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A Bromance for the Ages
I avoided this drama for a while because I'm just not that into idols or boy bands but I was wrong, wrong, wrong. This is gritty and realistic without being overly dark. It's moving and emotional without being cheesy or over-dramatic. It's intense at times, lighthearted at others, funny, powerful, heartbreaking, and moving. I got angry at a character one moment to find myself crying for them the next. I was sure I knew where the plot was going only to be consistently surprised where the drama took me, yet afterward couldn't imagine it any other way. AND OH THE BROMANCE. You have not experienced bromance until you have experienced Eye Candy. Each member of the band had distinct and consistent interactions with each other band member, and each had a complicated personality and history with a compelling story and real growth. The band as a whole goes through its own story arc which is deeply satisfying. The side characters were well fleshed-out as well, and went on their own personal journeys. The writing, directing and editing were spot on. This is just a solid drama, inside and out. A must see. One of the best dramas I have ever seen.
Lost: Across the Sea (2010)
Though they've been few, the scenes we've had with Jacob and MIB in the previous episodes have been, for me, some of the most interesting and electric scenes in all of Lost. But they took everything good about these and did the opposite for Across the Sea.
Too much time was spent on the mother and on their childhood. Limited interaction between Mark Pellegrino (Jacob) and Titus Welliver (MIB), who have fantastic chemistry and are fantastic actors, weakened the episode.
I couldn't care less about the answers about the metaphysics of the island--I'm happy with what was revealed. But I wanted more answers about what makes these men tick-- a real in-depth look at how they became who they are and why they are motivated to do what they are doing now--a personal, deep story. Instead we got a very on-the-surface kind of explanation. The writers are the ones who introduced these two as central to this last season and the island in general, so it's up to them to give equally deep insights into who they are, even if they only had an hour.
And they stopped at the most interesting part. What about after MIB became Smokey? What was that first interaction like between the man who had just killed his brother and the monster he had become? Was Jacob riddled with guilt? When did they decide to start playing the game spoken of in the fifth season finale?
Where was the subtlety and nuancethat we've previously seen in the interactions between these two characters? Having a young Jacob say, "You don't love me as much as him, Mother," is lazy writing. SHOW US. "This island is my home," is not enough to just say. SHOW US. This ep is riddled with similar dialogue meant to hit us over the head with what Damon and Carlton wanted us to know, rather than showing us how the characters interact with each other and with the island and letting us draw conclusions for ourselves. This episode was not crafted as a piece of storytelling but as an info dump.
What kills me about this ep is that it could have been so much more. It was a complete waste of potential.