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What did you think of Lost's enhanced season three finale?

by Isabelle Carreau, posted Jan 30th 2008 11:00PM
Last week, ABC announced that it would air an enhanced version of the season 3 finale of its hit show Lost. This enhanced version of "Through the Looking Glass" was set to feature on-screen facts and back story about the episode and the series on the lower third of the screen.

Before seeing the end product, fan comments ranged from "just wrong" because the on-screen facts would clutter the screen and cover part of the beautiful shots to "giving many people who wouldn't be tuning in a reason to consider it," and "great idea." Personally, I embraced the idea because it would offer something to chew on while waiting for the season premiere.

I expected the on-screen facts to not only mention known information about the characters and events, but also some behind-the-scenes tidbits and little known facts about the characters and the island as Pop Up Video featured. Those of you who watched this enhanced version know that we didn't get much of the latter.

The on-screen facts were displayed on a green banner at the bottom of the screen. It wasn't too invasive but it was hard to forget it was there. From time to time, small pictures of the characters appeared on top of the banner. For die-hard fans, the facts displayed throughout the 2-hour episode were nothing really new. They mainly summarized past events, listed characteristics of various characters, etc. I think I have enough fingers to count the facts that were new to me. Then again, I'm the type of Lost fan who surfs the net the day following every new episode to discover the easter eggs, the links between characters, the connections to historical figures, etc.

The facts were written in a way that is similar to the sometime-snarky narration done in the 8:15 minutes recap. Some of the information was displayed almost as fast as the narrator was reading her text during the recap! I'm not sure new viewers were able to enjoy the episode as it was surely a challenge to read all the text while trying to watch the episode.

Here is a sample of the text displayed on screen (I'm pretty sure a fan site will have a complete transcript before the weekend):
  • This is Sarah:...she and Jack have a complicated history.
  • Jack has a situation on his hands...but he's sticking to the plan.
  • Welcome back to the Looking Glass station...at the bottom of the ocean.
  • It's not easy being the leader of the Others.
  • No. Desmond is not grabbing a siesta.
  • Hang on everybody...our triangle just became...a quadrangle.
  • ...is that Jack knows...that Kate and Swayer...have been sleeping together.
  • Wow! So there you have it Jack and Kate fans (a.k.a. "Jaters").
  • ...who the heck is in that coffin?
  • Ben may have a point...we don't know a lot about Naomi...
The press release announcing the event stated that this enhanced version would allow old and new viewers to catch up on the story. New viewers who didn't know about the flash-forward and Charlie's death were spoiled by the on-screen facts from the very beginning of the enhanced version of the episode. So was this special really aimed at them?

In retrospect, this enhanced version was a let down for me. The 8:15 minutes recap was much more efficient at bringing me up to speed on the series and required less of my time. This would have been a good idea if the on-screen facts had included a bit more behind-the-scenes information to reward long-time viewers. Although, just for the yummy Sawyer-centric promo, watching the enhanced episode was worth my time!

What did you think of the enhanced season 3 finale?
Fantastic!97 (11.0%)
Good.105 (11.9%)
Okay.109 (12.3%)
Meh. Nothing to email home about.204 (23.1%)
Yuk!183 (20.7%)
I didn't watch it187 (21.1%)

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Murray Goldfarb

Hope y'all liked it. ABC ordered six more enhanced episodes.

February 05 2008 at 2:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It was annoying when it started but since I didnt see much of last season (I boycott it halfway through each season due to lack of progress) it was helpful and I actually appreciated it halfway through.

February 04 2008 at 1:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Lost for tards.

February 01 2008 at 7:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Overall, it was a pretty good first effort. There are a lot of ways they could have gone with the comments and I certainly don't have good market data to say that they skewed them towards the newbie or the addle brained fan.

If you wanted to do your own overlays, there are companies that will let you add comments over TV shows and share them online. Overcast Media will let you add text comments, voiceovers and web links. I've tried it for Heroes.

January 31 2008 at 4:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Sheesh, people sure do seem to be over-reacting sure it wasn't that great but to call it 'a distaster', 'absolutely horrible, 'you can hear the crew yell at the tops of their lungs about the rape of their show' is going overboard.
Sure the 'facts' were just things we already knew (i did learn one thing though, that Bernard shares the same last name as the Doctor who did the surgery in the flash forward, never caught that!) but the point of it was to catch you up (thus serving its purpose).
I really don't think this was anything to get upset about and those who do are just well... overreacting.

January 31 2008 at 4:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Murray Goldfarb

I think all these comments are funny. Honestly, what did you really expect? As much as the "fans" love this show the ratings drop every season. What's wrong with a little gimmick to attract new viewers?

And to the person who wrote: "It should be instructive that the writers and producers had absolutely nothing to do with this enhanced version due to the strike."

It should be instructive that you are wrong. Everyone associated with LOST signed off on the episode before it aired.

January 31 2008 at 12:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Last night's 'pop-up' Lost finale said Kate & Sawyer have been sleeping together 'since' they were in captivity. Wha? When did that come out?

January 31 2008 at 10:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i'd love to comment on this, but havn't seen it yet! does anyone know where i can get hold of it? torrent or rapidshare.. etc if anyone could upload to rapidshare or anywhere else i'd be really grateful or if you've found it somewhere... cheers, whizzykid

January 31 2008 at 10:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tim in Augusta

I'm a LOST fan and I, too, was hoping for something more like pop-up video or DVD commentary with behind-the-scenes info or pointing out goofs. While I was disappointed, I actually thought it was a nice tool for catching people up on the action of pretty much everything that happened in season 3.

I didn't catch the first bit where they blew the cover of Jack's LA scenes being a flash forward, though. THAT was dumb because that was a big deal that would be cleared up soon enough. They also exposed it by mentioning that the letters in the name of the funeral parlor could be rearranged to form "flash forward" and I think I would have been OK with that exposition coming there, but not in the first 30 seconds of the episode.

What I wanted more of were the character retrospective promos like Sawyer and Locke got. I heard Paul Oakenfield's "Faster Kill Pussycat" this morning during my drive to work and I thought how that would work nicely for a Kate-centric promo. Jack's could be set to the tune of "Doctor, Doctor" by the Thompson Twins :-) (search YouTube to hear both of those).

January 31 2008 at 10:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

To all who didn't like this approach I say get a life.
My wife and I watch this show with conviction week in and week out and althought the text for the most part didn't really provide much in the way of "new" information it was subtle and well done. It made it enjoyable to sit through the two hours again. For those of you who believe that the text got in the way of the picture, I have a suggestion. Get a bigger tv with high definition! Can't wait for tonight!!!

January 31 2008 at 10:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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