the zebra problem, part 3: I swear I’ll stop griping soon

A couple of final thoughts on Lost. First, check out this delicious Onion bit:

A reading of Gabriel Fournier’s The Eclipse Of Infinity reveals that the new science-fiction novel makes more than 80 separate references to “quantum flux,” a vaguely defined force the author uses to advance the plot, resolve conflict as needed, and account for dozens of glaring inconsistencies.

“I’m really excited about this latest book—there’s action, adventure, drama, and a little bit of something for everyone,” said Fournier, who decided to introduce the narrative device after realizing that the galactic ambassador vaporized in chapter two needed to be alive a lot longer. “And, of course, there’s something I call quantum flux, which is like the binding force behind everything in the universe. Plus, it can cause time travel. And it’s an energy source, too.”

Second, the ever-perspicacious Ta-Nehisi Coates at The Atlantic applies some of my own arguments about Lost to a show I adore, Firefly:

When it’s done right, I stop worrying about the unresolved questions and watching the characters. I wanted to know what Don Draper’s secret was–but I wasn’t watching Mad Men because I was seized by a desperate urge to find out. I wanted to know how Stringer was going to get his comeuppance–but I didn’t turn on The Wire thinking, “Maybe this will be the week.” I watched Mad Men and The Wire because I loved watching the characters. I just liked how Slim Charles talked, and how Betty Draper didn’t. I fell for Simon’s Baltimore, and Wiener’s New York. They made a world that made me say, “I want to go to there,” not “What happens next?”

But then further down the page, a commenter turns the importance of character against The Wire itself, if that can be believed!

When I came to watch The Wire Series 1 on the other hand, on DVD after multiple recommendations, I expected good characterisation and instead had the same reaction TNC had to Firefly. I could feel Simon’s hand behind all the characters, as if what they did and what happened to them was determined merely by what Simon wanted to say about Baltimore drug-dealing and its policing.

So de gustibus non est disputandum, I guess. Sheeeeeeeiiiiiiiiiiiiit.

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