Tuesday, February 22, 2005

DB on TV: Buffy’s Lost Connection

For fans of innovative, story-arc driven, genre blending television, there’s little argument that the two biggest names of the last decade are Joss Whedon and JJ Abrams. It’s a lamentable fact indeed that with the cancellation of both Firefly and Angel, Whedon has finally been driven off the idiot box (though into the open embrace of film, where he has been quite busy, especially in helming Serenity, Firefly’s transition to the silver screen, due to release this Fall).

Which leaves us with Wednesday nights as Abrams night on ABC with Lost and Alias now airing back-to-back.

For fans of both Whedon and Abrams, there is an intriguing trend of Whedon’s people making their way into the exotic world of Lost.

Exhibit A: Daniel Dae Kim, who plays the stoic Korean character Jin on Lost, also played recurring character Gavin Park on Angel. It should be noted that Kim shows surprising range between the two shows, as Gavin was a suck up lawyer working for the evilest law firm this side of hell (Wolfram & Hart) whereas Jin says little but emotes much through his frustrated, passive-aggressive actions and expressions.

Exhibit B: Drew Goddard. Who the hell is Drew Goddard?

Goddard, a simply marvelous writer, now spans the Whedon-Abrams divide by writing for both Alias and Lost. Goddard wrote some of the best episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (“Conversations with Dead People”) and Angel, and was responsible for last week’s episode of Lost, which was really an extraordinary hour of television (Sawyer’s abuse-revenge complex, Sawyer and Kate get strangely cozy, Sawyer has a run-in with Jack’s father at a flashback Aussie bar).

The episode stands out because there’s an emerging mystic/spiritual undertone beginning to take shape from Lost, a feeling that everything adds up to far more than the sum of its parts. There’s the sense that the characters were either summoned or drawn or forced onto the island by an outside force. Each character is deeply lost in some fundamental way, and the purgatory of the island (literally?) will test them, resulting in salvation, death, redemption, or madness.

Sawyer and Locke and Jack and Charlie and Claire and Kate are becoming unique and fascinating characters, part of a genre-mixed show of action and characters both.

DB Note: Check out a fairly well written episode guide here if you’ve missed some episodes, like me. Just don’t miss any more!


Strude said...

Joss Whedon is a genius. Buffy, Angel and Firefly were great shows. I hope Whedon finds a lot of film success, because it looks like that will be the only way to enjoy his work for a while. Besides my collections of the above on DVD, of course.

Eric Berlin said...

Thanks very much for your comments, Strude, and welcome to Dumpster Bust.

I agree with what you said 100% -- "the Whedon," as Ain't It Cool News likes to call him, is God (or pretty close to it in white mortal guy form).

Whedon's also been involved with a number of films as writer/director/script doctor, such as for the X-Men franchise, which I can't seem to get worked up about for some reason. (I have some friends who are absolute freaks about all things X... but me, as Whedon would likely say... not so much).