Sunday, September 18, 2005

COLUMN: Lost

Loser ('lu-z&r): (n.) One who is incompetent; something doomed to fail or disappoint. See also: Shane.

For those of you following my life like a serial during your morning cereal, you may recall that last week found me at the dawn of a vacation week with no decisive plans for vacating. Witness the rantings of my wide-eyed, optimistic self just seven days ago:

"I figure that my nearly condemnable apartment could use a good once-over. So I'm going to spend my week cleaning, organizing, throwing stuff away, tidying, and generally fixing my life up a bit."

Oh, Shane, you idealistic fool.

My game plan was in motion early on. Cleaning supplies had been purchased. Timelines had been drawn. Heck, I admit it, even alarm clocks had been set so as not to waste one precious moment of cleaning time. I was Man On A Mission, and nothing could stop me from turning my apartment from squalor to stateliness. And I would start this project...

... the second I got home from the Tuesday ritual. You see, only we TRUE pop culture junkies know Tuesdays need to be reserved for the most precious weekly event on Earth.

Tuesdays are a time for love, for peace, for infinite harmony to flow across the land; for, you see, Tuesdays are when the new releases go on sale at Borders and Co-Op Records.

And in one glance at the new release wall, the swift and immediate realization hit me that there would be no cleaning in my immediate future. I had forgotten this was the Tuesday that the first season of "Lost" came out on DVD.

Now, I've come to terms long ago with the fact that television does, in fact, rule my life. I love the smart, scathing comedy of "South Park," "The Daily Show," "Family Guy," and so on.

I hate reality TV -- well, I hate that I love reality TV, yet still I race home for "Survivor," "The Amazing Race," and "American Idol" week after week. As much as I love TV, though, it's very rare that I latch onto a show so intensely that it really becomes all I can think about.

"Twin Peaks" was the first. The ground-breaking '90s series co-created by the mad genius David Lynch was the first TV show I would have quite possibly killed not to miss. Between Laura Palmer wrapped in plastic, dancing backwards-talking midgets, and lines like, "This must be where pies go when they die," "Twin Peaks" made life altogether more livable.

If I wasn't such a shallow man, I'd even confess that I once dressed up in costume and went to a Twin Peaks convention; however, since I still harbor the fantasy of dating another girl at some point in my life, I'll keep that nerd-centric story to myself.

It took years for me to get over the cancellation of "Twin Peaks." I vowed never to become wrapped up in another show so deep. Then I saw "Lost." I actually waited about six or seven episodes before I gave in to the taunts of my nerdy friends and watched it. Within an hour, I was calling people up to find copies of the episodes I'd missed.

I figured a TV show about plane crash survivors stranded on a desert island would be atrocious. Knowing network TV as I do, I was expecting a cross between Tom Hanks talking to a volleyball and Gilligan playing island basketball with the Harlem Globetrotters.

What I wasn't expecting from "Lost" was monsters, polar bears, mysterious hatches, potentially evil babies, and enough supernatural, creepy heebie-jeebies to keep one's mind occupied for months.

This long hot summer wait through rerun season has been damaging to the psyche. If I don't find out what's in the stinkin' hatch by the end of the next episode, I'm going postal.

(It'll probably be a key to a door that'll be opened sometime around season five or so. I hate the writers.)

So, yeah, idiot me did NOTHING on vacation except re-watch all 24 episodes of "Lost," then watch all the bonus stuff on the DVD.

Spoiler: It doesn't tell ya one stupid thing about the stupid hatch. But I am now officially SUPER keyed up about the new season (Wed., Sept. 21 on ABC) -- so much so that I'm inviting friends over for the season two debut.

That is, if I can find my television somewhere in all this garbage.

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