tell him it's awesome, and clearly he’s awesome (he is presenting a Buffy paper, right?) so they could be awesome together.

Joan Crawford said...

Have a great week, Nikkeh! I wish I could help with convincing others to watch Lost but I get all weird and pushy and start gesticulating wildly and the only thing I convince them to do is to not be alone with me anymore.

"Friend": Yeah, sure, Joan. I'll tell you what - I'll go to the store right now and rent them. You wait right here and then we'll watch them together.

Joan (pacing and snapping her fingers uncontrolably): Great - great - GREAT!

*4 hours pass*

Joan: Great - great - GREAT!

Fred said...

Why watch LOST? Below you will find three different answers to this question in the hopes that one of them will entice you, from an academic point of view if in the least, to sit down, put in that DVD, and watch with eyes wide open.

(a) LOST will, and has, reinivigorated literary criticism of popular culture in a way foreshadowed by the attention devoted to Chris Carter's X-Files. Scholarly investigators of popular culture will have to reflect on whether LOST's debut on television signalled the presence of a canon of television series that share a narratological schema, whether that is Neo-baroque, millenium pop, or suspended enigma narrative. While any pop culture phenomenon is linked to its zeitgeist, LOST rewards analysis by daring to play with narratological expectations. This jouissance of story telling finds its release on internet sites, where fans engage in interpretive communities. Fans dedicated faith and belief in a resolution to the story is matched by the writers' weekly suspensions of any such resolution. While such plotted suspensions would have turned many fans from a series, LOST's showrunners and cast have made available to fans a wealth of (mis)directed answers that supplement the overall mystery of the show. Cast members, themselves, in interviews have sympathised with fans' needs to resolve plot questions by relating their own confusion over where the story is going. The relationship between the audience and the creators has been more amicable than in any previous series, suggesting the new canon depends not just on a narrative devices, but a consideration of the audience as co-producers in the show.

(b) Ever since Twin Peaks, Star Trek, and Buffy, cult television shows have figured prominently for American viewers. The conventions of these shows appropriate the machinery, the symbology and mythology, the very psycho-semantic furniture of past literature. Appreciating how the media industry has synthesised the past into a modern experience is part of what LOST is all about. But any cursory exploration of what LOST is all about runs aground on shoals which promise the series can be understood in its binary nature (black/white::good/evil). It is feasible to deconstruct this binary quality which holds a recognition for the Derridian inside-outside differance:
the island--LA
Jacob--Man in Black
the survivors--the Others
The writers respond to these almost structuralist oppositions by offering "thirds", making triarchies, which destroy earlier assumptions formed in the binary relationships. Some triarchies include:
Cinematically, the camera represents one instance of the unreliable narrator. The ambivalence in what the viewer sees is reliant on the heteroglossia of the narrative text. LOST challenges its audience to "translate" dialogue into new context, other than that presented in the show. By doing so, LOST reveals its intertextual nature. Unlike most television series which predominantly focus on the phenotext, LOST relished the genotext. Like Joyce's Ulysses, LOST's genotext reveals itself within the framework of a hugely popular television show.


Fred said...


(c)Granted you may not pursue theory in your work, and the above may not encourage you to watch LOST. Fear not, for LOST also opens itself to a more humanistic interpretation. Follwoing Northrop Frye's exploration of secular scripture, LOST falls under the category of Romance. Like Shakespeare's plays, LOST is tending towards tragedy, but may resolve itself into a comedy. A marriage to end the show would signify such a turn. In this sense, LOST could be described as a search for an epiphany found in a ritual. Central rituals in the series include marriage, burial/eulogy, birth. As Frye noted, most romances begin with a departure from identity, and end with a return to identity. Beginnings begin with a downward plunge, and no more so than LOST's opening plane crash. If the cuyclical nature of the romance is to be completed on LOST, then it should end with a marriage. But LOST writers are also aware of the experiences of their characters. The character JOhn Locke is actually a portrail of four distinct characters separated in the narrative. The initial Locke is revealed through flashback, a sad figure railing against his fate and demanding destiny pay up what is his due. The second Locke is found on the island, a recompiosed figure who finds the question of destiny answered in this supposed Eden. The third Locke is a mencacing figure, who for sheer drama emulates Milton's Satan. The fourth Locke is an everyman, contented with a life despite its failings, but happy nevertheless.

I have been a bit reluctant to delve into too much detail, hoping instead that you will put aside your prejudices and sit down and watch what has become for many more than appointment T.V..

mgkoeln said...

Enjoy your trip! And the next time you get to Europe make sure you drop by in Cologne, Germany! My high speed internet will always be there for you ;-)

The Question Mark said...

Have a wonderful trip, Nikki! Say hi to Mr. Bean for me!

Pamalamb said...

Have a great trip Nikki and hurry back because we'll really miss you!

Your friend should watch lost because of the exceptional writing which brings the characters to life in a new and original way (flashbacks, flash forwards, and flash sideways), and the actors who play the characters so well!

Jazzygirl said...

Have a great trip! (although you're already there..I'm a bit late)
Oh and um, as for your friend...what Fred said. LOL!

Austin Gorton said...

#1 reason to watch Lost? It's THE show that is seemingly written specifically FOR professors of English literature and popular culture.

Being such a professor and not watching Lost is like being a surgeon and not performing surgery, or a dentist that doesn't look at people's teeth.

DharmaLady said...

Here's the most important reason for the professor to watch LOST: It's a surprising cultural phenomena when a story so complex & long grabs the public attention. If LOST was a book you one would not be able to put it's an analogy (b/c English professors like analogies).

Lord of the Rings is to English literature in the post World War II era as LOST is to American TV in the 2000's.

Nikki, you aren't going to let him watch tonight's episode with you, are you? Won't that ruin the fun for him? shouldn't he start at the beginning?

Good Luck.

Nikki Stafford said...

Thanks for the reasons to watch Lost, guys! These are worth posting on their own!! :)

DharmaLady: LOL! I never thought of that... could you imagine introducing someone to the show through a Ben Linus episode from Season 6? Oy!!

damn, now I want to do it. :)

LoyallyLOST said...

Um....THE best show on the tube~now, before & FOREVER!!! Great writing, great cast. Just too many reasons to never miss this great show! AND, the best reason of all? There is this really great blog site that you can come on & give your theories & just ooze about the show. Um, let's see. The name of the site is right on the tip of my tongue. No, wait~oh, yeah! THIS one!!! LOL! Number 1 site, Number 1 blog person(don't know what else to call Nikki!)

Anonymous said...

From Nikki's English friend. Thanks Nikki, had a wonderful evening - all those stories (did you really do That to Him in that place??)

As for all the reasons for watching LOST: wow - that's a whole heap of encouragement. But, honestly, powerful though they may be as reasons to watch the show, they are much more powerful as reasons to read this blog. I love this site - Nikki, my next-but-one book may be on your amazing correspondents. Astonishing.

And apologies to all of you for having taken Nikki away from her duties this night.