"LOST: THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON – THE EXPANDED EXPERIENCE"
DVD Review
by Kevin Carr


    MOVIE: ***** (out of 5 stars)
    DVD EXPERIENCE: ***** (out of 5 stars)

    STARRING
    Naveen Andrews as SAYID
    Emilie de Raven as CLAIRE
    Matthew Fox as JACK
    Jorge Garcia as HURLEY
    Josh Holloway as SAWYER
    Daniel Dae Kim as JIN
    Yunjin Kim as SUN
    Evangeline Lilly as KATE
    Terry O’Quinn as LOCKE
    Elizabeth Mitchell as JULIET
    Michael Emerson as BEN
    Henry Ian Cusick as DESMOND

    Rated TV-14
    Studio: ABC

    Created by: Jeffrey Lieber
    and J.J. Abrams & Damon Lindelof

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Along with the series “24” and “Battlestar Galactica,” I consider “Lost” to be one of the best dramatic shows on television. It’s complex, thoughtful and thrilling. It has kept the fans guessing for four years, and the fifth season (which happens to be the next to the last one) is one of the most anticipated premieres in January.

With that said, if you’re one of those unfortunate few who hasn’t watched this show before today, for God’s sake, don’t start with “Lost: The complete Fourth Season.” If you do, pardon the pun, you’ll be lost.

Ever since it’s debut in 2004, I recognized “Lost” to be a unique thing in television – something we would have never seen a decade or two ago. Rather than being a series that people can watch on any given week, and without falling into the trite trap of a prime time soap opera, “Lost” is really a novel made for television.

For those folks who were frustrated in the first season with the slow pacing and long episodes devoted to the backstory of different characters, go back and watch the DVDs to discover this chapter-book format of the television show.

Likewise, the novel-on-TV format got the show in trouble in its second season when viewers got confused with reruns and breaks in the programming schedule. Thanks to other long-form storytelling like “24,” the networks understood that they could air the season without breaks and reruns.

And then came the WGA strike that crippled the show in its fourth season. Fortunately, the rest of the show is planned out over two shorter seasons coming up in 2009 and 2010. It is in this fourth season that the ongoing storyline is tightened and prepares to wrap up. No worries about “Lost” jumping the shark, whether it’s got a Dharma Initiative tattoo under its dorsal fin or not.

Season Four begins with hints of a rescue. We see what is known as the “Oceanic Six” back in their regular lives. We don’t know who all has survived and what befell everyone else. That’s part of the mystery of the show, unraveled with flash-forwards this time as the characters fight to escape the island.

Even though more bizarre elements are thrown at us in Season Four – like a “Slaughterhouse Five” style of time travel courtesy of Desmond and some unsettling visions by Hurley – but they all point to a conclusion down the road.

But even more impressive than the ongoing drama on those so-called deserted islands in the Pacific is the DVD box set for this fourth season. Normally television shows have excellent special features on their first and second seasons. By the time they reach the fourth season, the features dry up.

Not so with the “Lost: The Complete Fourth Season – The Expanded Experience” DVD box set. This item is loaded with as many – if not more – excellent content as the first and second season were. Two entire bonus discs are included in the set.

Multiple audio commentaries are offered throughout the season, as well as an episode’s worth of deleted scenes. There’s the season summed up in 8:15, as well as multiple featurettes covering the firearms of the show, the Freighter Folk, a spotlight on shooting in Hawaii, a look at shooting on the freighter, a night of “Lost” music and how the international locations are achieved.

However, there are two features in this box set that make it worth it’s price. First is “The Definitive Flash-Forwards,” an hour-long review of the most important clips of the Oceanic Six, shown in chronological order. This is essential to watch before the Season Five premier.

Also included in “The Oceanic Six: A Conspiracy of Lies,” a mockumentary conspiracy video made as if it were meant to debunk the story of the Oceanic 815 survivors. This is one of the most clever and hysterical special features I’ve seen in a long time.

If you like this series, consider yourself lucky. The show is in full swing. It’s a great time to be a “Lost” fan.

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