In defense of early Taylor Swift

Taylor_Swift_-_FearlessI remember telling someone once, a few years back, that it was obvious Taylor Swift wrote her own music. “They’re songs about teenage girl problems, and that’s why teenage girls love her so much,” I said—maybe not exactly, but something to that effect. I meant the remark to be scathing, to be a put down, even while admitting freely that I turned up the radio whenever one of her songs came on. It was before I shelled out any money to buy one of Swift’s songs, but even then I knew I sort of liked her. But I sort of hated her, too.

I didn’t really have any reasons for my dislike. The music was catchy, and Swift was clearly someone who understood her business and her audience well. Sure, there were lines and ideas in her songs that drove me up the wall, that made me want to take all those young girls and say, “No. Please don’t be like this.” Whenever “Love Story” came on the radio, for instance, I would start raging about how the time to get engaged was certainly not immediately after you’re having serious relationship doubts—after raging about how Swift really needed to reread some Shakespeare before turning the Romeo and Juliet story into one about love instead of tragedy.

But I digress. The point was, I didn’t want Swift to spend so much time singing about teenage girl problems, because despite the fact that I was no longer a teenage girl, I could relate to those problems a little too much.

And I hated that.

When I first started listening to Swift, I was at a time in my life when I was learning how to be myself and how to love myself. I was learning to find worth from within rather than waiting for someone to give it to me, to attach my self-esteem to who I was rather than to the things I accomplished (or failed to accomplish). In short, I was trying to finally be the type of woman my mother had always wanted me to be: someone who didn’t need a man to feel good about herself, who loved herself rather than waiting around to be loved. But Taylor Swift has always reminded me how much from my past I still carry with me.

First, there is my twelve-year-old self who watched from a distance as the boy she liked dated first one girl and then another but never even spoke to her. Who knew she didn’t really have a chance but who hoped and imagined anyway.

There is the thirteen-year-old who stood rooted to the spot, face crimson, as a group of boys laughed at her for thinking an invitation to the school dance might be something other than a joke.

There is the fifteen-year-old who tried to navigate a friendship and a crush when she and one of her best friends fell for the same boy, a boy who would first choose the friend, then would choose her, but would eventually break up with her while on the phone, putting the receiver in front of a radio while he consulted with his friend about the best way to do it. Who would later tell her that she made it so easy for him to treat her poorly.

There is the seventeen-year-old who declared she didn’t need any boy to feel happy and chose to go to a dance alone rather than with a willing date because she declared it would be more fun. But that same seventeen-year-old would soon panic and meet up with the boy at a laundromat after the dance because she was afraid maybe he’d changed his mind about liking her.

There is the eighteen-year-old who was pressured into intimacy she didn’t want but who didn’t know how else to make sure her boyfriend would continue to like her.

There is the nineteen-year-old who had a breakdown when that same relationship eventually ended, because she couldn’t envision a future without that one boy, even if he had recently told her not to bother coming to see him if she wasn’t going to sleep with him. The nineteen-year-old girl who cried and cried because she believed in only being with one partner and now she was ruined forever.

Then there is the twenty-one-year-old, who fell in love with a new boy—a man—without realizing it, who refused to believe her friends when they told her they thought he loved her, too, and who instead tried to find her worth in the arms of men who would at least pretend to care for her outright.

There is the twenty-two-year-old who learned what true heartbreak really was, and who learned the hard way that opportunities don’t remain for you to pick up whenever you happen to get around to them. That sometimes things go wrong and you are certainly to blame, even if the fault is not yours alone.

There is the twenty-four-year-old who’d found a nice man, but a man who didn’t fully trust her when things went wrong, a man with whom she tried to perfect things and prefect things and perfect things, all the while resenting the role she’d taken on for herself.

There is the twenty-five-year-old who cried when that man finally had to be the one to leave her, and who cried more when she realized she felt as much relief as pain.

There’s the twenty-seven-year-old who went to therapy to ask why she couldn’t get over someone she hadn’t spoken with in five years, why he kept cropping into her dreams even when she did all the things she knew she was supposed to do: deleted his phone number from her phone, unfriended him on Facebook, refused to ever search for him online and see what he was up to, and went about her life.

There’s the twenty-nine-year old who learned that man was getting married. That version of me is one I sort of like, though. She didn’t cry, and she didn’t dwell. She put a smile on her face and realized it wasn’t that much work to keep it there.

There is the thirty-year-old me who decided to start dating again and chose her first date based purely on logic rather than on any emotion. This is the me who realized that you can easily over-correct, and that over-correcting has consequences of its own.

Then there is the me me, the one sitting here now, the one who’s traveled through all those other iterations, too, who carries them with her, more as history now than as baggage but who still feels sad when certain songs come on the radio, who misses so many people, who regrets little but wishes many things had turned out differently all the same. The me who has learned, more or less, to balance happiness with the moments of sadness, who has learned to see sadness as a thing that comes and goes, just like all things.

Today, that girl—that woman—me—decided against contacting someone who is slipping away. Or maybe I’m the one who is slipping away. Or maybe this entire thing is one final attempt to hold on. Maybe the thirty-two-year-old version of me will know which it is, or which it was, but likely it won’t matter, because by then it will be past, another thing written into the annals of my history, to remember and learn from but not to dwell on.

You see, I mostly understand now—or at least I think I do. Things happen, and sometimes they hurt. Sometimes we’re the ones being hurt and other times we’re the ones causing the hurt. Sometimes we are both. When I heard “Back to December” for the first time, I knew that I wasn’t the only one who was trying to understand how hurting and being hurt could be so inexplicably linked. “Back to December” is when I finally, and fully, started to embrace Swift’s music, because like those teenage girls she’d first attracted to her following, I could finally fully and completely relate to the message. Not a past version of me, not a me I was trying to overcome, but the me right there, in that moment.

And that, I realized, is what she’d done for all those teenaged girls before me: she’d understood. In a world where so many roll their eyes at those adolescent hopes and fears, where girls are taught that their feelings are the enemy, that giving into emotion makes them crazy, or unstable, or weak, Taylor Swift said it was okay to love, to hurt, to cry. She said that it was normal to feel pain and fear, that it was okay to love once, then love again. She took those feelings so many of us have had and put them to song, and in the process she let countless girls believe that their feelings mattered. That they mattered.

And for anyone struggling to find their way through this beautiful mess of life and love, that’s a super powerful thing.

France: a musical interlude

Nothing much going on in France right now. This is the fourth day in a row it’s been cold, windy, and rainy, which means I’ve spent a large portion of the last few days indoors (my hosts are out of town until tomorrow). I did get venture into Tournefeuille on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday for some croissants, groceries, and postcards, and the weather did clear up enough one evening to let me go on a walk, but mostly I’ve been inside, doing crossword puzzles, reading books, attempting to write, and listening to music.

Every time I travel I make a new traveling playlist. I made this one extra long, because I wanted it to last me through two eight-hour plane rides, two airport layovers, and four weeks of scattered downtime. I didn’t plan on listening to it for almost four days straight, though, and I’m already starting to get sick of some of the songs. Here are seven that I’m not skipping by, however (and apparently they’re all by men):

“Bruised,” by Jack’s Mannequin
I never get sick of this song. It’s actually inspired parts to two very different stories I’ve written (and am still writing, I suppose, since they both need massive revisions still).
Favorite line: “So read your books but stay out late some nights, some nights. And don’t think that you can’t stop by the bar. You haven’t shown your face here since the bad news. Well I’m here ’til close with fingers crossed each night ’cause your place isn’t far. And hours pass.”

“I Will Wait,” by Mumford and Sons
This is a sad song that makes me happy. I know that might not make a lot of sense, but I don’t know how else to say it. I’m not happy because it’s sad…I don’t know how to say it. I learned a long time ago that feeling sad is a part of life, and my ability to feel sadness is, in some ways, a gift. None of this really gets at what I’m trying to say. I’ll work on it.
Favorite line: “Raise my hands, paint my spirit gold. Bow my head, keep my heart slow.”

“Semi-Charmed Life,” by Third Eye Blind
I love pretty much every song by Third Eye Blind (and I put about six or so on this playlist), and this is my favorite song of all time. I love it, and I hate when radio stations take out the middle (the best part!).
Favorite line: “She’s got her jaws now locked down in a smile, but nothing is all right, all right.”

“Hey Ho,” by the Lumineers
It’s been interesting to note that the French seem to love this song just as much as I do. I hear it all the time on the radio, or over the speaker systems in stores.
Favorite line: “I don’t think you’re right for him, think of what it might have been if you took a bus to Chinatown, I’d be standing on Canal and Bowery, and she’d be standing next to me.”

“I’m Still Here,” by Vertical Horizon
My dad introduced me to this song. There’s apparently a really cool guitar thing somewhere in the song that he always points out to me, but I can’t ever hear what he hears. It’s a good thing I love this song so much, or all that backtracking to ask if I can hear it now would have made me crazy.
Favorite line: “The cities grow, the rivers flow. Where you are I never know, but I’m still here. If you were right and I was wrong, why are you the one who’s gone, and I’m still here? The lights go out, the bridges burned. Once you’re gone, you can’t return, but I’m still here. Remember how you used to say I’d be the one to run away? But I’m still here. I’m still here.”

“On the Lie,” by the Goo Goo Dolls
I can’t say why, exactly, I love this song, but I do. I really, really do.
Favorite line: “He said, ‘I’d hang and swap clichés all night, but I’m not in love with you.'”

“Carry On,” by Fun.
I started out really not liking Fun. I can’t stand their “We Are Young” song because, to me, it has too much of a blase approach to domestic violence. “Some Nights” sucked me in, though, and this song won me over.
Favorite line: “‘Cause we are, we are shining stars, we are invincible, we are who we are. On our darkest day, when we’re miles away, sun will come, we will find our way home.”

My favorite female characters

Katniss Everdeen

Katniss is focused and unapologetic.

Katniss Everdeen, from Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games Series
I know a lot of people don’t like Katniss. They say she’s whiny, or that she’s deliberately toying with Peeta and Gale. I see something different. To me, Katniss is a survivor. At times she is emotionally tough and at others emotionally vulnerable. She cares about her family more than anything in the world—more, even, than herself. It takes her three books to make up her mind about which man to be with because she constantly has to deal with other, more important things. She sees the pain she is causing the two men and does her best to do right by them, but also by herself. She’s a fighter but she does not truly relish the fight.

Jean Louise “Scout” Finch, from Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird
Here is another character who isn’t afraid of who she is. She follows her desires and, on the whole, she has a well-tuned moral compass that doesn’t lead her astray. She is genuinely kind. She feels, but she doesn’t let those feelings run her life. She is innocent yet strangely astute, and the way the older Scout looks back on her childhood makes it certain that she grew into a strong and smart woman.

Elsha, from Sherryl Jordan’s Winter of Fire
Elsha, who lives in a world heavily divided by class and gender, wants equality and respect. She is outspoken even when her words will ultimately bring her pain. But more, she backs her words up with actions, often risking her life and liberty. And through this all, she rarely judges. She tries to befriend those who insult her; she tries for reasoned argument with those who disagree with her. She feels hurt but does not pity herself.

Cammie Morgan, from Ally Carter’s Gallagher Girls series
Cammie is smart and talented but still insecure—and unlike many YA books where insecurity is the humanizing characteristic in an otherwise unlikeable character, Cammie truly shines. She doesn’t know yet what she wants from life, and while she is genuinely afraid of what might be, she never lets fear or unease stop her. She is part of a sisterhood, and she will risk all to protect that sisterhood. Continue reading “My favorite female characters” »

My Hunger Games review

Team Katniss, all the way.

Let’s just get this out of the way: I loved this movie. I’ve seen it three times already. I’d go see it again in a heartbeat. I just love it. Okay. On with the review.

Also. Yes. There are spoilers here.

First, Jennifer Lawrence nailed Katniss. I was never really concerned about this casting choice (or about any casting choice, really), but she absolutely exceeded my expectations. What I was concerned with was the transition from first person point of view to film, since so much of what happens in the book happens in Katniss’ head. In the book, we are told how Katniss feels betrayed by Peeta when he teams up with the careers, but in the movie we see it. Same with her relationship with her mother. She hits all the nuances of this character, everything from fear (in the tube) to physical pain (the tracker jackers) to anger (the berries) to emotional pain (Rue). In the scene with her and the game makers, she transitions effortlessly from nervousness, to disbelief (at herself), to determination, to pride, to disbelief (at the game makers), to anger. Even had everything else about this movie been weak, Jennifer Lawrence alone would have made it worth watching. Continue reading “My Hunger Games review” »

No more love stories

In The Hunger Games, one of the main plotlines is, to put it in the simplest way possible, a love triangle. I remember being on Twitter prior to the release of the last book, and people couldn’t stop posting about whether they were Team Peeta or Team Gale as they waited for the author’s reveal. And now, now that we’re only a few months away from the release of the movie based on the first book, people discuss the three leads’ looks as much (if not more) than they do their acting abilities.

But I don’t think Suzanne Collins intended her books to be love stories. Katniss is far too concerned with other things to want to deal with choosing a boyfriend. I get a strong sense from her that she could live easily without either male (if “easy” is a word that can accurately be applied to the life of the Mockingjay), and that’s why it cuts Katniss so much when, in the third book, Gale says that she’ll pick the man she can’t live without. As if it’s about need. As if this type of romantic love is just as essential to survival as eating, breathing.

I’m beginning to get to that age where many people say it’s time to be thinking about starting a family, settling down. What people mean when they say this is that it’s time I found a man. Five or so years ago, I would have agreed. Back then I was stuck on that ever-pervasive idea that a woman’s worth is measured by the man or men who have interest in her. But like Katniss, I know better—or at least I do now. So many stories focus on love as the main plot (or at least one of the main plots). This is especially true when stories are aimed at girls or women. In many ways, I fall victim to this easy story myself, though I’m much more interested in the stories where relationships fall apart, where people just miss each other, where people are together but oh-so-wrong for each other.

Young girls—and even older women—need stories that speak of other things. Even in a trilogy like The Hunger Games, where the love story takes a back seat to much more engaging and important questions (of survival, of human nature, of our capacity for evil and destruction, of picking ourselves back up again and again, etc.,) however, the question of romantic love is too often the one we find ourselves focusing on. (Point: I was on a blog the other day where Hunger Games fans were asked what one question they would ask Katniss if given the chance, and a huge number asked questions about one or both of the boys in the story. In her own first-person narrative, her own character and her own story have come secondary to that of her potential loves.)

A few days ago, I happened to run into an old acquaintance who was in town for the holidays and who had brought his significant other with him. I remember those days of splitting the holidays, of one meal here, a long drive, then more holiday cheer, food, and gifts. I always felt bad that I had to work to be gracious, because while I really enjoyed spending time with my then-boyfriend’s family, I hurt for the time I missed with my own. There’s love for you, but of a different sort.

There’s not much point to that story, I suppose, except to note how pervasive the idea of “the other half” has become in our culture. I don’t like the idea (implied or otherwise) that I need someone else to make me the best I can be, that by myself I am only a part of something that could be much larger. That sharing a bathroom sink and a dresser means love means ultimate achievement means the thing that should be striven for.

In the end, Katniss does get married, but it’s not a love story. She makes a choice, but she doesn’t make it out of some fluttery feeling in her stomach. It’s about hard work, and shared experience, and companionship. It’s when she’s ready, and there’s no sense that she would be lessened in any way had she never been ready. The story, in the end, is about her, and not about her+Peeta or her+Gale. It’s about her strength, fear, survival, experience, growth. It’s about her humanity, and, whether fiction of not, that should be enough for anyone.

Lady Gaga’s Judas

Lady Gaga’s Judas was leaked early, and I must say, I love it! The song is, to me, metaphorical, about loving the wrong man, about loving someone who hurts and betrays you, and all the conflicting emotions that exist in this type of situation. To be sure, the surface story of Mary Magdelene and Judas works for me as well, I just love that there’s more to it.

From my limited research (if you can call it that), however, I’m finding that there’s a lot of vitriol toward the song, and toward Lady Gaga in general. A radio station here in Orlando premiered it yesterday and then had people call in with their opinions—over half (at the time I was listening) didn’t like it. (Of course, Lady Gaga was performing in Orlando at that exact time, so I feel like the numbers were skewed against her.)

I’ve thought about this response since then, and all the public response after Born This Way was released. And I’ve decided: This has more to do with Lady Gaga than it does with the music.

Okay, stay with me.

We live in a culture that oftentimes pushes against success. We to see a moderate amount, not sensations. This is evidenced in the people that call musicians sellouts when their music finally breaks into mainstream play, by the people (some of whom I went to grad school with) that find popular literature unworthy of attention. This is the girl that told me, in all seriousness, that she would never read Harry Potter for the sole reason that everyone else liked it. This is why we love to see celebrities fall, fail, why these days Britney Spears makes a splash in the news when she screws up but only a ripple when she does well. And now, I believe, this phenomenon has come to Lady Gaga.

She has her fans, of course. Loyal fans. People who tell her—and mean it—that her messages of tolerance have saved their lives. But she has also caused a stir with some of her antics, and so there is a substantial group of people out there who believe she’s had enough attention (or too much) and that it’s time for her to be done. It seems to me like the people who will go out to vote against something but not for something—the voice of the opposition can be so much louder.

And some people really don’t like her music. That’s fine. No one is universally loved. What gets me, however, is the people who then say that she’s not talented, as if their taste alone defines talent. I can’t stand Katy Perry’s music, but you won’t ever catch me saying she doesn’t deserve her record deal.

Anyway, here’s the new song. Enjoy it, or don’t. I personally can’t wait for the whole album, and I wish Lady Gaga all the success in the world.

Some thoughts on story in Dragon Age II

There are no spoilers, if you care about that sort of thing.

Okay, this post is a departure from what I normally blog about, so bear with me (or, you know, don’t read). I promise this is more story-centered than combat-centered (which I also have thoughts on but will instead just whine to my sister about). Dragon Age II is the sequel to Dragon Age: Origins, which I thought was an amazing game. One not without its flaws, certainly, but one that brought to balance nicely the things I enjoy in video games. First, the story was compelling. The world was rich and varied, the characters had desires and pasts and complexities, and the plot kept my interest (and continues to keep my interest through multiple playthroughs). So when I heard about the sequel, I was super excited.

Well, now that I’ve beaten the second game (which I only did so quickly because I’ve been too sick to go to work all week, but lucky for me, the couch doesn’t care if I breathe on it, or if I fall asleep on it while I’m in the middle of playing), I’ve got some thoughts.

It’s a fun game. Fun, but not amazing. And let’s just get this out into the open: I was a bit biased against it to begin with. Mostly because I really enjoyed my character from the first game (who, it must be said, was a major badass) and this game was selling a new character that the designers seemed to be pushing as somehow superior to my world-saving Warden in the first game. My new girl just worked in a city. So right up front, I was a bit annoyed that they were downplaying the plot set up to be so instrumental in the first game (the trouble with sequels, no?).

Story Within a Story

DAII also operated as a story within a story, where a character is narrating events that happened in the past. But the way the game was sold made this fall flat a bit. It was interesting to have it done this way (something I’ve never seen done in my admittedly limited gaming experience), but it starts out with the legend version of the true story where you can do crazy amounts of damage and all the women have absolutely huge boobs (sigh). The writers seemed to want to do something with how we retell factual events, but as this was only used one other time in the game, it seemed almost incidental. I wanted them to either cut it or work with it more. Continue reading “Some thoughts on story in Dragon Age II” »

Why the final season of LOST was not a letdown

This post has been a long time coming, since shortly after the finale aired in May, but I wanted to let the entire experience stew for me awhile. Since then I’ve rewatched the finale twice, discussed it to no end with my family and a few friends, and now I’m working my way through all of season six on the DVR. And I still think the finale, and the show as a whole, was a glorious piece of work, of art.

The main criticism I’ve seen deals with the shows refusal (or, as some have said, inability) to answer all of the mysteries. I saw it described very eloquently as a failure to pay the bill of dipping into the future, but I still disagree 100%. And here’s why.

The show was never about the mysteries.

Yes, they figured prominently, yes they drove the characters, and yeah, they didn’t always make sense (I still don’t understand how Sayid came back to life after two hours, or what that means about Claire). But in the end—and from the beginning—the show was about a dynamic cast of characters: Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Locke, Hurley, Sun, Jin, Ben, Richard (and Juliet, of course). That’s why the writers incorporated the flashbacks in season one. That’s why shows were usually centered around one or two characters, even while the story might touch elsewhere. And so if that’s what the writers most heavily invested in, that’s what the payoff had to be—not answers.

Because the show was based in reality—or rather, it was based in something I’ll call character reality. The characters were dropped onto the island like us, with our range of views and beliefs, our fears and ambitions, our problems and our pain. There were broken families, bitter disappointments, successes tinged with the unexpected. They were lives interrupted, and except for the more extreme circumstances they had been put in, they could have been us. When the mysteries started, they reacted in a variety of ways, as would be expected from what we know of the world. Some characters were easy to relate to while others took more work. For me, I felt most akin to Shannon and Charlie in the first season.

And for me, this reality can logically mean only one thing. There will never be a minute when all, or even most, of what people want to know, becomes clear to them. This is clear in our own lives, without the added benefit of mysteries. I will never know why my first boyfriend was so nasty to me at the end, or how I passed my intro biology class in college. I will also never understand the physics behind what caused the survivors to jump through time in season five, but it is enough that I accept that the island was jumping through time. Yes, there might be a bigger explanation there (and I’d be willing to bet that the writers know and understand at least a significant part of this), but it had no place in the television show. First off, someone please explain to me how that would have ever fit in with the show.

There were many mystery/answer combinations like this in the show that many fans simply couldn’t accept or weren’t satisfied with. My guess is because they didn’t understand or believe the explanation, but if my ex were to come back now and tell me in a few sentences why he treated me that way, I bet I’d react in a similar manner of disbelief or unacceptance. But what matters here is that those things didn’t matter. Rose says this herself when Desmond meets her in season six, commenting on how they’ve moved through time, and it is clear that while she doesn’t understand it, she accepts it. And if LOST is trying to teach us anything (though I would never call the show didactic), it is this.

What the show promised, the show delivered upon. The show had a very definite and satisfying arc, and to me, it was indeed a masterpiece that I will watch again and again over the coming years.

And also, just to clear this up, the finale in no way meant that they all died in the plane crash. The writers are not laughing at you.

Lost: Why I love the characters lots of people hate

If you read my post yesterday, I listed some of my favorite characters from the show, and while I think my Hugo and Ben choices are pretty well received, I think my Shannon and Juliet choices are much less so. I’ve seen these Facebook games where someone posts a list of all the characters in the show, puts the number 10 next to each character, and then turns the post loose. The game is that each new poster copies and pastes the list into his or her post, subtracts one from his or her least favorite character and adds one to his or her favorite character. Once a character hits zero, they’re removed. Though this list seemed a bit strange in that it had Ben being eliminated pretty early, something you don’t usually see in these.

As before, spoilers below.

The general reception to Shannon was especially harsh and overwhelmingly negative. And yeah, she was a bitch through most of her time on-screen, but I always saw depth of character underneath that, and I thought it was interesting that the writers took such a well-known archetype and, in the end, turned it around, complicated it. There were hints of her vulnerability, sympathy, and complexity from the first few episodes: Boone’s comment that she’s a “functioning bulimic”; her conversation with Claire while Shannon is suntanning; her resistance to translating because she might mess it up.

Juliet’s character, on the other hand, was received rather positively by critics, but very negatively by a lot of fans. They criticized Mitchell’s acting because Juliet often came across as flat (for lack of a better word; what I’m trying to get at is that she didn’t react as emotionally as many of the other characters we’d come to know and love), but this is a character trait of Juliet, not a failing of Mitchell. Juliet’s story was always incredibly captivating for me, and so complex, and while she did things that I wouldn’t expect over and over again, afterward, I felt that her reactions were really the only possible ones for her character. She sacrifices much throughout the show, and when she turns on Sawyer in the season five finale, I found it heart wrenching and utterly believable that she would fall back and try to protect herself. And throughout all of season six, her death has been hanging over Sawyer’s character, driving his choices and decisions in much the way I wished the writers had done with Claire after Charlie’s death. If Juliet does not come back during the series finale (she’s not listed as a guest start for “What They Died For,” I will be a very, very sad little Lost fan.

Finally, if anyone is interested in playing along with my favorite character and who-would-win-in-a-fight bracket games, let me know and I’ll post the links here once I make the PDFs.

Lost: The end

Lost, Seaon 6

Best show ever! Except where's Juliet?!

In honor of the looming end of the best television show of all time, I’m going to dedicate some of my blog space to LOST this week and next. And first, for my own personal reminiscence, I want to talk about how I came to this show and why I love it so much.

The previews for the first season didn’t do all that much for me. I only caught a few minutes of the show once, during a boar hunt (maybe the one where Locke, Michael, and Kate go after the boar), and I was bored. Then, the week before the season one finale, a friend of mine had me watch the penultimate episode with him and became hooked. I watched the season finale totally confused and then borrowed all of season one from him. I remember I watched the final twelve episodes in one day because I couldn’t stop.

Since then, I’ve been addicted. I’ve planned my evenings around the show, going so far as to not sign up for classes that met during it (though then ABC changed the day on me and I was screwed anyway). I buy every season the day it comes out and frequently rewatch episodes. About once a year I go through the entire season, starting with episode one. I’ve introduced the show to a handful of friends and also gotten them hooked. Once a year I print up an NCAA March Madness style bracket and then pass it out to people so that we can pick our favorite characters. This year I’m thinking of doing a second one that asks the question, “Who would win in a fight between…?” which is going to take an entire new seed-selection process. I’ve been mourning the end of the show since it was announced a few years back.

And here we are, two episodes and 3.5 hours away from the end. I’m excited and I’m sad, and I love every minute of it.

Spoilers below.

Continue reading “Lost: The end” »