Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Begining of the End

Ninety-nine percent of all American homes have a television set. Like it or not, TV is a part of our everyday lives. We can't write if off as trivial; we're watching it, and so are our friends, family and neighbors. There's a lot of junk out there sure, but great TV, which admittedly is rare, is no less worthy of our attention than a great movie or book. At its best, a good show expands our understanding of who we are and what it means to be human. It affirms what is universal to the human experience and challenges us to consider the world from another point of view.

After months of waiting, fans of the ABC drama "LOST" can rejoice: the show returns for its final season tonight. But, if promotional materials depicting the cast as characters in DaVinci's "The Last Supper" are any indication, "LOST's" roughly 23 million followers may be surprised to find a great deal of religious imagery in their favorite fantasy show this year.

According to theological experts, the show's characters and themes are steeped in a profound biblical message. All the evidence in "LOST" is pointing to existence of a truly good higher power, and in turn, to the existence of evil. Though the show quotes a wide range of philosophers and has made references to various religious terms, like the dharma of the Hindu and Buddhist faiths, "LOST" for the most part thrives on the Judeo-Christian narrative, particularly from the Old Testament.

Consider the character names, for example. There's Jacob, who is the biblical father of the 12 tribes of Israel. And then there is a baby named Aaron, the name of Moses' brother. "LOST" mirrors the Book of Exodus, when the people of Israel are led out of slavery into the Promised Land. But while the Jews were literally enslaved, the characters of "LOST" wear emotional shackles instead. Indeed, each character has a burden to bear. From a murderer to an alcoholic to a former Iraqi solder who used torture tactics, the characters all have baggage. And this, reaches out to viewers. Deep down, we all know we're not perfect ,That is our personal "land of slavery."

We find ourselves in a context of evil and suffering in the world and the randomness of it all -- 9/11, Katrina, the Haiti earthquake, We've been made for mercy and justice [and yet we] live in a world where those things are out of order, in chaos. We are clueless. We are "lost."

So what can fans expect when the final season premieres tonight on ABC? Speculations are that if the show follows the Bible's narrative, the characters will spend their final season searching for home. Everyone is trying to find a way home for salvation, They are looking for someone to show them the way to the "land flowing with milk and honey."

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