Our Imposter Syndrome cancels out our Dunning-Kruger

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Jane Campbell


  1. Jane Campbell
    December 9, 2015 @ 1:38 am

    And just to kind of set this part apart from the first part, I’ll go ahead and offer up a question to readers: What was it that first drew you into LOST in the first place?

    For me it was a combination of the emotional payoff of Walkabout, that moment in Numbers when I realized that all the Numbers (especially 23) had been seeded in the program. That this was a show that also functioned as a sort of puzzle box to try and solve? Oh yeah, I was all over it like cheese on pizza.

    And then I got deeply invested in the characters — Charlie, Claire, and Hurley in particular, with a nice dose of Locke. They all had journeys that I could relate to, if only at a metaphoric level. But that’s what mythology is all about, really, I think.

    So how about you? What got you hooked?


    • Kat
      December 9, 2015 @ 10:45 am

      I love this show, too. These posts are great. I always felt the thematic and symbolic cohesion of the show, even as others complained about the lack of cohesion on a purely surface or narrative level (although even there I think it’s far better than its reputation). Some of the connections you mention are things I’ve caught previously, but many are not, if only because I haven’t taken the time to go through it with the fine-tooth come you are. I look forward to these posts every time, and you’re not disappointing.

      What drew me to LOST? At first, Dominic Monaghan, coming over from LOTR fandom. After that, the previews for the Pilot – the show looked like such an epic adventure, unlike anything I’d ever seen on TV (I was primarily a sitcom watcher before LOST and the era of “peak TV” changed everything).

      The Pilot episodes themselves certainly impressed me, and I grew more and more in love with the show with each new episode of that unparalleled first season.

      I think my real conversion experience was Walkabout, but not in the way you’d expect. I do remember the shock and wonder of Walkabout’s ending, but strangely my most vivid memory of realizing how emotionally invested I was was at the end of Tabula Rasa when Kate offers to tell Jack what she did and he declines. I remember feeling such disappointment, and was seriously worried that the Flashback structure would only be for that one episode. I was so elated to find at the BEGINNING of Walkabout that no, this would continue to be the structure of the series. So, I think it was that: The dual Island/Flashback structure, and the paralleled journeys of the exploring the Island and exploring the characters. Seeing the mysteries of both unfold together, and how each aspect of the show echoed and spoke to the other across time and space… yeah, that was my sweet spot.


    • Matthew
      December 9, 2015 @ 3:21 pm

      There’s a little bit of sleight of hand about the seeding of the numbers, I believe. Once they came up with the concept, they looked for numbers which had already appeared in the show, like Kate’s reward, then used those in the list.


      • Jane Campbell
        December 9, 2015 @ 4:29 pm

        23 was always one of the numbers, for the esoteric reasons cited in the comments in previous essays. It’s a number that catches the attention of certain people.

        So it’s no coincidence that 23 is the row Jack sits in for the Pilot episode.


  2. Anton B
    December 9, 2015 @ 8:47 am

    What got me hooked on LOST? I think it might be this post. I confess I gave up on the show round about the third season but, inspired by this blog, I fully intend to revisit the island.

    You got me with the Alice stuff. The works of Lewis Carroll are a slight obsession of mine. I recently attended an event at the British Library, a celebration of the 150th anniversary of the first publication of Alice in Wonderland. The panel of writers included the great granddaughter of the original Alice and Frank Cotrell-Boyce (familiar to followers of the Eruditorum of course as the writer of In the Forest of the Night) who memorably described Alice in Wonderland as ‘a book full of memes’. A work that has transcended literature to become an indelible part of Western culture both for its instantly recognisable imagery and its verbal coinages.

    Apart from Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) another classic children’s author comes to mind when contemplating LOST – JM Barrie. In Peter Pan of course we have not only a magical island (Neverland) but the Lost Boys. Barrie also wrote a stage play which concerned itself with supernatural disappearances called Mary Rose or The Island That Likes To Be Visited.


    • Jane Campbell
      December 9, 2015 @ 4:31 pm

      I hope you listened to the Alice in Wonderland Shabcast this past spring!


      • Anton B
        December 10, 2015 @ 4:22 pm

        I certainly did, enjoyed it immensely and commented as such. The Jonathan Miller BBC adaptation of Alice is so extraordinary for a number of reasons. Not least for its inspired casting and the use of Ravi Shankar’s evocative sitar music. I was pleased to learn (at the event I mentioned) that it is Cottrell-Boyce’s favourite version too.


    • John G Wood
      December 11, 2015 @ 3:23 pm

      What got me into LOST? Nothing yet – still never seen it – but I admit posts like these are tempting me!

      Another Carroll fan here, BTW – I once wrote a rather verbose page on adapting Through the Looking Glass as a text adventure (or work of Interactive Fiction, if you prefer).


  3. Kat
    December 9, 2015 @ 10:50 am

    “Time bomb” sounds rather like Jughead.

    Sawyer reading Watership Down – One of the best and most unexpected character notes was realizing that redneck Sawyer is the bookworm.

    Fantastic connection with Boone’s name, and Jack coming back with “boons.” I like the idea of Boone being symbolic of the failures of the hero’s journey, even as he enables other people to achieve their journeys in unexpected ways. We’ll definitely have to come back to that in Deus Ex Machina.


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