Lost: Season One (DVD)

 Distributed By: Buena Vista Home Entertainment

Reviewed by Justine Manzano

     It was just around this time last fall when I, as a lover of genre television, decided that there was no hope for the fall television season.  The only show that was even slightly genre related was a new series called Lost, a series about a plane that crashes on a mysterious island and the struggles of the survivors to make it through the day, all the while trying to solve the island’s mysteries.  It actually interested me, and I resigned to watch the pilot episode, knowing for a fact that either I would fall in love and it would get canceled at lightning speed, or I would hate it with a bloody passion and it would win loads of Emmy’s.  Up until now, it had seemed to be a rule, but rules really are made to be broken.  This Emmy season brought Lost, that show that I had deemed hopeless, a Best Drama Series award, and the amazing thing about that was, I actually liked it. 

     The premise of the series that was known to have breathed new life into the flailing ABC Network (along with its counterpart, the loveable dramedy Desperate Housewives) goes as follows: A plane crashes on an island after having disappeared off of air traffic control's radars and having flown a different course due to a storm.  The survivors, most notably the fourteen stars of the show although there are numerous other survivors, struggle to find their own routes to survival, forming a helpful community together with a few bumps along the way.  What makes this anything but Gilligan’s Island is that this place that they find themselves on is far from normal, with a tropical climate that breeds polar bears, a monster that tears things to pieces, and a mysterious hatch in the middle of the jungle that nobody can seem to open.  What makes it even better than any other monster-of-the-week show you may have seen before is the people. 

     The characters manage to be fourteen different realistic personalities with their own pasts, each of which interact in amazing ways.  The cast is led by Jack Shepard, a doctor played by Matthew Fox (Party of Five) who does his best to hold the crew together.  By his side most of the time are Kate (Evangeline Lilly) a gorgeous fugitive, Charlie (Dominic Monaghan, The Lord of The Rings) a has been rock star, Sayid (Naveen Andrews) an Iraqi soldier, and John Locke (Terry O’Quinn) a hunter with a surprising past.  Following closely behind are Hurley (Jorge Garcia) a large, funny, man with a surfer dude’s attitude, and Claire (Emilie de Ravin), a pregnant girl who is about to pop at any moment and is terrified at the prospect of raising her child on a deserted island.  Rounding out the group are brother and sister duo Boone (Ian Somerhalder) and Shannon (Maggie Grace), father and son team Michael (Harold Perrineau) and Walt (Malcolm David Kelley), and a married couple, Jin (Daniel Dae Kim) and Sun (Yujin Kim), who only speak Korean and struggle to understand the many meetings that go on among the survivors.  Then there’s Sawyer (Josh Holloway).  The closest thing the island gets to a villain, Sawyer hordes any natural resources he can get his hands on and generally tries his best to be as anti-social as he can be, a trait his past soon helps viewers to understand. 

      The way this amazingly rag-tag group of characters interact is the most alluring part of this series and it becomes part of the fun just seeing who will have to deal with whom from week to week.  The drama, action, and danger the castaways encounter on a week to week basis leads to jaw dropping moments and an epic feel to the series that leaves you gasping for more every week.  The DVD isn’t too shabby itself.

     The DVD boxed set is packed with extras aside from containing the complete first season of Lost!  There are five episode commentaries by executive producers J.J. Abrams, Damon Lindleof, Bryan Burk, Jack Bender and Carlton Cuse, co-executive producer David Fury, supervising producer Javier Grillo-Marxuach, as well as actors Terry O’Quinn, Dominic Monaghan, Ian Somerhalder and Maggie Grace.  These commentaries actually stop in the middle to show you how stunts and the like were done behind the scenes, before returning to the action.  Featurettes include the story behind the creation of the series, the making of the wreckage that can be found on the beach throughout the series, and a detailed look at what it’s like to work in the jungle of Hawaii.  There are deleted scenes, audition tapes, and a blooper reel, as well as a panel discussion taped at the Museum of Television and Radio’s 22nd Annual Festival. 

     All in all, I couldn’t believe what a comprehensive coverage of the series could be found on the boxed set DVD.  It was a great collection and was the perfect thing to gear me up for Season 2 of Lost which premiered September 22nd on ABC.  Being as the season will have already started by the time you’ve read this, anyone who hasn’t watched this series yet has a lot of work ahead of them.  Prove to yourself that genre television is not dead.  Check out Lost, on DVD and TV.  Catch up as fast as you can. 


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