Lost as RPG
Here’s a veeeery interesting post from Matthew Baldwin that draws a parallel between the mounting mysteries in Lost and leveling in role playing games.
During each show you gain a little experience in the form of new information: about the island, the characters, or both; every four episodes or so you level up, as some (allegedly) major piece of the overall puzzle falls into place. After leveling up in a CRPG, you typically head to Ye Olde Flail ‘N’ Scented Candle Emporium, sell all your current equipment, and buy the improved weapons that your enhanced abilities now allow you to wield; likewise, after a revelatory LOST episode, fans chuck all their old theories into the dustbin and cook up new ones consistent with the revised facts. Then, having done so, each—the player of a CRPG, or the viewer of LOST—is handed a brand new quest, or puzzle, or plot plot. The ephemeral thrill of leveling vanishes, replaced by a longing to hit the next milestone. You never disembark from the treadmill, it just goes faster.
I think he’s right on with the precedents he sites: Twin Peaks and The X-Files. I guess it’s no surprise that these are two of my favourite shows, and that I seem to like the video games a little bit. Also, check out the post about the surprising amount of swears in Lost scripts.