I tried to watch “Lost” once.
It may have been the second or third season. After 10 or 15 minutes, it was pretty clear to me that there was no catching up with the plot.
I know a lot of people are looking forward to Sunday’s series finale. So I wanted to make note of religion writer Sarah Pulliam Bailey’s story in today’s Wall Street Journal about the “search for meaning” in Lost.
The show’s writers have hooked an invested group of about 11 million viewers, and these devotees want to believe some larger purpose exists in the storytelling, something meaningful that makes six seasons of watching worthwhile. Each week, however, every answer seems to lead to more questions, leaving enthusiasts with grave angst.
Yet this is how all of life unfolds. In the end, we may find only an approximation of the truth. The viewers’ search for meaning in “Lost” exemplifies a microcosm of that experience. If we give the writers a little grace and extend some patience, the suspense leading up to the finale of this television show could teach us something about faith in general.
Later, Craig Detweiler, director of Pepperdine University’s Center for Entertainment, Media and Culture, tells Bailey: “The power of the show is the air of mystery that it always preserves. In the same way we would never want to put God in a box, I would hate to see ‘Lost’ wrapped up in a tight bow. Maybe the show will leave us with a sense of critical self-reflection about whose side are we on and which parts of our backstory do we need to reconcile.”
I often believe that people work too hard to find religious themes in TV shows, movies and other elements of pop culture. I remember cringing when commentators suggested that Rocky, in the final “Rocky Balboa” movie, was a Christ-like character because he, well, made a comeback.
Is the mystery of “Lost” remotely like the mysteries of faith?
I am not in a position to say.
But I love “Friday Night Lights.”
(AP PHoto/ABC, Mario Perez)