Sep 22, 2005

Mysterious Mysteries of The Mysterious World And Other Strange Mysteries

I'm terrible at mysteries.

I really am. I'm quite good at taking all the puzzle pieces and turning them all right-side up, and finding all the edge bits, but after that it's...well, it's a mystery. I never could make it look like three kittens playing in an old tin bucket.

So I watch mysteries, and I read mysteries. Make sense? I didn't think so. I love Sherlock Holmes, have read the Canon several times through. I enjoy reading Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe almost as much as Holmes, and am busy working my way through all of his 70+ stories. I'm even hooked on Jonathan Gash's Lovejoy character, antiques and accent and all, and read them every chance I get. The thing is, I can never work out who done it.

I guess that's part of the attraction for me of mysteries. I'm not good at figuring them out, and don't understand the attraction of BEING ABLE to figure them out. If you figure out who killed the butler behind the wine rack with the iron pipe then the rest of the book is just the author telling you "Yes, you're right, try not to get too bored." I'd rather not know, and have it all unfold like an origami crane being taken apart by a surgeon.

So that's why Lost really has it's hooks in me. Yes, I know I'm a sheep, but it's, for the most part, really well-written, has a decent number of good actors, and it's a mixture of enough genres and subplots that I'm going to be figuring out the mysteries years and years after it's finally gone out of production. I can see The Prisoner in it, could almost expect to see The Green Dome poking up out of the trees. I can see Land of The Lost in it, but I don't think Holly or Will will be making an apperance, and if a sleestak shows up I'm going to stop watching it all together. I can even see a little bit of Fantasy Island in it, but Tattoo is right out.

The best thing about it? The writers know the value of the cliffhanger ending. There used to be a show in the late 70's, couldn't for the life of me tell you what it was called unless it was something painfully simple like "Cliffhanger," but it was three sub-shows, each with it's own genre, and each was done just like the very old 30's serial movies--simple production values, basic story, but each episode ended with you on the edge of your seat, and the announcer calmly explaining that you absolutely had to tune in next week to see if Cowboy Dan was going to surive the stampede, if Captain Fearsnaught was going to get his spaceship to pull out of it's death-dive into the planet ExplodeO, and if...well, I forgot what the third one was based on, but you get the picture.

Lost has that, in spades. There's enough of an image of a carrot that might be there possibly dangling in front of my face (possibly held by Rousseau) that it makes me utterly crave carrot cake. And I know that NOT KNOWING is the best sauce, that the mystery is the best part of the story, not the learning about it, and that carefully revealing parts of something is far more enticing than revealing the whole thing at one go, but I still can't help but follow that imaginary carrot. I'm hooked, and so I'll have to trudge along, wondering just what the hell is going on until the show decides to give me a morsel.

And I can't and won't figure it all out until they show me the whole chimera, because that's the fun of it all.


renegade said...

Season 2 just started and, wonder of wonders, there's a dome in it.

Irrelephant said...

*doing my best Charlton Heston impression*

Damn you all! *pounding fist in the sand* Damn you all to hell!