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SEXIST BEATDOWN: Lost Appreciation Edition

You know what we have been talking about lately at the Tiger Beatdown? Serious subjects! And you know what is not a serious subject: LOST.

Oh, wait, yes, it totally is! If you are one of the many superfans of the show! You guys, are they on a spaceship? Are they all in Hurley’s imagination? ARE THEY IN A SNOW GLOBE? IS EVERYBODY DEAD?

In this very special episode of Sexist Beatdown, Amanda Hess of The Sexist and I answer exactly none of these questions! Instead, we pose new ones, which are: Why does every single lady on this show end up with a baby and a boyfriend and also occasionally lethal injuries? Are we supposed to be sad that Sun escaped her abusive marriage? (One of us is, actually! It is somewhat messed up.) Who replaced interesting Juliet with Boyfriend-Centric Robot Juliet, and why? And, was it really necessary for Shannon to redeem herself from “heartless bitch” status with her vagina? (Before getting shot, obvs! Ladies, do not date Sayid. You will get shot.  Or run over, with a car. He’s Just Not That Into Your Odds Of Continued Survival, apparently.) And, most importantly: WHEN ARE THEY GOING TO KILL JACK???? Please, someone kill Jack. Please. We are begging you.

Also, we make puns!

lost-finale-jack

ILLUSTRATION: That’s a dealbreaker, ladies. That is like five dealbreakers, actually. Not pictured: stalking, yelling, controlling, drinking, pills.

SADY: Hi there! Are you LOST? Have I LOST you? It would be a shame if I LOST my internet connection! Also, kill me.

AMANDA: Wait, let me do one: I’m beginning to think i have “LOST” interest in LOST this season.

SADY: I have LOST track of all the times I have LOST interest in LOST, really.

AMANDA: It’s part of the whole deja vu thing.

SADY: It stems from the fact that we seem to have LOST 98% of all the female characters.

AMANDA: Right. I think we’re down to two now! Wait, plus, Ana Lucia 2.

SADY: Yes, that Ilana chick!  I do not know what is up with LOST (not letting go of the caps!) and the death of all the ladies. It is true, however, that it is a big hit on some fronts! For example: having more than one character of color, and having them have conversations with each other. Conversations that do not go like, “I am an Asian man! I hear that you are Latino! Truly, neither of us is a white person.” Instead, they talk about Star Wars fan fiction. Which is fine by me!

AMANDA: Sure. And all-capital LOST has always had a tendency to dispose of characters after their most compelling storylines have been drained, or before even. I mean, a lot of people die on this show. What I want to know is where this murderous impulse was when Jack was bloated on pills and drunk at work and wouldn’t shave and was trying to make his fake baby fly back with him to a magical island? I could have dealt with Jack dying.

SADY: I can constantly deal with Jack dying. Every episode, I hope it will be the one where Jack makes a cry face or starts to make a speech about “fixing things” and then a polar bear sneaks up behind him and eats his entire head. My problem with the “most interesting story lines” though, to be troublesomely ladybusiness for a moment, is this: Claire’s most interesting story line was having a baby and a boyfriend. Sun’s most interesting storyline is having a husband and a baby. Kate’s most interesting story line is having two potential boyfriends, between whom she cannot choose, and also a baby eventually. Juliet’s most important storyline was that her boyfriend might have thought for 1.5 seconds about liking another girl so she had to fall down a mine shaft and explode three times on screen.

AMANDA: Shannon has the best ladybusiness storyline, which is revealing to viewers that she’s not a stuck-up bitch by making sweet love to a man she had previously regarded as a terrorist. I had forgotten that Shannon even existed until LOST had to go back and reset this whole thing. But yes. Yes. Juliet’s death is the one that really bothered me, because she is this woman who always had really interesting motives that had little to do with which boyfriend she wanted to pick. And she was never all that likable. She was the woman you were supposed to not root for while you were rooting for Kate to claim both of the boyfriends. But then, LOST turns her into the Dharma initiative’s model wife – a role that she has played before, except that she was unhappy and independent and rebellious in that role. And after LOST made Juliet accept that role happily, boom. Dead! Storyline resolved.

SADY: Yeah, precisely. And I want to believe that she just exploded because she got a role on a TV show! But it is true that she showed up, and she had all of these complicated, unreadable motives, and this completely complex and interesting back story, and then she was like: hey, a boyfriend! I love my boyfriend. Oh no, my boyfriend! EXPLODE. And this is a thing that is interesting to me, because: I don’t think LOST is great art. I think LOST is good-to-great pulp fiction. I have a high tolerance for good-to-great pulp fiction, as it happens. But it’s so masculinized — it’s seen as such a boy thing — that the only roles for women (or plotlines for women) are things about love interests. The boys are all saving the world and the girls are all saving their marriages.

AMANDA: Yeah. And we have to make sure to fix Jack so that Jack can get back to saving us. But can we turn to one of the only remaining original ladies for a moment, the one with the most explicitly ladybusiness plotline?

SADY: Yes! Let us do so!

AMANDA: I am speaking, of course, of Sun, who crash-landed on a desert island with her abusive husband and then gradually taught him not to be such a huge jerk anymore so they could fall in love again.

SADY: Ha, yeah. And then we learned that she had to keep her cardigan buttoned on a tropical isle because SHE WAS A CHEATER! CHEATER! And he was insecure.

AMANDA: The interesting thing about Sun’s plotline now, is that if the plane hadn’t crashed, we see Jin being taken away by customs and Sun escaping him. And we’re supposed to be… sad… about this development, because we know that if Sun had just WAITED IT OUT on a DESERT ISLAND, Jin would have come around.

SADY: Ha, yeah. And here is where my feelings about feminism and romance and storytelling get all complicated, because: I actually do love the romance of Sun and Jin on some levels. I like that it’s a story of a marriage getting into this unbelievably shitty place, because two people misunderstood each other, over and over, profoundly. I know that story. “I was trying to be what you wanted! So now I am unhappy! And mad at you!” “Yes, well, I was trying to be what YOU wanted, so now I am EQUALLY UNHAPPY, and mad at YOU.” And I like that it’s a story about two people getting to re-know each other. But, yeah: Sun getting away from Jin in the airport? Not such a bad idea, given the story we were told! Actually!

AMANDA: Yeah. And I feel like a lot of long-running stories like this often engage with storylines where stuff like abuse is eventually just forgotten in order to preserve these relationships between the show’s main characters, when really: Kate, a person who BLEW UP HER STEPDAD because he abused her mom, would probably never have indulged Jack in his fantasy to crash land herself on the island, given his extremely unstable behavior in front of the child they were raising together. But Kate and Jack, it must endure, so of course they are going to go back together.

SADY: Right. I mean, Jack? Unstable, abusive, alcoholic stalker. With lady problems. Who will not trust a grown lady doctor to do a basic surgery on him without passing up anesthesia so he can be hyper-critical of her operating moves the whole way through. THE ROMANCE OF KATE AND JACK MUST NEVER DIE! Because… they gave each other sexy looks in the pilot episode? With all the plot threads they have exploded or forgotten or just plain shrugged and said “sorry, not going to happen” about, I really am puzzled as to why THIS is the one that they will just never, ever, ever drop.

AMANDA: Right. And I was discussing with someone earlier how the most exciting thing about LOST has always been figuring out the rules to the game, but now that we’re getting to the final season, it’s becoming more and more obvious that there are no real rules to figure out, and that the creators are more interested in putting the finishing touches on these longrunning personal relationships. Perhaps they will surprise me in the end! But from where I’m standing now it looks like they’re putting more effort into reestablishing John Locke as Disabled Character who falls off his wheelchair out of pride—I mean really?—than explaining to me where the fucking black hole is or whatever

SADY: Yeah. The plot points are being doled out! However, what is more important, for some reason, is making sure that we know who ends up with who running whose temp agency. So… okay. My prediction is that Hurley and Kate end up together. That’s what I’m pushing for!

AMANDA: Haha. I know. I love how that was set up as such a MYSTERIOUS REVEAL. It is ROSE who runs the temp agency!

SADY: “Welcome to Healthful Lectures Employment Services. How may I lecture you today?”

AMANDA: So, I’ve been watching the episodes this season around my male companion, who has not watched the rest of the show

SADY: Oh, FOR REALS? That has got to be a bucketload of explanations!

AMANDA: Well … he just overhears the dialogue. And so I have on many occasions had the opportunity to hear his reaction to the dialogue in these episodes, and his reaction is, “This show sucks so hard.” And he’s not wrong. It is often terrible. I’m not going to stop watching it, but I do wonder how much I’m going to end up hating it when it’s over.

SADY: I know. I’m hoping for a “Battlestar Galactica” finale where the answer turns out to be, like, Cavemen. But I do love the final seasons of shows, because you have to stop dicking around and decide what you are saying and amp up all the drama and emotion as far as you can. And for that, I am enjoying this season immensely. When it is over, however, I am confident that I will have learned one thing: JACK NEEDS TO FIX THINGS. That, I will never forget. Give Jack a thing! He will fix that thing! He needs to fix the thing you gave him! Does the thing need fixing? Jack Jack fixing fixing Jack fixing Jack.

AMANDA: And of course this final season is about Jack Returning to Being A Person Who Can Fix Things and Not a Dangerous Alcoholic Stalker Who Cannot Fix a Drink Without Spilling It All Over His Ridiculous Beard. It is Jack’s greatest fix of all. Fixing himself.

29 Comments

  1. Lauren wrote:

    No way, dudes. Sun’s most interesting story line was when she blackmailed her gangster dad and went back to the island to save her helpless prince.

    Friday, February 19, 2010 at 7:12 pm | Permalink
  2. Adrianna wrote:

    May I say I’m glad Juliet died, because Elizabeth Mitchell is now our star in “V”? I like space ships. I like aliens. I like a good conspiracy theory. She makes it happen for us.
    God, and WORD Lauren. Sun’s most interesting story line was that she blackmailed her gangster dad and returned to the island like a can of whup-ass in shining armor to save her prince.
    I agree with both of you ladies of high intelligence…Jack should die. Unfortunately, he’s not going to. You see, Matthew Fox (Jack) is the only member of the cast that knows the ending to lost. He is, I’m assuming, the only one who survives.
    Is any one surprised?
    God this is getting long.
    Any way, I think Lost made a fantastic stab at being inclusive even if it got it a bit off the mark on occasion.

    May I suggest “Fringe”? The acting is a wee bit clunky in the first couple of episodes, but if you stick with it it’s super rewarding. Bonus – Kick ass save the world person is a LADY. Blonde, attractive, heterosexual lady, BUT A LADY.

    Friday, February 19, 2010 at 7:49 pm | Permalink
  3. As Lauren and Adrianna have said, Sun is considerably more kickassy than y’all gave her credit for. I like Sun. A lot.

    Was really liking Juliet, too, until the hard left turn into I Luvs My Man territory. I have hope for “V,” but I guess the ratings have not been good so far, so they’re going to focus group it to death. Which probably will result in its being canceled, because nobody likes watching stuff that reads like it was focus grouped to death.

    You know who I didn’t like? Locke. I was rooting for his death, hard, for at least a couple seasons’ worth of show, and then they gave it to me and I was like, finally, thank you, LOST, for killing the annoying Man Who Has A Burning Need To Say The Word “Faith” Fifty Times Per Episode For Stupid Reasons. Hooray! Good show!

    And then they fucking brought him back again, twice. Bad show! Bad, bad show!

    Jack is also annoying. But he’s going to have to “fix” a hell of a lot of stuff before I hate him as much as I hate/d Locke.

    Friday, February 19, 2010 at 8:34 pm | Permalink
  4. hn wrote:

    was there ever a mystery show, that actually had some big plan and explained things? (if yes, I’d really like to see it. because I have bitten many a table on unfulfilling finales)

    also, Daddy Issue Island hasn’t been mentioned enough. And Sawyer! (is it just me, or does it look like, in the flashbacks of his childhood, his dad killing his mom was not so big a deal [after all, she cheated]. but his dad killing himself, very much. it’s the thing they show, anyway.)
    And Locke’s dad!

    Friday, February 19, 2010 at 9:05 pm | Permalink
  5. julian wrote:

    I AM SO GLAD I AM NOT THE ONLY ONE WHO:

    a) fucking hates John Locke (totes there with you, Mr. Subjunctive. I wanted him dead from episode one. I think we were supposed to feel sorry for him because he was a wheelchair-user, and was therefore Sad and Pitiful [thumb-sup, LOST-writers! that's 'zactly how i feel about my disability!], except he was fucking pathetic long before his dad threw him out a window. Also, I generally found him extremely creepy)

    b) fucking hates Jack Shepherd (it went from just general bored “next scene, please” to eye-rolling every time his face was shown, to screaming fits of obscenities and fist-shaking any time his name is mentioned [including in RL!])

    c) did not find it ~romantic~ or POSITIVE IN ANY WAY that Sun didn’t “accidentally” throw Jin off a cliff or something (otherwise intelligent people have told me how great it is that she stuck with him and understood it was just the whole “working for an organized crime boss” thing that made him abusive, and he just needed to get out of that situation to go back to being sweet, loving Jin…but no. That’s not how shit works, and I will never forgive him)

    Is there anyone left I don’t hate that hasn’t been otherwise compromised by “infection” or some shit? No, not really!

    I miss you, Charlie! I miss you, Desmond! I miss Kate pre-infected-by-trite-gender-stereotypes!

    Friday, February 19, 2010 at 9:54 pm | Permalink
  6. Isabel wrote:

    No way, dudes. Sun’s most interesting story line was when she blackmailed her gangster dad and went back to the island to save her helpless prince.

    AGREED. Also, this taps into something that I have noticed around a lot of feminist conversation around LOST – which I am in no way trying to say is some kind of feminist or non-sexist or not-very-coded-as-male show – which is that I feel like, when LOST ladies do man-centric things, it gets emphasized a little more than when LOST dudes do lady-centric thing. For example: yes, after two seasons of being kind of wonderfully confusing and conflicting and interestingly characterized, Juliet became a Happy Girlfriend. But! It is also true that this coincided with Sawyer becoming a Happy Girlfriend. Like: this is who Sawyer was, in the Lafleur era (if you wanted to be a real asshole, you could probably read something into him taking a name meaning “flower” aka secretly meaning “vagina” aka going from “Tom Sawyer” the ultimate boy-fantasy to choosing something womanly, but… I don’t want to be a real asshole): a guy who had a nice job he liked and really loved his girlfriend. Juliet also had a job she liked, and really loved her boyfriend. Two people with a long history of being kind of messed up and miserable found each other and helped each other to something like happiness. Possibly, I would even argue, it was Sawyer’s being a Happy Boyfriend that was the bigger deal – and the more character-rededining moment – because… lol, Sawyer being a Happy Boyfriend. I mean, falling in love and having a committed relationship was how LOST decided to shorthand three years of character development they couldn’t actually show onscreen. Losing this love was also the motivation for literally everything he did in the first three episodes of the season, and also the reason he’s regressed into everyone-out-for-themselves Sawyer we knew and hated to love for two and a half seasons (or was that just me? just me? okay).

    Re: Sun/Jin – the flash-sideways thing, I think is part of what the flash-sideways things are doing in general, the way they’re able to play with the audience emotionally in interesting ways: crash landing on a desert island – much less The Island – SUCKS. Objectively, we should want these people never to crash. But because we’ve become invested in their stories over the past five seasons, we are sad to see that character development gone, even in cases where maybe we shouldn’t, or maybe that doesn’t totally make sense. Like: Hurley is happy in sideways land! This is awesome, because I love Hurley, and he’s like fifth on my list of people I really want to have a happy ending (fourth if you count the Kwons as one). But simultaneously, I am sad that Hurley never met Miles or taught Sawyer to be a nice person or had that stupid van episode I couldn’t help liking even though it was a cheesy waste of time.

    (sidenote to the Sun thing: I also think it is pretty cool that she cheated on Jin, and the show presented it as basically a totally understandable thing for her to do in this situation, and then showed Jin being upset but then realizing that he really had no right to be mad. like, a lady commits adultery and it’s… totes cool, and an interesting piece of character development, maybe even kind of self-affirming for her! that’s a nice thing to see in a story, for me).

    The other thing that I do not see talked about is that literally everything Jack has done for the past two seasons has been about… a lady, specifically Kate. Jack wanted to DETONATE A HYDROGEN BOMB and ERASE THREE YEARS OF HIS LIFE because he had Kate, and then he lost Kate. Kate even points this out explicitly to him, that he used to be a person who wanted to Fix Things, but actually since his downward spiral he’s… really not that person anymore, though we’re seeing glimpses of it in this season again. What she doesn’t totally know is that actually, now he is a person who Cannot Get Over Kate. And I kind of feel like maybe, because we are not used to seeing dudes’ motivations reduced to I AM NOTHING WITHOUT MY WOMAN, we are reading that differently than if, say, Kate had wanted to detonate a hydrogen bomb because she had never managed to get over Jack. If Kate had been in charge of Plan Really Fucking Stupid, I feel like I, at least, probably would have gotten pissed off that the writers had her do such a mindbogglingly stupid thing because she couldn’t get over fucking JACK of all people. And… I feel like it is okay, to be pissed off in that hypothetical scenario and in the real scenarios on the show where that happens, because there it is reinforcing a very old and very boring and very sexist trope. But I do feel like – not that the show deserves credit, exactly? But that it’s worth paying attention to situations in which that trope is played out with the gender situations reversed (like with the Sun being a knight in shining armor mentioned above; and I mean, from the second the Oceanic Six-minus-two showed up in Season 5, pretty much all we have seen Jin do is try to find Sun!).

    Not to mention: by far the biggest case we have seen of someone’s major plotline centering around parenthood was… Michael. Like, at least Claire had that whole flashback about her mom. Michael had insert WAAAALT! joke here. Like, even Claire had that whole mom/Christian Shephard flashback; Michael was pretty much 100% defined by his parentness. And the biggest examples of Long Awaiting Undying Love That Provides You Solace And A Reason To Keep Living For Years were both dudes: Desmond and Sayid. I mean, in general, LOST treats love as, I think, an equally significant/redemptive/potentially life-changing thing for both genders – hence that “all we need to survive is one person who truly loves us” moment in the season 2 finale, hence also the Constant episode, hence Desmond getting off the island and deciding that literally all he ever wants to do from now until he dies is live on a boat with Penny. And I think it’s also interesting that, yes, Kate finally stopped running because of her new parenthood; but before, she had had Happy Wifehood And The Love Of A Good Man and that didn’t work because she doesn’t DO taco night.

    So I guess: I agree that the ladies get shafted in some ways. But this:

    The boys are all saving the world and the girls are all saving their marriages.

    I ultimately don’t think is true. Because the LOST boys (heh) do spend a fair amount of time trying to save marriages, relationships, children, or otherwise revolving entirely around those things. And it makes me feel kind of weird to see that not talked about, because it feels like letting those stereotypes color our analysis of the show. Like we’re more inclined to read things Jack, Sawyer, Sayid, Desmond, et al. do as Saving The World things, because they are being done by dudes, when if you substituted a girl name there, it would be, in my opinion, kind of obvious that they are more along the lines of Trying To Work Out Domesticish Problems things.

    Because. For real. HYDROGEN BOMB. Because he had her. Then he lost her. Shut up, Jack.

    Saturday, February 20, 2010 at 12:31 am | Permalink
  7. Isabel wrote:

    um, Sawyer became a Happy Boyfriend, not a Happy Girlfriend (though that would have been an interesting twist also!).

    Saturday, February 20, 2010 at 12:32 am | Permalink
  8. Adrianna wrote:

    Isabel CRACKED THE CODE.
    Yes, yes, yes, our gender perceptions color our perception of the show. I totally agree and can’t believe I never saw what you were talking about before.
    I also think it’s understandable that as women of the feminist bent we’ve been watching the ladies rather closer than we’ve been watching the men.

    Saturday, February 20, 2010 at 1:28 am | Permalink
  9. Ziggy wrote:

    I’m not into Lost at all – but now in the last season of BSG (episode 8) and I was reading this post…

    is ‘cavemen’ a spoiler? SADY why do you do this to me? Nooos!

    Saturday, February 20, 2010 at 4:01 am | Permalink
  10. Sady wrote:

    @Lauren and everybody: I do not for any moment underestimate the power of the Vigilante of Justice Sun storyline! That was awesome! And I love Sun for that! It was just prefaced with a whole bunch of episodes where the whole story was their marriage. Which: I like the story of their marriage, too, as it happens! I am a sap.

    Saturday, February 20, 2010 at 10:47 am | Permalink
  11. julian wrote:

    Oh yeah, Miles! MORE MILES PLZ! Miles and Sawyer are probably the two characters I would watch with shows all their own. Sawyer could go around and con people, and Miles could be a way less stupid version of the Ghost Whisperer. That is entertainment!!

    Saturday, February 20, 2010 at 9:23 pm | Permalink
  12. Isabel, your comment BLEW MY MIND. Thank you!

    Sunday, February 21, 2010 at 6:20 am | Permalink
  13. Toaster wrote:

    I dunno… While I agree with most of what Isabel said, I draw the line at hurrahing over the “badass gangsta Sun” plot. She was badass for all of, what, three episodes? And since then what have they done with her other than make her look confused and occasionally ask for Jin? I feel like this really awesome character development has been shelved and she’s been useless ever since, and that just kinda bothers me.

    Sunday, February 21, 2010 at 10:07 am | Permalink
  14. I must admit, I read these posts because I stopped watching LOST (all-caps for awesome?) by season 3, because I couldn’t stand how whiny everyone was (though I reserved special hate for Locke, who gets people killed on a regular basis, because he thinks he’s the fucking magic man).

    But I still want to know what the whole point was. Someday soon, I shall be able to read the whole story on Wikipedia, and I can’t wait.

    (I am the kind of person that reads “The Movie Spoiler” website because I can’t stand not knowing. I don’t do this with books, but I can read the entire thin in one night if I want and know the ending. With LOST, they make me wait.)

    Sunday, February 21, 2010 at 9:17 pm | Permalink
  15. Brennan wrote:

    @ Isabelle

    Your comments made a lot of sense and they got me thinking, but I still feel like there’s a double standard–not so much in behavior as in consequences. The show likes to dispose of relationships by killing the woman involved (see Shannon, Libby, Nadya, Charlotte, and Juliet off the top of my head). It becomes an exercise in character growth for the man, but the woman is just dead. I can’t think of any similar instance where the death of a male love interest brought a female character evolution/devolution. The closest was Charlie, but his relationship with Claire was rocky at best, and she is never shown mourning him. (Possibly Shannon with Boone, but that still squicks me out a bit.) The men feel like characters. The women, even when they’re being badass, feel like plot devices.

    Sunday, February 21, 2010 at 10:43 pm | Permalink
  16. RMJ wrote:

    Great analysis!

    I do have one counter-point, though. I’m crossing over from the post of this on ontd_lost on lj, where taumburlaine said:

    “However, I just gotta say that I find it questionable that every woman of color who happens to be assertive gets dubbed “Ana Lucia 2″. Ilana isn’t anything like Ana Lucia. So I really want that to stop.”

    I felt like that was worth bringing into the discussion.

    Tuesday, February 23, 2010 at 10:53 am | Permalink
  17. Sady wrote:

    @RMJ: That makes total sense!

    Tuesday, February 23, 2010 at 3:47 pm | Permalink
  18. jinsushi wrote:

    Is Jin ever physically abusive to Sun? I guess you may mean abusive in a broader sense that doesn’t involve physical violence, but it’s worth noting that Sun DOES hit Jin (in the face) in at least one episode. (http://lostpedia.wikia.com/wiki/House_of_the_Rising_Sun)

    Tuesday, February 23, 2010 at 9:24 pm | Permalink
  19. Margaret wrote:

    Isabel– I think I would agree with your point about Jack blowing up the Island to erase Kate… if that hadn’t been overshadowed by the fact that JULIET actually blew up the Island, because her boyfriend looked at another girl for two seconds.

    Your points, in general though, were well-thought out. Ultimately, though, it’s Brennan I’m going to quote for the rest of my life: the men are characters. The women are plot devices.

    Yes. Yes. A million, BILLION times yes.

    Sady: I am (semi-shamefully) with you on the Kwons! However, it’s definitely because I’m a little racist, because if they were white, I would have called BULLSHIT and wanted Sun to knife him in the face on the Island. I think they get exempted from my rage, in that sense,through the loop hole of lowered expectations. I am like Jin can behave this way because they are Asian and their society has all these Rigid Traditions and even though they are Good People they are within this screwy, Exotic system NOTHING LIKE our United States of America, heck no, but once they are taken outside their Wicked Society and stranded on the magical island of colorblindness, they can become civilized!

    So, I don’t think that’s the WHOLE of why I like them, and want them together even though Jin was a hugely awful, scary husband, it’s definitely part of it. I’ve always been attracted to comedies of remarriage, and this is a dramatic reworking of the same trope. But I know I wouldn’t accept this particular format for a white, American couple, and I’m pretty sure that’s because of some prejudices in me, and the show, about (in this case) Korean culture.

    Wednesday, February 24, 2010 at 2:39 am | Permalink
  20. charley wrote:

    kind of late here, but another thing that’s really bothered me about lost is that there are no gay characters, at all. except tom, who died (like all of the women!). like, on that whole flight (or the others, for that matter), none of them are gay? really? or at least, any of the survivors who were gay weren’t important enough to be main characters (or even have a shitty episode like expose), because pretty much every other character on the show has had some romance, even if it was off the island, and it was all straight. jack, locke, kate, sawyer, sun, jin, hurley, sayid, charlie, claire, michael, shannon, rose, bernard, ETC. tom’s status as a gay person was only learned when he claimed kate was “not his type”, and later when he kissed a guy once while off the island. like, I get that tom isn’t a character important enough to have a romance arc or anything, but the fact that literally the only gay scene in the entire show is one quick kiss between two characters we barely know kind of says something! anyone who at this point could be potentially gay (by nature of never having had enough exposure to be given an orientation) are basically, like, the handful of children on the plane, vincent the dog, and every other character that died after a dozen or less episodes.

    (and mr. eko doesn’t count, because he was a priest.)

    Wednesday, February 24, 2010 at 5:38 pm | Permalink
  21. carovee wrote:

    I have a slightly different take on Juliet. I did not liker her at all until she and Sawyer hooked up at the Dharma Initiative. I felt like they were both really morally ambiguous characters but once they were stuck in the past they could put their own pasts behind them and try to make a decent life for themselves and each other. It would have been a crappy storyline if only Juliet changed but Sawyer did too. So instead of being “girl meets guy, suddenly loves housework” it was more “two people that no one else can understand decide to try to have a happy life despite all the weirdness”.

    Wednesday, February 24, 2010 at 6:07 pm | Permalink
  22. Chris wrote:

    I actually didn’t read Juliet detonating the bomb as “because Sawyer looked at another girl for two seconds.” Yeah, she had a hissy right before the detonating that was really irksome and out of character, but the detonation was ultimately a moment of self-sacrifice– well, she was down there and she knew she was gonna die, and she ultimately wanted Sawyer to be able to get off the island. All of that had zippity to do with Kate.

    Anyhow, Isabel and RDM both made fantastic points!

    Wednesday, February 24, 2010 at 7:13 pm | Permalink
  23. Sara wrote:

    I’m with all of you on the general awful treatment of women on the show.

    BUT…but, but, but…Jin was never abusive! That was a red herring. He was occasionally bossy and domineering (like the cardigan thing), and also secretive because of the whole gangster working-for-Sun’s dad thing, but not abusive. Yes, being controlling can be a sign of abuse, and is often a prelude to it. But in this case, the bossiness isn’t the general pattern of the relationship. It just looks like it because we first see it out of context.

    Which is also why Jin is able to drop the bossiness relatively quickly.

    Of course, Sun getting away from Jin at the airport would still have been a good thing because of the whole gangster factor.

    Margaret: one of the things I actually liked about the show was that they didn’t attribute Jin’s domineering behavior to their “culture.” Rather, it was because he was working for a violent thug of a man, and THAT in turn related to the class dynamics. Since Jin was marrying “up,” he felt he had to prove himself by working for the gangster dad-in-law, which led to his personality deterioration. It wasn’t because he was Asian. After all, Sun and Jin didn’t start out like that, and they were relatively quick to get out of that pattern.

    I think their storyline is the best on the show, but Sun is still woefully underused.

    Wednesday, February 24, 2010 at 10:12 pm | Permalink
  24. Sara wrote:

    Actually, on reflection, I retract part of my earlier comment: Jin was abusive, at least for a time. Frequent controlling behavior is abusive. I think what I meant to say is that the show clearly and consistently portrayed his abusive behavior as a function of the fucked-up gangster life he got drafted into, and not as a function of his basic personality. So when he got away from the gangster life, he was able to adjust.

    That matters to me because it’s not like Sun “fixed” him by being loyal and patient with his abusiveness. That would seem misogynistic to me. Rather, it’s more like Jin was able to begin fixing himself because he got away from the primary destructive influence in his life.

    Wednesday, February 24, 2010 at 10:42 pm | Permalink
  25. Bonasi wrote:

    The Biggest Reason Why I Hated Juliet Dying: Originally, Juliet’s plotline had a lot to do with her having to fix the women-can’t-have-babies-on-the-Island issue. When she died, that plotline went unresolved. It got discarded. The writers didn’t consider it important enough to have Juliet not die. Juliet’s plotline wasn’t consider important enough for Juliet to not die until it had been resolved.

    Also, seconding the wish for more queer characters. Who don’t die. Please?

    Thursday, February 25, 2010 at 5:42 pm | Permalink
  26. Sady wrote:

    @Bonasi: This is a trope that really bothers me, too!

    Thursday, February 25, 2010 at 6:14 pm | Permalink
  27. charley wrote:

    the whole show, I just kept hoping that characters who were never confirmed as NOT GAY were gay, just to make me feel better. I was like, hey, maybe frogurt is gay! or, like, libby! or cindy? I don’t know! but then frogurt had a crush on libby in an online episode, and libby had a crush on hurley, and cindy got kidnapped ten seconds after I learned her name, and now that she’s back she’s probably going to fall in love with sayid or sawyer or something. or JACK. gross. but I would bet money on that probably happening.

    Thursday, February 25, 2010 at 6:33 pm | Permalink
  28. Bonasi wrote:

    @Charley: Oh, so I’m not the only one? I’m currently holding out for Richard and Ilana…some bi characters would also be appreciated, but given that these are the same writers who have only managed to include one recurring textually gay character (Tom!), I don’t have terribly high expectations there.

    I do love Lost. I just wish that it loved me back.

    Saturday, February 27, 2010 at 11:23 am | Permalink
  29. Bonasi wrote:

    @Sady: It’s the same thing with Claire in season four. Charlie’s just died, and instead of having Claire dealing with Charlie’s death like they do with male characters when their female love interests die, they had Claire…not being affected by Charlie’s death. Like, at all. And then they Put Her On a Bus until season six.

    It’s like the writers couldn’t conceptualize Claire’s character apart from status as Charlie’s lust object/obsession. A man being motivated by the death of a female love interest they get, but a woman being motivated by the death of a male love interest seems beyond them. (Queer characters being, of course, limited to Tom.)

    Saturday, February 27, 2010 at 11:45 am | Permalink

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  1. Big Fat Deal » We Put The “Round” In Roundup on Thursday, March 4, 2010 at 10:03 am

    [...] of the awards, I will point you to the awesome feminist blog Tiger Beatdown, which recently did a feminist analysis of LOST. My problem with the “most interesting story lines” though, to be troublesomely ladybusiness [...]