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AN ESSAY ABOUT MAN OF STEEL AND THE LESSONS WE CAN LEARN ABOUT HOW TO IMPART INFORMATION, GOALS, AND EMOTIONAL RESONANCE THROUGH DRAMA!

http://badassdigest.com/2013/07/03/film-crit-hulk-man-of-steel/

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HULK STUMBLED INTO AN AWESOME ARTICLE ABOUT HOW JOHN CARPENTER FIXED THE THING HALFWAY THROUGH SHOOTING. IT REALLY BACKS UP AND CONFIRMS A LOT OF THE IDEAS REGARDING CLARITY THAT HULK HAS BEEN TALKING ABOUT IN THESE ARTICLES!

http://badassdigest.com/2013/06/28/how-john-carpenter-fixed-the-thing/

YOU SHOULD GO TO BEGINNING OF CURRENT ITERATION OF DR. WHO AND START WATCHING IT.

RIGHT NOW.

WHY?

BECAUSE DR. WHO MIGHT BE HULK’S FAVORITE TELEVISION SHOW.

EVER.

… THAT A PRETTY GRAND STATEMENT, FULL OF ALL SORTS OF HYPERBOLE AND WHATEVER, BUT IT TRUE. A LOT OF AMERICANS MAY BE CONFUSED BY HULK’S RECOMMENDATION, WHEREAS A LOT OF HULK’S U.K. READERS WONDERING WHY AMERICANS WOULD BE CONFUSED AT ALL. SEE, WHILE DR. WHO AN INTRINSIC PART OF YOUR TELEVISION HISTORY AND A CULTURAL TALKING POINT, IT NOT REALLY THAT WELL-KNOWN OVER HERE IN THE STATES.(1) AS OF JUST A FEW MONTHS AGO, EVEN HULK JUST KNEW A BIT OF THIS HISTORY OF THE SHOW AND ITS IMPORTANCE AND NOT MUCH MORE. IT TOOK THE OUTRIGHT INSISTENCE OF A FEW FRIENDS TO CONVINCE HULK TO STARTING WATCHING AND, OBVIOUSLY, HULK VERY GLAD HULK DID.

BUT SERIOUSLY, FAVORITE???

CONSIDERING THE DEPTH OF TRULY GREAT TELEVISION, HULK’S PROCLAMATION MAY SEEM OUTRIGHT ABSURD. HULK CAN IMAGINE YOU SITTING THERE SAYING “BUT HULK? WHAT ABOUT ____ SHOW!” AND CHANCES ARE YOU NAME SOMETHING TOTALLY DESERVING. IN FACT, HULK HAVE A WHOLE LIST OF MODERN SHOWS THAT OBJECTIVELY “BETTER” THAN DR. WHO (YOU FREE TO ARGUE WITH ANY OF THESE): THE WIRE IS UNQUESTIONABLY THE BEST TV SHOW EVER. THE SOPRANOS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT. MAD MEN IS THE MOST INTERESTING. BREAKING BAD HAS THE BEST PERFORMANCE. LOST IS THE MOST AMBITIOUS (DRAMA). COMMUNITY IS THE MOST AMBITIOUS (COMEDY). SIX FEET UNDER IS THE DEEPEST (OR AT LEAST ALWAYS TRIED TO BE). BUFFY IS THE MOST ENTERTAINING. FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS IS THE MOST HUMBLE. THE SHIELD IS THE MOST INTENSE. TWIN PEAKS WAS THE MOST WONDERFULLY LYNCHIAN (THAT ITS OWN THING). ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT IS THE WITTIEST. BATTLESTAR GALACTICA IS THE MOST AUDACIOUS. FREAKS AND GEEKS AND MY-SO-CALLED LIFE ARE THE MOST PAINFULLY HUMAN AND WELL-OBSERVED. SEINFELD IS THE MOST ORIGINAL. HOMICIDE, MR. SHOW, AND THE LARRY SANDERS SHOW ARE THE MOST AHEAD OF THEIR TIME. THE OFFICE (UK) IS THE MOST INSPIRED. AND THE SIMPSONS (GOLDEN AGE) IS THE ABSOLUTE FUNNIEST.

BUT DR. WHO MIGHT BE HULK’S FAVORITE.(2)

NOT PLEASED

WARNING: HULK’S FAVORITISM MAY JUST BE DUE TO FACT THAT HULK JUST SPENT THE LAST FEW MONTHS ON NETFLIX STREAMING, WHIZZING THROUGH THE MODERN RESURRECTION OF THE SHOW (STARTING IN 2005) AND NOW HULK COMPLETELY CAUGHT UP. WATCHING TV SHOWS IN THE “ALL AT ONCE” MANNER HAVE TENDENCY TO THROW BLINDERS ON VIEWER AND THROW REGARD FOR SHOW OUT OF WHACK… BUT HULK PRETTY GOOD AT BEING ABLE TO CONTEXTUALIZE WHATEVER HULK WATCHING; TO REMEMBER HOW HULK FELT WATCHING OTHER PROGRAMS AND WHY HULK WANTED TO KEEP WATCHING. THIS RELEVANT BECAUSE THE REASONS HULK FELT COMPELLED TO IMMEDIATELY WATCH THE NEXT EPISODE OF THE WIRE, OFTEN FAR DIFFERENT FROM THE REASONS HULK WANTED TO WATCH THE NEXT DR. WHO. MEANING EVEN IF NET RESULT THE SAME (GOOD TV LARGELY LIKE CRACK ADDICTION), THE REASONS WERE DIFFERENT. AND THE SPECIFIC NATURE OF THOSE REASONS LARGELY TELL YOU EVERYTHING ABOUT THE SHOW.

FOR ONE, THE FEELING OF WATCHING DR. WHO EQUATABLE WITH SIMPLE ELATION. THIS ENTIRE RUN BEEN AN ABSOLUTE JOY. SURE, THE SERIES STARTS OFF JUST A TAD BIT ROCKY WITH THE BUDGET-CONSTRAINED FIRST SEASON AND GENERAL UNSURENESS ABOUT THE WORLD OF THE SHOW (THERE A REASON THE SLEVEEN NO ENDURED. THEY WERE ULTIMATELY JUST STUPID FART MONSTERS), BUT WITH EVERY PASSING EPISODE HULK FOUND HULK-SELF MORE AND MORE WRAPPED UP IN THE CHARACTERS AND THE WORLD. 5 AND 1/2 SEASONS LATER? DR. WHO WAS ALL HULK THOUGH ABOUT. HULK RELISHED THE DAILY  CHANCE TO RETURN TO THE WORLD OF THE SHOW AND ENJOY THE ELATION OF WHAT MIGHT BE THE MOST HAPPINESS-PROVIDING SHOW-TYPE-THING AROUND.

WHAT MAKES IT SO ENJOYABLE? UNLIKE NEARLY EVERYTHING ELSE IN THE MODERN WORLD, DR. WHO DEFINED BY AN INEXORABLE SENSE OF OPTIMISM. IT SORT OF REMARKABLE FOR THIS DAY IN AGE REALLY. NO MISTAKE THE SHOW FOR EMPTY-HEADED-FLUFF THOUGH, ESPECIALLY SINCE IT OFTEN DEALS WITH THE FAIRLY COMMON THREAT OF APOCALYPSE OR FULL ERASURE FROM TIME AND SPACE. BUT THAT THE VERY THING THAT GIVE DR. WHO ITS GRAVITAS: IT GROUNDS ITS OPTIMISM IN APOCALYPSE. IT LOOKS AT THE SCALE OF THE UNIVERSE, THE FACT OUR LIVES ARE JUST TINY BLIPS ON AN INCONCEIVABLE TIME-LINE AND STILL MANAGES TO SHOW WHY IT MATTERS. IT SHOWS THAT MOST INCREDIBLE THING WE CAN DO IS CHERISH OUR VERY EXISTENCE AND “BE OUR BEST SELVES.” IT POSITIVE EXISTENTIALISM IN IT’S MOST CELEBRATED FORM, REFLECTING IT AS CORE HUMAN TRUTH.

AND BETTER YET, THE SHOW FOR EVERYONE. HULK THINK DR. WHO REPRESENT  THE BEST OF WHAT PIXAR OFFERS: A “YOUNG PERSON’S SHOW” THAT NOT JUST ADULT-FRIENDLY, BUT SOMETHING THAT QUITE LITERALLY FOR EVERYONE.

SO HOW BOUT THAT?

PART ONE – FOR THOSE WHO NEVER WATCHED THE SHOW

BUT REALLY HULK, YOU ASK, WHAT MAKE IT SO GREAT?

FOR STARTERS, IT CAN BE ANYTHING.

“EXPLAIN! EXPLAAAAIN!!!!

DR. WHO = THE STORY OF A 900 YEAR TIME LORD KNOWN SIMPLY AS “THE DOCTOR.” THE TIME LORDS ARE THE MOST ANCIENT AND NOBLE BEINGS IN THE UNIVERSE AND THEY WATCH OVER ALL OF TIME AND SPACE. THE DOCTOR, A FUNNY AND OFTEN BRILLIANT FIGURE, SPENDS HIS LIFE TRAVELING IN THE TARDIS, A MIRACULOUS SHIP THAT CAN ACTUALLY NAVIGATE THROUGH BOTH TIME AND SPACE (IT IS ALSO DISGUISED AS A 60’S-ESQUE POLICE BOX… THIS WILL MAKE SENSE HULK ASSURE YOU).  IN ALL THESE TRAVELS THROUGH THE STARS, THE DOCTOR OFTEN BRINGS COMPANIONS ALONG WITH HIM TO SHARE THE JOURNEY (THE COMPANIONS OFTEN HUMAN AND EVEN MORE OFTEN YOUNG WOMEN). TOGETHER THEY INVESTIGATE HISTORY, THE FUTURE, THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE, AND BEYOND. AND DESPITE THE FACT THE SHOW USUALLY HAVE SOME SORT OF “MYSTERY OF THE WEEK” ALLURE, THE SHOW CAN TAKE ON ANY FORM, SUBJECT MATTER, OR TONE.

IT CAN LITERALLY DO OR BE ANYTHING.

THIS INNATE CAPACITY FOR ENDLESS CREATIVITY THE MAIN REASON THE SHOW HAS LASTED THROUGH SIX DECADES (OH YEAH, FORGOT TO MENTION, THE ORIGINAL INCARNATION OF SHOW BEEN AROUND SINCE 1963). WELL, THAT NOT THE ONLY REASON. THE SHOW ALSO THOUGHT OF ONE RATHER INGENIOUS LITTLE PLOT DEVICE: TIME LORDS CAN REGENERATE, MEANING EVERY TIME THE ACTOR PLAYING THE DOCTOR READY TO LEAVE/GET FIRED, HE CAN SIMPLY DIE IN HIS CURRENT FORM AND REGENERATE WITH A NEW ACTOR PLAYING THE ROLE. YES, IT MAY SEEM A LITTLE HOKEY, BUT IT THE PERFECT CONCEIT FOR ONGOING SERIALIZED TELEVISION, SPECIFICALLY BECAUSE IT ALLOW THE SHOW TO MAINTAIN RICH HISTORY AND TRADITION.(3) LIKEWISE, THE SHOW HAVE A SIMILAR UNDERSTANDING OF TRUNCATING THE PLOT-LINES FOR THE COMPANIONS SO THAT THEIR ARCS ARE TIGHT AND FOCUSED, NEVER FAILING TO OVERSTAY THEIR WELCOME. BOTH CHOICES ALLOW THE SHOW TO STAVE OFF “THE STALENESS” WHICH RUINED A GREAT MANY TV SHOWS.

“]THERE NOW BEEN ELEVEN DOCTORS TO PLAY THE ROLE SO FAR AND COUNTLESS THOUSANDS OF HOURS OF PROGRAMMING . THE SHOW WENT OFF THE AIR IN 1989, HAD ONE-OFF TV MOVIE IN 1996,AND THEN FULLY RETURNED TO THE AIRWAVES IN 2005. THE BEST THING THAT IT WAS NO “REBOOT” BUT INSTEAD A COMPLETE RESURRECTION OF THE SHOW/CHARACTER WITH THE ESTABLISHED CANON/HISTORY FULLY IN TACT. YET AT SAME TIME THEY THANKFULLY CONSTRUCTED THE RESURRECTION SO THAT YOU NO NEED GO BACK AND WATCH 40 YEARS OF RATHER-DATED TELEVISION TO KEEP UP. IT BASICALLY AMOUNT TO A WONDERFUL RE-INTRODUCTION TO THE SHOW.

AND SOON ENOUGH YOU BROUGHT INTO THE FOLD, WHERE THE WORLD OF DR. WHO REVEALS ITSELF DELIGHTFULLY: THE SONIC SCREWDRIVERS, DALEKS, GALIFREY, SHADOW PROCLAMATIONS, FIXED TIME EVENTS, CYBERMEN, UNIT, SONTARANS, THE VOID, WEEPING ANGELS, OODS, CRACKS IN TIME, ALL THE TYLERS, JONES’, SARAH JANE SMITHS, NOBLES, PONDS, AND EVEN FEZZES (FEZZES ARE COOL).

NOW IF ALL THESE BITS ABOUT TIME LORDS REGENERATING AND MAGIC FLYING BOXES SOUNDS SORT OF WACKY, WELL, YOU RIGHT. IT DEFINITELY WACKY. BUT IT ALSO DEALT WITH RATHER BRILLIANTLY. AND THAT THE KEY REALLY.

EVERYTHING STARTS WITH THE FACT THAT THE DOCTOR AN IMPOSSIBLY MAGNETIC FIGURE AND AN ACTOR’S DREAM TO BOOT. HE CAN SOMETIMES JUST BE SILLY,  OFF-KILTER, OR ESOTERIC, BUT IT NEVER ONCE LOST ON US THAT HE A BEING NEARLY GOD-LIKE IN HIS CAPABILITIES. THE DOCTOR’S INNATE CAPACITY FOR DARKNESS AND ABSOLUTE POWER THE CONSTANT AND PROVERBIAL ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM. YET THE DOCTOR ALSO IMBUED WITH MOST NATURAL CURIOSITY AND HE FREQUENTLY DELIGHTED BY THE IMPOSSIBLE. HIS DEALINGS WITH HUMANITY, WHILE LARGELY JUST A FUNCTION OF “BECAUSE IT US,” MORE PREDICATED ON THE NOTION THAT THE DOCTOR SOMEONE FASCINATED BY THE HUMAN CONDITION. WHY? BECAUSE IT THE SAME CONDITION THAT HE NEEDS TO KEEP GOING, 900 YEARS AND COUNTING. ULTIMATELY, HE LOVES HUMANS BECAUSE OF THE WAYS WE LOVE EACH OTHER.

SEE THE DOCTOR PROCLAIMS HIMSELF TO BE JUST A TRAVELER HE NOT JUST A TRAVELER. HE A FIGURE CAPABLE OF INCREDIBLE ACTS OF GOOD. A MAN WHO SAVES THE UNIVERSE HUNDREDS OF TIMES OVER. HE CAPABLE OF BIG, BOLD ACTION AND SACRIFICE. UNQUANTIFABLE LOVE. A BEACON. A MORAL COMPASS. AND THANKFULLY THE SCALE OF THE SHOW OFTEN FITS THE GRANDEUR OF THE CONCEPTS. FEW CHARACTERS CAN ALTERNATE SO FREELY BETWEEN TWEE AND GRAVITAS WHEN ALL OF REALITY AT STAKE. IT ANYTHING BUT SCHIZOPHRENIC, THE SHOW EXPLORES EVERY BIT OF NUANCE IN BETWEEN.

SOUNDS PRETTY GOOD RIGHT?

SPACESHIP... DREAM-ACHIEVER

IT SOUNDS SORT OF LIKE A BEAUTIFUL DREAM, TO BE WHISKED AWAY IN THE TARDIS AND SEE THE WHOLE OF TIME AND SPACE. IT ABSOLUTELY NO MISTAKE THAT “THE BLUE BOX” = THE ETERNAL SYMBOL FOR THE GATEWAY TO DREAMS.(4) IT TAP INTO SOMETHING ABOUT OUR INTRINSIC NATURE TO EXPLORE AND REFLECT.

AND THE SHOW HAS THIS ABILITY TO ELICIT A CHILD-LIKE REACTION. NO MISTAKE THIS FOR SIMPLE NOSTALGIA (HULK NEVER WATCHED THE SHOW SO THERE NOTHING TO ACTUALLY NOSTALG-TO). HULK SIMPLY TALKING ABOUT THE CAPACITY FOR THAT OH-SO-CHILD-LIKE EMOTION: GUILT-FREE JOY. IT HARD FOR THE MODERN/AWARE AUDIENCE, WHOSE CYNICISM DEFINED NOT NECESSARILY BY NEGATIVITY, BUT FROM THE IMMENSE DEARTH OF MEDIA EXPERIENCE. WE SEEN EVERYTHING, SO WHAT COULD BE NEW AND PURE? THIS SHOW PROVES THAT SOME THINGS CAN STILL BE PURE. THAT ONE CAN HAVE GUILT FREE JOY WITHOUT “TURNING BRAIN OFF.”

DR. WHO MAY NOT THE BEST SHOW EVER MADE.

BUT IT HULK’S FAVORITE.

YOU MAY NOT KNOW THIS GUY BUT HE FREAKING GENIUS

PART TWO – FOR THOSE WHO NEVER WATCHED THE SHOW BUT NOT CONVINCED BY MERE HYPERBOLE, HERE NINE TANGIBLE REASONS FOR DR. WHO’S RELATIVE GOODNESS IN THE PANTHEON OF TELEVISION

THIS FOR THOSE OF YOU LOOKING FOR FILM-Y/MORE OBJECTIVE REASONS

1. STEPHEN MOFFAT A GENIUS – SOMETIMES IT THAT SIMPLE. MOFFAT FIRST A WRITER ON THE SHOW AND HE NOW THE SHOW-RUNNER. HE HAS BECOME ONE OF HULK’S FAVORITE WRITERS. PERIOD. ONE OF THINGS THAT MAKE HIM DISTINCTIVE, ASIDE FROM UNCANNY ABILITY TO WRITE WITTY-YET-GOAL-ORIENTED DIALOGUE, THAT HE USES THE ENTIRE CANVAS OF TIME AND SPACE TO ACHIEVE ENDS OF GIVEN STORY. IT RARELY A SIMPLE CASE OF “NOW WE DOING THIS KIND OF STORY IN CENTRALIZED LOCATION.” HE DEEPLY MOTIVATED BUT THE POSSIBILITIES THAT DR. WHO PROVIDE. IT EXTREME STORYTELLING. BETTER YET, IT TRUE SCI FI.

2. ACTUALLY, THE SHOW HAD TWO BRILLIANT SHOW-RUNNERS. RUSSEL T. DAVIES RESURRECTED THE SHOW IN 2005 AND WAS THE ONE RESPONSIBLE FOR IT’S CURRENT STYLE. THANKFULLY, HE MADE THE EXACT RIGHT CHOICES IN EVERY REGARD. IT SHOWCASED TREMENDOUS RESPECT AND ADORATION FOR THE ORIGINAL SERIES BUT KNEW EXACTLY WHAT TO AUGMENT. AND WHILE MOFFAT MAY BE THE BETTER INDIVIDUAL WRITER, DAVIES HAD TRUE GIFT FOR DEVELOPING THE ARC OF A SEASON. NOT JUST WITHIN THE CENTRAL ARC, BUT THE INTERTWINING PLOTS YOU HAD NO IDEA WERE ACTUALLY INTERTWINED. REALLY, DAVIES AN EXPERT OF GRAND GESTURES AND WORLD BUILDING, WHICH MAKE HIM PERFECT FOR SHOW-RUNNING.

3. CONCEPTUAL/PSYCHOLOGICAL VILLAINS – IN THE MOST RECENT YEARS, DR. WHO DISPLAYS WONDERFUL PENCHANT FOR CREATING VILLAINS THAT HAVE INTRINSIC PSYCHOLOGICAL COMPONENT. WHILE THE HISTORIC ONES MORE STRAIGHT ALLEGORIC-STAND-INS (THE DALEKS ARE NAZIS, THE CYBERMEN ARE COMMUNIST, ETC). THE MODERN WORK IN MORE ABSTRACT CONCEPTS. MOFFAT SEEMS PARTICULAR INTERESTED IN WHAT UNSEEN: THERE A GROUP OF VILLAINS THAT MOVE THAT WHEN YOU DON’T LOOK AT THEM. ANOTHER THAT YOU INSTANTLY FORGET WHEN NOT LOOKING AT THEM. WHAT SOUNDS SO SIMPLE, ACTUALLY HANDLED WITH STUNNING COMPREHENSIVENESS, DIVING INTO THE DETAILS OF WHAT THAT REALLY MEANS (WHAT IF YOU HAVE TO BLINK? OR HOW REMEMBER AN ENEMY YOU CAN’T ACTUALLY REMEMBER?). IN WORLD WHERE J.J. ABRAMS REALLY SEEM CONTENT JUST GIVE US BORING OLD SAMEY ALIENS THAT HAVE NO EFFECT, DR. WHO ACTUALLY INTERESTED IN PROVING THINGS THAT REALLY FEEL NEW AND DISTINCT.

4. WHILE THE SHOW CAN TAKE ON ANY FORM, IT STILL HAVE REMARKABLE SIMILARITY OF TONE TO BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, WHICH IN CASE NO HAVE SEEN ONE OF THE BEST SHOWS OF ALL TIME.(5) IT GOES BEYOND THE SIMPLE BALANCING OF INDIVIDUAL ADVENTURES WITH THE OVERALL ARC AND “BIG BAD.” IT EMBRACE MANY OF THE SAME STORYTELLING CONVENTIONS: THE NARRATIVE CAN SHIFT, CHARACTERS CAN REVERSE PERSONALITIES FOR A TIME (ALL IN THE NAME OF GOOD-OLE TV FUN), BUT IT ALSO DONE SO WITH ACUTE SENSE OF HOW TO PLAY THOSE TROPES. THE ONLY MAJOR DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO COMES BACK TO OPTIMISM. NOT TO IMPLY THE WORLD OF BUFFY A CYNICAL ONE, BUT OFTEN SHE SEEMED A MERE CANDLE IN THE DARK, STEMMING THE ONSLAUGHT OF HORROR. MEANWHILE, THE WORLD OF DR. WHO MORE INCLUSIVE OF MAN’S OWN CONTRIBUTIONS AND THE INNATE GOODNESS OF ALL PEOPLE.

5. EVERY SHOW HAVE INHERENT PROBLEMS OR LIMITATIONS OF CONCEIT, BUT DR. WHO HAS NEIGH-UNCANNY ABILITY FOR GLIDING OVER IT’S PROBLEMS WITH GRACE AND HUMOR. FOR ONE, IT A SHOW THAT SELF-AWARE, BUT NOT PAINFULLY OR PARALYZINGLY SELF AWARE. . THINK WHAT HAPPEN WITH THE SIMPSONS AND HOW IT STOPPED TELLING STORIES BECAUSE IT BECAME TOO PAINFULLY SELF-AWARE OF ITS OWN STORYTELLING DYNAMICS.(6) AND LIKE ANYTHING, THERE BEEN SOME MORE DULL EPISODES, BUT RARELY AN ACTUAL MISSTEP. AND WHEN THERE ACTUAL MIS-STEPS, THEY ALWAYS SEEM TO RECOVER. ALSO THE PROBLEMS OF INDIVIDUAL EPISODES TEND GET FORGIVEN EASIER WHEN BLASTING THROUGH SHOW AT RAPID PACE, BUT IN TURN, THE LEGITIMACY OF ARCS AND THEIR PACING WAY MORE ACUTELY SENSED. IT REWARD GOOD GRADUAL STORYTELLING. WHICH DR. WHO SURPRISINGLY HAVE.

THE SIMPSONS STRETCHED THE IN-JOKE AND FOREVER LOST THE AFFECT OF SCENES LIKE THIS

6. ONE OF HULK’S FAVORITE ASPECT THAT THERE A COMPLETELY LACK OF FAUX-DRAMA. FAUX-DRAMA A SPECIFIC THING WHERE THEY SUDDENLY DECIDE TO MAKE A CHARACTER DO SOMETHING UNLIKABLE TO CREATE THEIR OWN DRAMA, RARELY FOR GOOD REASON. IT A TV STAPLE DONE BUT IN NAME OF CREATING CONFLICT BUT IT VERY DIFFICULT THING TO ACHIEVE. IT SEEM FALSE BECAUSE IT FEEL FALSE. THINK JULIE TAYLOR SUDDENLY BECOMING INSUFFERABLE BRAT IN SEASON 2 OF FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS. HULK SENSED THE WRITERS WANTED TO EXPLORE CONCEPT OF HOW TEENS SUDDENLY BECOME SELFISH, BUT SUDDENLY SHE WAS COMPLETELY DIFFERENT PERSON. PEOPLE DON’T JUST SUDDENLY BECOME UNADJUSTED. THIS NOT IMPLY HULK ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE WHO DISLIKE WHEN CHARACTERS DO THINGS HULK NO LIKE. THAT INSIPID. IT JUST SOME SHOWS HAVE TACT WITH THEIR UNLIKABLE-NESS (THINK SIX FEET UNDER), IN WHICH CHARACTERS MOSTLY DO HORRIBLE THINGS TO EACH OTHER. ANYWHO, AS OF 5 AND 1/2 SEASONS OF DR. WHO THEY YET TO DO THAT ONCE. IT JUST A MARK OF GOOD WRITING.

6. ONE OF HULK’S LITTLE FAVORITE THINGS HOW IT CONSTANTLY THROW OFF OUR SENSE OF AMERI-CENTRISM. IT JARRING TO SEE ALIENS LAND ON EARTH AND MAKE WAY FOR THIS MYSTERIOUS “LONDON” PLACE. IT ACTUALLY JARRING BECAUSE AMERICANS, WHO IN CONTROL OF MEDIA AND STUFF, REGULARLY SEE THEMSELVES AS CENTER OF UNIVERSE: “WHY THOSE ALIENS NOT LANDING IN NEW YORK?!?!!?” THIS, OF COURSE, JUST A CONDITIONED RESPONSE. THOUGH IT BEAR MENTIONING THAT THE DAVIES ERA ONCE OR TWICE WENT A LITTLE TOO FAR IN ITS OWN RIGHT OF LONDON THINKING IT THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE. BUT REALLY THE ANGLO-CENTRICISM JUST WONDERFUL. IT HAVE THIS ADDED BENEFIT OF INCORPORATING MULTI-ETHNIC CAST THAT SOMEWHAT FREE FROM THE ETHNIC ASSOCIATIONS WE MAKE OF THEM IN AMERICA AND THE SHOW NOT BAT AN EYE AT THE INCLUSION OF BLACK OR PAKISTANI ACTORS.(7)

7. THE MUSIC OF MURRAY GOLD. WITH THE INCLUSION OF SEASON 5’S WORK, IT NOT JUST THE BEST SCORED SHOW ON TELEVISION, IT TRANSCEND TELEVISION. IT “REALLY GOOD MOVIE SCORE” GOOD.

OBVIOUSLY, THIS JUST NOT THE FREQUENT TELEVISION “MOOD MUSIC” AND “TONES.” NOPE. DR. WHO NOT AFRAID TO BIG, BOMBASTIC. AND IMPOSSIBLY GRAND. BUT AGAIN, THE SCALE OF THE MUSIC FIT THE SCALE OF THE SHOW. AND THE OTHER PART OF THE MUSIC’S SUCCESS BECAUSE THEY SUBSCRIBE TO KUBRICKS “MUSIC WORKS LIKE A CHORUS” THEORY A BIT MORE THAN MOST… HINT: KUBRICK AIN’T NO SLOUCH.

8. BILLIE PIPER, FREEMA AGYEMAN, CATHERINE TATE, AND KAREN GILLAN MANAGE TO INFUSE MORE PERSONALITY AND NUANCE INTO THEIR CHARACTERS THAT JUST ABOUT EVERY OTHER FEMALE IN AMERICAN SCI FI/GENRE. WAIT, THAT WAY TOO LIMITED. THEY MIGHT BE FOUR OF HULK’S FOUR FAVORITE WRITTEN WOMEN IN TV… EASY … ALSO HULK FULLY WILLING TO ACKNOWLEDGE IT MAYBE JUST THE ACCENTS.

9. EVERY TIME YOU THINK YOU NO LIKE A CHARACTER… WAIT. THE SHOW KNOW HOW TO EXECUTE CHARACTER ARCS BETTER THAN ALMOST ANY OTHER SHOW.

PART THREE – FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO SEEN THE ENTIRE SHOW AND BEEN WAITING FOR HULK TO TALK SPECIFICS!

SERIOUSLY. IF YOU NO SEEN GO AWAY. THIS WILL ONLY RUIN THINGS.

[WAITING TIL YOU GO AWAY]

OKAY…

LET’S TALK WHO!

CHRISTOPHER ECCLESTON – AT THIS POINT IT SORT OF HARD TO REMEMBER HOW MUCH HULK LIKED CHRISTOPHER ECCLESTON AND HOW HE COMPARE TO THE OTHER TWO GUYS. HE HAVE BENEFIT OF BEING HULK’S “FIRST DOCTOR” BUT HULK ABSORBED HIM IN SUCH RAPID WAY THAT HE NOT REALLY SINK IN. AND THEN THERE THE MATTER THAT THE FIRST SEASON SOMEWHAT UNEVEN. HULK REMEMBER FINDING HIM QUITE LIKABLE FOR WHAT IT WORTH, THOUGH HULK ALSO REMEMBER HIM ONLY REALLY HAVING TWO DOCTOR MODES – DOPEY + SMILEY AND THEN YELLING + SERIOUS. THAT PROBABLY NOT FAIR, BUT IT WHAT HULK REMEMBER.

DAVID TENNANT – ACTUALLY, ECCLESTON MUST HAVE HAD MORE NUANCE THAN HULK REMEMBER, BECAUSE HULK AT FIRST THOUGHT TENNANT COMING OUT THE GATE A BIT BROAD AND MANIC FOR HULK’S TASTE. HULK REMEMBER MISSING THE LACK OF CONTROL. AND THEN… WELL… YEAH. TENNANT ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC. HIS RUN SPANNED 4 YEARS AND HE JUST REMARKABLE, MIXING ABOUT 9 DIFFERENT KINDS OF COMIC PERSONAS. AND AS FOR HIS MOMENTS OF SOLEMNITY HE CAN ACQUIT HIMSELF BEAUTIFULLY. HIS “I’M SO SORRY” SPEECHES BECAME BIT OF CLICHE, BUT FOR GOOD REASON. THEY ABSURDLY EFFECTIVE AND NONE BETTER THAN HIS FINALE “SO SORRY” SPEECH AT THE END OF “THE WATERS OF MARS.” AS HE TALKED INTO THAT CAMERA HULK NOT GONNA LIE. THERE SOME HULK TEARS. JUST INCREDIBLE. THERE FAMOUS ANECDOTE ABOUT HOW DAVID TENNANT WATCHED DR. WHO AND SAID “I WANT TO DO THAT.” AND THEN WENT ABOUT HIS LIFE TURNING THAT INTO REALITY. FOR MOST PEOPLE WATCHING THE SHOW TODAY, TENNANT IS “THEIR DOCTOR.”

MATT SMITH -WELL IF DAVID TENNANT BORN TO PLAY DR. WHO THEN MATT SMITH BORN TO PLAY ANYONE. HOLY SHIT WHAT AN ACTOR. HIS RAPID SPEED DELIVERY, WHICH TOTALLY JARRING AT FIRST, COMES TO BE ONE OF THE MOST ENJOYABLE THINGS ON PLANET. IT AN UNSTOPPABLE WEAPON. LIKE KAREEM’S SKYHOOK OR JORDAN’S FALL-AWAY.(8) THE SHOW GET IMPOSSIBLE MILEAGE OF WATCHING SMITH WALK INTO A GROUP OF PEOPLE AND JUST START TALKING. AND BY THE END OF SEASON 5 (AND ESPECIALLY IN THE FIRST PART OF SEASON 6), SMITH HAVE TOTAL CONFIDENCE TOO. HE KNOW EXACTLY WHAT HE DOING AND HOW TO PACE THE PERSONA THAT MAKE THE RAPID-FIRE DOCTOR WORK (ALSO THE WRITERS HAVE A BETTER SENSE OF HIS AMAZING CAPACITY TO FLING WORDS ABOUT). THERE JUST A LITANY OF AMAZING MOMENTS WITH SMITH: THE “I’M THE DOCTOR” SPEECH AT THE END OF HIS FIRST EPISODE. THE INCREDIBLE SPEECH AT STONEHENGE. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF HIS INTERACTIONS WITH RORY. AND ONE OF THINGS HULK LIKE THAT MATT SMITH’S DOCTOR FEELS MORE OUT OF CONTROL. ALL THE DOCTORS SORT OF UNHINGED, BUT THE DARKNESS IN SMITHS FEEL LESS “SAFE” THAN THE OTHERS. FROM A NARRATIVE PERSPECTIVE IT GREAT BECAUSE IT ALLOW FOR REAL FEELING OF DANGER INSTEAD OF JUST THE IDEA OF DANGER.

BILLIE PIPER – SHE SORTA BOXY, SORTA TRASHY, BUT SHE OUT-AND-OUT JOY. HAS THE FLIRTATIOUS SMILE DOWN TO A SCIENCE AND YOU COMPLETELY BUY HER AS SOMEONE GENUINELY CONCERNED WITH PEOPLE. HER ARC DOWNRIGHT FANTASTIC. SHE “THE COMPANION” OF THE NEW INCARNATION AND DESERVE EVERY BIT OF PRAISE SHE EVER GOTTEN. THE SHOW KNEW EXACTLY WHO SHE WAS AND WHAT TO DO WITH HER.

FREEMA AGYEMAN – ALSO INCREDIBLE. HULK THINK HULK LIKED HER MORE THAN MOST, BUT THIS IN LARGE PART DUE TO WHAT HULK THOUGHT WAS GREAT INTRODUCTION EPISODE. IT TRUE HER ARC SORT OF PETERED OUT AND HERS THE STORY OF UNREQUITED LOVE (AREN’T THEY ALL IN THIS SHOW?) BUT THERE SOME SORT OF JUST “OH WELL” ABOUT HOW SHE WENT ON HER DEPARTURE. ALSO, HULK SORT OF DISAPPOINTED WITH HOW HER POST-SEASON 3 GUEST SPOTS TURNED OUT… OH WELL.

CATHERINE TATE – WHAT A TURN… THE ONE EVERYONE HATED BECAME OH SO LOVED… SHE ALSO THE FUNNIEST COMPANION BY END OF HER RUN.

KAREN GILLAN – SHE NOT POLISHED ACTRESS THE SAME WAY THE OTHERS WERE AND SHE NOT HAVE INNATE FLIRTATIOUSNESS THAT PIPER HAD, BUT SHE HAVE OTHER THINGS THAT PERHAPS LESS EVIDENT. OKAY THE MOST EVIDENT THING THAT SHE FREAKING GORGEOUS, BUT THAT NOT DO IT FOR ACTRESSES. NOT BE LONG SHOT. LUCKILY, THERE SO MUCH MORE. SHE, LIKE ALL COMPANIONS, MADE BEAUTIFUL NOT BY WHAT THEY LOOK LIKE BUT WHO THEY ARE. FOR ONE, A FASCINATING STORY BUILT AROUND A SUBTLE CASE OF ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT. A CHARACTER WHO EQUALLY NEVER QUITE COMFORTABLE WITH HERSELF, ALWAYS UNSURE. THE SHOW KNOWS EXACTLY HOW TO WRITE FOR KAREN’S STRENGTHS, HER WIDE EYED VULNERABILITY, HER ALPHA-FEMALE INSTINCTS, AND HER GANGLY-AWKWARD PRESENCE. HULK FASCINATED BY THE CHARACTER OF AMY POND AND CAN NO WAIT FOR MORE.

RUSSELL T. DAVIES – HE A GREAT SHOW-RUNNER AND KNEW HOW TO CONSTRUCT A SEASON OF TELEVISION, BUT HULK THINK HE HONESTLY NOT THAT THAT GREAT A WRITER. LOOKING OVER HIS ENTIRE WORK IN THE SERIES, HE WROTE MOST OF THE SPECIALS, PREMIERS, FINALES, ETC. BUT THOSE CATERED TO HIS BIG GRAND GESTURES. THEY WERE NOT REALLY TIGHT BITS OF STORYTELLING. HULK ACTUALLY FEEL LIKE “SMITH AND JONES” (FREEMA’S INTRODUCTION TO SERIES) ACTUALLY HIS BEST EPISODE BY FAR. HULK THINK HIS WORST EPISODE ACTUALLY “MIDNIGHT” WHICH START PROMISING AND HAVE SOME GREAT IDEAS, BUT HE NEVER REALIZED HAVING PEOPLE YELL AT EACH OTHER FOR 1 HOUR STRAIGHT THE LEAST EFFECTIVE MODE OF STORYTELLING EVER (HORROR MOVIES MAKE THIS MISTAKE ALL THE TIME).

STEVEN MOFFAT – AND THEN THERE THIS GENIUS. MOFFAT’S INDIVIDUAL EPISODES PROBABLY INCLUDE 13 OF THE 17 BEST IN THE SERIES. BUT OVERALL WORK AS SHOW-RUNNER STILL SLIGHTLY UNEVEN (THE ONE-OFF STORIES IN SEASON SIX MUCH BETTER THAN SEASON 5. “HUNGRY EARTH” / “COLD BLOOD” = LEGITIMATELY BAD). HULK THINK THAT SOME PEOPLE CRITICIZE THE MOFFAT ERA AS NOT BEING AS “FUN” BUT HULK LARGELY BELIEVE THAT BECAUSE THEY CHANGED THE CINEMATOGRAPHY MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE. EVERYTHING SORT OF HAVE WASHED-OUT GRAY LOOK NOW, WHICH HAVE PLUSES AND MINUSES, BUT IT ONE OF THOSE STRANGE THINGS WHERE IT REALLY AFFECTING SOME PEOPLE. BUT AGAIN, STEPHEN MOFFAT’S SCRIPTS SHOULD BE TAUGHT IN FILM SCHOOLS.

YES THAT CAREY MULLIGAN

BEST EPISODE – HOW IN THE WORLD HULK GOT TO REACH THE EPISODE WITH ABSOLUTELY ZERO BUILDUP HULK NOT KNOW, BUT “BLINK” ONE OF THE BEST HOURS OF TELEVISION. PERIOD.

LITTLE THINGS HULK LOVES:

-THE INCREDIBLE ARC OF RORY WILLIAMS – THE SCHLUBBY “OTHER GUY” A STAPLE OF STORYTELLING AND IT ONE THAT MOFFAT SOUGHT TO REVISE WITH LASER LIKE ACCURACY. RORY’S JOURNEY TO BECOMING “THE LAST CENTURION” ONE OF THE TRUE JOYS OF GETTING TO WATCH A CHARACTER ARC AND NOW IT IN SUCH AN INTERESTING PLACE. RORY HAS 1000 YEARS ON THE DOCTOR AFTER ALL.

-NEIL GAIMAN’S EPISODE = PERFECT.

-THE INFINITE POSSIBILITIES OF RIVER SONG

-ROSE SAYING “EVFREEFING.”

-ROSE’S MOM

-THE JUXTAPOSITION OF DONNA NOBLE BEING GREAT SET-UP FOR WHY HE PICK MARTHA JONES.

-MARTHA JONES IN THE LAB COAT.

-THEN COMING AROUND ON DONNA NOBLE

-DAVID TENNANT PULLING OUT THE GLASSES

-THE ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT OF AMY POND AND HOW THE SHOW DEALS WITH SUCH CARE.

-THE FACE OF BOE AND WHO IT MIGHT BE

-THAT THEY CAME TO UNDERSTAND THAT DALEKS ARE MOSTLY JUST FUNNY.

GENERAL QUESTIONS:

-WHY DID MICKEY AND MARTHA END UP TOGETHER AGAIN? SORTA SEEMED A LITTLE THROW-AWAY-Y AND SHE HAD HER OTHER DUDE WE LIKED.

-WHO THOUGHT “VOYAGE OF THE DAMNED” WAS GOOD IDEA?

-WATCHING THE SHOW ALL AT ONCE… IT REALLY KINDA ANNOYING TO HAVE SO MUCH TORCHWOOD CROSSOVER FUCKING EVERYWHERE. ESPECIALLY CONSIDERING HULK BARELY WATCHED IT. BAD MOVE ON THEIR PART? ON HULK’S?

HULK’S FAVORITE LINES:

“I THOUGHT YOU WERE JUST A MADMAN WITH A BOX.” / “THERE’S SOMETHING YOU BETTER UNDERSTAND ABOUT ME, ‘CAUSE IT’S IMPORTANT AND ONE DAY YOUR LIFE MAY DEPEND ON IT. I AM DEFINITELY A MADMAN WITH A BOX.”

DOCTOR: “_____ ARE COOL”

“FEAR ME I’VE KILLED HUNDREDS OF TIME LORDS” / “FEAR ME I’VE KILLED ALL OF THEM.”

“BITING’S EXCELLENT. IT’S LIKE KISSING ONLY THERE IS A WINNER.”

“DO THE SMART THING. LET SOME ONE ELSE TRY FIRST”

DALEK LINES: “EXPLAIN! EXPLAAAAAAIN!” / “ENJOY THE TEA! ENJOOOOOOOOY!” / “MERCY! MERCYYYYYY!”

“AM I… GINGER?”

“NEW-NEW DOCTOR.”

“I’M AMELIA AND YOU’RE LATE.”

“IT DOESN’T DO WOOD.”

“CALL HER MUMMY, NOT ‘BIG MILK THING.'” / “YOU SPEAK BABY?” / “I SPEAK EVERYTHING.”

“BASICALLY, RUN.”

“CROSSING INTO ESTABLISHED EVENTS IS FORBIDDEN. EXCEPT FOR CHEAP TRICKS.”

“I’M SORRY AMY, BUT YOUR HOUSE IS TOO BIG.”

[REACHES FOR TOP OF HEAD] “I CAN BUY A FEZ”

“OH AND I MET A HORSE”

[TURNS] “YOU WERE FANTASTIC.”

“____ THE GIRL/BOY WHO WAITED.”

‘I’VE SEEN FAKE GODS AND BAD GODS AND DEMIGODS AND WOULD-BE GODS; OUT OF ALL THAT, OUT OF THAT WHOLE PANTHEON, IF BELIEVE IN ONE THING… JUST ONE THING… I BELIEVE IN HER.”

“BUT FOR ONE MOMENT. ONE SHINING MOMENT. SHE WAS THE MOST IMPORTANT WOMAN IN THE UNIVERSE.”

AND THEN… THERE THIS:

EPIC.

ENDNOTES

(1) – THERE A FAIR AMOUNT OF ADULTS WHO SOME WATCHED THE OLDER ITERATION OF THE SHOW (THE ONES WHO COULD GET PAST THE VIDEO PRODUCTION AESTHETICS), BUT WITH THE MODERN ITERATION, ESPECIALLY HULK’S GENERATION, IT JUST NOT KNOWN ON LEVEL OF POPULARITY IT SHOULD BE. IT NOW JUST REACHING THE LEVEL OF SMALL-CABLE-SIZED HIT WITH LITTLE CULTURAL PENETRATION BEYOND THE FANS THAT DESPERATELY LOVE IT. STILL, THERE DEFINITELY A MOVEMENT GROWING BEHIND AND HULK WANT THROW SUPPORT BEHIND THAT. SO, YOU KNOW, THIS COLUMN.

(2) – WHY NO OLDER SHOWS ON THAT LIST? THE TRUTH THAT THERE JUST TOO SEVERE A DIFFERENCE IN QUALITY OF TELEVISION POST-SOPRANOS AS OPPOSED TO PRE-SOPRANOS. IT HAVE THE SAME EFFECT AS THE HAYS CODE. OF COURSE THERE A MILLION INCREDIBLE TV SHOWS OF NON-MODERN INTEREST: MARY TYLER MOORE (SHOULD BE  A TV-WRITERS TEXT BOOK), CHEERS, ALL IN THE FAMILY, THE WONDER YEARS, HILL ST. BLUES, ETC. THEY GREAT THEY JUST LIMITED IN THEIR SCOPE AND POSSIBLITY. IT TOTALLY NOT A MATTER OF JUST BEING ABLE TO SAY “FUCK.” IT A MATTER OF BEING ABLE TO EXPLORE CONCEPTS IN A CINEMATIC WAY, OR SERIALIZED CHARACTER STUDY. THAT THE BIG CHANGE. TV SHOWS NEVER MEANT TO HAVE SHELF LIFE AND DURATION BEYOND REPEATS. EVEN HILL STREET BLUES WAS ABOUT BEING INTERESTING “THAT WEEK” AND NOT TELLING A LARGER STORY (THOUGH THEY COULD DO THAT). AND THE SERIALIZED STORYTELLING OF THE ERA WAS EITHER JUVENILE OR NOT-SO-GOOD PULPY. THERE JUST TOO MANY DIFFERENCES IN THE APPROACH. A POSSIBLE COMPARISON = THE DEAD-BALL ERA IN BASEBALL. IT JUST NO COMPARE.

(3)  -THERE GREAT THEORY THAT JAMES BOND ACTUALLY A TIME LORD. THINK ABOUT IT. IT MAKE PERFECT SENSE.

(4) – IT NO MISTAKE IN MULHOLLAND DRIVE TOO.

(5) – UGH. HERE WE GO. HULK LOVE WHEDON’S WORK BUT HULK NOT A “WHEDON PERSON” IF THAT MAKE SENSE. THERE THIS WEIRD TENDENCY OF HIS FANDOM TO BORDER ON MEGALOMANIA, AS IF HE THE ONLY ONE MAKING TRULY EXCELLENT PROGRAMMING WITH DISTINCT VOICE, WHEN ACTUALLY HE JUST ONE OF MANY. HULK IMAGINE THIS HAPPEN FOR SEVERAL REASONS: A) IT CAME AT TIME IN THEIR LIFE THAT THERE JUST NOT MUCH ELSE LIKE IT SO IT HUGELY INFLUENTIAL B) THE WHEDON FANS SO USED TO BE ON THEIR OWN ISLAND AND RIDICULED BY OTHER NERD FANS THAT DIDN’T GET IT THAT THEY CREATED THIS SOLIPSISTIC LIKE MINDSET. NOW IT JUST THIS INGRAINED DEFENSIVE MECHANISM DESPITE THE FACT LOTS PEOPLE FINALLY COME AROUND ON JOSS. WHY TAKE SO LONG? WELL IT DID FOR HULK TOO. HULK SUSPECT IT BECAUSE THERE SERIOUS HURDLES IN JUMPING INTO JOSS’S TONE BECAUSE ON SURFACE IT ALL JUST SEEM KINDA STUPID. BUT ONCE GET INTO IT, IT TRANSCENDENT. WELL, THE SAME WAS TRUE OF DR. WHO. HULK HAVE NO IDEA WHY WE KEEP DOING THIS. WE ASSUME THESE BELOVED THINGS ARE SOME “LESS THAN” AND IT ALWAYS A MISTAKE. AND REMEMBER THIS FROM SOMEHULK WHO LIKE ALL HIS WORK OUTSIDE OF DOLLHOUSE (WHICH STILL FASCINATING IN ITS FAILURE). AND IF YOU KNOW THINK HE NOT GOING TO TURN AVENGERS INTO VERY GOOD MOVIE YOU LIKELY MISTAKEN.

(6) – EVERYONE TALKS ABOUT PROBLEMS WITH THE SIMPSONS, BUT NO ONE SEEMS MENTION THE FACT THAT THE STORYTELLING DISAPPEARED UP ITS OWN ASSHOLE. THEY USED TO USE THE JAMES L. BROOKS MODEL. SEASON 10 IS UNRECOGNIZABLE TO THAT.

(7) – ONE LITTLE THING HULK FIND INTERESTING: THE USE OF THE WORD “BLACK” IN U.K. FAR DIFFERENT THAN HERE. AFRICAN-AMERICAN = THE PROPER WRITTEN NOMENCLATURE IN AMERICA, BUT NOT NECESSARILY IN U.K. WHERE “BLACK” CONSIDERED PERFECTLY PROPER. THIS NOT TO IMPLY BLACK NECESSARILY A “BAD WORD” HERE. IT INTERESTING BECAUSE A LOT OF OTHER EUROPEAN NATIONS HAVE ADOPTED “AFRO-____” NOMENCLATURE, BUT SOMETIMES WE FORGET THAT P.C. TERMINOLOGY NOT NECESSARILY TRANSLATE ACROSS CULTURE. OH AND FOR LOVE OF GOD, NO THINK HULK COMPLAINING P.C. VERBIAGE NOR THINK ONE HAS TO ADHERE TO IT. HULK JUST HIGHLY INTERESTED IN THE LINGUISTIC DISCUSSION. THAT ALL. HULK WANT U.K. READERS INPUT!

(8) – SORRY. THOSE ARE REALLY GOOD BASKETBALL PLAYERS WHO EACH HAD AN UNSTOPPABLE MOVE THAT ALWAYS WENT IN.

CONSIDER THIS A FOUR-PART, 12,378 WORD, 31 PAGE SINGLE-SPACED, OPEN-LETTER TO DAMON LINDELOF AND CARLTON CUSE CONCERNING LOST

DEAR DARLTON,

HEY WHAT UP. IT HULK. HOW THINGS? COOL.

SO IT BEEN OVER YEAR SINCE FINALE OF LOST AND YET BOTH THE SHOW/FINALE REMAIN FLOATING ABOUT THE ZEITGEIST.  HULK IMAGINE IT SAME WAY FOR BOTH OF YOU. FOR AWHILE DAMON SEEMED TO TALK ABOUT IT ON TWITTER MAYBE ONCE A WEEK OR SO. HE RECENTLY ACKNOWLEDGE ON PODCAST THAT THE “HOW MUCH TO TALK ABOUT LOST” A QUESTION HE WRESTLE WITH. AND WHILE DISCUSSING THE SHOW, DAMON SEEM OSCILLATE BETWEEN FUN AND SERIOUSNESS, ACCEPTANCE AND DEFENSIVENESS… ALL OF WHICH RATHER UNDERSTANDABLE. OF COURSE, SOME BITS GET MORE PUBLIC NOTICE, LIKE THE RECENT (AND ADMITTEDLY RATHER TINY) DUST UP WITH GEORGE R.R. MARTIN. ALL THE WHILE, IT SEEM TO HULK THAT DAMON REALLY GOING DOWN THIS ROAD CAUSE HE TRYING TO COME TO SOME KIND OF CATHARSIS ABOUT LOST AND WHAT IT REALLY MEANT. WHICH MAKE HIM JUST LIKE ALL OF US.

THE SUM TOTALITY OF LOST(1) A HARDER THING TO SUM UP THAN MOST PEOPLE REALIZE. THE SHOW TRULY ALL-ENCOMPASSING AND RESONATED IN SO MANY DIFFERENT WAYS THAT IT HARD TO CLARIFY EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED, AND CONTINUES TO HAPPEN IN ITS WAKE.

BUT AFTER ALL THIS TIME, HERE AND NOW, HULK FINALLY READY TALK ABOUT THE LOST FINALE.

PREFACE #1:  HULK’S ORIGINAL INTERPRETATION  OF THE FINALE NOT REALLY CHANGE SINCE AIRING,  YET THE INTENSITY HAS LESSENED AND HULK ABLE TO BE MORE OBJECTIVE. THIS OBVIOUSLY A GOOD THING. WHICH MEANS:

PREFACE #2:  THE TITLE OF THIS ARTICLE AND THE DOLL-TOUCHING JOKE = JUST THAT, A JOKE. HULK FEEL NOWHERE NEAR THAT EXTREME ABOUT THE SITUATION (AFTER ALL, HULK A RATIONAL HULK). THE JOKE MORE REPRESENTATIVE OF HULK’S FEELINGS ABOUT FINALLY COMING FORWARD TO TALK ABOUT IT. HONESTLY, WHAT FOLLOWS WILL ATTEMPT BE VERY MEASURED AND FAIR AND ALL THAT. IT JUST FELT LIKE RIGHT TITLE (FOR REASONS THAT WILL MAKE SENSE LATER).

PREFACE #3:  EVEN IF HULK OFTEN DISMISS A LOT OF THE HYPERBOLE AND APOLOGIST REMARKS SURROUNDING THE SHOW, HULK STILL THINK LOST ONE OF THE BEST TELEVISION SHOWS EVER MADE. IT CERTAINLY ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT, IF ONLY FOR FACT THAT IT DRAGGED THE NETWORKS INTO BOTH THE TIME-SHIFT (DVR) AND SERIALIZED-TV ERA. BUT OBVIOUSLY, IT MORE THAN THAT.

PREFACE #4:  ANOTHER REASON HULK WRITING THIS ARTICLE BECAUSE EVEN WITH ALL THE GREAT MATERIAL CRITICAL OUT THERE, HULK YET TO READ INTERPRETATION THAT HIT NAIL ON HEAD FOR WHAT HULK FELT WAS THE EXACT PROBLEMS WITH THE FINALE. SPECIFICALLY WITH HOW IT’S AIMS NOT CONGRUENT WITH THE REST OF THE SERIES.

PREFACE #5:  WHILE ON SUBJECT OF CRITICS, HULK THINK DOC JENSEN KIND OF AN IDIOT AND WHOLLY REPRESENTATIVE OF ONE OF THE WORST ASPECTS OF LOST FANS. THIS BEAR MENTIONING BECAUSE HE THE MOST CELEBRATED LOST ANALYZER IN WORLD FOR SOME REASON. PERHAPS IT THE FAULT OF E.W.’S PRESENTATION, BUT HIS WORK REALLY COME OFF LIKE NONSENSE RAMBLINGS AND IT FILLED WITH ABSURD, UNCONNECTED TANGENTS. NOW BOTH RAMBLINGS AND TANGENTS TOTALLY OKAY( HECK, HULK USE THEM ENDLESSLY), BUT DOC ALWAYS SEEM FIXATE ON SINGULAR DETAILS TO CREATE HIS WEAKLY-SUPPORTED HYPOTHESES, ONES WHICH OFTEN STOOD IN DIRECT CONTRAST TO OTHER, FAR-MORE-PERTINENT INFORMATION. THIS NOT ONLY OCCURRED ON FREQUENT LOGISTIC LEVEL, BUT EVEN MORE EGREGIOUSLY ON THE THEMATIC LEVEL. IT SELECTIVE INFORMATION PROCESSING AND IT BASICALLY WORTHLESS. AND LIKE DOC, THERE HUGE SEGMENT OF LOST FANS THAT WOULD DO THIS ALL THE TIME.

PREFACE #6:  THE BEST WRITING HULK EVER READ ON LOST DONE BY GENTLEMEN KNOWN AS “MMORSE” AND HULK SAY YOU SHOULD DEFINITELY CHECK HIM OUT (HULK GOING TO LINK TO SOME OF HIS STUFF LATER). HE HAD UNCANNY ABILITY TO DIG DEEP WHILE STAYING TRULY FOCUSED ON HOW THESE DETAILS FIT IN THE “BIG PICTURE.” HULK ARGUE NO ONE HAVE BETTER GRIP ON THE THEMATIC LEVEL OF THE SHOW AND HE WORKED HIS ASS OFF AT IT TOO.  HE CURRENTLY DOING GREAT WORK WITH HIS “LOST AND FOUND” SERIES ON CHUD, WHICH EXAMINES OTHER CEREBRAL TV SHOWS THAT MAY HAVE HAD AN ALL-TOO SHORT RUN. HERE HIS TWITTER IF WANT CHECK OUT http://twitter.com/#!/m_morse

PREFACE #7: AT THIS POINT IT SHOULD BE CLEAR HULK HAVE NO INTEREST IN BREVITY. IT MAY BE THE SOUL OF WIT, BUT IT JUST NOT IN HULK’S WHEELHOUSE. IF YOU NEVER READ HULK STUFF BEFORE KNOW THIS, EVERY TIME HULK ATTEMPT BE BRIEF IN ANALYSIS THE STATEMENTS JUST FEEL LIKE A HALF-TRUTH. MEANWHILE, BEING FAIR, TAKING ONE’S TIME, APPROXIMATING EVERYTHING, AND JUST PLAIN BEING THOROUGH=  ALL VALUES THAT HULK HOLD DEAR. ESPECIALLY IN AN ERA THAT CRAVES SHORT FORM. SO YES, THIS ARTICLE RATHER LONG, AND PERHAPS A BIT UNWIELDY,  BUT THIS HULK DAMMIT.

SO NOW ONTO THE REAL SHIT.

PART 1: WHAT MADE “LOST” FANTASTIC

LOST BOTH ATTEMPTED AND SUCCEEDED IN DOING THINGS MOST OTHER SHOWS NO EVEN TRY: IT HAD RICH, TEXTURED CHARACTERS,  AN INTERNATIONAL CAST, USED MULTI-LINGUAL AND SUBTITLED DIALOGUE, PROVIDED SENSUOUS CINEMATOGRAPHY THAT WAS, FOR LACK OF A BETTER WORD, “CINEMATIC,” CAPITALIZED ON ITS VIBRANT SETTING, HAD STUNNING PRODUCTION VALUES, WROTE AMBITIOUS STORY ARCS, INCLUDED DEEPLY-LITERATE REFERENCES, WENT INTO INTENSE AND COMPLEX SCI-FI CONCEPTS, BRANDISHED A GOOD OLD-FASHIONED SENSE OF HUMOR, AND EVEN DISPLAYED A COMPLETE UNDERSTANDING OF NEW MEDIA IN ORDER ADVERTISE THE SHOW/INTERACT WITH FANS (HELL, IT HELPED SHAPE NEW MEDIA). EVERY DETAIL JUST SEEMED RIGHT: FROM THE HAUNTING OPENING TITLE SEQUENCE TO OFT-SUDDEN ENDING TITLE STAMP AT THE CLOSE OF EVERY EPISODE. SO IF WE JUST GOING BY ALL THESE TANGIBLE DETAILS, THEN OBJECTIVELY-SPEAKING LOST MUST REPRESENT THE PINNACLE OF TELEVISION. HECK, IT THE BEST OF WHAT ENTERTAINMENT CAN OFFER.

BUT JUST CAUSE THAT WHAT MAKE IT GOOD, IT NOT WHAT MAKE IT SPECIAL. WHAT MADE LOST SPECIAL = THE IMPOSSIBLE RESONANCE THAT THE SHOW’S TONE AND THEMATIC CONCEIT HAD WITH VIEWERS. IT STRUCK A CHORD DEEP DOWN AND COMPELLED THEM IN WAYS A TV SHOW OFTEN DOES NOT. SURE THERE WERE RELATIVE LEVELS OF THAT INTENSITY, BUT THERE JUST SEEMED NO SUCH THING AS HALF-INVESTED LOST VIEWER. FOR SOME, IT JUST PURELY VISCERAL: A JOURNEY INTO BOTH THE MYSTERY OF AN ISLAND AND THE MYSTERY OF THE CHARACTER’S LIVES. FOR OTHERS, THE THEMATIC LEVEL OPENED UP A WORLD BEYOND THE SHOW, AN ONLINE COMMUNITY, AN EXPANDED UNIVERSE, AN EVOLVING DISCUSSION ABOUT LIFE, ART, STORYTELLING, RELIGION, SCIENCE, AND BEYOND. BETTER YET, THE SHOW COULD EXIST ON THAT CEREBRAL PLANE WHILE RARELY SACRIFICING THE THINGS THAT MADE IT UNIQUELY HUMANE. AND EVEN THOUGH IT HAD AN EMOTIONAL FOUNDATION, YIT NEVER STEEPED SO LOW AS TO BE OUTRIGHT SENTIMENTAL

ALL THIS MAKE THE SHOW BOTH A MIRACLE AND A SPRAWLING ENTITY IN ITS OWN RIGHT. AND DARLTON, HULK IMAGINE THAT NAVIGATING BOTH THE CREATION OF THAT ENTITY AND THEN PERPETUATING IT MUST HAVE BEEN ONE OF THE MOST DIFFICULT THINGS IMAGINABLE. HOW DID THE SHOW SATISFY SO MANY PEOPLE? FOLKS WITH A HOST OF DIFFERENT VALUES?

HULK BELIEVE THE ANSWER = “THE ANSWERS.”

FIRST OFF, HULK BOTH UNDERSTAND AND NOT UNDERSTAND WHY PEOPLE CLAIM THAT LOST NEVER ANSWERED ANYTHING. HULK PERHAPS UNDERSTAND BECAUSE THE SHOW RARELY RELIED ON “THE REVEAL” FORMAT OR CONVENTIONALLY REVEALED TWISTS WHERE THINGS SUDDENLY DAWN ON AUDIENCE (I.E., THE WAY MANY  PROCEDURALS CONCLUDE AT END OF EVERY EPISODE). AND THE FEW TIMES THERE WAS BIG “REVEAL” IN LOST IT OFTEN ANSWERED THE QUESTION WITH EVEN DEEPER MYSTERY, BEST EXEMPLIFIED BY THE NOW-FAMOUS “KATE, WE HAVE TO GO BACK MOMENT!”

HULK JUST WANTED USE THIS AGAIN... AND TO BE FAIR, THEY HAD TO GO BACK

BUT AT SAME TIME HULK NO UNDERSTAND HOW PEOPLE CAN REALLY THINK THAT, BECAUSE LOST ACTUALLY ANSWERED THE VAST MAJORITY OF OF PLOT, CHARACTER, THEMATIC, AND THEOLOGICAL CONFLICTS THAT WERE INTRODUCED. SERIOUSLY. FOR EVERY HANGING QUESTION THERE, LIKE, 3 OTHERS THAT WERE TOTALLY ANSWERED. HULK KNOW THIS SIMPLIFYING, BUT HULK JUST WANT POINT OUT, “HEY, IT SIMPLE MATH!” YES, THE SHOW COULD BE CRUELLY CHAOTIC IN HOW WENT ABOUT IT SOMETIMES, BUT IT STILL THERE PLAIN AS DAY. AND HONESTLY WHEN THE SHOW LACKED CONVENTIONAL, CONCRETE ANSWERS IT OFTEN SUBLIMATED THEM WITH EMOTIONALLY CATHARTIC BEATS, ONES THAT RESONATED DEEPLY WITHIN THE STORY.

AND CONSIDER THE ALTERNATIVE: ALL THE TIMES THE SHOW RESORTED TO ACTUALLY VERBALIZING ANSWERS VIA MONOLOGUE (OR SOMETHING EQUALLY LAME) IT RESULTED IN THE LEAST-INSPIRING OR LEAST-CATHARTIC MOMENTS IN THE SHOW (LIKE WHEN MICHAEL JUST SHOWS UP AND EXPLAINS THE WHISPERS VERBATIM). SO HULK ACTUALLY THINK DARLTON WISE TO TRY AND SHY AWAY FROM THEM. WHAT’S MORE, THE SHOW ULTIMATELY MADE IT ABUNDANTLY CLEAR FROM BEGINNING THAT IT JUST NOT INTERESTED IN VOCALIZING THE EXACT STATE OF PLOT NARRATIVE. EVER. SO REALLY, IF SOMEONE COMPLAINING ABOUT LACK OF ANSWERS IT SEEM TO HULK THAT THAT SOMEONE NOT REALLY UNDERSTAND THE SHOW THEY BEEN WATCHING FOR 6 YEARS.

SO IF ALL THAT WHAT MAKE THE SHOW SPECIAL… NOW IT TIME FOR WHAT MAKE LOST TRANSCENDENT.

WHAT CONTINUOUSLY AMAZE HULK IS THAT AS LOST EXPANDED ITS SPRAWLING MYTHOLOGY AND THEME, IT ALWAYS HAD UNIQUE ABILITY TO, FOR LACK OF BETTER TERM, “PLEASE EVERYONE.” AND BY THAT HULK MEAN THAT IT PROVIDE “ANSWERS’ THAT REALLY MORE AN INTERESTING SET OF DIFFERENT ANSWERS, ALL OF WHICH JUST AS EQUALLY TRUE AS OTHER. IT ACTUALLY SPEAK TO RATHER MATHEMATICAL CONCEPT, LIKE MATRICES AND HOW ALL “THE ANSWERS CAN BE ALL WITHIN RANGE OF NUMERICAL SUBSET B”, ETC. MEANING THE ANSWER TO ANY PARTICULAR ISLAND MYSTERY OFTEN GAVE AT LEAST THREE ANSWERS, ONE CHARACTER/STORY BASED, ONE SCIENTIFIC/LOGIC BASED, AND ONE THEMATIC/RELIGIOUS/MYTH BASED (YOU MAY NOT REMEMBER THIS BEING CASE, BUT TRUST HULK. IT TRUE. THOUGH MOST OF IT IN THE PRODUCTION DESIGN). AND BEST YET, NONE OF THOSE ANSWERS WEAK ENOUGH TO OUTRIGHT DISMISS, NOR SO DOMINANT AS TO DISPLACE THE OTHERS.

THIS GENIUS-LEVEL MENTAL ACROBATICS. YOU KNOW, HULK GOING WAGER YOU PROBABLY HAVE NO IDEA HOW DIFFICULT IT IS TO CREATE THAT KIND OF THEMATIC STASIS AS WRITER. IN HULK’S MIND, IT THE SINGULAR REASON TO LOVE THE SERIES FOREVER. AND THE FUNNY THING = THIS MULTI-ANSWER APPROACH OFTEN MADE SOME FIGHTING ABOUT LOST MEANINGS TO BE, WELL, KIND OF SILLY. THEY OFTEN JUST AS RIGHT AS THE OTHER. BUT THESE ARDENT SUPPORTERS OF SINGULAR TAKES OFTEN MISSED THE THING THAT MAKE THE SHOW SO FUCKING BRILLIANT:

IT PLEASED THE MAN OF THE FAITH. IT PLEASED THE MAN OF SCIENCE. AND IT OFTEN DID SO AT ONCE.

WHAT ELSE COULD HULK WANT FROM TV SHOW?

SO PLEASE DARLTON, AS HULK GET INTO THIS FINALE THING… PLEASE NO THINK HULK NO UNDERSTAND.

PART 2 – SO IF THAT WHAT MADE LOST FANTASTIC THEN WHY DID THE FINALE DROP THE BALL?

FIRST OFF, HULK THOUGHT 95% OF THE FINALE DOWNRIGHT SPECTACULAR. THE ENTIRE ON-ISLAND PLOT WRAPPED UP BEAUTIFULLY: THE EPIC JACK VS. LOCKE/MIB BRAWL (FEW REMEMBER THE COCKTEASINGLY-GREAT COMMERCIAL BREAK THAT HAPPENED JUST BEFORE IT). HURLEY’S NEW PLACE AS LEADER. DESMOND’S ELECTROMAGNETISM PAYING OFF AND TOTALLY PLAYING INTO THE STORY . LINUS’S ATONEMENT. THE BIG MYTHOLOGICAL ARCHPOINTS, EVEN THE ISLAND KEYSTONE, BECAUSE HULK TOTALLY COOL WITH IT BEING THE “ON/OFF” SWITCH EVEN IF SOME FELT IT ON THE NOSE.(2) MILES GETTING HIS DIAMONDS. MILES’S LINE: “I DON’T BELIEVE IN A LOT OF THINGS, BUT I DO BELIEVE IN DUCT TAPE!” (HOW DID THAT NO BECOME A T-SHIRT?) RICARDO’S GRAY HAIR AND HIS “I THINK I WANT TO LIVE” LINE. IT WRAPPED UP HIS STORY PERFECT ECONOMY. THERE ALL THE CHARACTERS SACRIFICES. THE LAST MOMENTS. VINCENT. THE BAMBOO. JACK WATCHING PLANE OVERHEAD. THE CLOSING OF THE EYE. IT ALL AMAZING. IT FELT LIKE THE SHOW. AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, IT FELT LIKE THE SHOW’S TRUE END.

WHICH MEANS HULK’S PROBLEMS ALL ABOUT THE LAST 15 MINUTES IN THE FREAKING CHURCH.

HULK KNOW. HULK KNOW. LOTS OF FOLKS COMPLAINING ABOUT THE LAST SCENE AND FOR GOOD REASON, BUT HULK LISTENED/READ EVERY RESPONSE POSSIBLE. SOME TRULY GREAT, SOME INSPIRED, MOST KINDA BLAND AND UNSUPPORTED. BUT HULK ALWAYS FELT LIKE THERE SOMETHING MORE THAN THAT. SOMETHING ABOUT THAT SCENE THAT NOT JUST PROBLEMATIC, BUT SOMETHING THAT VIOLATES THE SHOW’S CORE IDENTITY.

AND HULK BELIEVE THE SOMETHING = THIS: IF LOST‘S TRANSCENDENT QUALITY HOW IT PLEASED THE MAN OF SCIENCE AND THE MAN OF FAITH, OFTEN WITH A SINGLE GESTURE, THEN WHY IN THE SERIES-DEFINING-MOMENT OF THE FINALE DID THEY DECIDE TO JUST PLAIN STOP DOING THAT?

AND NOT JUST STOP DOING THAT, BUT SEEMINGLY THUMB THEIR NOSE AT THAT CONCEPT?

"YOU TAKE THAT BACK!"

HULK NOT WANT RE-CAP TOO MUCH BUT IT IMPORTANT GO BACK TO THE BEGINNING OF FINAL SEASON AND OVERVIEW THE RELEVANT INFORMATION: UNTIL THAT POINT, MEANING PRE-SEASON 6 OPENER”LA… X”, THE SHOW CREATE A NARRATIVE THAT WORKED ON THE THREE LEVELS HULK MENTIONING ABOVE: CHARACTER/SCIENTIFIC(3)/MYTHOLOGICAL. THE PRIOR FIFTH SEASON ENDED ON PREDICATION THAT BY BLOWING UP THE H-BOMB, IT SINK THE ISLAND WOULD RESET TIME-LINE SO THAT THEY NEVER CRASHED THE ISLAND AND COULD GO ABOUT THEIR NORMAL LIVES. AND IN “LA…X” IT APPEARED TO BOTH WORK AND NOT WORK. IT ACTUALLY CREATED TWO TIME LINES: ONE REALITY WHERE THEY PRESSING FORWARD WITH ON-ISLAND ACTION AND CURRENT TIMELINE, AND ANOTHER REALITY WHERE THE BOMB SANK THE ISLAND AND THEY FIND PLANE LANDED SAFE IN L.A

AND ALL SEASON, THE AUDIENCE LEFT TO WONDER WHAT EXACTLY HAPPENING IN THIS NEW TIME-LINE REALITY WHERE THEY NEVER EXPERIENCED THE ISLAND. AT FIRST, THE SHOW WENT ON AND ON FOR HALF OF SEASON ESTABLISHING A SCIENTIFIC CONCEPT FOR TWO CONCURRENT TIME-LINES CONTINUING IN EARNEST. IT REALLY JUST SOME BASIC IDEAS IN STEPHEN HAWKING’S “A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME” REGARDING PARALLEL WORLDS CONTINUING FROM A SINGLE POINT OF INFLUENCE. THEY DIVERGE AT THAT POINT AND THE SCIENTIFIC THEORY BEHIND IT = A) RATHER SOUND AND B) A DEEPLY INTERESTING ANALYSIS OF TIME AND SPACE. THE SHOW REALLY HAMMERED THE CONCEPT HOME WHEN DANIEL FARRADAY SHOWED UP AND BASICALLY CONFIRMED ALL THIS VERBATIM… AND THEN THE SHOW SEEMED TAKE CURIOUS LEFT TURN WITH DESMOND, EVER THE CLAIRVOYANT, STARTED RUNNING AROUND TRYING TO ALMOST-KILL A TON OF PEOPLE. BESIDES BEING DOWNRIGHT ERRANT AND BIZARRE, ONE GUESSED THAT HE TRYING GET THEM TO “WAKE UP” AND BRING AWARENESS OF THEIR FORMER LIFE. HE WAS DESPERATE AND CRAZED, LIKE HE RUNNING AGAINST THE CLOCK. IT SEEMED THE GOAL NOT EXACTLY TO BRIDGE THE TWO WORLDS, BUT HULK GOT THE SENSE DESMOND NEEDED TO INFORM THE OTHERS FOR THE PURPOSE OF “SAVING” THE ISLAND MISSION AND THIS WOULD LATER HAVE ADDED BENEFIT OF GOING FORWARD IN THEIR NEW LIVES, KNOWING THEIR “OTHER” HISTORY IN THE ALTERNATIVE TIME-LINE. THE SHOW REALLY, REALLY TRIED TO MAKE THIS INTENTION CLEAR.

AND THEN IT JUST TURNED OUT THEY WERE DEAD.

OR SOMETHING.

TO BE HONEST THE MEANING OF THIS LACKS ABJECT CLARITY ON ANY LEVEL. YES THERE SOME INTENTIONAL VAGUERY INVOLVED IN THE REVEAL, BUT THE WAYS IN WHICH IT IS CLEAR LACK = COMPLETELY UNSATISFACTORY, ESPECIALLY FOR LOST STANDARDS. AND SO, THE FOLLOWING 10 PROBLEMS CONSTITUTE THE WAYS THE LAST 15 MINUTES OF FINALE ULTIMATELY FAILED THE SERIES.

"MAN. ALL THOSE TIMES WE FOUGHT AND ALMOST DIED, AND THEN ACTUALLY DIED. GOOD TIMES!"

PROBLEM #1 – IT OUTRIGHT SENTIMENTAL.

NOW, HULK NO GO SO FAR AS SAY THE ENDING CHEESY, IT JUST OVERTLY SENTIMENTAL. AS SUCH, ONE’S REACTION SORT OF DEPEND ON ONE’S THRESHOLD FOR SENTIMENTALITY. A LOT OF LOST VIEWERS OKAY WITH THE SENTIMENTAL ASPECT. THEY SAYING GOODBYE TO CHARACTERS THEY LOVE AND IT TRUE JOY TO SEE THEM BE HAPPY, YOU KNOW, SINCE ALL THE CHARACTERS GET THEIR BEAUTIFUL HAPPY-FUN-TIME MOMENT IN THE THE “PLACE THEY MADE FOR EACH OTHER” [EYE ROLL] BUT STILL, HULK’S PROBLEM NOT THAT IT SENTIMENTAL IN AND OF ITSELF, IT THAT IT THE SHOW WAS NEVER SENTIMENTAL.

HULK BET YOU MAY ARGUE THE SHOW WAS SENTIMENTAL BEFORE. THAT OKAY, BUT HULK ARGUE IT NEVER WAS. IT WAS EMOTIONAL AND THAT A HUGE DIFFERENCE. COMPARE THE FINALE TO, SAY, THE INCREDIBLE MOMENT WHERE DESMOND ABLE TO CALL PENNY ON THE PHONE FOR THAT BRIEF MOMENT ON THE FREIGHTER. AFTER AN ENTIRE NARRATIVE OF DESMOND TRYING TO REACH PENNY, IT FINALLY HAPPENS AND THE TWO OF THEM JUST SOBBING UNCONTROLLABLY… HULK ADMIT. HULK TEARED UP. BUT THE MOMENT = HANDLED WITH GRACE AND BUILDUP. AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, WHILE IT HAPPENING, WE KNEW EXACTLY WHAT IT MEANT FOR THESE TWO PEOPLE AS IT WAS HAPPENING. NOW IMAGINE IF THIS EMOTIONAL MOMENT GOT THE SAME MISE EN SCENE TREATMENT AS THE FINALE. (4)

THERE VAST, INHERENT DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TWO CHARACTERS COMING TOGETHER IN JOYFUL WAY, AND EVERYONE GETTING TOGETHER FOR BIG GROUP HUG ON THEIR WAY TO HEAVEN. HULK ALSO WILLING TO BET SOME READERS JUST THINK HULK BIG MEAN FUDDY-DUDDY WHO TRYING BE WAY TOO HIP TO BE SENTIMENTAL AND STUFF. THEY MIGHT THINK HULK LIKE THOSE PEOPLE WHO FIND SAP IN ANY FORM TO JUST BE SO OBVIOUSLY STUPID (POSSIBLY LIKE THE CHURCH OF SOUTH PARK). WELL YOU WRONG. HULK LOVE EMOTIONAL STORIES. HULK LOVE OPTIMISTISM AND HOPE. HULK LOVING DR. WHO FOR PETE’S SAKE! BUT LOST NEVER DARED BE SENTIMENTAL BEFORE. IT NEVER TRIED OR WANTED BE THAT KIND OF SHOW. IT WANTED TO BE DEEP. IT WANTED TO RESONATE. IT WANTED TO BE COMLEX AND EVASIVE.

SO WHY BE SENTIMENTAL NOW?  SOME MAY ARGUE THE SHOW EARNED THE RIGHT TO BE SENTIMENTAL AFTER THIS LONG RUN. THAT FAIR, BUT HULK DISAGREE. A SHOW SHOULD NO CHANGE ITS IDENTITY JUST BECAUSE IT OVER. BUT EVEN IF THE SENTIMENTALITY THREW SOME PEOPLE FOR LOOP, THAT ONLY SMALL SMALL PART OF THE BIGGER PROBLEMS OF THE LAST 15 MINUTES…

"I WILL MAKE TWO DIFFERENT NARRATIVES! OR WAIT, NOT AT ALL!"

PROBLEM #2 – THE NARRATIVE FEINT

CONSIDER THE LAST SEASON AS A SINGULAR SEASON OF TELEVISION. WHAT BECOME OBVIOUSLY CLEAR, THAT THE WHOLE HAWKING-ESQUE SCIENTIFIC EXPLANATION OF TWO ALTERNATIVE TIME-LINES DIVERGING FROM A POINT = NOTHING BUT A NARRATIVE FEINT BEFORE GETTING TO THE TRUE REVEAL OF THEM ALL BEING DEAD. JUST TO CLARIFY, THE WRITERS OBVIOUSLY NOT SO WILLY-NILLY THAT THEY JUST DECIDE CHANGE COURSE HALFWAY THROUGH SEASON (FINE, NEED A CONCRETE REASON? CHARLIE’S PLOT IN THE SEASON OPENER WITH HIS NEAR-DEATH. IT MAKE IT ABUNDANTLY CLEAR THEY KNEW WHERE THEY GOING WITH THIS PURGATORY THING). SO THE HAWKING SCIENCE STUFF MEANT AS NOTHING MORE THAN A FEINT IN THE STORY. CAUSE IT SURE AS SHIT NOT CONGRUOUS WITH WHAT FOLLOWED. SO IN TERMS OF NARRATIVE CONSTRUCTION… WHY? WHY MAKE THE SUDDEN AND BRASH ATTEMPTS TO EXPLAIN THE SCIENCE OF TWO TIME-LINES? ULTIMATELY, IT CAN ONLY MAKE IT FEEL HOLLOW. BECAUSE WHY WOULD A META-PURGATORY SETTING TAKE SO MUCH TIME TO TIE INTO THE H-BOMB PLAN? IT WOULD NOT. IT JUST FEELS LIKE THE WRITERS SETTING UP THE BIG CURVE AND LESS SOMETHING PURSUED FOR ITS OWN REASONS/WORTH. IT NOTHING MORE THAN AN EMPTY, HALF-SEASON-LONG RED HERRING. AND IN TERMS OF NARRATIVE, THAT FEEL DISHONEST IN WAY THE SHOW HAS NEVER FELT BEFORE. SURE, THE SHOW HAS WITHHELD THINGS BEFORE, OR DROPPED STORY LINES, OR CHANGED DIRECTION OF MEANING, BUT THOSE WERE OFTEN DONE IN THE NAME OF BUILDING TO GREATER STORY CONTENT. THE SHOW HAS NEVER DIPPED INTO OUTRIGHT FEINTING. LOST ALWAYS PLAYED A MORE DELICATE GAME THAN THAT… OR AT LEAST THEY DID UNTIL THAT MOMENT.

GEE, HULK WONDER WHAT WILL HAPPEN...

PROBLEM #3 – THE DRAMA SUCK

AS FOR THE ALTERNATIVE-SUNK-ISLAND-TIMELINE (HULK HAVE NO IDEA WHAT CALL IT SO IT GOING BE DIFFERENT EVERY TIME) HULK JUST WANT SAY THIS: IT WAS A DRAMA SUCK. CONFUSION AND MYSTERY ARE GREAT FOR GETTING VIEWERS INVESTED, BUT WHEN THESE THINGS IMPOSED OVER THE SAME MOMENTS THAT AUDIENCE SUPPOSED TO BE EXPERIENCING ON PURER, VISCERAL LEVEL, WHETHER IT SOMETHING FUNNY, JOYFUL, CATHARTIC, ANYTHING, THEN THE IMPOSED LAYER OF MYSTERY ROBS THE MOMENT OF IMPACT. THIS A BASIC STORYTELLING TRUTH.

SO EVERY TIME A CHARACTER “WOKE UP” IN PURGATORY, AT TIME WE NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENING. DESMOND GOING AROUND NEAR KILLING PEOPLE FOR BUNCH OF EPISODES JUST SEEMED CRAZY, BUT IT SURE AS SHIT NOT EMOTIONAL. WE NO UNDERSTAND IT. YOU MAY SAY, BUT LOST ALWAYS CRAZY! TRUE, BUT THEY SHOWCASED AMAZING ABILITY TO TOW THE LINE BETWEEN MYSTERY AND CHARACTER RESONANCE ALL THROUGHOUT THE RUN OF THE SHOW. IN SOME MOMENTS THEY WERE PERFECTLY INTERTWINED. FOR EXAMPLE, TWO CHARACTERS WOULD TALK IN RIDDLES ABOUT THE ISLAND’S MYSTERIES, BUT REALLY IT ABOUT WHAT THEIR CHARACTERS THINK OF THE ISLAND MYSTERY. IT ABOUT THEIR PERSPECTIVES. MEANWHILE, THE MYSTERY IN THE ALTERNA-TIMELINE JUST FELT BIZARRE. THE CHARACTER “WAKING UP” ONCE THEY GONE THROUGH THE RINGER OF THEIR PALE IMITATIONS OF A FORMER LIFE. AND THEN THEY JUST WENT ALL DOE-EYED AND POD PEOPLE. ON PURE DRAMA LEVEL IT NO WORK. IT UNDERMINES HOW WE EXPERIENCE THE THINGS AS AUDIENCE. WE JUST SAT AROUND WAITING IN THE FINALE FOR THEM TO RECREATE MOMENTS WE ALREADY EXPEREIENCED. ULTIMATELY, IT BORING.(5)

"LOOK I KNOW I SAID WE'D MEET UP IN HEAVEN BUT I DIDN'T THINK THAT WOULD LITERALLY FUCKING HAPPEN. SO... UM. WHERE'S NADIA?"

PROBLEM #4- SAYID/SHANNON

ADMITTEDLY SMALL, BUT SERIOUSLY… THIS JUST NO FEEL LIKE RIGHT CONCLUSION TO EITHER OF THEIR STORY-LINES… WHATSOEVER. PERHAPS PART OF THE PROBLEM THAT THE SHOW NEVER SATISFACTORILY EXPLAINED WHAT THE NADIA PLOT FULLY MEANT. HULK THINK THAT THE WRITERS ULTIMATELY WANTED CONVEY THAT SAYID AND NADIA NEVER MEANT TO BE TOGETHER. THEY TRIED, BUT IT DIDN’T WORK. JUST ONE OF THOSE STAR-CROSSED THINGS. BUT FOR SOME REASON THAT THEME NEVER STRUCK A CHORD. NOT TRULY. IF DONE BETTER, THEN PERHAPS IT SHOW SHANNON COULD HAVE BEEN THE REAL GIRL WHO SAYID HAD CONNECTION WITH… THEN AGAIN, THIS NO WORK BECAUSE: A) SHANNON JUST SORT OF SHOWS UP AT LAST SECOND IN PURGATORY WORLD AND THEY SUDDENLY THEY LOVE AND HAPPY TO GET BACK TO THE FUCKIN’. AND MORE IMPORTANTLY B) BECAUSE THAT WAS NEVER THEIR RELATIONSHIP IN FIRST PLACE. IT WAS NEVER DEEP. THEY FLIRTED. THEY ATTRACTED TO EACH OTHER. THEY HAD A QUICKIE AND THEN SHANNON KILLED. SO WHY THEY SUPPOSED BE SOUL MATES NOW OR SOME SHIT? IF SHANNON SO IMPORTANT WHY DID SAYID NEVER MENTION HER AGAIN? SERIOUSLY, HULK PRETTY SURE HE NEVER MENTIONED HER AGAIN IN THE COURSE OF THE SHOW. THEY WERE JUST TWO PEOPLE WHO ATTRACTED TO EACH OTHER BRIEF MOMENT. SO THE PICTURE OF BOTH OF THEM IN THE FINALE, HEADING OFF INTO SUNSET, JUST COMPLETELY WRONG.

WHOSE A LITTLE BABY? HOW OLD ARE YOU? ARE YOU EVEN HERE?

PROBLEM # 5 – BASIC LOGISTICS

SOME OF THE LOGISTICS OF THIS ALTERNA-PURGATORY ARE DOWNRIGHT NUTTERS. THERE TONS HULK COULD MENTION, LIKE HOW THERE LOTS OF NON-ISLAND PEOPLE INCLUDED IN THIS PLACE TOO, LIKE WHY WAS DESMOND SO EAGER TO RUN AROUND AND ALMOST-KILL PEOPLE WHEN REALLY THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO BE WORKING OUT THERE SHIT? LIKE IF JACK WAS IN PURGATORY TO DEAL WITH HIS DADDY ISSUES THEN WHY WAS HIS DAD NOT THERE UNTIL HE SHOW UP AT THE LAST SECOND TO TELL HIM HE DAD AND EVERYTHING BEING ALL BETTER FOR SOME REASON? LIKE WHERE THE FUCK ARE MICHAEL AND WALT? (ONLY TWO ORIGINAL LOSTIES NOT INCLUDED).LIKE WHERE THE HELL ARE MILES AND LAPIDUS? THEY GOT WAY MORE ISLAND TIME THAN LIBBY AND SHANNON. HULK GUESS THEY AREN’T TWO OF THE MAIN LOSTIE’S FUCK BUDDIES SO WHO CARES, RIGHT? (HULK JOKING. BUT REALLY IF YOU SOMEHOW INFER EITHER ONE IS A SOUL MATE IT IS A GRAVE OFFENSE TO THE CONCEPT. SHANNON TAPPED SAYID. AND LIBBY WAS, LIKE, THE FIRST GIRL WHO TALKED TO HURLEY. THAT NOT A SOUL MATE MAKE. (6)

BUT THE BIGGEST ROADBLOCK IN HAVING THE PURGATORY DEFINITION MAKE A LICK OF SENSE? AARON. WHY WAS HE A BABY IN THIS PURGATORY WORLD? IF THEY ONLY GO THERE WHEN EVERYONE DIE, WHY HE A BABY? HE GOT OLD RIGHT? MAYBE IT CAUSE HE WAS BABY ON ISLAND SO IT REFLECTIVE OF THAT? BUT THAT MEAN HE GOT BORN INTO PURGATORY WITH ABSOLUTELY NO UNDERSTAND. AND IF HE GET TO LIVE HIS LIFE WITH CLAIRE AND KATE IN THE REAL WORLD AFTERWARDS WHY WOULD THEIR ONLY IMPORTANT RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM BE THE BABY ONE? … HULK MEAN… HULK BRAIN HURT… OR HECK, MAYBE AARON NOT REALLY THERE AT ALL AND IT JUST A PROP BABY. YOU KNOW, SO THAT KATE CAN HAVE HER SPIRITUAL AWAKENING MOMENT WHEN SHE SEE AARON’S HEAD CROWNING OUT CLAIRE’S VAGINA.

[KATE VIEWS BABY HEAD RIPPING AUSSIE VAGINA] KATE: “HOLY SHIT, I’M DEAD! THAT’S CRAZY! WELL, TIME TO SMILE LIKE THIS IS TOTALLY AWESOME OR SOMETHING.”(7) … THINK ABOUT IT. THAT WHAT THE WRITERS ACTUALLY DID. THEY MEANT IMPLY THAT KATE’S MOTHERHOOD ROLE = HER TRANSCENDING MOMENT, HULK KNOW, BUT THAT NOT EXACTLY HOW IT PLAYED OUT IN TERMS OF DRAMA. THERE THIS INCREDIBLE META FUNNINESS TO IT AND IT  KEPT HULK LAUGHING TO HULKSELF FOR, LIKE, WEEKS.

BUT THE AARON CONUNDRUM SPEAK TO THE PROBLEMS MOST. FOR EXAMPLE, WHAT IF HULK REALLY IMPORTANT IN SOMEONE’S LIFE BUT HULK NOT REALLY CARE ABOUT THAT PERSON? DOES HULK HAVE TO SIT AROUND AND HELP SOMEONE DEAL WITH THEIR SHIT? IS IT REFLEXIVE LIKE THAT? OR IS HULK JUST A PROJECTION? AGAIN, IS AARON REAL?

*GASP* WAIT…DOES AARON JUST GET BROUGHT TO HEAVEN TO “MOVE ON” AS A BABY? DID HE NOT GET A CHANCE TO SORT OUT HIS OWN PURGATORY BASED ON THE PRESUMED LIFE HE HAD GOING FORWARD? DID HE HAVE SUCH A MEANINGLESS LIFE THAT ALL HE NEEDED TO DO TO “MOVE ON” WAS JUST BE BORN? DID HE GET NO SAY IN ANY OF THIS?!??!

…THE LOGIC SORT OF TERRIFYING.

SO NOW THEN…. THE THING ABOUT PROBLEMS 1 -5 THAT HULK NOT REALLY GIVE SHIT ABOUT THEM. IT MAY NO SEEM THAT WAY, BUT HULK ALWAYS WILLING OVERLOOK ANY PLOTHOLE, WRITING CONVENIENCE, TONE CHANGE, OR WHATEVER, AS LONG AS IT IN THE PURSUIT OF SOMETHING MORE EFFECTIVE: OFTEN A RELEVANT THEME, RELEVANT META VALUE, OR HELL, EVEN A REALLY GOOD JOKE. BUT IT HAVE BE IN THE NAME OF SOMETHING WORTHY… TURNS OUT PROBLEMS 1-5 ACT MORE INDICATORS OF BIGGER ISSUES. THE REAL PROBLEM WITH THE LAST 15 MINUTES NOT THAT DECISIONS NO LOGISTICALLY COMPUTE. IT THAT THEY NO THEMATICALLY COMPUTE…

PROBLEM #6 – WAIT, WHY THEY ALL TOGETHER AGAIN?

SO THEIR PURGATORY-HEAVEN-THINGY = THE PLACE BUILT FOR EACH OTHER. FINE. BUT WHY EXACTLY DID THEY DO THAT? EVEN THOUGH THERE A FEW GREAT CORE RELATIONSHIPS, HULK FELT MOST OF THESE PEOPLE BARELY KNEW ONE ANOTHER. IT 6 YEARS OF TV SHOW, BUT IN SHOW TIME TERMS SOME SPENT AS LITTLE AS 40 DAYS TOGETHER, IF THAT (SORRY BOONE). AND WITH THE ACT INTERACTIONS SOME ONLY SPOKE A FEW TIMES AT MOST. THIS BECAUSE THE THEMATIC RESONANCE OF LOST‘S FIRST SEASON (THE BEST SEASON BY THE WAY) DEALT ALL THESE PEOPLE WHO DIDN’T KNOW/TRUST EACH OTHER TRYING TO SURVIVE TOGETHER, WHICH IS WHY THE STORY NARRATIVE LARGELY CENTERED AROUND THEIR OWN BACK STORIES AND PERSONAL DEMONS. WHILE A FEW LOSTIES DID END UP BECOMING CLOSE, MOST SPENT THE ENTIRE SHOW REMAINING AT A DISTANCE, BASICALLY FOCUSING ON THEIR OWN INTERNAL SHIT.

SO WHY THE HELL WAS THE END THE SHOW WAS ULTIMATELY SAYING THAT THE CAMARADERIE AND FRIENDSHIP = THE MOST IMPORTANT THING THEY EVER HAD? HULK KNOW THAT IT A VALUABLE MESSAGE WORTHY OF ANY SHOW, HELL, IT EVEN A GREAT FINAL MESSAGE FOR LOST… EXCEPT THE SHOW RARELY TRIED TO IMPLY THEIR DEFINITION OF DEPENDENCE WAS SYNONYMOUS WITH “FRIENDSHIP.” THE JOURNEYS WERE LARGELY SOLITARY. SO WHEN THE SHOW HAS THIS ENDING WHERE THEY JUST ALL SO HAPPY TO BE TOGETHER LIKE THEY ALL WERE IN THE SAME FRAT OR SOMETHING, IT NO COMPUTE. THE SHOW, FORALL IT’S “LIVE TOGETHER, DIE ALONE” MANTRA, RARELY TRIED TO PURSE THE TRUTH ABOUT THE TOGETHER, AND REMAINED FIXATED ON THE ALONE.

BUT MORE THAN THAT, THE THINKING IMPLIES A FIXED “ISLAND-ONLY” LIFE FOR THESE PEOPLE. YES, HULK KNOW THEY ALL GOT CALLED TO ISLAND FOR THE IMPORTANT DEED OF POSSIBLY TAKING OVER FOR JACOB (THE RELATIVE WORTH OF THAT KINDA SHADY TOO) BUT MOST LOSTIES HAD ALL THESE OTHER RELEVANT THINGS IN THEIR LIVES. KATE PRESUMABLY WENT BACK AND RAISED AARON AND DO WHO KNOWS WHAT ELSE. CLAIRE TOO. DID HER AND AARON GROW UP TO HAVE NO RELATIONSHIP? DID SAWYER HAVE ANOTHER LIFE? DID THEY FIND SIGNIFICANT OTHERS TO SHARE THEIR JOY WITH? ALL OF THEM, WHAT DID THEY DO AFTER? BECAUSE APPARENTLY THEIR JOURNEY INTO THE AFTERLIFE INVOLVES ALL THE PEOPLE FROM THE PSYCHO-ISLAND AND NOT THE PRESUMED LOVED ONES THEY SPENT THE REST OF THEIR LIVES WITH. IT CONJECTURE, BUT BASED ON THE DEFINITION OF THE PURGATORY IT HIGHLY RELEVANT CONJECTURE.

IT GET AT HEART OF WHY THE WHOLE LAST 15 MINUTES JUST FEEL WRONG. HULK KNOW RELATIONSHIPS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN LIFE, BUT REALLY, WHY IT THESE RELATIONSHIPS??!?!? THE SHOW NEVER TRULY SUPPORTED THE IDEA BEHIND THIS KIND OF HAPPY GATHERING FOR THEM. FOR FUCK SAKE CLAIRE, MOST OF THESE PEOPLE LEFT YOU THERE OR TRIED TO KILL YOU. AND AGAIN, HULK’S POINTS ABOVE WITH THE SAYID/SHANNON THING SORT OF HIGHLIGHT THE ABSURDITY OF ALL OF IT.

SO WHY DO IT? UNFORTUNATELY, THE ONLY ANSWER TIE BACK TO SENTIMENTALITY. BECAUSE ON A THEMATIC LEVEL… IT JUST NOT MAKE SENSE FOR LOST… EMOTIONALLY, IT JUST FELT LIKE THE CONSOLATION PRIZE.

PROBLEM #7 – PURGATORY DUPLICITY – WE ALREADY BEEN THERE!

SO, WITH THE ALTERNATIVE TIME-LINE, THEY WERE BASICALLY IN LITERAL PURGATORY…. HERE THE THING: THEY ALREADY WERE IN PURGATORY. FROM ONSET OF SHOW THE AUDIENCE GUESSED THE ISLAND = PURGATORY. THE SHOW RUNNERS CAME OUT SURPRISINGLY EARLY ON AND SAID THIS NOT CASE. BUT THE REASONS EVERYONE GUESSED THAT BECAUSE THE SHOW SO CLEARLY AND OBVIOUSLY USED THE ISLAND AS SYMBOLIC PURGATORY. ALL THE CHARACTERS ARRIVED IN PLANE CRASH, THEY LITERALLY “LOST,” THEY EACH BROUGHT WITH THEM A GREAT DEAL OF EMOTIONAL BAGGAGE, SO THEY SORTED OUT THEIR SHIT ON MYSTICAL ISLAND AND PROMPTLY DROPPED DEAD THE MOMENT THEY FIGURED IT OUT. MEANING THEY “MOVED ON” SO TO SPEAK…

SO… WHAT… THE ALTERNA-TIMELINE LIKE… SECOND PURGATORY? HULK AWARE THERE SEVERAL HINDU/OTHER RELIGIOUS TENETS INVOLVED IN THIS IDEA AND REPEATING LIFE UNTIL BE COME MORE AND MORE PURE (MMORSE DOES GREAT JOB EXPLAINING THIS IN COLUMN HULK LINKING TOO LATER SO HULK NOT GOING BOTHER EXPLAINING IT WORSE) FOR HULK, THIS UTILIZATION NOT EXACTLY WORK, BUT FOR SAKE OF ARGUMENT, LET’S ALL SAY EVERYONE ON BOARD WITH THE CONCEPT AND FIND IT INTERESTING: THE LOSTIES REPEATING THIER LIVES, GETTING IT MORE PERFECT, SO THEY CAN ASCEND TO THE FINAL HEAVEN… FINE… BUT IT STILL THE DRAMATIZATION OF THE EXACT SAME THING EXPERIENCED ONCE BEFORE. WITH THE RARE EXCEPTION, THE ALTERNA-TIMELINE NOT THEM GETTING SECOND CHANCES TO DO THINGS THEY NEVER DID. THEY ALREADY DID THEM. ALL THE LESSONS THE MAIN CHARACTERS LEARNED WERE THINGS THEY ALREADY LEARNED ON ISLAND. WHY WASTE A WHOLE SEASON ON IT? IT COMPLETELY WITHOUT DRAMA. BUT EVEN WORSE, IT COMPLETELY WITHOUT POINT.

SERIOUSLY, ASIDE FROM SOME SHEDDING LIGHT ON HINDU CONCEPTS OF MULTIPLE LIFES, WHAT WAS NEW THEMATIC THING EXPRESSED IN THE PURGATORY PLOTLINE? HULK TRULY BELIEVE THAT IF THE SHOW DITCHED THE ENTIRE PURGATORY PLOTLINE AND THE ENDING CHURCH THEME, THE SHOW WOULD NOT HAVE LOST A SINGLE CRITICAL THEME WITH THE CHARACTERS.

THINK ABOUT IT, ON THE ISLAND: JACK LEARNED TO EMBRACE HIS DEATH. KATE EMBRACED MOTHERHOOD. SAWYER EMBRACED TAKING CARE OF OTHERS AND FRIENDS. HURLEY EMBRACED LEADERSHIP AND RESPONSIBILITY. BEN LINUS ACCEPTED HIS GUILT AND MISDEEDS. JIN AND SUN ACCEPTED EACH OTHER (REMEMBER: IN THE FIRST SEASON THAT WAS THEIR CENTRAL PROBLEM. THEIR PLOTLINE ESSENTIALLY RESOLVED AFTER 3 SEASONS SO THE SHOW SPENT THE NEXT 3 SEASONS JUST KEEPING THEM APART). MICHAEL ACCEPTED RESPONSIBILITY FOR HIS ACTIONS AND RETURNED TO THE ISLAND, SACRIFICING HIMSELF ON THE FREIGHTER. CLAIRE ACCEPTED THAT SHE HAVE PRETTY SERIOUS CASE OF POST-PARTUM DEPRESSION. SHANNON ACCEPTED NOT BEING SUCH A PRISS AND SLEPT WITH A MINORITY (OH COME ON). MILES ACCEPTED THAT HE IS AWESOME… AND LOCKE… WELL MAYBE LOCKE THE ONLY ONE WHO DIFFERENT BECAUSE HIS LAST MOMENTS INVOLVED HIS ACCEPTANCE THAT HE A CONFUSED, GULLIBLE FOOL… HOW SAD(18). BOONE ACCEPTED THAT HE WAS LOCKE’S LACKEY/TOOL (SERIOUSLY, THIS JUST RECONFIRMED IN THE PURGATORY PLOT LINE). JULIET ACCEPTED THAT SAWYER WILL ALWAYS HAVE A BONER FOR KATE SO THE ONLY WAY TO GET HIM TO COMMIT IS TO DIE (OKAY THAT NOT WHAT THAT SAYING, BUT COME ON, SHE CAN ONLY LOCK THAT DOWN IF KATE’S NOT AROUND). CHARLIE ACCEPTED THAT HE’S SEMI-WORTHLESS AND ONLY GOOD FOR A GIRL WHO HAS GOT MAJOR DADDY/BABY-DADDY ISSUES… OKAY SO EVEN THOUGH HULK JOKING WITH A BUNCH OF THESE AT THE END, THE POINT THAT ALL THEIR ISSUES ALREADY SOLVED ON A THEMATIC LEVEL, SO THERE NOTHING REALLY TO BE ADDED IN THE “DO OVER.”

HULK JUST CAN NO GET OVER IT. THE FINALE JUST FELT LIKE WAITING FOR CHARACTERS TO JUMP THROUGH HOOPS AND BEATS THAT ALREADY HAPPENED. THERE NOTHING “NEW” TO IT. THEIR MOMENTS OF TRANSCENDENCE = EMOTIONAL BEATS WE ALREADY HAD SATISFACTION OF REALIZING.

ON A THEMTATIC LEVEL IT REPETITIVE. AND ON A DRAMATIC LEVEL IT DOWNRIGHT SUCKS.

IN SCREENWRITING, THERE A LOT OF TALK ABOUT CLARITY AND ECONOMY. A MOVIE OR TV SHOW MEANT TO OPERATE IN TERMS OF BOTH. HULK KNOW THAT LOST BOTH THRIVED IN AND OPERATED UNDER THE VEIL OF MYSTERY AND ALLURE. BUT CLARITY AND ECONOMY MATTER IN THE LONG RUN. AND THE FINALE’S ENDING REVEAL HIGHLIGHTED A COMPLETE DISINTEREST IN BOTH OF THEM.

"TRUST ME, I WAS A TERRIBLE DOCTOR, I DESTROYED YOUR CHILDHOOD, MY TAKEN FORM DIRECTED YOU TO CERTAIN DOOM, AND I HAUNTED YOUR DREAMS. BUT TURN THAT FROWN UPSIDE DOWN KIDDO, YOU'RE DEAD!"

PROBLEM # 8 – THE LECTURE

THERE FAMOUS ANECDOTE FROM THE FIRST FEW SEASONS OF LOST, IN WHICH THE WRITERS SAID IF THE SHOW EVER CANCELED, A TALKING MONKEY WOULD COME OUT AND EXPLAIN THE UNSOLVED CORE MYSTERIES OF THE SHOW VERBATIM. THE IDEA QUITE FUNNY, AND HULK ALWAYS APPRECIATED THE WRITERS’ CANDOR IN KNOWING THAT IT WOULD BE THE HILARIOUS/COMPLETELY UNSATISFACTORY WAY TO HANDLE THE STOPPAGE OF THE STORY AND WRAP UP THE MYSTERY.

UNFORTUNATELY, THE LAST 15 MINUTES CAME WAY TOO CLOSE TO THE MONKEY SPEECH.

IN THE ENDING MOMENTS, AS HULK SAT BEFORE HULK’S TV,  WATCHING THE LAST FEW MINUTES, HULK WAS DEEPLY WORRIED AND INTERESTED, ACHING FOR STORY AND THEMATIC CLARITY. THEN CHRISTIAN SHEPARD LOOKED ALMOST DIRECTLY INTO THE CAMERA AND LECTURED RIGHT AT HULK, TELLING HULK A GREAT DEAL OF WISHY-WASHY SENTIMENTS AND WAS ESSENTIALLY BEING EVASIVE. MORE SO, HE SAYING THAT SAYING HIS EVASIVENESS CRITICAL TO HULK’S CATHARSIS… NOW… HULK WOULD HOPE AT THIS POINT IT EVIDENT THAT HULK NOT SOME SNOT-NOSED, HIGH-SCHOOL-LEVEL, INDIGNANT TWERP WHO NO LIKE BEING TOLD WHAT TO THINK. THAT NOT HULK AND THAT NOT WHAT HAPPENING HERE… IT JUST THERE A LEVEL OF EGREGIOUS HALF-TRUTH COMING ACROSS FROM A CHARACTER WHO NOW SUPPOSED TO BE REPRESENTING ABSOLUTE PERFECT WISDOM.  AND THE HALF-TRUTH CONCERNS THE DISMISSAL OF CURIOSITY IN FAVOR OF EMBRACING UNKNOWABLE COMPLEXITY. JACK WANTS TO UNDERSTAND WHAT HAPPENING AROUND HIM AND CHRISTIAN TELLING HE CAN NEVER KNOW. NOR SHOULD HE TRY TO KNOW. HE MUST EMBRACE HIS LACK OF UNDERSTANDING AND ACCEPT IT. CASTING ASIDE THE RAMIFICATIONS OF THOSE WORDS (AND ODD POLITICAL DEDUCTIONS THAT COME WITH IT), THERE SOMETHING TO THE OUTRIGHT TELLING THAT DEEPLY UNSATISFACTORY. IT NOT JUST WITHHOLDING, BUT IT OUTRIGHT TELLING THE AUDIENCE “HEY! I’M BEING WITHHOLDING! DEAL WITH IT!” IT FAR MORE PATRONIZING THEN THE MERE DRAMATIZATION OF WITHOLDING, WHICH WHEN DONE WELL CAN BE TRANSCENDENT (I.E. NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, MADE ROUGHLY SOME OF THE SAME POINTS IN STARK, GORGEOUS, DRAMATIZED FASHION). HECK, THERE PLENTY OF TIMES LOST DRAMATIZED THIS VERY SAME IDEA TO INCREDIBLE EFFECT (WHAT’S DOWN IN THE HATCH? WHAT HAPPENED AFTER THE BOMB WENT OFF), ETC. THAT SPOKE TO THE VERY SAME IDEA…. ONLY IT NOT A LECTURE.

BELIEVE HULK, THE DRAMATIC LEVEL OF TO THE LAST 15 MINUTES = ABSOLUTELY PARAMOUNT. AT THAT MOMENT, THE AUDIENCE MIRED IN NOTHING BUT CONFUSION, TRYING FOLLOW ALONG AND UNDERSTAND. AND HULK IMAGINE THAT MUCH OF WHAT HAPPENING HAVE BE REALIZED, NOT TOLD. CATHARSIS SHOULD BE EXPERIENCED, ESPECIALLY AN INTENDED CATHARSIS THAT MEANT TO BE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE SHOW. IT THE OLD ADAGE OF “SHOW DON’T TELL”  SO WHY THE LAST MOMENTS OF THE SHOW A LECTURE DIRECTLY TO THE AUDIENCE? COMPARE IT TO THE MATRIX RELOADED, WHICH NO MATTER HOW INTERESTING A CONVERSATION, RELIED ON A LECTURE FOR A CLIMAX. EVEN COMPARE IT TO RESOLUTION OF LOST‘S ON-ISLAND PLOTLINE, WITH THE OBVIOUS METAPHOR OF THE CORK IN THE BOTTLE… IT A MOMENT GROUNDED WITH AS LITTLE INFORMATION AS POSSIBLE, BUT FULL OF EMOTION AND BEAUTIFUL IMAGERY SO WE GET IT… IT NOT A LECTURE.

SO WHAT IF THE CHURCH SCENE HAD MORE OF DRAMA AND RELIED ON IMAGERY? WOULD IT HAVE BEEN SO PAINFULLY OVERT WITHOUT THE LECTURE? IF IT JUST SHOWED THE CHARACTERS HUGGING AND GOING INTO THE LIGHT? WOULD NOT HULK HAVE UNDERSTOOD THE THE SHOW WAS BEING SYMBOLICALLY WITHHOLDING AND LET HULK MAKE UP HULK’S OWN GODDAMN MIND? WHAT IF IT WAS ALL UNSAID?

HULK THINK IT BETTER THAN SOME GUY NAME CHRISTIAN SHEPARD SPITTING HALF-TRUTHS.

PICTURED: A CHURCH

PROBLEM #9 – THINGS JUST GOT ECUMENICAL UP IN HERE!

THE ENDING SCENE IN THE CHURCH ULTIMATELY JUST ABOUT CHRISTIANITY, EVEN IF HULK NOT SURE THAT DARLTON’S INTENTION. YOU MAY SAY, “BUT HULK, ALL THOSE DIFFERENT RELIGIONS REPRESENTED IN THE WINDOW! IT ABOUT ALL THE FAITHS!” … RIGHT.

FIRST OFF, HULK WANT BE REAL CAREFUL HERE. IN DISCUSSING VARIOUS TAKES ON NOT JUST RELIGION BUT SPIRITUALITY, THERE A BIG CHANCE TO OFFEND. PLEASE KNOW THAT NOT HULK’S INTENTION. HULK KNOW IT DANGEROUS GROUND BECAUSE THESE CONCEPTS NOT JUST PERSONAL, BUT INTRINSIC TO ONE’S IDENTITY. SO JUST KNOW THAT HULK TALKING ABOUT THEM IN TERMS OF CLARITY OF EXPRESSED IDEA AND NOT, YOU KNOW, ACTUAL BELIEFS. IT THEOLOGICAL CONVERSATION IN THE REALM OF PHILOSOPHY AND SCIENCE, NOTHING MORE… SO CONCERNING THE WHOLE CHURCH SCENE:

FIRST OFF YOU CAN CALL IT “THE CHURCH SCENE” AND EVERYONE ON PLANET KNOW WHAT YOU FUCKING TALKING ABOUT. SHIT, JUST GOOGLE IT AND SEE WHAT COME UP. THIS PERHAPS IMPLIES THE FINAL SCENE NOT AS PANTHEISTIC AS INTENDED. IT MEANT TO BE SO MUCH MORE, BUT IT ULTIMATELY JUST THE CHURCH SCENE. AND IT REALLY NOT REPRESENT “ALL FAITHS” IN THE WAY IT THINK IT DOES.

IT CALLED BEING ECUMENICAL. SOME HISTORY: THE ECUMENICAL MOVEMENT AIMED TO COMBINE THE CHRISTIAN FAITHS INTO UNIFIED GROUP, TO BOTH END STRIFE/ACHIEVE PEACE/CREATE SINGULAR CHRISTIAN MESSAGE. IN RECENT YEARS, ECUMENICISM COME TO DEFINE THE DESIRE TO BE INCLUSIVE OF ALL THE WORLD’S FAITHS INTO A SINGULAR MESSAGE OF PEACE, SIMILARITY AND COHESIVENESS. IT OBVIOUSLY SIMILAR TO UNITARIANISM, BAHA’I, THE NEW MONASTICS, AND OTHER MOVEMENTS THAT SEEM WELL-MEANING AND OFTEN PUTTING LOTS GOOD OUT IN THE WORLD. BUT THE PROBLEM WITH THIS KIND OF “INCLUSIVE” THINKING SORT OF OBVIOUS: IT DONE THROUGH THE LENS OF CHRISTIANITY (OR INSERT WHATEVER CHIEF RELIGION THE MOVEMENT CENTERED AROUND). OFTEN TIMES WE AS INCLUSIVE-CULTURE LIKE TO BELIEVE RELIGION ALL SAYING THE SAME THING. HULK NOT DENYING THERE VAST AMOUNT OF OVERLAP. NEARLY ALL HAVE VERSIONS OF CHRIST-LIKE FIGURES, VIRGIN MARYS, ANGELS, DEMONS, ETC. BUT WHAT IT REALLY DOING = JUST LOOKING FOR THE WAYS OTHER RELIGIONS LIKE CHRISTIANITY, NOT THE WAYS THE DIFFERENT. AND IT LARGELY THE WAYS IN WHICH RELIGIONS DIFFERENT THAT DEFINE THEM.

IT SURELY NOT INTENTIONAL,  BUT THE LENS OF THE BASE RELIGION SKEWS EVERYTHING. SOMETIMES IT NOT EVEN ALL THAT STRONG A DIFFERENCE. BOTH CHRISTIANITY AND HINDUISM HAVE A “FINAL ASCENDANCY” BUT THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN HOW THOSE EXPRESSED/REALIZED = VITAL. AND SOMETIMES THE ECUMENICAL INCLINATION NEED NOT BE CONCRETE IN TERMS OF THEOLOGY. IT CAN BE MORE ABOUT LIFESTYLE. MEANING THE INCLINATION TOWARD ECUMENICISM CAN END UP GLOSSING OVER THE COMPLICATIONS IN FAVOR OF HOMOGENIZED IDEAS. LIKE HOW SO MANY PEOPLE USE THE TENETS OF BUDDHISM TO APPROPRIATE SENSE OF BALANCE AND INNER PEACE IN OUR CRAZED WESTERN CULTURE. THE PROBLEM IS THE CENTRAL IDEAL OF BUDDHISM ACTUALLY FAIRLY DARK. IT ABOUT THE ABANDONING SUFFERING, WHICH ESSENTIALLY MEANS TURNING YOUR BACK ON THE WORLD AND NOT BEING INVESTED IN ANYTHING. SO YEAH… NOT EXACTLY A COMMUNAL SOLUTION, BUT MORE IMPORTANT IT NOT REALLY BHUDDISM. THE PROBLEM THAT YOU NOT APPROXIMATING YOUR RELIGION INTO THE WORLD, YOU APPROXIMATING THE WORLD’S REALITIES INTO YOUR RELIGION/LIFESTYLE. AND THAT SOMETHING ELSE ENTIRELY.

NOW OF COURSE THIS ALL BETTER THAN THE BLIND DOGMATISM THAT COMES WITH CERTAIN RELIGIOUS FERVOR. HULK WILL TAKE ECUMENICISM IN THE FACE OF EXTERNALIZED HATRED EVERY SINGLE TIME. AFTER ALL, “BEING RELIGIOUS IS THE HUMBLE BELIEF THAT ALL OTHER RELIGIONS ARE WRONG.” BUT EVEN ECUMENICISM STILL ABOUT TAKING WHAT YOU WANT AND APPROPRIATING INTO YOUR OWN VIEW. IN THE INHERENT BASTARDIZATION OF SOMETHING THAT, ON A PHILOSOPHICAL LEVEL, SUPPOSED TO BE THOUGHT OF AS COMPLET. (NOTE: HULK NOT THINK ANY RELIGION SHOULD BE VIEWED AS “COMPLETE” HULK JUST WANTED HIGHLIGHT THE PARADOX OF ECUMENICISM BEING MORE RELIGION-LIKE THAN ONE THINKS. INSTEAD OF RULES, FLEXIBILITY BECOMES THE RULE. ANYCRAP, THIS GETTING REFLEXIVE SO HULK SHOULD MOVE ON).

REALLY THE WHOLE THING ABOUT ECUMENICAL ACTUALLY BEING GOOD OR BAD = SEPARATE THEOLOGICAL ARGUMENT THAT WHOLLY DEPENDENT ON WHETHER OR NOT ONE RELIGIOUS. SO HULK NOT GOING GO DOWN THAT ROAD. HULK WOULD JUST ADDRESS ONE ASPECT OF IT: ONE COULD ARGUE WE LARGELY A CHRISTIAN CULTURE AND SO THAT JUST WHAT THEY USING TO EXPRESS THE IDEAS… FINE… BUT SOMETHING TELL HULK THAT NOT HOW WHAT DARLTON WANTED DO. HULK THINK THEY WANTED TO BE REPRESENTATIVE OF A SINGULAR MONO-RELIGION AND DID ODDLY PISS-POOR JOB AT IT. SUFFICE TO SAY THAT THIS DISPLAY OF ECUMENICISM NOT AN IDEAL REPRESENTATION OF PANTHEISM.

AND THE MOST RELEVANT POINT = THIS: LOST USUALLY SUPER GOOD ABOUT SHYING AWAY BEING ECUMENICAL. THESE GUYS SUPER-WELL-FUCKING READ AND KNOW THEIR THEOLOGY, SO THE SHOW RARELY TREATED IT AS MERE LIP SERVICE. THE SHOW PRESENTED VARIOUS RELIGIOUS CONCEPTS AND SIGNATURES TIME AND TIME AGAIN OVER THE SERIES, ALL HINTING THAT THAT THEY A PART OF AN INDEPENDENT CENTRAL ISLAND MONO-MYTH,  A GREAT HUMAN CONCEPT BEYOND RELIGION ITSELF… BUT THE IDEAS NEVER AS CONCRETE AND TANGIBLE AS THEY WERE IN THE PURGATORY CHURCH. SURE, THEY HINTED, BUT EVEN WHEN RELIGIOUS, IT RARELY FELT RELIGIOUS. NO BIG AFTERLIFE. NO CHURCH GATHERINGS. USUALLY SOME NATURAL EVENT WOULD HAPPEN AND ONE CHARACTER WOULD SEE IT THROUGH THE LENS OF FAITH AND ANOTHER THROUGH THE LENS OF SCIENCE. THE CHARACTERS WOULD HAVE THEIR OWN IDEAS AND USE THEIR OWN ISLAND TOOLS, RELIGIOUS OR SCIENTIFIC, TO TRY AND DISCERN, BUT THE SHOW ITSELF HAD DISTINCTLY NEUTRAL TONE ON THE MATTER. EVEN THE INFAMOUS JACOB/MIB EPISODE HAD CONTEXT-LESS LIGHT/ENERGY DESCRIPTION; THE CONTEXT-LESS CORK; ALL OF IT PART OF THE SHOW’S OWN MONO-MYTH AND THEY WORK. ALL BECAUSE THEY PLAYED INTO BASIC STORY THEMATICS.

WHICH JUST MAKES THE CHURCH SCENE FINALE PRETTY FUCKING WEIRD. IT DISTURBINGLY ECUMENICAL.  THE CHURCH. THE PEWS. CHRISTIAN SHEPARD. AND EVEN ALL THE OTHER RELIGIOUS SYMBOLS ETCHED INTO A STAIN GLASSED WINDOW AND THERE FEW THINGS MORE CHRISTIAN THAN A STAIN GLASSED WINDOW. NO TELL HULK THE PRODUCTION DESIGN OF ALL THIS NO MATTER. IT MATTER MORE THAN ANYTHING. AND IT MAKE THE SPIRITUAL INCLUSIVENESS FEEL LIKE LIP SERVICE FOR THE FIRST TIME IN SHOW’S HISTORY.  IT ABSOLUTELY OVERT. IN THE SHOW’S FINAL MOMENTS, IT TOOK A SHOW THAT ALWAYS FLIRTED WITH THE CONCEPTS OF RELIGION, APPROPRIATED THEM INTO SOMETHING BIGGER, AND THEN JUST TOOK EVERYTHING IN A DEEPLY RELIGIOUS AND ODDLY CHRISTIAN TURN.

AND IT’S AN EVEN BIGGER PROBLEM WHEN THEY IMPLIED THE FOLLOWING:

IDIOT

PROBLEM #10 – THE BIG ONE – THE MAN OF SCIENCE IS A FOOL

THE LAST 15 MINUTES OF LOST JUST FOR THE MAN OF FAITH.

AND HULK CANNOT RECONCILE THAT. HULK HAS TRIED FOREVER TO TRY AND MAKE THE FINALE WORK IN HULK’S BRAIN, TO WRESTLE STUFF OUT OF THAT LAST SCENE AND APPROXIMATE SOMETHING THAT RESONATES. SOMETIMES IT FEEL LIKE HULK COME CLOSE. LOOKING AT THE HISTORY OF THE SHOW AND PARTICULARLY SOME INFO IN THE LAST SEASON, IT REVEAL SOME BITS OF HOPE. HULK WILL SOON LINK TO MMORSE’S GREAT BIT ABOUT MINKOWSKI SPACE (WHICH OBVIOUSLY RELEVANT BECAUSE THE MINKOWSKI CHARACTER APPEAR REGULARLY). BUT THE THEORY ESSENTIALLY WORK LIKE THIS: THE WHITE BALL OF LIGHT AT CENTER OF ISLAND, FOR ITS MANY PURPOSES AND REPRESENTATIONS, ALSO A BIG BALL OF MINKOWSKI SPACE THAT ABSORB THE LOSTIES IN DEATH AND CREATE THIS PURGATORY WE NOW SEE. THIS RELEVANT BECAUSE MINKOWSKI SPACE APPROXIMATES SPACE TIME AND MEASURES IT WITH ONE TIME-LIKE DIMENSION (MEANING TIME CONVERGES, “THERE IS NO ‘NOW’ NOW”). AND THAT THE FINALE’S SCIENTIFIC EXPLANATION. IT ALMOST ADEQUATE. BUT REALLY, WATCHING THAT SCENE IN THE CHURCH, WATCHING THAT ENTIRE PURGATORY STORYLINE IN LAST SEASON… IT NOT PRESENT IN THE SAME WAY SCIENCE OR NEUTRALITY OFTEN PRESENT IN THE SHOW. IT SHOWN IN COMPLETELY DIFFERENT WAY.

TO ILLUSTRATE WHY THIS A PROBLEM, HULK GOING TO COMPARE IT TO ANOTHER SHOW THAT CREATED A THEORETICALLY VERSION OF THE AFTERLIFE: SIX FEET UNDER DID A BRIEF EXPLORATION OF “HEAVEN” THAT ALSO EXPLORED THE SCIENTIFIC CONCEPTS OF DEATH, PARALLEL LIVES, REALITY, AND EVEN MINKOWSKI SPACE. AND QUITE FRANKLY, THEY DID IT IN FAR MORE INTERESTING WAY. NOT THAT HULK SAYING LOST SHOULD HAVE APED 6 FEET OR ANYTHING, THE TONES OF THE TWO SHOWS QUITE DIFFERENT, BUT THERE SEVERAL LESSONS LOST SHOULD HAVE ABSORBED. FOR ONE, IT SHOULD HAVE TAKEN A LARGER CUE ON THE “NO TELL” POLICY. HULK REFERENCED THE “THE LECTURE” ABOVE AND IT SO SURPRISING TO HULK THEY NO PUSHED IT FURTHER. LOST CERTAINLY A WEIRD AND COMPLEX ENOUGH SHOW TO GET AWAY WITH LOT MORE INTERESTING THINGS: VISUALS. TRANSITIONS. CINEMATICS. METAPHOR. SO WHY CONVEY THEIR POINT WITH AN INSANELY LINEAR PATH ABOUT THE VAGUERY OF DEATH EXPLAINED TO US VERBATIM? SIX FEET UNDER SIMPLY EXPOSED THE CHARACTERS TO THE CINEMATIC REALITY OF MINKOWSKI SPACE, WHOSE STRANGE, ABSTRACT ASPECTS WOULD HAVE BEEN PERFECTLY APPROPRIATE FOR LOST (MINUS THE “QUIRK” OF COURSE) . SO WHY NO GO THERE? THE SHOW EASILY EARNED THE RIGHT TO GO OUTRIGHT CEREBRAL. IT CONSTANTLY FAVORED METAPHOR. BUT IN THE END, IT INSTEAD OPTED TO KEEP THINGS ODDLY LOGISTIC. SADLY, THIS CHOICE TO BE OVERTLY STRAIGHT-FORWARD ONLY HIGHLIGHTED THE WAYS IN WHICH IT NOT LOGISTIC AT ALL.

EVEN WORSE IT LECTURED SOMETHING HULK FIND TO BE VERY OBJECTIONABLE WITHIN CONTEXT OF SHOW. THEY BASICALLY IMPLIED: THERE SOME THINGS SCIENCE CAN NO FIGURE OUT SO ULTIMATELY YOU HAVE TO GO ON FAITH. IT THE ONLY TRUE PATH TO “MOVING ON.”

WHY WOULD LOST EVER SAY THAT?

SURE, CHARACTERS ARGUED THAT VERY PERSPECTIVE BEFORE IN THE SHOW. BUT THEY JUST THAT. A PERSPECTIVE. ONE SIDE OF THE COIN. THE BLACK AND WHITE. JUST PART OF THE DUALITY LOST FOUND SO INTERESTING. EVEN WITH JACK’S STORYLINE AND HIS REALIZATION THAT LOCKE WAS “RIGHT,” THAT OBVIOUSLY TALKING MORE ABOUT FAITH IN SELF AND INSTINCT. THE FAITH TO HELP AND HAVE ACCEPTANCE. IT A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT KIND OF FAITH. BUT IN THE FINAL MOMENTS OF LOST, THE TRADITIONAL VERSION BLIND FAITH BECAME THE SHOW’S OUTRIGHT PERSPECTIVE. IT CEASED NEUTRALITY. MAYBE THEY MEANT ONLY TO SPEAK TO THE NATURE OF DEATH (WHICH HULK COULD ARGUE NOT EXACTLY TRUE (9)), BUT IT SPEAK TO SOMETHING HULK FIND VERY UNSETTLING…

GOING BACK TO LOOK OVER THE SHOW, THERE WHOLE BUNCH OF REOCCURRING PLOTS THAT FEATURE SCIENTISTS MISUSING THE “UNIQUE PROPERTIES” OF THE ISLAND, WHICH BASICALLY WE FIND OUT = THE CENTRAL WHITE LIGHT. AT FIRST, HULK JUST THOUGHT IT OVERT WARNING ABOUT REAPING THE LIGHT OF EARTH/RESOURCES, OR THE APPLICATION OF SCIENCE TO HORRIFIC MEANS MEANS (H BOMBS AND SUCH). WHICH, YOU KNOW, TOTALLY REASONABLE THING TO SAY AND HULK ON BOARD. BUT THE REALIZATION OF THE FINALE IMPLY IT MORE TROUBLING THAN THAT. THE LIGHT NOT JUST THE “ENGINE OF THE WORLD,” THE LIGHT = “MINKOWSKI SPACE/HEAVEN.” SO WOULD THIS NOT BE SAYING THAT SCIENCE INTENTIONALLY CANNOT GRASP THE NATURE OF CREATION? OR THE CREATIVE INSTINCT? OR THE AFTERLIFE? THAT IT CAN ONLY MANIPULATE AND RUIN IT? WHETHER INTENTIONAL OR NOT, IT IMPLY THAT SCIENCE INHERENTLY CORRUPTS. THAT IT DESTROYS THE AFTERLIFE AND TO KILL IT WOULD BE TO EXTINGUISH THE VERY MEANING OF LIFE.

IT IMPLIES SCIENCE ROBS US OF HEAVEN.

AND HULK THOUGHT THE WHOLE TIME LOST BEEN ARGUING THAT SCIENCE AND RELIGION THE SAME DAMN THING. BUT THROUGH THE LENS OF THE FINALE, IT REALLY NOT IMPLYING THAT WHATSOEVER. EVEN GOING BACK TO THE PARALLEL TIME-LINE HAWKING IDEA CREATED IN “LA…X”, IF IT JUST A RED HERRING AND THE PURSUIT OF SCIENCE JUST SOMETHING THAT CORRUPT HEAVEN, THEN THEY UNINTENTIONALLY DISCOUNTING THE WORK AND MESSAGE OF ONE STEPHEN HAWKING, A MAN THEY CLEARLY LAUD (REALLY, THEY USE THE IDEAS, BUT THEY ULTIMATELY SAYING IT NOT TRUE).

MAYBE NONE OF THIS INTENTIONAL. IN THAT CASE IT STRIKE HULK AS A MASSIVELY MISGUIDED USE OF METAPHOR. THEY MEANT ONE THING, AND WHOLLY IMPLIED ANOTHER.

NOW BEFORE JUMP ON HULK OVER SOMETHING OBVIOUS, OF COURSE THERE THINGS SCIENCE NOT FIGURE OUT YET. BUT HULK ARGUE THAT EXACTLY WHY WE HAVE SCIENCE. TO TRY AND FIGURE IT OUT. TO STRIVE AND COME TO GRIPS WITH THE WORLD AROUND US. TO UNDERSTAND. SCIENCE JUST A LOGICAL PROGRESSION. BECAUSE SCIENCE NO ACCEPT BLIND FAITH, IT TRY TO FIGURE OUT THE WORLD NOT FLAT, OR PUT A MAN IN SPACE, OR APPROXIMATE HOW SPACE TIME WORKS.  HULK NOT MEAN TO KEEP BRINGING UP THESE “OLD ADAGE” THINGYS, BUT THERE THIS GREAT EXAMPLE OF THIS DILEMMA CONCERNING SUNSETS. A SUNSET = A TRULY GORGEOUS THING, SO A HUMAN BEING LOOKS AT IT AND CAN NO UNDERSTAND WHY SOMETHING CREATED BY “NOTHING” COULD BE SO DAMN BEAUTIFUL, THUS THE CONCLUSION = “GOD MUST HAVE DONE IT.” WELL, INSTEAD SCIENCE ASKS WHAT IF IT MORE THAN THAT? SCIENCE INQUIRES ABOUT ATMOSPHERIC DENSITIES AND THE REFRACTIVE NATURE OF LIGHT. IT STRIVES TO TRACE THE ORIGIN AND INTERPRET THE HAPPY ACCIDENTS OF NATURE WE SEE AS BEAUTY. BEAUTY CAN BE HOW SCIENTIFICALLY WE UNDERSTAND THAT. AND OF COURSE THERE WILL BE ANOTHER QUESTION THAT COMES FROM THAT, AND ANOTHER, AND ANOTHER. OF COURSE WE CAN’T ANSWER THEM ALL IN A SINGLE LIFETIME.

BUT GUESS WHAT LOST? THAT DOESN’T MEAN WE JUST ACCEPT AND STOP TRYING. SCIENCE ABOUT THE NEXT STEP. THE NEXT LEVEL OF UNDERSTANDING. IT THE JOURNEY OF TIME.

WHAT IT ULTIMATELY COMES DOWN TO THAT THERE THIS IDEA THAT WE NEVER UNDERSTAND WHAT HAPPENS IN DEATH. BUT BELIEVE IT OR NOT, SCIENCE IS PART OF THESE THINGS. SCIENCE, IN ITS PURSUIT OF TRUTH ON EVIDENCE, WANTS TO TELL US EXACTLY WHAT LIFE AND DEATH IS WHETHER IT COMFORTING OR NOT. BUT SO OFTEN IN TV SHOWS, SCIENCE IN THIS CAPACITY = THE PURSUIT OF CHEATING DEATH. IT SEEN AS A PATHOLOGICAL, OFTEN VIOLENT OBSESSION, A LONE SCIENTIST HELL-BENT ON STAVING OF DEATH.

THIS WAS JACK. JACK WANTED TO “FIX EVERYONE” AND THAT WHAT APPARENTLY MADE HIM NOT AT PEACE. THIS CHARACTERIZATION DEEPLY MISGUIDED. JACK’S LACK OF PEACE COME FROM OTHER ISSUES. HIS WANTING TO FIX EVERYONE JUST WHAT MADE HIM A GREAT PERSON. A TRUE LEADER (REMEMBER THAT THE “SPIRITUAL” LOCKE BASICALLY KILLED BOONE IN THE PURSUIT OF HIS PIOUS JOURNEY). JACK SHOULD ALWAYS STRIVE TO FIX EVERYONE. AND PART OF THAT = THE NATURAL INCLINATION TO WANT TO TO UNDERSTAND. KNOWING LIMITS IS ONE THING. BUT DISCOUNTING THE THIRST FOR KNOWLEDGE ANOTHER. AND IN THAT FINALE, HULK WANTED TO UNDERSTAND. NO, IT NOT CRIPPLE HULK BECAUSE HULK DIDN’T GET “THE ANSWERS.” NO IT NOT BECAUSE HULK FEAR DEATH AND SO HULK JUST REACTING FROM THAT. HULK THINK THAT LOST’S APPROACH LIKE THE LAZINESS OF THE SUNSET, IT SAYING ONE CANNOT KNOW SO DON’T BOTHER…

IT IMPORTANT REMEMBER HULK NOT IMPLYING THAT SOMETHING HAVE LINE UP WITH HULK’S PERSONAL SENSIBILITIES IN ORDER FOR HULK TO LIKE. TO CITE THE TIME HONORED WISDOM OF ART: IT NOT “WHAT IT ABOUT” IT “HOW IT ABOUT.” THIS PRACTICALLY A REQUIREMENT OF WATCHING ANY MOVIE. HULK CAN LOVE DIRTY HARRY AND IT BASICALLY ADVOCATING POLICE FASCISM. WHY? BECAUSE IT SELF-AWARE. IT HAVE GREAT EDITING. IT COMPLETELY RIDICULOUS. MEANWHILE, MICHAEL MOORE CAN MAKE FILMS THAT TAP INTO THE SAME “WHAT” HULK USUALLY BELIEVE POLITICALLY-SPEAKING, BUT THE “HOW” HE MAKE THOSE MOVIES VIOLATE SO MANY CORE RULES OF DOCUMENTARY FILM-MAKING THAT HULK CANNOT ABIDE THEM. HULK COULD WATCH A MOVIE ABOUT FAITH AND AFTERLIFE WITH BIG BOLD RELIGIOUS IDEAS AND STILL TOTALLY LOVE IT. GUESS WHAT? HULK LOVED THE BATTLESTAR GALACTICA FINALE AND THAT WAY, WAY, WAY MORE RELIGIOUS THAN LOST. BUT THAT SHOW HANDLED ITS RESOLUTION IN A MUCH MORE COMPELLING FASHION AND TOTALLY MADE SENSE WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF THE SHOW. IT NOT THE WHAT IT ABOUT. IT HOW IT ABOUT.

AND LOST WAS ALWAYS SO CAREFUL AND CONSIDERATE WITH THE HOW, WASN’T IT?

AND THEN SUDDENLY, THE LAST 15 MINUTES OF THE FINALE WWER SOMETHING ELSE. IT WAS SENTIMENTAL. IT WAS BAD STORYTELLING. IT WAS A-DRAMATIC. IT WAS COMPLETELY DISHONEST TO TWO CHARACTERS.  IT WAS FULL OF CONFUSED LOGIC.  IT WAS CONVENIENT. IT WAS REPETITIVE. IT WAS LECTURING. IT WAS ECUMENICAL. IT WAS ULTIMATELY EXCLUSIVE.

IT WAS NOT LOST.

AND THAT’S A DEAL-BREAKER LADIES.

PART 3 – THE AFTERMATH OF “THE PROBLEMS”

DESPITE ALL THIS, HULK NO THINK LOST “FUCKED IT UP” OR “SHIT THE BED.” THEY DID SOMETHING UNCHARACTERISTIC AND MISGUIDED. THAT IT. AND WHAT LEAD TO THAT CONCLUSION WERE SIMPLY THAT THE TEN PROBLEMS LISTED ABOVE NOT CRITICAL IN AND OF THEMSELVES, BUT WHEN BANDED TOGETHER IT CREATE A BIGGER PICTURE OF SOMETHING BEING “OFF”. EVEN IF THIS ALL NOT SEEM SO BAD, NO TELL HULK THAT IT MEAN HULK’S CONCERNS TRIVIAL. YOU MAY THINK HULK JUST HAVE A SAD CASE OF THE WHAT-HAVE-YOU-DONE-FOR-ME-LATELY’S?  BUT THE LAST 15 MINUTES = THE FINAL IMAGE OF THE SERIES. THE LASTING IMPRESSION. AND IT IMPORTANT. THE ENDING IS THE CONCEIT.

BUT HULK NOT THE ONLY ONE WHO MATTER HERE. THE PUBLIC OPINION CRUCIAL AND IT DIVERGED WILDLY. SOME LOVED THE CHANCE TO SEE THEIR CHARACTERS TOGETHER AND AS HAPPY AS THEY WANTED TO FEEL. SOME JUST FELT LIKE IT WAS A DUMB REVEAL. SOME GOT MICRO-ANALYTIC. A LOT OF PEOPLE SHRUGGED.

PREDICTABLY, THERE WERE A GOOD PORTION OF PEOPLE PISSED ABOUT THE LACK OF ANSWERS AND DEMANDED MORE. THE VIDEO PRETTY HILARIOUS, BUT THE MORE HILARIOUS THING THAT MOST OF THOSE QUESTIONS YOU COULD ANSWER WITH BASIC SYMBOLISM OR EVEN MINOR UNDERSTANDING OF THE SHOW’S THEMATIC ISSUES. HULK MEAN, HOW DID THEY EVEN WATCH THIS SHOW WITHOUT DOING THAT?(10) BESIDES, TURNS OUT THE SHOW HAD PRE-FILMED AND THE SUBSEQUENTLY RELEASED THE EPILOGUE. IT WAS MET WITH A LARGE THUD. TURNS OUT ALL THE ANSWERS NOT WHAT PEOPLE WANTED. WHY? BECAUSE THE WAY THEY GOT THOSE ANSWERS JUST = “THE LECTURE” TIMES TEN. IT ANTI-CLIMACTIC. IT IMPOSSIBLY BORING. THERE ABSOLUTELY NO DRAMA OR CATHARSIS OR STORY OR ANYTHING. IT JUST A PERSON JUST TELLING YOU ANSWERS. THIS TRULY FELT THE MONKEY ANECDOTE. AND HULK ARGUE THIS WHAT HAPPEN WHEN PEOPLE THINK THEY WANT ANSWERS AND NOT WILLING TO PURSUE THE MORE SUBTLE OR THEMATIC “ANSWERS.”

MEANWHILE, THE CRITICAL OPINIONS OF THE FINALE (AS IN FROM ACTUAL CRITICS) SEEMED EQUALLY SPLIT. DEVIN FARACI CALLED IT LOST‘S “BIG GNOSTIC WET FART ENDING.” PERHAPS THAT BIT HARSH, BUT HIS APPRAISAL  FILLED WITH IMPOSSIBLY GOOD INSIGHTS ABOUT GNOSTICISM/ ZOROASTRIANISM AND THE LAZINESS WITH WHICH IT USED THOSE CONCEPTS. IT REALLY A GREAT READ, EVEN THOUGH HULK DISAGREE SLIGHTLY ABOUT ITS DEVALUING OF CERTAIN ON-ISLAND PLOT LINES. HULK MORE HOLDS THE FAILURES OF THE ENDING REVEAL TO BE IMPLICATE OF THE PURGATORY PLOT LINE (THOUGH OBVIOUSLY, NOT SOLELY).

ON THE OTHER HAND, THERE THE EXCEPTIONAL COLUMNS OF M. MORSE. HE HAD A MUCH MORE POSITIVE TAKE ON THE FINALE. THE PAGE COUNTER SORT OF WEIRD ON THIS THING SO HAVE TO START AT “1” AND GO IN OTHER DIRECTION: http://www.chud.com/23907/back-to-the-island-lost-season-6-episodes-17-18/

THE FIRST THING YOU MAY NOTICE THAT EVERYTHING IN THIS COLUMN FANTASTIC. IT STALWART. DEEPLY INTELLECTUAL. GENUINE. HIS ACCOUNT OF THE PURGATORY AND RE-TRIALS OF LIFE. THE REFLECTIONS. THE CAPACITY FOR EXAMINATION. ALL WONDERFUL. AND HIS ACCOUNT OF MINOWSKI SPACE AND IT’S IMPACT ON  THE FINALE = REALLY WELL-THOUGHT OUT AND COMPLETE. HULK OBVIOUSLY HAVE DIFFERENT TAKE ON WHETHER THE SHOW ABANDONED SCIENCE IN NAME OF RELIGION, BUT THAT NOT BECAUSE EITHER OR US NECESSARILY MISSED ANYTHING. IT AN INTERPRETATION OF THE ONE. IF HULK FORCED TO DISAGREE, HULK WOULD SIMPLY ARGUE THAT THE APPRAISAL TOO WILLING TO MAKE CONNECTIONS SEEM SOLID WHEN THEY MORE TENUOUS TO HULK. FOR EXAMPLE, MINKOWSKI SPACE, AS INTERESTING AS IT IS, COMES OFF AS SCIENTIFIC PATCHWORK CURE-ALL TO EXPLAIN LOST’S “HEAVEN.” IN PRACTICAL REALITY MINKOWSKI SPACE MORE OF A WORK AROUND FOR CATEGORIZING TIME SINGULARITY IN MATHEMATICAL TERMS. MEANING IT ABOUT MAKING THE MATH WORK RATHER THAN BEING CREATED AS A CONCEPT FOR US FIGURING OUT HOW TIME WORKS. THIS MAY SEEM LIKE WEIRD OBSERVATION GIVEN THAT HULK PREVIOUSLY ARGUED THAT THE LOST SCIENCE CAN BE PSEUDO SCIENCE AND THAT TOTALLY COOL, BUT HULK ARGUING THE PROVERBIAL “STAGE” OF THE LAST 15 MINUTES REQUIRE THAT THIS SCIENTIFIC THEORY BE A BIT MORE COMPLETE AND INTEGRAL. FOR EXAMPLE, THINK OF HOW MUCH CARE, TIME, AND ATTENTION WENT INTO THE ESTABLISHING THE CONCEIT OF THE NARRATIVE FEINT: TO JUSTIFY STEPHEN HAWKING’S IDEA THAT TWO CONCURRENT TIMELINES COULD ORIGINATE FROM A SINGLE POINT OF HISTORICAL INFLUENCE. THEY KNEW THEY HAD TO JUSTIFY IT OR ELSE THE AUDIENCE WOULD HAVE ABANDONED. AND THUS, THE CONCEPT HAMMERED INTO OUR HEADS. SO WHY DID MINKOWSKI SPACE NOT GET THAT TREATMENT? SERIOUSLY, HULK THINK THAT THE CONCEPT ONLY REGISTERED WITH, LIKE, 3% OF VIEWERS, IF THAT. BUT NO WORRY IT ONLY THE END OF THE SHOW! IT HAD TO BE BECAUSE THEY WANTED IT TO BE A REVEAL.

BUT BEYOND THE AUDIENCE-INDUCED-LOGIC, HULK’S MAIN ARGUMENT ABOUT THE LAST 15 MINUTES LARGELY A MATTER OF TONE. HULK ARGUE MMORSE BRILLIANTLY SUMS UP THE WHAT OF LOST, BUT HULK ARGUE THERE SOMETHING DIFFERENT GOING ON WITH THE HOW.(11) EVEN IF ALTERNATIVE INTERPRETATIONS CAN BE FOUND FOR THE LAST 15 MINUTES, THEY NOT WHAT YOU EXPERIENCING IN THAT MOMENT.

HISTORICALLY SPEAKING, LOST WOULD ALWAYS PRESENT EVIDENCE WITH CRYPTIC, BOLD IMAGERY THAT ALWAYS LEFT IT UP TO YOU. AND IN THE MOST IMPORTANT MOMENT OF THE SHOW, THE WRITERS SHOVED YOU IN A SINGULAR DIRECTION. EVERYTHING ELSE BECAME LITERAL WINDOW-DRESSING. WE GOT AN AN UBER-STRAIGHTFORWARD, OUTRIGHT EXPLAINED-TO-YOU, HYPER-CHRISTIAN MOMENT. MAYBE THE SHOVE NOT INTENTIONAL, BUT IT WAS CERTAINLY A SHOVE. HULK GUARANTEE THAT THE WHOLE ROOM HULK IN WHILE WATCHING FELT IT. THE INESCAPABLE TRUTH THAT A MAN NAMED CHRISTIAN SHEPARD GUIDING PEOPLE FROM A BARELY-EUCIMENICIZED CHURCH INTO THE LIGHT OF WHAT CAN REALLY ONLY BE CALLED “HEAVEN”. AND WHEN THEN SCIENTIFICALLY INCLINED MIND CHIRPS UP, THEY TOLD NOT TO THINK ABOUT IT, FOR IT SOMETHING THEY CAN’T POSSIBLY KNOW. THAT = A SHOVE.

YOU MAY SAY: “HULK, WHY DOES THAT BOTHER YOU SO MUCH?” DIDN’T HULK MENTION THAT HULK ALWAYS LIKED THE WAY THE SHOW BECAUSE IT NO TRY AND ANSWER EVERYTHING? THAT THINGS SHOULD BE AMBIGUOUS? SO WHY YOU GETTING SO PISSED THAT THE SHOW ESSENTIALLY CONVEYING THAT SAME MESSAGE?”

AGAIN. IT NOT THE WHAT IT THE HOW. HULK THINK IT CONVEYED THAT MESSAGE WITH ZERO COMPLEXITY OR DRAMA. AND HULK THINK IT DID IT IN AN ALMOST JUVENILE SORT OF INDIGNATION AND ALL SORTS OF NARRATIVE/THEMATIC HOLES.

IT NOT LIKE HULK SAYING ALL THIS OUT OF SOME EMOTIONAL REACTION, HULK LITERALLY BEEN THINKING ABOUT THIS QUESTION/PROBLEM/DILEMMA FOR WELL OVER A YEAR.

THE FOLLOWING SORT OF LAME CONJECTURE, BUT HULK FEEL IT RELEVANT:

HULK WANT KNOW WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED IF THE WRITERS NO GO IN THE PURGATORY DIRECTION… IF THE “ALTERNA-WORLD” STILL JUST ANOTHER TIMELINE SET OFF BY THE H-BOMB. HULK ARGUE IT STILL WOULD HAVE CONVEYED EVERYTHING WITHOUT THE OVERT PROBLEMS AND IT COULD HAVE DONE SO BEAUTIFULLY: A LIFE ON ANOTHER EARTH. A SECOND CHANCE. IF THE ISLAND A METAPHORICAL PURGATORY, THEN THE SECOND ALTERNATIVE TIMELINE COULD BE A METAPHORICAL AFTERLIFE. A CHANCE FOR THE LOSTIES TO GET THAT HAPPINESS AND CONTENTMENT. HECK, YOU CAN EVEN HAVE THEM REALIZED THEY DIED IN THE OTHER TIMELINE, HAVE THAT REALIZATION CONNECT THE ON-ISLAND PLOT LINE AND ALLOW THE LOSTIES TO SAVE THE LIGHT OF THE ISLAND, WHICH IN TURN COULD BE ACCREDITED TO CREATING THE MULTIPLE TIMELINES TO BEGIN WITH, WHICH IN TURN GIVES THE WHOLE FATALISTIC DESIRE TO DETONATE THE H-BOMB A FUCKING POINT, AND IN TURN ALLOW FOR THE CHARACTERS IN THE ALTERNATIVE WORLD TO GRASP ALL THIS AND GIVE THEM A CHANCE TO METAPHORICALLY “MOVE ON.” NOT IN LITERAL CREEPY RELIGIOUS SENSE, BUT MOVE FORWARD WITH THEIR LIVES IN PEACE AND TRUE HAPPINESS IN THE WAY THAT THE MISTAKES OF THE “PAST” LIFE DIDN’T ALLOW THEM TO. WOULD THAT HAVE BEEN SENTIMENTAL MAYBE TOO? SURE. BUT IT WOULD HAVE FELT LIKE LOST. AND MORE IMPORTANTLY IT WOULD STILL CONVEY ALL THE SAME RELIGIOUS OVERTONES, LIKE HINDUISM MULTIPLE CHANCES OF GETTING RIGHT BEFORE MOVING TO ASCENDANCE. IT COULD USE THE NON-INVASIVE LOSTIAN TRICK OF INCORPORATING ALL THOSE RELIGIOUS IDEAS INTO THE PRODUCTION DESIGN. BUT IT WOULDN’T HAVE CENTERED AROUND A ECUMENICAL HEAVEN. IT WOULD HAVE CENTERED AROUND THE CHARACTERS.

HULK KNOW GETTING INTO THE “WHAT THEY SHOULD HAVE DONE” GAME = LAME CONJECTURE. AT WORST, IT A FAN WRITING SOMETHING HE WISHED HAD HAPPENED. HULK KNOW THIS, BUT HULK JUST TRYING SHOW HOW IT POSSIBLE TO ASSIMILATE THE SAME THEMES INTO A NARRATIVE DECISION THAT LESS OVERT AND EXCLUSIVE.

SO HULK ASK AGAIN, WHY COULD THIS NOT HAPPEN?

LOST COULD ALWAYS DO IT BEFORE. IT COULD BE TRANSCENDENT. IT COULD PLEASE THE MAN OF SCIENCE AND THE MAN OF FAITH. SO WHY NOT NOW? WHY SAY THE MAN OF SCIENCE IS LIMITED IN THE FINAL MOMENTS? WAS THAT THE INTENTION THE WHOLE TIME? HULK NOT THINK SO, BUT TRUTH THAT HULK NOT REALLY KNOW.

HULK JUST KNOW THESE TEN CENTRAL PROBLEMS OF THE LAST 15 MINUTES INADVERTENTLY CORRUPT A STORY THAT 99.9% GENIUS. THE WRITERS WANTED TO LEAVE A BIG BOLD OPEN ENDED ANSWER BUT THEY DID IT IN THE WRONG WAY. IT NOT OPEN ENDED. IT A LAUNDRY LIST OF CONTRADICTIONS. AND UNLIKE BEFORE, IT NOT LIKE HULK FEEL LANY ONE OF THEM COULD BE TRUE (THE “ALL ANSWERS IN SUBSET B” THING). INSTEAD HULK FEEL LIKE NONE OF THEM COULD BE TRUE.

AND AT CORE, THE PROBLEMS REALLY ALL THE SAME.

ON EVERY CONCEIVABLE LEVEL, IT NEVER FELT LIKE LOST.

PART 4 – WHAT THIS MEAN FOR HULK, GOING FORWARD

THE DOLL-POINTING JOKE THAT HULK USED IN TITLE OF ARTICLE ONE THAT OFTEN USED BECAUSE IT ANALOGOUS TO FEELING “VIOLATED.” THIS A CRASS, HORRIBLE WAY OF PUTTING IT AND HULK NOT TRYING BE CRASS. BUT THE REASON PEOPLE USE THE TERM “VIOLATED” FAIRLY OBVIOUS: ALL THESE UPDATES, REBOOTS, REMAKES AND SHITTY PREQUELS PISS PEOPLE OFF BECAUSE THEY NO ABLE LOOK AT THE PROPERTIES THE SAME WAY.

ON ONE LEVEL, OF COURSE THIS INSIPID. PEOPLE INTERNALIZE THEIR LOVE OF PROPERTIES. THEY NO DIGEST AND PROCESS THEM. JUST SIMPLY ABSORB EVERYTHING IN EMOTIONAL AND VISCERAL TERMS. AS A RESULT, THEY OFTEN TAKE THE REPULSION TOO FAR, AND YES HULK SPECIFICALLY REFERENCING THE POPULAR “GEORGE LUCAS RAPED MY CHILDHOOD” VIEWPOINT. THE SENTIMENT RIDICULOUS, INSOLENT, GUARDED, ADOLESCENT BULLSHIT. ONE THAT COMPLETELY LACK PERSPECTIVE. WHY? BECAUSE GOING THAT FAR IMPLY THE ORIGINAL STAR WARS FILMS DON’T STILL EXIST OR HAVE INHERENT VALUE. AND BOY CAN THE ORIGINALS STILL BE ENJOYED. BETTY HADN’T SEEN THEM SINCE SHE WAS A KID SO SHE AND HULK WATCHED A FEW YEARS AGO. IT WAS PURE JOY. EVER SIT A LITTLE KID DOWN IN FRONT OF THEM? STILL WORK LIKE GANG BUSTERS.

BUT HERE THING… THE PUBLIC CONVERSATION CONCERNING STAR WARS VASTLY DIFFERENT NOW. THE ORIGINAL MOVIES ARE NOT TARNISHED, BUT THE PREQUELS HAVE UNDENIABLY AFFECTED THE BEHAVIOR OF THE CULTURE, HOW WE TALK ABOUT GEORGE LUCAS, AND EVEN MANY OF THE PLOT IMPLICATIONS OF THE ORIGINALS. AND HONESTLY, THAT CULTURAL CONVERSATION MATTER. THE COMMUNITY OF FANDOM, FOR ALL IT’S PROBLEMS, STILL A WONDERFULLY BINDING THING. AND WHEN THE CULTURAL CONVERSATION SHIFT TOWARD DEVISIVENESS BECAUSE SOMETHING HAS DEEPLY WOUNDED THE OVERALL QUALITY OF SAID PROPERTY, THEN THAT MATTERS.

ENDINGS MATTER. YOU CAN NO DISMISS THE REALITY OF THE ENDING HAVING THE ABILITY TO “TARNISH” SOMETHING. THE WIRE FINALE UPHOLDS THE LEGACY OF IT BEING POSSIBLY THE BEST SHOW EVER. AND THAT HAPPENS DESPITE THE ENTIRE LAST SEASON BEING RIDDLED WITH TONE PROBLEMS. AS INTERESTING AS MCNULTY’S SERIAL KILLER FEINT OR TEMPLETON’S OVERT BOLD-FACED LYING MIGHT HAVE BEEN, NEITHER PLOT FELT LIKE THE WIRE. BUT IT DIDN’T MATTER, BECAUSE THE FINALE CORRECTED THAT AND GAVE THE SHOW THE MOST PERFECT SEND-OFF IMAGINABLE. THE SAME EXACT TONE-FIXING THING TRUE OF THE LAST SEASON OF BUFFY TOO. FINALES MATTER. THEM THE BREAKS. IT REALLY HOW YOU FINISH.

SO WHEN IT COMES TO LOST, EVERY SINGLE THING HULK SAID ABOUT THE SHOW IN PART 1 OF THIS PIECE, STILL ABSOLUTELY TRUE. THE SHOW ACCOMPLISH SO DAMN MUCH AND SHOULD BE LAUDED FOR YEARS TO COME.

BUT STILL, THE CULTURAL CONVERSATION HAS CHANGED.

AND THAT CONVERSATION ALWAYS SEEMS TO LAND ON THE FINALE. AFTER THE FIRST SEASON OF LOST, HULK WAS RUNNING AROUND EVERYWHERE TRYING TO GET PEOPLE TO WATCH THE FREAKING SHOW. IT WAS INCREDIBLE, RESONANT, FULL OF SO MUCH PROMISE. AS SEASONS WENT ON HULK BECAME MORE HESITANT, WAITING TO SEE IF THE SHOW COME THROUGH. MAYBE COMING THROUGH WAS IMPOSSIBLE. MAYBE THEY TRIED ACCOMPLISH THE MOST DIFFICULT TRICK EVER, BUT HULK HAD FAITH BECAUSE THEY ALWAYS PULLED IT OFF THAT TRANSCENDENCE BEFORE. AND THEN THE FINALE LET THE AIR OUT. THE CONVERSATION FIXATED ON THE BASIC APPROPRIATION: UNLIKE BATTLESTAR OR EVEN THE SOPRANOS, WHOSE CONVERSATIONS FOCUSED ON THE VARYING INTERPRETATIONS OF LARGELY SYMBOLIC MOTIFS, THE ENDING OF LOST SIMPLY CAME DOWN TO A MANNER OF “I WAS OKAY WITH IT” OR “I WASN’T OKAY WITH IT.” THE EFFECT HAS BEEN DISHEARTENING.

SO HULK HAVE THIS KICK-ASS T-SHIRT OF DESMOND AND DANIEL FARADAY STANDING BY THE B.T.T.F. DELOREAN.

THIS ONE

HULK LOVED THIS SHIRT.

AND NOW, HULK FEEL TINGE OF NOT LIKING WEAR IT.

HULK KNOW THAT KIND OF STUPID. BUT HULK NOT ANGRY, OR SMASHY, OR FEEL VIOLATED.

HULK JUST FEEL A LITTLE SAD.

THERE JUST SO FEW THINGS ON THIS EARTH THAT ONE CAN TRULY LOVE. YES, WE SHOULD BE RATIONAL AND BALANCED ABOUT IT, BUT IT SO NICE TO HAVE THINGS IN OUR LIVES THAT FOR LACK OF BETTER WORD, PURE.

BUT HULK SIMPLY HAVE TO ADMIT: THE FINALE HAS CHANGED HULK’S ABILITY TO PURELY LOVE LOST.

SO DARLTON, HULK KNOW IT WEIRD FOR HULK TO CRAZILY DISSECT THIS THING THAT MUST BE DEEPLY PERSONAL FOR YOU BOTH. JUST KNOW THAT HULK REALIZE THERE BIGGER PICTURE TO ALL OF THIS AND HULK HOPE YOU CONTINUE TO KEEP PUTTING GREAT STUFF INTO THE WORLD. HULK GREATLY LOOKING FORWARD TO PROMETHEUS FOR ONE. SERIOUSLY, RETURNING RIDLEY SCOTT TO SCI-FI = A TRUE HONOR. SO HULK LOOKING FORWARD TO THE FUTURE.

AS FOR THIS OPEN LETTER? IT NOT SUCH A BIG DEAL. IT JUST HULK TRYING TO EXPLAIN A FEELING. TO SUM UP AN EXPERIENCE ABOUT THIS SHOW YOU SHARED WITH US.

SEE YOU IN ANOTHER  LIFE BROTHERS (METAPHORICALLY OF COURSE),

-HULK

P.S. – HULK INVITE ANY AND ALL TO DISAGREE. PLEASE. FIND ERRORS IN HULK’S LOGIC. CONTRADICT HULK. THE THING ABOUT ALL OF THIS IS THAT HULK SO DESPERATELY WANT LIKE THE FINALE. BUT HULK CAN NO RECONCILE WHAT THEY TRIED DO, EVEN YEAR AND HALF LATER.

BRING THE JACKFACE!

ENDNOTES:

(1) – EVERYONE USES THE DEVICE OF PUTTING “LOST” IN ALL CAPS, BUT THAT LOSES EFFECT WITH THE ALL-CAPS-HULK-TALK. SO HULK BOLDING IT EVERY TIME. SORRY IF ANNOYING.

(2) – AS MUCH CRAP AS THEY GOT FOR THEIR “LITERAL CORK” AND KEYSTONE, IT REALLY NO DIFFERENT THEN THE BIG MYTHIC SYMBOLIC STUFF THAT CENTER AROUND MOST FANTASY/SCI-FI. LOST WAS NEVER AFRAID TO USE AN OBJECT AS A BIG BROAD METAPHOR. THEY ALWAYS DID. EVEN IF YOU FOUND IT SILLY, IT STILL FELT LIKE THE SHOW.

(3) – AND YES, TO ACTUAL SCIENTISTS READING THIS, HULK KNOW THAT LOST = MOSTLY PSEUDO-SCIENCE. SOMETIMES EVEN JUNK SCIENCE. HULK ARGUE THIS OKAY BECAUSE THEIR INTEREST PURELY AT ARMCHAIR LEVEL AND WHAT MORE COULD EXPECT? IT HARD BE EXPERT AT LOTS THINGS. HULK WOULD NORMALLY ARGUE THAT FULL COMMITTING TO SCIENCE INVOLVED SHOULD BE STRIVE FOR, BUT HONESTLY THE SHOW MORE INTERESTED IN WHAT THOSE SCIENTIFIC EXPLOITS SAY ABOUT HUMAN BEINGS THAN WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT SCIENCE. SO THEY DECIDED MASSAGE SCIENCE INSTEAD OF OUTRIGHT VIOLATING IT. IT ABOUT A DIFFERENCE IN GOALS. AND THE GOAL OF LOST A PURE ONE… USUALLY… HULK WILL GET TO PROBLEMS WITH THE PURGATORY SCIENCE LATER.

(4) – FOR A MUCH MORE EXTREME EXAMPLE, IMAGINE IF A GAME OF THRONES ENDED WITH ALL THE DEAD CHARACTERS GETTING TOGETHER AND HUGGING. RIGHT. IT RIDICULOUS. YOU MAY ARGUE THAT EXTREME AND G.O.T. A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT KIND OF SHOW, BUT HULK ARGUE LOST  = A VERY DIFFERENT KIND OF SHOW TOO. IN THE VEIL OF ALL THOSE MYSTERIES,AND GRIMNESS, WHERE OFTEN THE ONLY HOPE A LITERAL RAY OF LIGHT OR A MERE CHANCE AT SURVIVAL, WHATEVER MADE YOU THINK THAT SHOW WOULD END WITH A BIG HAPPY HUG IN HEAVEN? TO HULK, G.O.T. MAKES JUST AS MUCH SENTIMENTAL SENSE.

(5) – FOR EXAMPLE, HURLEY’S NUMBERS EPISODE. WE HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THE NUMBERS SUPPOSED TO MEAN BUT THE TONE OF THEM SO ROOTED IN PARANOIA, QUIRK, AND HURLEY’S FEARS THAT IF FEEL INTEGRAL. THEY THE SAME THING REALLY. MEANWHILE, THE “WAKING UP” MOMENTS IN PURGATORY NO INTEGRATE WITH TONE OR HIGHER PURPOSE UNTIL THE ACTUAL REVEAL IN LAST 15 MINUTES OF SHOW… ONE WONDERS WHY IT BECAME BORING OVER THE COURSE 6 EPISODES.

(6) – PEOPLE WRONGLY GIVE THE WRITERS OF SCI-FI/FANTASY A LOT OF CRAP ASSUMING THEY KNOW NOTHING OF WOMEN/RELATIONSHIPS AND LIVE IN THEIR MOMS BASEMENTS,  BUT COME ON GUYS. TRUE LOVE NOT = HAVING A HOT HOOKUP OR JUST A GIRL TALKING TO YOU... YOU KNOW BETTER.

(7) – SORRY FOR THIS “RIPPING VAGINA” IMAGERY, BUT HULK  CONSTANTLY SURPRISED BY AMOUNT OF PEOPLE WHO NOT KNOW ABOUT THE MEDICAL SPECIFICS OF BIRTH. YES. THERE OFTEN GREAT DEAL OF DAMAGE AND TEARING AND ALMOST EVERY BIRTH REQUIRES A LOT OF STITCHES… ALSO: GIRLS WITH LOWER BACK TATTOOS! THERE IS A PRETTY HIGH CHANCE YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO GET AN EPIDURAL. THE NEEDLE CAN NOT GO THROUGH SKIN ANYWHERE CLOSE TO A TATTOO (IT OFTEN HAS SPREAD INVISIBLE UNDER THE SKIN) BECAUSE IF ANY INK (EVEN DECADES OLD) GETS INTO YOUR SPINAL FLUID YOU COULD EXPERIENCE PARALYSIS OR DEATH. YOUR TATTOO ARTIST LIKELY NEVER INFORMED YOU. THIS SUCKS. HULK SORRY TO BE ONE TO TELL YOU. GET IT LOOKED INTO IF PLAN ON HAVING KIDS!

(8) – AND EVEN THOUGH LOCKE WAS “RIGHT” ABOUT THE ISLAND, HE WAS ULTIMATELY DUPED BY THE MIB IN REALLY CRAPPY FASHION. UGH. HEARTBREAKING. AND FOR A SHOW THAT ULTIMATELY TRIED TO ADVOCATE BLIND FAITH, IT SEEMS BLIND FAITH SERVED LOCKE SUPER SHITTILY.

(9) – OKAY HULK’LL DO THIS. BEWARE, HULK’S PERSONAL FEELINGS ABOUT DEATH/SPIRITUALITY WITHIN: HERE’S WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT DEATH. YOUR HEART STOPS PUMPING BLOOD. YOUR BRAIN STOPS WORKING. SCIENTIFICALLY SPEAKING WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU DIE = YOU CEASE TO BE. IT NOT COMFORTING FOR SURE, BUT THAT WHAT HAPPENS ACCORDING TO SCIENCE. AND DESPITE A LOT OF CLAIMS, THERE NO REAL SCIENCE TO THE SOUL. BUT HERE THE THING, EVEN THOUGH IT HARSH, PEOPLE STILL HAVE TO SIMPLY BE AT PEACE WITH “THE END.” WHICH ODDLY WHAT LOST ALSO TRYING TO SAY, JUST WITH A MORE TRADITIONAL AND OVERT HEAVEN MODEL. WHETHER OR NOT BELIEVE IN IT, THE CONCEPT OF HEAVEN ABOUT BEING AT PEACE. SO HULK USE THE HEAVEN METAPHOR TO BE AT PEACE WITH LIFE AND LIKEWISE AT PEACE WITH DEATH. THUS HULK TURN TO THE SCIENTIFIC REALITY THAT IT JUST OVER. HULK NO HAVE TO GO INTO DEATH WITH WORRIES ABOUT THEOLOGICAL ARGUMENTS. HULK CAN JUST TRY AND BE GOOD AND HAPPY, HERE AND NOW. HULK CAN STRIVE FOR PEACE AT THIS MOMENT NOW. AT ALL MOMENTS… SOME ARGUE WITHOUT HEAVEN THERE NO GUIDE TO MORALITY, BUT EVEN SCIENCE ARGUE WE MUST BE GOOD SO WE CAN CO-EXIST ON THIS PLANET. SO THAT WE CAN MAKE GOOD ON THIS ONE CHANCE. IT’S “LIVE TOGETHER OR DIE ALONE” REMEMBER? LOST SAID THIS SO MANY TIMES AND TOOK IT TO HEART. HULK NO THIS MAY SOUND AWFULLY GRIM TO SOME, BUT HULK ARGUE IT STILL SPIRITUAL IN THE PUREST SENSE. HULK WILL PUT IT THIS WAY: PEOPLE WHO OFTEN FIND RELIGION OFTEN CITE A BEAUTIFUL “AWAKENING MOMENT” WHERE THEY OVERCOME BY COMFORT AND EMOTION THAT COMES WITH EMBRACING GOD. IT A KIND OF JOY THAT RESTS IN THE BONES… WELL, THE MOMENT HULK FINALLY ACKNOWLEDGE DTHAT HULK BEEN WRESTLING WITH LOGISTICAL CONCEPT OF AFTERLIFE FOR HULK’S ENTIRE LIFE AND ALL IT DID WAS MAKE HULK UNEASY, AND WHEN HULK DECIDED THAT HULK’S TRUE FEELINGS IN LINE WITH ATHIESM, IT AT THAT MOMENT HULK FELT TRULY HAPPY AND COMFORTABLE WITH LIFE/DEATH FOR FIRST TIME IN HULK’S LIFE. HULK FELT IT IN BONES. IT WAS HULK’S SPIRITUAL MOMENT.  BUT THE KIND OF WONDERFUL THING ABOUT SCIENTIFIC ATHEISM, WHILE IT STILL ABSOLUTE AND NOT AGNOSTICISM, IT STILL NOT A BINDING BELIEF. IF GOD COULD ALL OF A SUDDEN BE SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN (AND INTELLIGENT DESIGNERS, NO, IT CAN’T YET). HULK WOULD SIGN UP. BUT BEING RELIGIOUS CAN OFTEN BE BINDING. SPIRITUALITY WORKS BEST IN NON-BINDING FLUX, JUST LIKE THE EVOLUTION OF SCIENTIFIC PROGRESSION.

(10) – THERE ONE WAY IN WHICH HULK UNDERSTAND WHY PEOPLE FASCINATE OVER ANSWERS. IT GO BACK TO HULK’S THEORY THAT LOTS OF VIEWERS JUST NOT PERCEPTIVE TO SUBTLETY. THE SUBTLE THINGS INSTEAD AFFECT THEM ON A VISCERAL LEVEL, SO THAT. THEY CAN FEEL “GOOD” OR FEEL “BAD” ABOUT WHAT HAPPENING. BUT WHEN COME TO SUPPORT AND ANSWER WHY THEY LIKE/NOT LIKE WHAT THEY SAW, THEY POINT TO THINGS THEY UNDERSTAND AND THAT OFTEN MANIFESTED IN TANGIBLE, OBVIOUS THINGS. HULK TALKED ABOUT THIS BEFORE. AND IN LOST‘S CASE THE INABILITY TO ARTICULATE SUBTLETY MANIFESTS ITSELF BY SAYING THE PROBLEMS OF THE SHOW BECAUSE THEY NOT “ANSWER” THINGS.

(11) – AND THE HOW EVEN IMPACTS THE WHAT… AND MAYBE THE OVERT NATURE OF THE “HOW” WITH THE ENDING, IMPLY ONE TERRIFYING THING… THE SHOW NOT REALLY BEING SYMBOLIC OR METAPHORICAL ANYMORE. IT BEING LITERAL.

RANDOM THING #1! BY THE WAY. IF THE WHISPERS THE PEOPLE LEFT ON ISLAND WHO CAN NO “MOVE ON” THAT EVERYONE WHO DIE ON THE ISLAND, ARE ALL OUR LOSTIES THE WHISPERS? LIKE WOULD JACK BE A WHISPER? BUT PRESUMABLY NOT THOSE WHO LEFT THE ISLAND? HULK NO GET.

RANDOM THING #2! WITH M.MORSE HERE A GOOD PLACE START WITH HIS WORK ON CHUD: http://www.chud.com/author/jesse-custer/page/6/ AND HERE HIS BLOG: http://losttherewatch.blogspot.com/ HE GREAT. READ HIS STUFF.

 

 

 

HEY EVERYONE! HULK HERE! PLEASE NOTE THAT THERE IS A FULLY RE-WRITTEN, UPDATED VERSION OF THIS COLUMN RIGHT HERE: http://badassdigest.com/2013/12/11/hulks-screenwriting-101-excerpt-the-myth-of-3-act-structure/

PLEASE CHECK IT OUT! HULK THANK!

*  *  *

HULK HEAR IT ALL THE TIME: “PROBLEMS IN THE FILM’S SECOND ACT.”

ALL… THE FUCKING… TIME.

NOW HULK UNDERSTAND THE INTENTION OF THE STATEMENT, IT USUALLY IMPLY WHEN FILM TREADING WATER, OR LOSE TRACK CHARACTERS, OR RUNNING OUT OF STEAM, OR CRAMMING STUFF IN, OR WHATEVER. HULK GET HOW COMMENT INTENDED. THE PROBLEM WITH THIS GENERIC “SECOND ACT” DESIGNATION THAT REALLY IT CAN IMPLY A PROBLEM WITH ANYTHING IN THE “MIDDLE PART” OF STORYTELLING. IT BEYOND VAGUE. SO WHAT CREATE SUCH WISHY-WASHY STORYTELLING? AND THE EVEN WISHY-WASHY-IER WAY OF EXPLAINING IT?

IT BECAUSE EVER-POPULAR NOTION OF THE 3 ACT STRUCTURE = THE MOST ABOMINABLE WAY TO EXPLAIN STORYTELLING IMAGINABLE. EVEN IF SOMEONE WROTE A STORY USING THE MODEL AS GUIDE, IT STILL, ESSENTIALLY, A MYTH.

IN ORDER TO EVEN DISCUSS, HULK FIRST MUST DEFINE WHAT CONSTITUTE AN “ACT.” PEOPLE USE THE WORD ALL THE TIME WITH OUT REALLY BOTHERING THINK WHAT IT MEAN. IT SORT OF JUST GENERAL PLACEHOLDER FOR “BEGINNING, MIDDLE, AND END.” AND WELL… THAT MEAN NOTHING.

SO HULK, AS WELL AS MANY SCREENWRITERS, PROFESSORS, ACTUAL GOOD BOOKS ON SUBJECT, AND MANY OTHER SMARTER PEOPLE THAN HULK, DEFINE THE END OF AN ACT AS FOLLOWING: A POINT IN STORY WHERE CHARACTER(S) MAKE CHOICE AND CAN NO LONGER “GO BACK.”

THE “POINT” OF COURSE = PURPOSELY VAGUE.  AFTER ALL, THERE MANY DIFFERENT KINDS STORIES, ALL WITH MANY DIFFERENT KINDS GOALS. BUT YOU MAY SAY “BUT HULK, COULDN’T THAT POINT REALLY BE ANYTHING? LIKE A CHARACTER JUST LEAVING HIS HOUSE AND GRABBING COFFEE OR SOMETHING?” OKAY IT HAVE BE SLIGHTLY MORE VALID THAN SIMPLE CHANGE IN ACTION OR ENVIRONMENT. THE ACT BREAK CAN BE NEW AND INTERESTING PLOT POINT, A POIGNANT CHARACTER DECISION, A PERSONALITY REVEAL, TWO PREVIOUSLY UN-MET CHARACTERS BECOMING FRIENDS, OR EVEN, IF HANDLED CORRECTLY, SOMETHING AS INSIPID AS “NO! THE BAD GUYS ARE HERE! RUN!” … IT CAN  BE ANYTHING AS LONG AS IT HAVE CHANGING NARRATIVE VALUE. THE CHARACTERS ALWAYS HAVE MOVE FORWARD IN SOME NEW REALITY/SITUATION.

THE TRUE END OF ACT CREATE PROPULSION.

WITH THIS DEFINITION, IT MEAN FILM CAN HAVE ANY NUMBER OF ACTS DEPENDING ON WHAT TRYING TO SAY/DO. A MOVIE LIKE MALCOLM X HAVE ABOUT 9 DISTINGUISHABLE ACTS IN HULK’S ESTIMATION, EACH FOCUSING ON TIME IN HIS LIFE WHERE MALCOLM GO THROUGH PERIOD OF FOCUS AND COME TO NEW KIND OF ENLIGHTENMENT OR CHARACTER REALITY. IT TRULY EPIC FILM THAT TAKE THE STANDARD BIOPIC (WHICH TEND JUST JUMP FROM EVENT TO EVENT IN PERSONS LIFE) AND SEPARATE THEM INTO VERY OBVIOUS “SECTIONS” OF CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT. IT ONE OF HULK’S FAVORITE MOVIES TO POINT TO WHEN COMES TO MULTI-ACT-LABELING.

AND HECK, SOME MOVIES HAVE UPWARDS OF 20 ACTS. IT ALL A QUESTION OF WHAT STORY YOU WANTING TELL AND THE BETTER YOU UNDERSTAND THIS “MOVING FORWARD” MARKING OF ACT BREAKS, THE BETTER THE SCREENPLAY AT PROPELLING NARRATIVE IN MEANINGFUL WAY.(1)

IT STRANGE WHEN YOU LOOK AT CERTAIN-OH-SO-TERRIBLE MOVIES WITH THIS DEFINITION OF AN ACT-DEFINING AND REALIZE “HOLY CRAP, SOME OF THESE MOVIES DO NOTHING LIKE THAT!”

*COUGH COUGH*

YUP. THIS TINY BIT OF ADVICE  OF IGNORING 3 ACT STRUCTURE IN FAVOR OF CONSTANT CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT WOULD SAVE HUNDREDS OF MOVIES.

FOR EXAMPLE, THE RECENT-AND-UTTER-SHIT-FEST GREEN LANTERN HAVE ONE REAL GENUINE ACT BREAK. REPEAT. ONE. OH SURE, THERE STUFF THAT HAPPEN, BUT IN TERMS OF MAIN CHARACTER PROPULSION? NOPE. TO REITERATE THE PLOT: HAL JORDAN = A PISSY-ASS FIGHTER PILOT, HE GIVEN LANTERN RING, ZAPPED TO OA (NEITHER HIS DECISION), TRAIN FOR ALL OF TWO SECONDS AND QUIT TO GO BACK BEING PISSY-ASS NON-FIGHTER PILOT. IT NOT UNTIL 90 DIFFERENT SCENES OF RELATIVE MOPING, FUTZING AROUND IN SUIT, AND FUCKING REJECTING BLAKE LIVELY’S ADVANCES, THAT HE EMBRACE BEING LANTERN AND MAKE ACTUAL FUCKING DECISION TO CHANGE CHARACTER AND GO BACK TO OA. AND NO TELL HULK THAT HAL GETTING THE RING = AN “ACT BREAK” BECAUSE HE THEN SPENT THEN ENTIRE “MIDDLE” OF MOVIE GOING BACK ON THAT. REPEAT, THE FILM HAVE ONE ACT BREAK. THAT IT. EVERYTHING ELSE, OUTSIDE OF HECTOR HAMMOND WHO THE ONE AN ACTUAL STORY ARC, JUST = STUFF HAPPENING. THERE NO CLEAR CHARACTER MOTIVATION AT PLAY IN ANYONE ELSE. THE FILM, ALONG WITH HUNDREDS OTHER MOVIES, PLAIN NO REALIZE WHAT “ACTS” MEAN. THEY NO REALIZE THAT CHARACTERS HAVE MAKE DECISIONS.

AND HULK BLAME THIS STRINGENT BELIEF IN EXISTENCE OF “3 ACT STRUCTURE” FOR CRAP LIKE THIS. HULK REALLY DO.

FOR STARTERS, IT GO BACK TO THAT PROBLEM OF PEOPLE NOT EVEN TRYING DEFINE “ACT BREAKS” WHATSOEVER. THIS WHOLE BEGINNING, MIDDLE, AND END THING MAKES SOME BASIC SENSE IN TERMS OF “SUMMARIZING” A PLOT, BUT IT LITERALLY GIVE ZERO INDICATION OF HOW ACTUALLY WRITE THAT STORY. IF USING THE TRADITIONAL MODEL OF 3 ACT STRUCTURE THEN THE 1ST ACT ALL “INTRODUCTION/SET UP” AND THE 3RD ACT “THE CLIMAX!” WHICH BOTH VAGUE BUT PRETTY  SELF-EXPLANATORY… BUT THEN THERE THAT SECOND ACT WHICH OFTEN JUST DEFINED AS “RISE IN CONFLICT”… SERIOUSLY WHAT THE FUCK THAT EVEN MEAN?

YOU KNOW… THE CONFLICT! JUST, UM, RISE IT!”

WHATEVER IT MEAN, IT CERTAINLY NOT GOOD STORYTELLING. SURE, HULK GUESS IT AN INCREDIBLY VAGUE SUMMARY OF WHAT HAPPENING, BUT AGAIN, IT NOT INSTRUCTING HOW ACTUALLY DO THAT. NONE OF THE GOOD STUFF WHICH CRITICAL TO CHARACTER ARCS, MOTIVATION, RELATIONSHIPS, PROPULSION. NONE OF IT!

MOST OF TIME IT LEAD WRITERS TO JUST TRY MAKE CONNECTING POINTS BETWEEN THE BEGINNING AND ENDING. THAT ABOUT IT. WHICH MEAN CHARACTERS NOT MOVING FORWARD IN ANY DISCERNIBLE WAY. JUST WAITING AROUND FOR 80 MINUTE MARK SO THAT THEY CAN BEGIN THAT ENDING THINGY. IT A SHELL GAME OF UNMOTIVATED EVENTS ALL BECAUSE THE DEFINITION OF 3 ACT STRUCTURE = COMPLETE ASS.

AS RESULT, WE HEAR IT ALL THE TIME: “THE PROBLEMS IN THE FILM’S SECOND ACT.”

SO OKAY, LET’S GET SERIOUS. IF THE 3 ACT MODEL SUCKS AND ACTS MERELY JUST CAN-NO-GO-BACK, HOW ACTUALLY APPROACH STRUCTURE THEN? LET HULK COMPARE THE TRADITIONAL 3 ACT MODEL WITH THAT OTHER OH SO FAMOUS ACT MODEL CREATED BY THE GREATEST STORYTELLING GENIUS OF ALL TIME: WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE.

THIS GUY

FACT: SHAKESPEARE’S PLAYS HAD 5 ACTS…  REPEAT: 5… NOT 3.

AND FOR SAKE OF EXPLANATION, HULK WILL USE MOST SHAKESPEARE’S MOST POPULAR PLAY, ROMEO AND JULIET (2), TO HELP ILLUSTRATE HULK’S UPCOMING POINT ABOUT NATURE OF STORY STRUCTURE.

THE 1ST ACT COMPRISED OF INTRODUCTIONS AND ESTABLISHING OF PRE-EXISTING CENTRAL MAIN CONFLICT (I.E. TWO FAMILIES AT ODDS, ROMEO LOVESICK PUP OVER ROSALINE, JULIET NAIVE AND LOVELORN GIRL). NOW, THIS PRE-EXISTING CONFLICT IN BACKGROUND SORT OF IMPORTANT BECAUSE IT CREATE A CONDITION OF THE WORLD THE AUDIENCE ENTERING. IT CREATE SENSE OF SPACE, HISTORY, AND BELIEVABILITY. AND IT BIG SURPRISE TO HULK HOW OFTEN IT IGNORED IN TRADITION OF GRAND BLOCKBUSTER  FILMMAKING THAT SO POPULAR NOWADAYS. AND HECK, EVEN IF IT SOME INTRICATE HUMAN DRAMA, THE PRE-EXISTING CONFLICT GIVE REASON FOR THE OCCURRENCE OF THE MAIN ACTION WHICH SPUR PLOT INTO EFFECT.

THE 2ND ACT USUALLY COMPRISED OF SOME KIND OF TURN OR REVERSAL WHICH CHALLENGE OR DEEPLY WORSEN THE MAIN CONFLICT, USUAL IN FORM OF RELATIONSHIP DEVELOPMENT, REVEAL, OR SURPRISE (I.E. STAR-CROSSED TEENAGERS ROMEO AND JULIET MEET AND GO GA-GA OVER ONE ANOTHER, WHICH HUGE PROBLEM GIVEN THE NATURE OF THE PRE-EXISTING CONFLICT). BASICALLY THIS ACT FEATURE THE MAIN DEVELOPMENT OF THE STORY. MEANING IF HAD TO EXPLAIN WHAT THE MOVIE ABOUT, THE CONFLICT BEING DESCRIBED SHOULD BE THE THING HAPPENING SOMEWHERE IN HERE, REVEALED IN WHICHEVER WAY BENEFIT THE STORY MOST.(3)

THE 3RD ACT COMPRISE A TURNING POINT. NOW, HULK REMIND YOU THIS NEED NOT BE A “TWIST” BUT MORE A SPURRING ACTION THAT MAKE THE CONFLICT INFINITELY MORE COMPLICATED (I.E. MERCUTIO DYING, ROMEO THEN KILLING TYBALT). OFTEN THESE MOMENTS SURPRISING. THEY DEEPLY AFFECT NOT ONLY THE SERIOUSNESS OF MAIN CONFLICT, BUT EVEN ALTER THE ACTUAL DIRECTION OF IT. THIS THE SORT OF THING ALLUDED TO IN THE “RISE IN CONFLICT” STATEMENT, BUT YOU KNOW, WAY MORE SPECIFIC. THE 3RD ACT SUCH GREAT OPPORTUNITY IN STORYTELLING AND SHAKESPEARE’S 3RD ACTS OFTEN THINGS OF BEAUTY: GREAT INVERSIONS. BEST INTENTIONS GONE AWRY. DEATHS! LOSS! CONFUSION! SUDDEN CHAOS! THE MOST IMPORTANT THING THAT EVEN THOUGH THESE THIS 3RD ACTS DON’T FINISH THE ARC OF THE STORY, THEY STILL CLIMAX-WORTHY IN SCALE, AND NOT JUST “HEY, LET’S PUT AN ACTION SCENE HERE!

“SO, MY FIRST ACT IS GONNA BE THIS FIGHT. THEN MY SECOND ACT IS GOING TO BE THIS FIGHT. MY THIRD ACT IS THE HOUR-LONG FIGHT SCENE WHERE NOTHING CHARACTER WISE ACTUALLY HAPPENS!”

BUT THE REAL KEY WITH THE THIRD ACT TO MAKE THE “TURNING POINT” ONE THAT DEEPLY AFFECTING AND TO CHANGE THE ARC OF THE STORY. IT SOMETHING FAR MORE IMPORTANT THEN JUST “PUTTING THINGS IN PLACE FOR CLIMAX”. SPEAKING OF WHICH…

THE 4TH ACT THEN “THE SPIRAL” AND IT ACTUALLY FULL OF DECISIONS THAT CAUSE CHARACTERS SINK TOWARD THE REAL CLIMAX (I.E. ROMEO AND JULIET DECIDE GO ON THE LAMB, HATCH PLAN TO FAKE DEATHS, ETC). IN TRUTH THIS THE POINT WHERE YOU REALLY ARRANGING AND SETTING UP THE CLIMAX, BUT IN THAT GOAL IT IMPORTANT REMEMBER THAT STAYING TRUE TO CHARACTER ARCS. IT REALLY THE BEST PLACE TO EXPOSE THE DEEP CHARACTER FLAWS THAT WILL EITHER BRING DOWN HERO OR ALLOW THEM SUCCEED. (MEANWHILE, THE THIRD ACT TURNING POINT CAN SOMETIMES ALLOW FOR MAIN CHARACTER ACTING OUT OF CHARACTER. IT A NEAT LITTLE DISTINCTION). THE 4TH ACT ALSO GREAT OPPORTUNITY FOR QUIET MOMENTS OF REFLECTION BEFORE THE FINALE, BUT IT CAN NO JUST BE ALL REFLECTION AND PAUSING (COUGH COUGH GREEN LANTERN). AGAIN, THAT “FULL OF DECISIONS” ASPECT NEED BE THERE. THE PACE SHOULD QUICKEN. THINGS SHOULD FEEL LIKE THEY FALLING OUT OF CONTROL. IT THE SPIRAL.

AND THE 5TH ACT WHERE AUDIENCE GET THE CLIMAX/RESOLUTIONS/WEDDINGS/TRAGEDY/FALLOUT/ETC. (I.E. ROMEO AND JULIET KILL SELVES, FAMILY HEARTBROKEN AND DECLARE PEACE). (4) THE MOST IMPORTANT THING REMEMBER THAT IT NO JUST “WRAPPING THINGS UP” BUT THE ENCAPSULATION OF THE STORY AND SHOULD EXHIBIT ALL THE POINTS ONE TRYING MAKE IN MOVIE. THE CLIMAX AND RESOLUTION = THE GOAL OF YOUR MOVIE. IT SHOULD BE THE SUMMATION OF EVERYTHING YOU WRITTEN SO FAR. IT SHOULD NO BE FREAKIN’ AFTERTHOUGHT.

AGAIN, THIS 5 ACT STRUCTURE THING JUST AN EXAMPLE. CAN DO WHATEVER YOU THINK BEST. LIKE THE 9 ACTS IN MALCOLM X. BUT IF LOOKING FOR TOOL TO HELP STRUCTURE YOUR STORY THEN, WELL, ONE COULD DO A LOT WORSE THAN SHAKESPEARE. NO MATTER WHAT THE STORY: TRAGEDY, COMEDY, OR HISTORY, HE USED THIS SPECIFIC 5 ACT STRUCTURE EVERY TIME. THE INTRO, THE CONCEIT, THE TURN, THE SPIRAL, THE CLIMAX. HE GET HEAPED WITH PRAISE OVER MASTERY OF LANGUAGE AND THE DEEP RESONANCE OF THEMATICS, SOME EVEN CREDIT HIM AS THE FATHER OF PSYCHOLOGY, BUT HE JUST SO FUCKING BRILLIANT AT STORY STRUCTURE TO BOOT… IT SORT OF UNFAIR. AND HULK KNOW IT MAY SEEM LAME BRING UP SUCH AN OBVIOUS CHOICE AS “BEST WRITER EVER” BUT, WELL, HE WAS.

AGREES

SO NOW THEN.

HULK WANT YOU GO BACK TO TRADITIONAL DEFINITION OF 3 ACT STRUCTURE FOR SECOND. YOU MAY NOTICE SOMETHING VERY IMPORTANT WHEN COMPARING IT TO SHAKESPEARE’S MODEL. THE WAY THE SECOND ACT DESCRIBED IN 3 ACT STRUCTURE = THE SAME WAY ACT 4 DEFINED IN SHAKESPEARE’S MODEL. HIS “SPIRAL” REALLY SIMILAR TO THE “RISE IN CONFLICT.”

HULK ARGUE THIS SO FUCKING TELLING IT NOT EVEN FUNNY.

IT MEAN THAT THIS LITTLE WAY SHAKESPEARE ESCALATING THE STAKES AND POSITIONING THE ENDGAME = THE SAME EXACT WAY HOLLYWOOD SCREENWRITERS HANDLE THE ENTIRE MIDDLE PARTS OF THEIR GODDAMN MOVIE.

NO WONDER THEY AIMLESS AND BORING.

FOR ONE, IT NO MISTAKE THAT SHAKESPEARE’S ACT 4 ALWAYS THE SHORTEST, LEAST INTERESTING, AND LEAST COMPELLING OF EVERY SINGLE ONE HIS PLAYS. SO IMAGINE TRYING FIT THAT SAME STORY TELLING LOGIC INTO THE 30-60 SUM ODD PAGES THAT MAKE UP SECOND ACTS? IT MEAN THEY CHARACTERS JUST WAITING AROUND. IT MEAN THE WRITERS JUST TRYING COME UP WITH DISTRACTIONS AND B.S. CONFLICTS THAT NO HAVE DO WITH THE POINT OR AFFECTING THE ARC OF STORY. IT MEAN THAT WRITERS END UP CRAMMING TOO MUCH GOOD STUFF IN “FIRST ACT” TO TRY AND ESTABLISH ALL NEEDED DETAILS WHEN REALLY THEY MISSING GREAT OPPORTUNITY FOR DEVELOPING A STORY AT ORGANIC PACE.(5)

SO MAYBE SHAKESPEARE NOT YOUR THING. YOU MAY ASK “HULK, HOW THIS 5 ACT WORK WITH POPULAR MOVIE GOING? I NO REMEMBER SEEING FIVE ACT MOVIE BE BIG HIT.”

THIS WHERE HULK POLITELY REQUEST YOU LOOK AT HOST OF EXAMPLES. HECK, LOOK HULK’S OLD BUDDY/GREAT MOVIE IRON MAN, WHICH HAVE EXCEPTIONAL STORY STRUCTURE. THE ONE THING EVERYONE SEEMED LOVE THAT IT SPENT SO LONG BEFORE TONY ACTUALLY BECOME “IRON MAN” SO THEY GET EXPERIENCE ALL THE GREAT CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT TO GET THERE. EVERYONE LAUDED THE FUN SENSE OF ADVENTURE THAT CAME FROM HIM ACTUALLY BUILDING THE SUIT. IT NEVER RUSHED GETTING TO “THE ACTION” THAT CAUSE THE STORYTELLING = THE ACTION. BUT THIS BIG BUDGET MOVIE!!! HOW THIS HAPPEN? GOOD STRUCTURE THAT’S HOW. GUESS HOW MANY ACTS THE MOVIE HAVE?

YUP. FIVE.

“OBIDIAH, I KNEW HIM WELL!”

NO BELIEVE HULK?

ACT ONE – INTRO + STATE OF PRE-EXISTING CONFLICT – WE GET SEE TONY AS PLAYBOY AND THE EXTERNAL MORAL CONFLICT OF SUPPLYING WEAPONS.

TWO – THE CONCEIT AND PUTTING AT ODDS WITH PRE-EXISTING CONFLICT – TONY CAPTURED AND PUT IN TERRORIST CAMP. DISCOVERS REALITY ABOUT HIS WEAPONS BUILDING AND LIFE THREATENED. BUILDS PROTOTYPE SUIT AND ESCAPES.

THREE – THE TURNING POINT – TONY NOW BACK AT HOME, HE MAKES MORAL DECISION SHUTS DOWN WEAPONS OPS CHANGE DIRECTION OF HIS LIFE. TONY DECIDES TO CONTINUE ON PATH AND BUILD NEW SUIT. OBADIAH REVEALED AS BAD GUY BEHIND TONY’S KIDNAPPING. TONY GOES LIVE W/ SUIT.

FOUR – THE SPIRAL/ESCALATION OF CONFLICT – TONY CONTINUES USE THE SUIT OUT IN REAL WAR CONFLICT AND HAS “HERO TRIALS” SO TO SPEAK, ADMITS TRUTH TO RHODES, GETS SIDELINED BY OBIDIAH, NOW IN GRIM CIRCUMSTANCE. NOTICE THAT THESE DEVELOPMENTS FEEL MORE OF THE ACTION-Y WHEEL-SPINNING ACTIVITIES THAT REEK OF STANDARD ACT 2 DEVELOPMENTS ONE SEES IN 3 ACT STRUCTURE. BUT IN THIS MOVIE? BECAUSE IT COME AFTER THE AWESOME SUIT-BUILDING TURN OF ACT 3, IT FEEL FRESH AND EXCITING TO NOW SEE IRON MAN IN ACTION. AND IT GO ON FOR PERFECT SHORTER LENGTH OF TIME BEFORE MOVING TO INEVITABLE FINALE.

FIVE- = CLIMAX/CONCLUSION/RESOLUTION – TONY’S CONFLICT WITH OBIDIAH COMES TO CONCLUSION BOTH PERSONALLY AND AS, YOU KNOW, BIG IRON MEN FIGHTING IN DEATH SUITS. THE IMPORTANT PART THAT ALL THE PLOTS ALL COME TOGETHER EVEN THOUGH THE ACTION FELT UNDERWHELMING. HULK ACTUALLY FIND THAT PART KINDA NEAT AS IT MEANT “THE ACTION” = THE LEAST INTERESTING PART OF BIG SUMMER BLOCKBUSTER. THAT AN ACHIEVEMENT.

“IT’S CALLED CHARISMA AND CHARACTERIZATION BITCHES”

SOME OF YOU MAY ARGUE THERE LOTS OTHER POSSIBLE ACT BREAKS IN IRON MAN. THAT THAT ABSOLUTELY TRUE. GREAT WRITING FILLED WITH “MICRO-ACTS” WHICH HELP PROPEL EVERY SCENE FORWARD.  THERE REALLY MANY DIFFERENT STORIES: TONY’S ARC WITH PEPPER HAVE IT OWN ACT BREAKS. TONY’S RELATIONSHIP WITH OBIDIAH HAVE ITS OWN BREAKS. IT WHAT MAKE A STORY FEEL PROPULSIVE + ORGANIC. AFTER ALL, EVERY SCENE SHOULD HAVE REAL GOAL AND OBJECTIVE TO IT. SO GOING BACK TO THE POINT AT HAND, LABELING ALL THAT GREAT CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT AND DECISION-MAKING IN THE MIDDLE OF MOVIE AS JUST “RISE IN CONFLICT” = FUCKING ASININE.

AND IT NOT JUST SHAKESPEARE AND IRON MAN FOLKS. HULK FIND MOST TRADITIONAL NARRATIVES (AT LEAST THE WELL TOLD ONES) HAVE ABOUT 5-6 ACTS. IT JUST A GREAT MODEL FOR TRADITIONAL STORYTELLING. NOTICE THAT ALL ONE HOUR TV DRAMAS ALL SEGMENTED INTO 5 ACTS? YES IT FOR COMMERCIAL BREAKS, BUT THIS MAGIC NUMBER NO REAL ACCIDENT AND IT REALLY HELP MAKE TV SHOWS PROPULSIVE. AGAIN, LIKE ANYTHING, YOU MORE THAN ALLOWED TO BREAK AWAY FROM THIS MODEL, BUT YOU BE SURPRISED HOW MANY NON-TRADITIONAL NARRATIVES UTILIZE 5-6 ACTS.

PEOPLE LOOOOOOOOVE TALK ABOUT QUENTIN TARANTINO’S NON-LINEAR STORYTELLING AS COUNTER EXAMPLE TO “ACT-BASED” STORYTELLING. PARTICULARLY WITH PULP FICTION. BUT GUESS WHAT? THAT MOVIE EXACTLY 5 ACTS (PLUS LITTLE VIGNETTES). RESERVOIR DOGS? 5 ACTS. BOTH KILL BILLS? EACH ONE HAS 5 ACTS. INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS? 5 ACTS. YOU SENSE THEME?

“TO BE OR NOT TO BE”

HULK JUST CAN NO EMPHASIZE THIS ENOUGH.

A STORY A MULTIFACETED THING. IF YOU WANTING TO STRUCTURE YOUR STORY, REMEMBER TO HAVE BOTH ACT STRUCTURE FOR THE MAIN PLOT AND ACT STRUCTURE FOR THE EACH OF YOUR CHARACTERS PERSONALITY DEVELOPMENTS. BY HAVING ALL THESE VARYING STRUCTURES, EACH WITH THEIR OWN BEATS, IT CREATE A CONSTANT SENSE OF “MOVING FORWARD” FOR MOVIE. THAT WHY THEY CALL IT “DEVELOPMENT” AND IT THE KEY TO BRINGING YOUR AUDIENCE ALONG FOR JOURNEY.

PERHAPS YOU THINK HULK BEING TOO HARD ON 3 ACT STRUCTURE. THAT PERHAPS HULK SIMPLIFYING IT IN EFFORT TO TEAR IT DOWN.

FINE.

READ THIS “SUMMARY” OF 3 ACT STRUCTURE AND ENJOY THE BIGGEST EXAMPLE OF MISSING THE FUCKING POINT IN HISTORY:

http://www.lavideofilmmaker.com/filmmaking/screenplay-tips-three-act-structure.html

… WOW. HULK MEAN… WOW. THIS GIVEN AS ACTUAL ADVICE. AND WHAT ABOUT THAT AMAZING PART WHERE HE TAKE ACT 2-4 OF SHAKESPEARE’S WRITING AND ESTABLISH IT AS HIS “ACT 2″ WHICH NOT ONLY HILARIOUS IN ITS OVER-SIMPLIFICATION BUT IT ACTUALLY IGNORE 3 ACT STRUCTURE RULES BECAUSE THE CONCEIT INTRODUCED IN SECOND ACT NOT END OF FIRST. THE WHOLE THING LAUGHABLE.

YUP, ALL YOU’LL EVER NEED TO TELL A STORY!

PLEASE. IF YOU WRITING SCREENPLAY. HULK TELLING YOU. THE 3 ACT STRUCTURE = GARBAGE.

STOP CITING IT IN ARTICLES.

STOP TALKING ABOUT IT WITH FRIENDS.

IT WILL NOT HELP YOU.

IT CAN ONLY HURT YOU.

STAY THE FUCK AWAY FROM ANYONE WHO EVEN CLAIM IT EXIST. IF THEY SAY IT DO. SAY “OR COURSE SHIT HAS BEGINNING, MIDDLE, AND ENDING YOU INSUFFERABLE TURD” THEN THROW A DRINK IN THEIR FACE AND RUN AWAY…

… OKAY, MAYBE HULK GETTING CARRIED AWAY. PERHAPS ALL THIS ADVICE USELESS.

AFTER ALL, IT PARTICULARLY TELLING OF HOLLYWOOD THAT THEY EVEN FAIL AT THE BASICS OF THIS SUPPOSED 3 ACT STRUCTURE. BECAUSE SO MANY MOVIES GREEN-LIT ON JUST A “PITCH” AND SOME STARS ATTACHED, YOU BASICALLY HAVE MOVIES BEING MADE THAT HAVE ONLY FIGURED OUT THE CONCEIT, MEANING THEY ONLY KNOW THE FIRST ACT… AND THAT FUCKING IT. THE ENDINGS OF THESE BARELY ESTABLISHED CONCEITS UNIFORMLY TEND BE TERRIBLE. IT BECAUSE THE WRITERS JUST KEEP WRITING IN STRAIGHT LINE FROM THEIR STARTING POINT, PURSUING THE FALLOUT TIL THEY JUST RUN OUT OF STEAM. YOU BE STUNNED BY AMOUNT WRITERS THAT NO PLAN OUT MOVIE AND JUST SORT OF WRITING STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS. AND YES, THERE SOME GENIUSES WHO GET AWAY WITH WRITING LIKE THAT BUT TRUTH IS, THOSE GENIUSES HAVE INHERENT UNDERSTANDING OF PACING, DEVELOPMENT, CHARACTERIZATION, AND PROPULSION SO IT FLOWING OUT NATURALLY TO THEM.

IT REALLY INCONCEIVABLE TO HULK THAT FOLKS CAN START MAKING MOVIE WITHOUT TRULY “KNOWING” THE ENDING. IF YOU WANT BE WRITER, ALWAYS KNOW YOUR ENDING. HECK, YOUR ENDING SHOULD BE  IT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU DOING. TO REITERATE, NO ONE EVER SEEM REALIZE THAT THE ENDING IS THE CONCEIT. IT LITERALLY THE COMPLETE SUMMATION OF WHAT YOU FUCKING TRYING TO SAY.

OH BALLS

TO SUMMARIZE THIS INSANE RANT:

THE AMOUNT OF ACTS MOVIE SHOULD BE DEPENDENT ON STORY WANT TO TELL. EACH ACT SHOULD REACH THIS MOVING FORWARD POINT IN ORGANIC, EARNED WAY. AND TOTAL NUMBER DEPENDENT ON HOW MUCH TRYING ACCOMPLISH WITH STORY. MORE IMPORTANTLY, THEY SHOULD ALL TIE TOGETHER IN COHERENT WAY.  AND THEN, ULTIMATELY, IT SHOULD TRY BE DONE WITH BEST ECONOMY POSSIBLE WITHOUT LOSING ANYTHING CRITICAL OR AFFECTING THE ORGANIC QUALITY.

HULK LOVE BRINGING UP THE ORIGINAL KUNG FU PANDA ALL THE TIME, NOT BECAUSE IT GREAT MOVIE, BUT BECAUSE IT KNOW PERFECTLY HOW TO INTEGRATE SIMPLE STORIES INTO COHERENT AND ECONOMIC NARRATIVE. IT SO TRUE TO THE BASICS AND YET COMPLETELY EFFECTIVE. IT STORYTELLING 101.(6)

HULK KNOW, HULK KNOW. HULK REFERENCE STORYTELLING 101 ALL FREAKING TIME. IT SORT OF BECOMING HULK’S MANTRA. BUT IT STUNNING HOW OFTEN PEOPLE FORGET THE MOST BASIC TENANTS.

AGAIN, HULK’S EMPHASIS ON STORYTELLING 101 NOT A HOW-TO-GUIDE OF STRINGENT RULES, IT MERELY A TOOL HELP MAKE WHAT YOU WANT DO MORE FOCUSED. BECAUSE IN ORDER INVERT RULES, ONE MUST UNDERSTAND THE RULES IN FIRST PLACE. HULK HEARD THIS ALL TIME IN WRITING CLASSES AND THE REBELLIOUS MINDED YOUTH TEND PAY IT NO HEED. BUT IT NOT UNTIL MUCH LATER IN LIFE, AFTER LOGGING ABOUT 1000-2000 HOURS OF SCREENWRITING THAT HULK REALLY “GOT IT” SO TO SPEAK.(7)

NO MATTER WHO YOU ARE, STORYTELLING LARGELY ABOUT PROBLEM SOLVING. ONE CAN ALWAYS COME UP WITH GREAT IDEAS THAT MOTIVATE AND EXCITE, BUT THE OTHER HALF THAT EQUATION FIGURING OUT HOW MAKE TRANSLATE TO FULLY FORMED REALITY. HOW MAKE A MOVIE THAT TRUE TO THAT CONCIET? ONE THAT WORK ON EVERY LEVEL? ULTIMATELY, THE WRITER ASK HOW MAKE THIS SCENE WORK? HOW ESTABLISH WHAT WANT SAY?

IT PROBLEM SOLVING.

AND TAKE HULK’S ADVICE. THE 3 ACT STRUCTURE NO HELP YOU PROBLEM SOLVE.

JUST DIE ALREADY

ENDNOTES:

(1) YES, EVEN WITH “CHASE MOVIES” THE SIMPLE ACT OF “IT THE BAD GUYS! RUN!” WORK IN TERMS OF CHANGING THE SITUATION REALITY, BUT IT OFTEN BECOME SO DULL AND REPETITIVE THAT MORE INTERESTING THINGS HAVE BE GOING ON/DEFINING THE SITUATION. THIS THE CHIEF REASON MICHAL BAY MOVIES NO WORK. IT ONLY THE CHASE. SURE, HE SOMETIMES ABLE TO MASK THIS MACGUFFIN/SET-PIECE-JUMPING WITH DISTRACTING VISUALS OR ATTEMPTS AT QUASI-RACIST COMEDY, BUT THE CHASE ALWAYS BECOME BORING. THERE NO ACTUAL INTRIGUE.*

*OKAY MR. HULK THERE A CHASE MOVIE THAT JUST ALL PLOT BUT STILL WORK?” YES. IT CALLED THE FRENCH CONNECTION. THAT MOVIE KICKS 100% ASS BECAUSE IT WORK OFF PURE INTRIGUE AND TWO LIKABLE CHARACTERS/ACTORS YOU FOLLOW DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE. IT PERFECT. ALSO FX’S “THE SHIELD” KNEW HOW DEAL CREATE A STREAM OF SHIFTING NARRATIVE INTRIGUE ACROSS 6 SEASONS. IT CAN BE DONE.**

**MEANWHILE, JJ ABRAMS  ONLY SEEM KNOW HOW PRESENT THE MOST APPETIZING INTRIGUE EVER, BUT THEN HE NOT KNOW HOW DELVE INTO IT… WHATSOEVER. EVERYONE ALWAYS DEMAND “ANSWERS” OF JJ’S WORK, BUT REALLY THEY JUST WANT CATHARSIS. OR HECK EVEN DEVELOPMENTS WILL DO… YOU KNOW WHAT? FUCK IF THEY DON’T JUST WANT STORYTELLING… THE MYSTERY ONLY GO SO FAR.

(2) SORRY FOLKS, IT NOT HULK’S FAVORITE PLAY, BUT IT BEST KNOWN. SO IT HELPS WHEN TRYING EXPLAIN.

(3) AND NOW, HULK HAVE A HELPFUL TOOL FOR YOU! SOMETIMES THERE EXPRESSION USED IN SCREENWRITING CALLED “PAGE 17″ WHICH MEAN THAT BY PAGE 17 THE AUDIENCE SHOULD NOW HAVE IDEA WHERE THE FILM GOING. IT SOUND DUMB AND IT CERTAINLY NOT HARD OR FAST RULE, BUT YOU BE STUNNED BY NUMBER OF SCRIPTS THAT HIT THE CONCEIT OF THEIR MOVIE EXACTLY ON PAGE 17. IT JUST SORT OF GOOD PLACE TO AIM BECAUSE IT GIVE ENOUGH ROOM BOTH ESTABLISH THE WORLD AND THEN BE ON WAY. NOT ALWAYS, BUT GENERALLY IF YOU WAITING TIL PAGE 30 TO GET TO FREAKING CONCEIT YOU WAITED TO LONG. ANYCRAP. AIM FOR PAGE 17-ISH.

(4) HULK JUST WANT MENTION THAT ROMEO AND JULIET MIGHT BE MOST MISUNDERSTOOD PLAY IN HISTORY. YES, SHAKESPEARE CRITICIZING OVERZEALOUS AND DOMINEERING PARENTAGE (AND RACISM BY PROXY) AND EVEN THOUGH HE UNDERSTANDING OF YOUNG LOVE AND ALL THAT, SHAKESPEARE ALSO CLEARLY EXPRESSING THAT ROMEO AND JULIET WERE DUMBASS BRATS WHO TOOK THEMSELVES WAY, WAY, WAY TOO SERIOUSLY. THEY WEREN’T IN LOVE. THEY WERE INFATUATED. THE PLAY ABOUT THE PRATFALLS OF INFATUATION. THERE. HULK SAID IT*

*OOOOOH, AND RANDOM NOTE ON SHAKESPEARE: HULK TALKED ABOUT CHARACTERS HAVING MAKE DECISIONS. WELL HAMLET A PLAY THAT LITERALLY ABOUT INDECISIVE CHARACTER. THE KEY THAT IT STILL HAVE TONS NARRATIVE STEAM AS IT DEAL WITH OTHER ASPECTS OF HIS CHARACTER AND EXPLORE THE EFFECTS OF HIS MIS-STEPS ON ACCOUNT OF SAID INDECISIVENESS. AND IT MAYBE BEST PLAY EVER. MOVING ON!

(5) LET HULK EVEN THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX HERE. SO MANY MOVIES SO CAREFUL TO TELL EVERYTHING ABOUT CHARACTERS RIGHT UP FRONT SO YOU KNOW EVERYTHING RIGHT AWAY. HULK THINK THIS MISTAKE. THINK ABOUT IT. IF A CHARACTER REVEAL AND “TWIST” WORK SAME WAY IN TERMS OF PROVIDING NEW INFORMATION TO AUDIENCE, WHY NO TAKE LONGER REVEAL SOME GOOD INFORMATION AND MAKE SECOND ACTS MORE INTERESTING? ATTACK THE BLOCK GREAT EXAMPLE OF MOVIE THAT TAKE LONGER TIME REVEALING THE CHARACTERS AND PROVIDING INTRIGUE WHILE THE A PLOT DEVELOPED AROUND THEM. SO HULK ASK, WHY NOT INTRODUCE A CHARACTER OVER LONGER PERIOD OF TIME? HULK RECENTLY ESPOUSE THE INCREDIBLE MERITS OF HAPPY-GO-LUCKY BECAUSE IT GRADUALLY REVEAL THE MORE DIMENSIONS OF ITS MAIN CHARACTER OVER ENTIRE COURSE OF MOVIE. AND NOT TO BEAT DEAD HORSE, BUT GOING BACK TO GREEN LANTERN THAT MOVIE SO QUICK TO HURRY UP AND ESTABLISH ALL THE ASPECTS OF HAL JORDAN THAT PERTINENT BEFORE HE GET RING THAT THERE LITERALLY NOTHING TO SAY ABOUT HIM AFTER HE GET IT. AND HEY REMEMBER THE FAMILY THEY INTRODUCED AT THE BEGINNING THAT NEVER SHOW UP IN REST OF MOVIE? UGH.

(6) TO ILLUSTRATE FURTHER, HULK GOING COMPARE IT TO AVATAR, WHICH ALSO HIGHLY AWARE OF ALL IT’S STRUCTURAL BEATS. YET KUNG FU PANDA ACTUAL KNOW HOW INVEST SENSE OF EMOTION AND MAKE THE STORY FEEL BOTH REAL AND INTEGRATED TO ALL THE CHARACTERS AT HAND. YES, THEY BOTH SIMPLE APPROACHES TO STORY. BUT KUNG FU PANDA USED THAT SIMPLICITY TO ACHIEVE A COHESIVE NARRATIVE, WHILE AVATAR WAS PAINT-BY-NUMBERS. ANYCRAP…

(7) IT BRING UP INTERESTING DILEMMA WITH REGARD FILM CRITICS. THE SCREENWRITER SEEM LOVE LAMBAST THE CRITIC AS KNOW-NOTHING-WANNABE. THIS STRIKE HULK AS MISGUIDED AND GROSS MISUNDERSTANDING OF THE ROLE OF CRITICS. THEIR JOB, IN THIS ERA ESPECIALLY, TO FOSTER AND ENGAGE IN A DIALOGUE WITH CONSUMERS. AND TO DISMISS THE CRITIC’S REACTION = TO INDIRECTLY INSINUATE CONSUMER HAVE NO VALUE EITHER. WHICH A BIG, BIG PROBLEM. BUT, ON OTHER END OF SPECTRUM THEY DO HAVE  POINT.  WRITING A COHESIVE NARRATIVE AN EXTREMELY DIFFICULT TASK AND UNLESS HAVE REAL FAMILIARITY WITH THE PRACTICE ITSELF, NOT JUST THE END RESULTS, IT EASY TO NOT UNDERSTAND HOW THE PROBLEMS ONE ENCOUNTERS MANIFEST ON SCREEN. THERE A MILLION WAYS A GOOD SCRIPT CAN BE MASSACRED BY FINAL PRODUCT OR WAYS A CRAPPY SCRIPT CAN BE ELEVATED TO SOMETHING MORE FUNCTIONAL, BUT ALL OF THAT COMPLICATION CAN BE OBSCURED WHEN VIEWING THE FINAL PRODUCT. WHAT CRITICS MISS MOST OF ALL = THAT WRITERS OFTEN ACUTELY AWARE OF THEIR OWN WORK’S FAILINGS. BUT THEY WENT WITH THEIR CHOICE BECAUSE THEY FELT IT MAY HAVE ACHIEVED A LARGER GOAL, OR IT WOULD COME OFF DIFFERENTLY, OR SIMPLY BECAUSE SOMEONE ELSE DID SOMETHING DIFFERENT AND THEY HAD NO CHOICE. WRITING LARGELY A GAME OF “WHAT LOSES HERE?” IN ORDER CONCENTRATE ON A, B, AND C, SOMETIMES D FALLS BY WAYSIDE.  AND THERE ALWAYS SOMEONE IN AUDIENCE WHO CARE ABOUT D. ULTIMATELY, THE BEST FILMS NAVIGATE THIS DIFFICULT PATH SEAMLESSLY. THEY PICK THE RIGHT THINGS FOCUS ON AND KEEP EVERYTHING BALANCED WITH TONE… AND IT ABSURDLY DIFFICULT.

MIKE LEIGH MIGHT BE BEST FILMMAKER IN THE WORLD.

THAT TOUGH DISTINCTION GIVE ANYONE, ONE THAT LOADED WITH ALL SORTS EXPECTATIONS FROM EVERY KIND OF DISCERNING TASTE IMAGINABLE.  STILL, IT ONE THOSE THINGS THAT JUST FEEL TRUE. SURE, IF HULK JUST WANTED BE SAFE ABOUT THE WHOLE THING, HULK COULD HAVE JUST SAID LEIGH ONE OF “FAVORITE” FILMMAKERS… BUT REALLY THAT JUST FEEL LIKE A WASTE OF WORDS.

MIKE LEIGH MORE SPECIAL THAN THAT.

IT NO HELP THAT LEIGH ALSO ONE OF MOST MISUNDERSTOOD FILMMAKERS ON PLANET. THE CENTRAL TALKING POINT FOR HIS CAREER ABOUT HIS PROCESS AND “IMPROVISATIONAL” STYLE, BUT THIS MISCONSTRUED DEDUCTION. THE POPULAR UNDERSTANDING OF MIKE LEIGH’S PROCESS THAT HE COME UP WITH IDEA, GET ACTORS TOGETHER, THEN THEY JUST SORT OF DICK AROUND AND REHEARSE, FIGURE IT OUT, AND THEY SHOOT THE MOVIE LOOSELY CREATING THIS “NATURAL” TONE HE SO FAMOUS FOR.

BUT THIS NOT WHAT HAPPEN. WHATSOEVER.

IT ACTUALLY BEGIN WHEN LEIGH WRITE A FIRST DRAFT OF MOVIE. HULK, HAVING PERSONALLY READ SOME OF THESE FIRST DRAFTS, CAN ASSURE YOU THAT THESE NOT JUST SET OF BLUEPRINTS OR OUTLINE, BUT TRUE-BLUE PROTO-VERSIONS OF THE EVENTUAL FILM. AND THEY OFTEN BETTER THAN MOST SCRIPTS HULK EVER READ. WHAT FOLLOW NEXT A PERIOD OF REHEARSAL FOR SEVERAL WEEKS WITH CAST. THROUGH VERY ORGANIC PROCESS, THE REHEARSAL ESSENTIALLY INFORM A NEW VERSION OF THE SCRIPT BASED ON WHAT THEY DISCOVERED TOGETHER. SOMETIMES IT SIMPLE AS LINES ADJUSTED TO FIT ACTOR’S CADENCE. OCCASIONALLY THEY DISCOVER WHAT NOT WORKING. AND YES, IDEAS STREAMLINED FOR SURE, BUT IT NOT LIKE THE MOVIE MADE UP THERE ON THE SPOT. THEY THEN SHOOT THE FILM WITH NEWLY-ESTABLISHED, FULLY-DEVELOPED SCRIPT IN PLACE.

THE TRUTH IS THIS LIKE LOT OTHER PRE-PRODUCTION PROCESSES IT JUST LEIGH’S: 1) A LOT LONGER 2) VERY CAREFUL + EXACTING, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY 3) SCHEDULED BEFOREHAND.

…IF ONLY ALL MOVIES COULD DO THIS.

MAYBE COULD FIGURE HOW RECONCILE THE TWO STORIES THEY TELLING

WHAT FUNNY THAT THIS FAMOUS PROCESS SPUR ON ANOTHER WORD PEOPLE ALSO LOVE THROW AROUND WHEN DESCRIBING LEIGH’S WORK: “THEATRICAL.” WHICH ONLY TRUE IN SENSE THAT THIS REHEARSAL-HEAVY STYLE DELIBERATELY TAKEN FROM LEIGH’S DAYS OF DIRECTING THE LONDON STAGE. BUT THAT REALLY WHERE COMPARISONS END. IN TERMS OF ACTUAL SCREEN CONTENT AND “STYLE, HIS WORK LACK ALL SENSE OF THEATRICALITY. SURE, LEIGH NOT ONE FOR OVERT CINEMATIC STYLINGS. HE JUST FAVOR THE FORGOTTEN ART OF “INVISIBLE FILMMAKING.” EVERY EDIT CONTROLLED AND SPECIFIC WHILE BARELY NOTICING. THE CINEMATOGRAPHY GENTLE AND MEASURED, THE AUDIENCE ALWAYS FEEL LIKE THEY JUST ANOTHER PERSON IN ROOM INVOLVED IN CONVERSATION. THE CAMERA RARELY MOVE, BUT THE CHARACTERS AND SETTING MANAGE FILL THE SPACE INSTEAD. HULK FASCINATED BY HIS CONTINUOUS USE OF TWO-SHOTS. LEIGH USE THEM MORE THAN ANY DIRECTOR HULK EVER SEEN (1) AND HE FAVOR THESE SLIGHTLY ASYMMETRIC PERSPECTIVES TO HIGHLIGHT THE IMPORTANCE OF THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE CHARACTERS.  TO LEIGH, THAT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING, ALL THE TIME, ALWAYS. THE EFFECT OF DOING SO TWO-FOLD: 1) IT ACHIEVE THE NATURALISM THAT LEIGH SEEKING ESTABLISH IN HIS WORLDS AND 2) IT AN EXAMPLE OF TRULY PURE ECONOMICAL FILMMAKING.

BUT THIS JUST AESTHETICS. IT THE THEMATICS WHERE LEIGH TRULY THRIVE.

SEE, MORE THAN ANYONE, MIKE LEIGH KEENLY AWARE OF THE CONVENTIONS OF MOVIES.  AND HE UTILIZE AUDIENCE EXPECTATIONS SO SLYLY AS TO MAKE HULK SHAKE HEAD IN WONDER AND AWE. NOW THESE CINEMATIC CONVENTIONS THAT USED NOT THE SAME AS, SAY, QUENTIN TARANTINO OR EDGAR WRIGHT, WHO OFTEN THEM IN A CINEMATIC SENSE; MEANING THEY MAY BREAK SUDDENLY BREAK INTO A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT STYLE OF FILM: ACTION, ROMANCE, ANYTHING THAT SERVE THE LARGER STORY. THIS NOT TO IMPLY TARANTINO AND WRIGHT SIMPLY APING THE FORMATS AS EMPTY GESTURES. THEY USE THEM TO REINFORCE AN EMOTIONAL OR CHARACTER BEAT IN SPIRIT OF “CINEMATIC AMPLIFICATION.” BUT HULK JUST SAYING THAT LEIGH’S FILMS INSTEAD TROD ALONG WITH THEIR REALISTIC STYLE, UNVEILING THE WAYS IN WHICH THEY PLAY WITH YOUR EXPECTATIONS ON PURE STORY LEVEL. THAT RIGHT, MIKE LEIGH WORK LIKE TARANTINO BUT ON PURE STORYTELLING 101 LEVEL! AND THE RESULTS ALWAYS SPECTACULAR.

WHICH BRING HULK TO HAPPY-GO-LUCKY.

WHO, ME?

HULK TRULY WARY OF DESCRIBING IT AS “ONE OF BEST MOVIES EVER” BEFORE SOMEONE HAVE SEEN IT.  THE TRUTH THAT EVEN WHILE WATCHING IT YOU PROBABLY HAVE NO IDEA WHY HULK THINK SO HIGHLY OF IT. THIS CAUSE IT ONE OF THOSE MOVIE THAT NOT GOOD UNTIL YOU REALIZING EXACTLY WHAT IT DOING AND WHY. AND HONESTLY, LARGELY DEPENDENT ON HOW INTERESTING YOU FIND SAID ALTERATIONS OF EXPECTATION. HULK NO EVEN REALIZE WHAT SO TRULY PROFOUND UNTIL HULK HAD TIME TO CONTEMPLATE AFTERWARDS.

BASED SIMPLY ON PREMISE ALONE, HAPPY-GO-LUCKY ABOUT THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF BEING A HAPPY, OPTIMISTIC  PERSON IN AN OH-SO-CYNICAL WORLD. THE FILM’S MAIN CHARACTER, POPPY, A FLIGHTY SCHOOLTEACHER WHO ALWAYS ASSUME THE BEST IN PEOPLE NO MATTER HOW IT MAY GET HER IN “TROUBLE.” FIRST OFF, AS SIMPLE AS THIS PREMISE SOUND, HULK FIND IT INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT KIND OF SUBJECT THAT NOT NEARLY EXPLORED ENOUGH… IF AT ALL. AND WHILE THE FILM NEVER QUITE VEER FORM THIS STORYLINE (MEANING THERE NO TWIST OR ACTUAL NARRATIVE SHIFT) IT TRULY ALTER HOW IT GOING ABOUT THAT STORY IN VERY SUBTLE WAY. AND THAT WHY IT ONE BEST MOVIES EVER MADE.

COMPLETE AND TOTAL “SPOILERS” FROM HERE ON IN (2):

EVEN THOUGH THE MOVIE VERY REALISTIC -FEELING (NO HIGH-KEY LIGHTING, ETC), IT STILL CAREFULLY SET UP TO RESEMBLE THE STORY OF STANDARD ROMANTIC-COMEDY. THERE POPPY, THE TITULAR HAPPY-GO-LUCKY FIGURE WHOSE FRIENDS AND FAMILY TELL HER SHE HAVE BE MORE GUARDED WITH HER TRUST AND THAT SHE NEED BE MORE SERIOUS ABOUT LIFE. POPPY THEN MEET SCOTT, HER BY-THE-BOOK CURMUDGEONLY DRIVING INSTRUCTOR. POPPY’S HAPHAZARD AND CARE-FREE JOYFUL WAYS BOTH INFURIATE AND YET STILL DEEPLY ATTRACTIVE TO SCOTT. REMEMBER THIS EXPERTLY MADE FILM, SO THIS WHOLE DYNAMIC NO FEEL STAGED OR CAMPY OR INDIE OR TWEE OR ANYTHING REMOTELY CLOSE TO THAT. STILL BASED ON OUR ENTIRE HISTORY OF WATCHING MOVIES, IT ABSOLUTELY CLEAR WHAT THE EXPECTATION FOR THESE TWO CHARACTERS…

POPPY AND SCOTTY SITTING IN A TREE...

… AND THEN… THINGS BECOME DIFFERENT… AND YOU REALIZE THAT NOT THE KIND OF MOVIE YOU WATCHING AT ALL.

IT NOT LIKE LEIGH PULL RUG OUT FROM AUDIENCE. THERE NO SUDDEN TURN IN PLOT, OR STYLE, OR EVEN NARRATIVE. HE NEVER THAT CHEAP. IT JUST IN THAT THERE A SUDDEN MOMENT OF VIOLENCE THAT CULMINATE IN SCOTT GRABBING POPPY BY THE HAIR IN UNCONTROLLABLE ANGER AND IT SUDDENLY DAWN ON YOU: SCOTT HAVE REAL EMOTIONAL PROBLEMS. AT FIRST WE JUST WILLING DISMISS THEM AS IDIOSYNCRASIES, EVEN THE TIMES WHERE IT SKEWED A BIT ODD. BUT THEN THE VIEWER FORCED REALIZE THEY MUCH MORE THAN THAT. AND  THAT THE ENTIRE MOVIE BEEN BUILDING TO THIS POINT. SCOTT’S PARANOID CONSPIRACY THEORIES? THE (SEEMINGLY HUMOROUS) STALKING. THE DEEP-SEEDED SEXUAL ATTRACTION AND HIS LACK OF COMFORT WITH IT. LEIGH CAREFULLY SHOWED THE UNBALANCED REALITY OF SCOTT THE WHOLE TIME, BUT BECAUSE IT IN FRAMEWORK OF TRADITIONAL MOVIE DYNAMIC, THE AUDIENCE ALWAYS ASSUME THESE TWO CRAZY LOVE BIRDS GOING FIND HAPPINESS TOGETHER DESPITE THE ODDS. BUT LEIGH NO INTERESTED IN TERRIBLE ROMANTIC PSYCHOLOGICAL CLAP TRAP. HE INTERESTED IN THE GREATER TRUTHS OF HUMAN NATURE, SPECIFICALLY THE ONES THAT FLY IN THE FACE OF CINEMATIC EXPECTATION. SO INSTEAD OF ROMANTIC FIREWORKS, POPPY PUT HERSELF AT PHYSICAL RISK TO ONCE AGAIN EMBRACE HER KIND NATURE AND GENUINELY TRY HELP SCOTT. SHE FEEL PITY FOR HIM AND IT GENUINELY HEARTBREAKING MOMENT.

AND THIS POPPY’S SOLE REWARD FOR HER RELENTLESS POSITIVE NATURE? NOT BY LONG SHOT.

EARLIER IN FILM WE MEET TIM, A HANDSOME AND SENSITIVE SOCIAL WORKER WHO AUDIENCE INSTANTLY DISTRUST CAUSE HANDSOME PEOPLE ALWAYS JERKS IN MOVIES. AND BESIDES, IN AUDIENCE’S MIND POPPY ALREADY “PROMISED” TO SCOTT.  BUT EVENTUALLY WE REALIZE THESE STUPID ASSUMPTIONS. TIM TURNS OUT BE AN AMAZING PERSON AND HE FULLY UNDERSTAND AND POPPY. BETTER YET, THEY UNDERSTAND WHAT IMPORTANT ABOUT WORLD, BASED ON EARLIER SCENE IN WHICH THEY BOTH HELP A TROULBED CHILD IN POPPY’S CLASS. WHAT PERHAPS MOST BRILLIANT ABOUT ALL THIS THAT LEIGH NOT GIVE US ANY INDICATION WHATSOEVER THAT SCOTT A ROMANTIC HERO OR THAT TIM A JERK OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT. IT PURELY A CONSTRUCT OF THE AUDIENCE’S MIND.

HULK LOVE IT BECAUSE IT SERVE AS ABSOLUTE EVISCERATION OF SOME HORRIBLE THEMATIC CONVENTIONS OF THE ROMANTIC COMEDY GENRE, FOR EXAMPLE:

(1) THE MODERN HIGH-MINDED WOMAN FALLING FOR THE ASSHOLE

(2) ALL THE ASSHOLE NEEDING JUST TO BE CHALLENGED

(3) OR THE ASSHOLE JUST NEEDING BE LOVED

(4) THAT THE HANDSOME “OTHER” GUY INHERENTLY A JERK

(5) THAT GOOD PEOPLE SOMEHOW BAD JUDGE OF CHARACTER OR “LIKE ALL THE WRONG GUYS”

(6) FUNNY + SILLY TYPES CANT BE SEXY AND IF ARE THEY RELEGATED TO SIDEKICK STATUS AND YET STILL MAN-EATERS FOR SOME REASON

(7) IT IMPOSSIBLE TO FIT SMART, SERIOUS CONTENT ALONG WITH THE ROMANCE CAUSE IT “A DOWNER”

(8) THAT PEOPLE BECAUSE PEOPLE ATTRACTED TO THINGS FOREIGN TO THEM, THEY MUST CREATE REALITY WHERE THESE INCONGRUITIES SOMEHOW WORK

AND MOST HORRIBLY, (9) THAT KINDNESS WILL BE PUNISHED.

… SERIOUSLY, WHAT REALISTIC OR HUMAN ABOUT ANY OF THESE?

HULK HATE THAT HIEGL BASICALLY ABANDON THE HUMANISTIC APATOW GANG IN NAME OF FEMINISM AND YET THEN STARRED IN NOTHING BUT MOVIES THAT ENDORSE THE NINE HORRIBLE THINGS LISTED ABOVE

AND WHAT CAUSE WRITERS TO EVEN CREATE THESE ODD, DISGUSTING THEMES FOR ROMANTIC?

FOR ONE, IT EASIER. STORIES HAVE BE ABOUT CONFLICT AND DRAMA SO REALLY THERE NO EASIER SOLUTION THAN “THEY HATE EACH OTHER, THEY LOVE EACH OTHER!” THIS ACTUALLY OKAY IN SOME WAYS. TONS OF HULK’S FAVORITE MOVIES FROM 40’S KICK ASS WITH THIS CONCEIT. BUT IT THE KIND OF STALE THIS DAY AND AGE WHERE IT NOW SO RECYCLED YET POPULAR THAT WE SOMEHOW CONDITIONED TO THINK THIS HUMAN TRUTH… UGH.

AND THIS MAY BE SHOCK, BUT HULK HAVE TELL YOU WRITERS CAN TEND TO BE MISANTHROPIC BUNCH. WHICH MEAN THAT HAPPY PEOPLE PUNISHED AND FORCED LEARN TO EMBRACE SADNESS AND REALITIES OF WORLD. ATTRACTIVE PEOPLE SUCK. RICH PEOPLE SUCK. AND SO MANY OF THEM CAN  BARELY UNDERSTAND THE OTHER SEX OUTSIDE WHAT THEY HATE ABOUT THEM. GUESS THAT WHERE THE “WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW” PART COME IN. THE ONLY DIFFERENCE THAT THEY PUT HAPPY LITTLE BOW ON END.

IT REGRETTABLE THAT ROMANTIC COMEDIES BECOME SOME HORRIBLE BUZZWORD. HULK OF THE SHAKESPEAREAN MIND THAT ALL STORIES THAT NO END TRAGEDY = JUST COMEDIES. AND UNLESS INDULGING IN ABSURDITY, THEN ALL THOSE MOVIES JUST REALLY ROMANTIC COMEDIES.(3) BUT THE CONSCIOUS AMERICAN-CINEMA-GOING-ADULT COME TO HATE THE TRADITIONAL VERSION OF THESE MOVIES CAUSE THEY ALWAYS SOME DUMB BATTLES OF SEXES WITH COMPLETELY UNCALLED FOR HAPPILY-EVER-AFTER. IT IT JUST BECAUSE THE WRITER HAVE MAKE WORLD WHERE THE CHARACTERS PROBLEMS MAGICALLY WORK OUT.

BUT NOT HAPPY-GO-LUCKY.

HOORAY!

THE FILM NOT ABOUT HAPPY PEOPLE COMING TO GRIPS WITH CYNICAL WORLD. IT ABOUT HAPPY PEOPLE GETTING THE THINGS THEY BOTH DESERVE AND EARN THROUGH THEIR EFFORTS. POPPY A CONCERNED TEACHER. TIM A CONCERNED SOCIAL WORKER. HULK THINK IT NO MISTAKE THEY BOTH PART OF “THE SYSTEM.” THEY BOTH PEOPLE WHO BELIEVE IN THE SANCTITY OF EFFORT, OTHER PEOPLE, AND WORKING FOR COMMUNITIES.(4) THEY NOBLE PEOPLE AND THEY CERTAINLY NOT DISILLUSIONED. THEY FACE PROBLEMS, CONFLICT, ALL THAT STUFF. BUT THEY JUST WORK HARD AND CHOOSE HAPPINESS. LEIGH FIND HIS STORY BY LOOKING THROUGH LENS OF REALITY AND NOT THE WARPED REALITY OF MOVIES.

SO WHERE THE DRAMA? THAT NOT NECESSARY? HOW THIS EVEN A GOOD MOVIE?

AFTER ALL, POPPY HAVE NO ARC. SHE NO GROW UP BEFORE AUDIENCE EYES. SHE NO HAVE EPIPHANIES. SHE STAY THE SAME. THE THING THAT CHANGE THE AUDIENCE AND OUR UNDERSTANDING OF HER. WHEN DONE WELL, THESE SOME OF HULK’S FAVORITE MOVIES. WHEN DONE POORLY, THESE SOME OF HULK’S LEAST FAVORITE MOVIES. THE AUDIENCE START OF THINKING OF POPPY AS THE VICTIM, THE DITZ WHO WILL FAIL AT LIFE. BUT THE FILM SLOWLY REVEAL HER AS NOT JUST COMPETENT, NOT JUST VERY SERIOUS ABOUT HER JOB, BUT SOMEONE WHO TRULY SPECIAL. LEIGH EVEN DEFTLY HANDLE HER SEXUALITY. WE FIRST THINK HER A FLIGHTY, CRAZY-DRESSING BEAN-POLE, BUT IN THE SCENE AFTER HER FIRST NIGHT WITH TIM, WE SEE THEN POPPY IN HER UNDERWEAR AND LIKEWISE IN A NEW CONTEXT. THE SCENE NON-OVERTLY BATHED IN GENTLE GRAYISH SUNLIGHT. IT BOTH REALISTIC AND POSITIVE.  HER SEXUALITY= QUIET, STILL, AND CONFIDENT. BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY IT FIRST TIME THE FILM TREAT HER AS UNDENIABLY SEXY. SHE NOT DIFFERENT. THE CINEMA STYLE NOT GO ALL BODY HEAT ON US. IT JUST PRESENT NEW LIGHT. IT AN INCREDIBLY SUBTLE SCENE, YET ABSOLUTELY EFFECTIVE.

AND AS FOR EVERYBODY’S CRITICISMS OF POPPY’S JOVIAL QUALITIES? THE ONES AUDIENCE THINK GOING TO EVENTUALLY CATCH UP WITH HER? THEY JUST REFLECTIONS OF THE OTHER CHARACTER’S DISAPPOINTMENTS. THEIR OWN DEPRESSION. THEIR CHOICES.(5)

SO POPPY DEFIES THEM AND TRUSTS HER OWN HUMANITY.

AND REALLY, POPPY’S GREATEST HEROISM NOT JUST STANDING UP TO THEM, BUT STANDING UP AND BEING DEFIANT TO THE AUDIENCE.

MIKE LEIGH, ALWAYS, AND WITH NO EXCEPTION HERE, HAS CREATED A WORK SO COMPLETE WITH BRILLIANT STORY TELLING AND YET IT SO ACHINGLY COMPASSIONATE.

AND FOR THAT HAPPY-GO-LUCKY ONE OF HULKS FAVORITE MOVIES OF ALL TIME.

…. OH AND ONE LAST THING…

IF YOU THINK HULK OVERESTIMATING LEIGH’S WORTH, THAT THIS JUST HULK BEING OVER GRACIOUS TO FILMMAKER NOT A LOT “LOVE” OR EVEN “HEARD OF,” AND THAT THIS APPRAISAL NOT IN LINE WITH “GENERAL CONSENSUS” AND HULK JUST TALKING OUT “HULK BUTT”, THEN KNOW THIS YOU OH-DEFENDER-OF-POPULISM…

MIKE LEIGH HAVE THE HIGHEST PER-MOVIE-FRESH-RATING AVERAGE ON ROTTEN TOMATOES.

SO HEY, MAYBE MIKE LEIGH THE BEST FILMMAKER IN THE WORLD?

HE CERTAINLY UP TO SOMETHING

(1) THIS NOT COUNTING KEVIN SMITH. WHOSE EARLY FILMS USED TWO SHOTS OUT OF NEED. THEY ALSO FRAMED HORRIBLY.

(2) IT FEEL WEIRD USING TERM “SPOILER” IN A MOVIE AS MEASURED AND HUMAN AS THIS ONE. HULK COULD HAVE JUST SAY “HULK GOING TALK ABOUT ENDING NOW.”

(3) APATOW MOVIES? ABSOLUTELY JUST ROMANTIC COMEDIES. THOSE INDIE “DRAMADIES’ JUST ROMANTIC COMEDIES WITH MORE SERIOUS OVERTONES. EVEN THE BIG BUDGET SUMMER BLOCKBUSTERS END WITH EVERYTHING SET RIGHT AND HERO “GETTING THE GIRL.”* IN TERMS FORMULA, THEY ABSOLUTELY COMEDIES.

*IF THEY NO GET THE GIRL THOUGH IT USUALLY THE TURN BEING SOME WEIRD SEXUAL OBSTRUCTION WHERE THE HERO AND GIRL CAN NO BE TOGETHER, BUT USUALLY THIS SOME JUST TO DELAY ACTUAL STORYTELLING SINCE THEY HAVE NOTHING MORE TO SAY FURTHER THAN “THEY LOVE EACH OTHER NOW!” OR WORSE OUT OF SOME STRANGE PURITANICAL INCLINATION TO KEEP SUPERHEROES A-SEXUAL… HULK JUST REALIZED HE USED SUPERHERO/BIG BUDGET SUMMER MOVIES INTERCHANGABLY… IT BEEN WEIRD DECADE.

(4) IT NO ACCIDENT SCOTT ACHINGLY PROUD OF HIS INDEPENDENCE AND OUTSIDE BUSINESSES AND NOT BEING RELIANT ON OTHER PEOPLE. NOT SURPRISINGLY IT ONLY BREED UNHAPPINESS. AND WHAT A COINCIDENCE, HULK JUST HAD LOTS THOUGHTS ON ISOLATING OUTWARD NATURES.

(5) HULK NOT REALLY TALKING ABOUT IT MUCH CAUSE CONCENTRATING ON LEIGH, BUT SALLY HAWKINS AND THE ENTIRE CAST IN THIS MOVIE SO FUCKING GOOD THAT HULK NO EVEN KNOW WHAT TO SAY.

RANDOM: IF CURIOUS ABOUT MIKE LEIGH’S CRITICAL STUFF CHECK OUT WORK OF RAY CARNEY. HE THE WORLDS LEADING AUTHORITY ON CASSAVETES AND WHEN HE WROTE EVERY POSSIBLE WORD ON HIM, CARNEY TRANSITION TO MIKE LEIGH. A STELLAR DECISION AND THERE HUGE SIMILARITIES IN THE WORK, NAMELY THEY BOTH MISTAKEN FOR THEIR IMPROVISATIONAL STYLES (CASSAVETES WROTE HIS MOVIES)… CARNEY ALSO CRAZY SEXIST.

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