So, tomorrow night, LOST will have its Season 4 premier. This fine evening, ABC is playing the finale from Season 3, yet....
I believe that while they're trying to make this a well-informed segue into the fourth season, it plays like a pathetic episode of VH1's Pop Up Video. For example. The episode in question is entitled "Through the Looking Glass."
Any moderately educated person knows that this is a reference to Lewis Carrol's "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" (Alice in Wonderland for all you Disney brats) and his "Through the Looking Glass." This is Literature 101 people. For serious.
Now, in the second scene, the "pop ups" tell us that this is called Through the Looking Glass and that this means things are "mirror images" of real life, like how in this episode happy-go-lucky confident Jack is exhibiting despair - his "mirror opposite."
Aside from being distracting, it assumes that even first-time viewers are kind of stupid. Its' not like Ariel making snide asides in The Tempest. Oh no.
In spite of the pandering that the "pop ups" do, what's even sadder is that the people who wrote them (ha ha new viewers!) still use the show's own slang to refer to The Others, stations, The Dharma Initiative. So it's not even all that useful. "The scary dude is Ben Linus. Leaders of the Others... he's about to get some news he won't like." SHOW DON'T TELL!
Maybe if blind people were watching that would be an excuse... "they can't see that he's obviously pissed!" but no. Blind people couldn't see the captions either.
Have we lost all powers of interpretation? Are we that reference-deprived that we can't even understand when a show makes MAJOR literary references? At this point I'm pretty sure that they'd start captioning Romeo and Juliet in case we didn't realize they weren't really supposed to be together... Forgive my rant but I hate when television executives assume that everyone is stupider than they are. For example, Jack is now in a hospital getting STITCHES. First caption "Jack is injured..." No shit, Sherlock. Nice work!
ABC, you have a spot-on brilliant show. Give your viewers the credit they deserve for being able to follow it. And if they've missed out, adding the captions just embarasses everyone.
If you really want to catch up on Lost, read Television Without Pity.
** While I may have jumped the shark and posted this before re-watching the whole episode, I now think ABC thinks people were actually born yesterday. And they think "Bad to the Bone" is an awesome song for a commercial about Sawyer. ABC. Please. Fire your advertisers.