Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Examples of confuddlement.

When I was in primary school, maybe 9 or 10, I went to the birthday party of a friend of mine. My friend was Polish, and, as far as I can remember, I was the only person there who didn't speak Polish. The party was in a theatre (we were thespian types, even at that age) and involved some party games/drama exercises as entertainment. The games were explained and carried out entirely in Polish, and trying to take part and keep up with what was going on was a little like being a spy in a country where you don't speak the language - 50% trying to do what everyone else was doing and 50% being shouted at unintelligibly. In any case, that party was probably the most confused I have every been.

The second most confused I have ever been was this weekend, when I tried to start watching "Lost" again after almost a year off. The problem with Lost is that relatively little happens on the island itself (stuff happens, obviously, sometimes quite big, flashy, CGI stuff), and a lot of what goes on onscreen is flashbacks into the character's pasts. While I can remember a lot of the on-island action, the character's background is much less narrative and coherent (what with there being umpteen different characters, all with subltly interacting pasts), and much less easy to keep in mind. Watching an episode was like going to a school reunion, where each face brings up out-of-focus highlights that you really feel like you should remember, and each time someone else pops up, you wish you'd done more preparatory work. Luckily there were fewer awkward conversations than a school reunion would produce, and more ability to pause.

Things were so bad that I was watching an episode for several minutes before I realised that my feeling of I-don't-know-what's-going-on was caused by my accidental skipping of two episodes, rather than just the general storyline. Nevertheless, after a bit of time, I managed to pick up enough stands to get back into the flow of the story. I probably won't get as much out of it as I would have if I'd managed to watch it back-to-back with the other seasons, but seeing it again has definitely rekindled my enthusiasm for it, and I hope I can get through it in time to watch the final season once the saga is complete next year.

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