So … Lost.
I was disappointed last season, but I told myself, the writers know where they're going, and we'll see a spectacular last season. Yes, the writers knew where they were going. But this season has been really disappointing.
Lots of spoilers below. If you haven't seen it, and don't want to know, don't read. If you haven't seen it, and do want to know, be prepared to go "what?!" a lot.
Intellectually, I like the Sliding Doors style look at the characters. But there's a lot of flaws with it. Let's take Sawyer as our best example.
Sawyer is still one of the best characters. But his episode just didn't have the pull. First of all, the catalyzing incident that "split" reality was in the 70s. Which leaves us with a whole bunch of questions. Why would the destruction of the island cause Sawyer to not be a conman? He tells us "I reached a time when I could either become a criminal or a cop" and he chose cop. But what would the island have to do with that?
Yes, that's an interesting intellectual mystery. But it's lacking the emotional impact of the show, and here's why.
Half of what we're watching this season won't have existed when the show ends. Maybe I'm not thinking 5th dimensionally, but my assumption is that one of these realities will disappear. And knowing that makes it hard to get emotionally invested in either reality. And despite the mythology of the series, its true strength has been great characters and solid emotion.
Think of Charlie's self-sacrifice in "Greatest Hits". Think of Penny and Desmond in "The Constant." (I once liked the show well enough to know the names of the episodes. What was the name of the last one? Or the one before that? No idea. And I don't care.) Think of Sun and Jin's re-kindling of their marriage. Rose and Bernard. Locke's sense of wonder at getting his legs back. Sawyer's despair. Juliet's despair, when she realizes she'll never have Sawyer because of Kate. Sayid's love for Shannon, (which to be honest, I didn't think would work at first, but it surprised me).
This is what made the show awesome. Far more than any hatch door or flash to white cliff-hanger, or even the explanation of those mysteries.
Certainly the show generally feels like it did; the writers are writing the same way, and they're trying for that same emotional involvement. But when you know that one of the realities will be taken away … it's just hard to care.
And that's my problem. I can't care right now. The show won't let me.