I’m trying something new here at Grump Factory. Sometimes, you watch or read or play something partway through and you can’t finish it for whatever reason (the game’s too hard/frustrating, the other books haven’t come out yet, etc.) but you still want to make a grump about it. I’m creating a new section called Performance Reviews where we will take hard-working entertainment properties and give them a critique without having finished it entirely. These shouldn’t be considered the final word on the subject, however, because a lot could change in-between a Performance Review and actually finishing whatever it is. So if you read a Performance Review here, please keep in mind that these are in media res opinions formed without the benefit of the entire experience.
And what better way to kick off this new segment than by taking a look at a series that’s just now reached its halfway mark: ABC’s LOST. Just the mention of the name is probably conjuring all sorts of different reactions. It was ABC’s breakthrough water-cooler drama when it premiered in 2004, riding a wave of media interest and hype usual to shows that broadcast networks have bet their Fall farm on. I remember those almost three years ago when I had almost no idea what LOST was. I’d heard a few rumblings about it, namely because a few Buffy the Vampire Slayer vets had attached themselves to it, along with DC/Warner Bros. writing dynamo Paul Dini. It was an interesting premise backed by a bunch of talent that I had trusted in the past, so I decided on a whim to tune in, rather skeptical of the whole enterprise. After all, aside from various Star Trek franchises (I’d been born into a family of fans) I had only started to watch TV network drama of my own volition with FOX’s 24. Three years later I’m still eagerly watching LOST each week while 24 has fallen completely off my radar.