So, I caught the last half-hour or so of the LOST series finale, which effectively doubled the amount of time I've spent watching the show over all. Call it a mix of morbid curiosity and a desire to understand the reactions of my friends who watched it. Apparently they went the "Fulfill characters' stories" route rather than the "Explain all the sci-fi mysteries" route, which angered a lot of people. I guess everyone was already dead the entire time, or there was a parallel universe that was purgatory, or something. I didn't get it.
It actually reminded me of the ending of a series I watched on Cartoon Network a few years ago, The Big-O. The premise was awesome: A post-apocalyptic world where the only survivors were the inhabitants of Paradigm City, a place controlled by a corporation with an agenda. Forty years after the event which turned the rest of the world into an uninhabitable wasteland, nobody in the city has any memory of their lives before the incident, leaving them to struggle with understanding their history, their lives, the traditions and customs that drive and bind them . . . and at the center of it all, the protagonist: Roger Smith, a billionaire superhero reminiscent of Batman. Oh, except instead of fighting crime in a funny suit, he acts as a "negotiator" for hire and fights monsters and robots in his giant robot ("megadeus"), the Big O.
Neat, eh? As the series wears on, we learn a lot about the world. People slowly discover memories, personal or otherwise, of life before the apocalypse, something of great interest to the Paradigm Corporation. We learn that there is life outside of Paradigm City, both when giant robots attack from beyond the city, but also when Roger encounters a woman who works for "foreign powers."
Roger seems to be on the cusp of discovering the relationship between the Paradigm Corporation, the apocalypse, and the foreign powers when the series ends. As it ends, Roger finishes a fight with another giant robot, and . . . we see him open the door into a control room, where one of the characters sits and operates a console that seems to be directing everything.
That's right . . . it was all just an illusion being programmed by someone. What a ridiculous cop out.
Still, at least it's an ending. Many of the shows I enjoyed watching were started, only to drop before they finished (Inuyasha), or be transferred off of the channel I watched it on (Naruto). Some of them suffered from a lack of interest and vanished before they intended to (Undergrads), while still others carried on but became a shell of what they once were (Heroes, The Simpsons).
So, LOST fans, it could be worse. At least you got an ending, even if you didn't like it.