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Lost: The Complete Collection (Blu-ray Review)

26 Aug, 2010 By: John Latchem

$229.99 38-DVD set, $279.99 36-disc Blu-ray
Not rated.
Stars Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lilly, Josh Holloway, Naveen Andrews, Jorge Garcia, Terry O’Quinn, Michael Emerson, Daniel Dae Kim, Yunjin Kim, Nestor Carbonell, Emile de Ravin.

The legacy of “Lost” is still an open question, but there’s no denying that this may be the most manipulative series ever created.

The show gives us a setting, the island, designed to be so convoluted that the various questions associated with it draw us into the narrative. Then, as we get used to the characters, the show slowly abandons its attempts to answer any of its mysteries to focus on its character arcs. Storylines are run concurrently to create anticipation for payoffs that never come. It’s a bizarre dichotomy: a show that prides itself on detail but requires its viewers don’t focus on the wrong thing. Given that so much is thrown at us, that’s a tall order.

This is profoundly frustrating to those viewers who saw the show as a mind-game, trying to unlock the puzzle. Essentially, there is no answer. You can re-watch the show to your heart’s delight again and again and debate all the theories you want. As the finale makes abundantly clear, this show is about the characters, the philosophical quandaries they encounter and the emotional catharsis they inspire (nevermind that the ending could be tacked on to any series, which is kind of a cop out).

But, if you just focus on the journey, it can be quite an entertaining ride. Love it or hate it, this complete-series set perfectly captures the spirit of the show and should find fans enormously satisfied.

Shelf friendly? Forget it. On the other hand, the new Lost: The Complete Collection is probably one of the coolest complete-series sets to come along in a while.

Once you get through the outer packaging, the set itself is something like a temple, a bit bulky but probably designed to be the centerpiece of a coffee table or something like that. The case has several layers and hidden features, just like the show itself. The makers of the set went out of their way to include little trinkets that fans of the show will appreciate, such as a black-light that illuminates a clandestine map of the island.

A little searching will yield a secret compartment that houses the hidden bonus disc, which contains several very good featurettes. “Letting Go: Reflections of a Six-Year Journey” follows several castmembers around Hawaii as they revisit the sets. “Planet Lost” focuses on the fandom surrounding the show, which includes not only conventions but special “Lost” costume parties and art galleries. “Artifacts of the Island” is a look at the various props from the show, many of which have been put up for auction recently. “Swan Song” is a touching glimpse at the process of composing the music for the final episode with freshly-minted Oscar winner Michael Giacchino. “The Lost Slapdowns” are humorous bits in which executive producers Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof are confronted by celebrities seeking answers about the show. There are also deleted scenes and location profiles from earlier seasons of the show.

As for the content specifically geared for the sixth and final season, the centerpiece is “The New Man in Charge,” a compelling 12-minute epilogue that answers a few more questions about the island and almost seems like a set-up for a spin-off show.

The “Lost in 8:15” segment serves as a recap of prior seasons, which is a feature Disney seems to be including on a lot of its TV DVDs now.

“A Hero’s Journey” is an interesting tutorial about mythological archetypes that have been applied to the show, which leads to more than a few comparisons to “Star Wars.” “See You in Another Life, Brotha” analyzes the mysterious alternate reality that served as a subplot for the final season, and would probably be easier to watch without knowing the revelations of the finale.

There’s also the usual “Lost on Location” set tours, deleted scenes and commentary.

Among the several featurettes, the best is “The End: Crafting a Final Season,” an emotionally charged featurette that juxtaposes reflections of television writers from other series contemplating the significance of a true series finale, with cast members receiving scripts for the last episode and preparing to say goodbye. The shot of Jorge Garcia (Hurley) in tears upon reading the final pages is priceless.   

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