Thursday, June 5, 2008

Lost: "Dark" Polling Data Puts a Fresh Spin on the Season Finale

Lately I’ve become addicted to the polls section on DarkUFO’s website. If there’s a poll up, you can pretty much assume that I’ve voted in it.

While I originally thought the polls were inane—and, yes, some of them are—they’ve also given me great insight into the minds of Lost viewers at large. It’s telling me a lot about what people think about the mysteries, the couples, the producers and their silly hype, and the general nature of being a viewer.

I’ve always wondered how I fit in as a Lost viewer. Skimming posts at sites like DarkUFO and Television Without Pity, a Jater would definitely get the idea that she’s in the minority. I’ve always had the idea that the huge Lost population in general is comprised primarily of Jaters—people like my sister, my grandparents, and some of my colleagues—but that there is a large and vocal minority of Skaters/Jacketeers who defy the mainstream opinion. If I had to put an actual number on it, I’d say it’s, like, 65% Jate and 35% Skate/Jacket. Of the intense Lost internetty crowd, I’d say it’s almost flip-flopped. Just personal observation.

Now that the finale seems to have set up a new and—if you ask me—awesome potential coupling, a lot of feelings seem to have changed about the triangle. Let’s talk about shipper polling data first.

Several weeks ago, Skate was pwning Jate at any ship-related poll. When asked who Jack would get with, 60% said Juliet; Skate was polling even higher. But after the finale, things seem to have shifted a bit. When asked flat-out, “Will Juliet and Sawyer get together?” 42% said yes, with 74% of those respondents clarifying that it was “just because Jack and Kate aren’t there.”

Here’s what I have to say about that. First of all, I don’t particularly care how the obstacles to my ship get out of the way. Juliet/Sawyer (is there a ship name for them yet?) is awfully convenient, so I’m not at all hesitant to get on board. You can explain away this hookup all you want, but as long as Jack and Kate end up together at the end of the show, I’ll be just fine. Secondly, Juliet and Sawyer have at least three years on the island with Jack and Kate presumed dead. Even if they do originally hook up out of “grief,” that still gives them three years together (or roughly 12 times the days Sawyer and Kate have known each other) to build a relationship on more than that.

Later, the question was posed “What will happen to Sawyer?” 40% of respondents say, “He will start a romance with Juliet,” making this the most popular response. When asked “Who will be Sawyer’s new love interest?” 64% said Juliet, with only 24% claiming that he would “stay true to Kate.” There are still hard-core Skaters out there, but it seems like you’ve also got some wafflers and some fair-weather fans over there.

We were delightfully underwhelmed by the Sawyer/Kate “spectacular” kiss. I feel like there are three choices: (A) Darlton thought the kiss was spectacular and therefore need kissing lessons, (B) Darlton thought the situation of the kiss was spectacular, not necessarily the actual liplock itself, or (C) The spectacular kiss was Desmond/Penny all along and Darlton just put all that information out there to throw us off the Penny’s-boat-of-rescue trail.

Whichever choice it is, we felt so wonderful being wrong about that kiss. It didn’t break out hearts—you can listen to the podcast, which should be up within the next 24 hours, and hear our knee-jerk reactions, which are roughly summed up as “Meh.”

What we didn’t know was how the rest of the fandom saw the kiss.

When Dark asked what was the “most overrated finale scene,” Sawyer kissing Kate had an overwhelming majority with 59%. Nothing else even had over 10%. I would assume there are some Skaters out there who are disappointed, too. Don’t worry. Your ship ends up living together with a presh baby and a big diamond. Oh, wait! Nope, that’s mine. Sorry.

When asked specifically, “How did you feel about the spectacular kiss?” 60% say, “It was okay, just another kiss on the show.” 27% say, “It was just as amazing as Darlton promised.” What’s interesting is that if you look at the comments, several people who said it was amazing did not know that spoiler whores were practically told that the kiss was Skate. Some excerpts:

“If they were talking about the Sawyer/Kate kiss there was nothing spectacular about it. Desmond and Penny, now that was spectacular!!”

“It was awesome. Henry Ian Cusick and Sonya Walger lived up to all the hype and then some :)”

When asked explicitly, “Which kiss did you prefer?” the responses are less misleading. 16% say Skate, 56% say Desmond/Penny.

A post-finale poll begs the ultimate question: “Which is the best Lost couple?” Desmond and Penny received a majority of the votes with 52%, while (surprisingly to me) Jate edged out Skate for second with 17% over 16%. Now, for all we know, all 52% of those respondents who said they preferred Desmond/Penny could be Skaters. But what this poll does tell us is that there are more Jaters willing to sacrifice the wonder that is Desmond/Penny for our OTP. Basically, there are just more Jaters who find our ship to be the flat-out OTP of the show.

One of the most interesting mysteries to Mae, Jen, and I right now is who Adam and Eve are. We’re collaborating both on elaborating the theory that the cavepeople are Jack and Kate and proving it correct. I feel like this theory has gotten a lot of buzz about it lately in the fandom—although I can’t imagine why—and Dark did a poll about it. When asked, “Who are Adam and Eve?” 29% say Jack and Kate, while 27% say Desmond and Penny. Here’s a question I have for the fandom: Is it possible for Jack and Kate to indeed be Adam and Eve, to be inextricably tied to such an epic and longstanding part of the show’s mythology, and not be the OTP of the show?

Moving away from the ship, I thought it was interesting that a full 75% of the polling audience think Jin will get rescued by Dan and the redshirts. It sure seems logical to me, right.

Another kind of ominous poll question asked which of seven people (the Oceanic 6 plus Ben) would die first. I didn’t know who to choose—although I eliminated the three members of the Lie!Fam instantly, because, well, that would destroy Lost for me—but after thinking about it, I figured the logical answer would be Sayid. He’s in the middle of some seriously dangerous shit, for one, and also, really, who cares if Sayid dies? How many people are, like, watching Lost because Sayid’s freakin’ awesome? Anyway, that was my logic, and I was surprised to see that 59% of respondents said Sayid, too. That’s a big number! I’d be interested to know what other pollees’ logic was.

I was not surprised to hear that 84% of the poll people think that Locke left the island “to convince the O6 to return.” Again, logic. Locke loves the island; if we are to believe, as crazy Jack said, that bad stuff has been happening since the Six left, then I would expect Locke to leave the island by whatever means necessary to convince them that they need to get back to the island.

Here’s a poll that made me sad—not because of the responses, which seem pretty inconclusive, but because of the answer choices. Dark asked readers, “During this season, what really did surprise you?”
Knowing Kate’s son is Aaron
The flashback/forward of Sun and Jin
Locke was in the coffin
Sayid working for Ben
Jack and Kate living like a couple
Michael was a spy in the boat
Ben controlling the smoke monster

The only two of those big surprises that I didn’t actually know were going to happen are “The flashback/forward of Sun and Jin” and “Jack and Kate living like a couple.” I think I need to stop reading spoilers, y’all. Because even if they make you all giddy with anticipation when you read them, at the end of the day, you’re spoiled. Huh. Something to think about.

Anyway, I promise to post the podcast before I go to sleep tonight. I’m off to New York City for a little weekend vacay, but I’ll be back on Sunday with the Chaos in General take on Sex and the City: The Movie.

8 Responses to “Lost: "Dark" Polling Data Puts a Fresh Spin on the Season Finale”

fra said...

Don’t worry. Your ship ends up living together with a presh baby and a big diamond. Oh, wait! Nope, that’s mine. Sorry.

LMAO! u rock!

I sometimes vote in polls but they're so totally useless.1500/2000 people usually vote and LOST has like 12.000.000 of viewers JUST in US.lol.so there you go..!

sorry to be OT but I wondering..which layout are u using for this blog and how did you put the header up there? u using a particular HTML code? i'm trying to do something similar for our Foxy blog but I HATE html.sigh.i suck with it. thanks :)

Caroline Carter said...

We're using a suped-up version of Rounders for the layout of this blog. It took several days of HTML hell to get it the way I wanted it, but I'm also very slow-going when it comes to coding. Blogger does make it easier now (!!) to add the Header--under Page Elements of the Layout section, you can add a header and link to a JPG file. Hope that helps!

Also, send me a link to this Foxy blog of which you speak, please!

Thanks!

-Caroline.

Anonymous said...

Don’t worry. Your ship ends up living together with a presh baby and a big diamond. Oh, wait! Nope, that’s mine. Sorry.

I don't think anything sums up the general moron level of Jaters better than this quote. The "presh baby" is the kid they stole, who Jack IGNORES for his entire life, even after finding out its his nephew, unless he's getting laid the fake mommy. The "big diamond" is the engagement (without kiss or I love you) that lasted two days before Jack started junking up and she kicked his ass to the curb.

Do you watch Lost or are you just a soap opera couchlady that lost her way? From the sound of it, you aren't a fan with any intelligence or imagination. Plus you really don't understand the nature of DarkUFO if you think it represents the fanbase. The only place with brains is TWOP.

And you really should check out the media reviews of this episode, because you are as far off in your assessment of fan reaction as it's possible to even be.

Caroline Carter said...

Well, that's just mean. Your previous comments were at least intelligent; this is just rude.

You think my post sums up what you don't like about Jaters? Your comment sums up what I don't like about Skaters/Jack Haters.

Also, and I quote Aaron Sorkin's Sports Night on this one, "When I say something, I put my name next to it." Your reluctance to put your name next to your spiteful comments is evidence of the fact that you're just being petty. If you want to say something constructive, you obviously know where to find me. And my name is Caroline.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, that was rude. But the mindset of your "analysis" is insulting. I wish you'd explain what's "presh" about stealing someone's child and then abandoning it while you choose to become a degenerate. And what's sexy about a marriage proposal without any love, that's all about telling Jack how great he is.

I think you've confused this great show with your hot on for Matthew Fox, which is typical of female (and a lot of male) Jack fans, but it has almost nothing to do with Lost. Then you "analyze" silly polls on a fanboy site as evidence of fan sentiment.

Have you read ANY reviews of this season or this finale? If you had, you'd realize there are intelligent voices out there, which all disagree with your assessment. You don't have to play silly games referring to teeny boppers who post polls on Dark UFO.

Mae Vaughan said...

The only place with brains is TWOP.


*dies laughing*

No, seriously, I just spit water all over the laptop from the amount of hysterical laughter that was caused by that statement of yours.

You cannot be for real. Except, it's obvious to me that you are. And, really, that's all I need to know anymore. Go forth and bash us if you must, but it will do nothing to dent my resolve or my beliefs... I've been officially rolling my eyes at the general TWOP membership for a good seven years, so we might as well just agree to disagree right here.

Caroline Carter said...

"I wish you'd explain what's 'presh' about stealing someone's child and then abandoning it while you choose to become a degenerate. And what's sexy about a marriage proposal without any love, that's all about telling Jack how great he is."

Like most things--and especially Lost things--there are multiple ways to look at things. I love the Jack/Kate proposal scene. Believe me, I don't just love every scene with those two together, nor do I love every proposal scene, but I do love that one. You saying it is "without any love" is simply a matter of opinion. And after seeing the way things turned out, do you really think Aaron was stolen? Claire was missing, presumed dead, and logic and reason would lead me to do precisely the same thing with that baby. As far as abandoning the family? No, that's not presh. That scene killed me. But I also don't think for a second that that's the end of their story. There's a lot of angst for them to get through--separately and together--but I wholeheartedly believe Jack and Kate are going to end up together.

"I think you've confused this great show with your hot on for Matthew Fox, which is typical of female (and a lot of male) Jack fans, but it has almost nothing to do with Lost."

Insulting and wrong. While you find Jack "nasty, self absorbed, self pitying, domineering, whiney," I think he's earnest, full of compassion, a devoted friend and leader, honorable, trustworthy, and courageous, whose life is extricably tied to fixing things. It's a blessing and a curse. Because he's also incredibly troubled. The guy has flaws, and I'll be the first to admit it. He's obsessive, he's haunted, he's unable to accept the good things when the smallest bad thing continues to exist, and, yes, at the moment, he's addled by drugs. He's not perfect, but he's still my favorite character on the show. And that has way more to do with his character than with the fact that I appreciate shirtless Jack scenes.

"Then you 'analyze' silly polls on a fanboy site as evidence of fan sentiment."

This blog is for fun. Those polls are for fun. I like looking at things from different perspectives. No, nothing about this is scientific or representative of the Lost viewership at large. But it is interesting. I like the specific questions they ask, and seeing where I fit into a sample of a thousand or so viewers.

"Have you read ANY reviews of this season or this finale? If you had, you'd realize there are intelligent voices out there, which all disagree with your assessment. You don't have to play silly games referring to teeny boppers who post polls on Dark UFO."

Yes, absolutely. I read just about anything Lost-related I find. But if I were you, I wouldn't run the risk of saying "all" disagree with anything. That's just dangerous. There are intelligent people out there who disagree with me, and I have no problem with that whatsoever. But this is my blog, and it's for the things I want to write about.

I'm so convinced that Jack's going to push through his predicament and come out better for it on the other side. I would expect nothing less from Damon Lindelof. Until then, maybe I'll be in the minority, but I'm okay with that. It'll just make being right all the more sweet.

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