Moving on, Letting Go and Being More “Lost” Than Ever

“Lost” ended last week and went out with more of a WTF than a bang or a whimper. With the finale of the show, chapters closed in all of our lives and overall, people were satisfied with the send-off of our beloved characterseven if the final scene where Jack’s eye closes after he finally comes to terms with his fatality was entirely misleading since everyone knows peoples’ eyes are open when they kick the bucket or in the case of “Lost,” pass on…to some brighter place where Jack and Kate can finally get it on for eternity.

One thing the “Lost” finale did for me was reaffirm the pure McSteaminess that is Matthew Fox and if I cried the entire last half of the show it was at the mere thought of not being able to share each Tuesday night with the dude. But on to the real point of the finale which was to reunite characters – both dead, alive or stuck somewhere in the netherworld – with each other in assisting Jack in his quest for salvation or at least spare a chuckle at the whole Christian Shepherd as guide to the afterlife thing.

Here’s the major gripe I have with finale – if we’re to believe that the island world was “real” and the sideways world “made-up” it marginalizes everything that took place this season and negates the notion that the island dwellers would have found each other anyways – crash or not.

While the crash might not have been a Dharma Initiative project, it may as well have been as far as social experiments, kumbaya, and the whole see-what-happens-when-you-put-seven-strangers-in-a-house-and-they-start-getting-real go. Of course intense situations elicit strong bonds among those that share that very common experience. Think summer camp, college dorm life, pulling successive all-nighters at work driving toward a do-or-die deadline. We don’t need to be passengers/voyeurs on Jack’s ride to self-discovery¬†to get that relationships and people matter, especially when those very people are grappling with their mortality alongside you.

Don’t get me wrong. I loved “Lost” – watched the finale, not once, but twice for added commentary. I even flinched my way through the terrible post-show with “Jimmy Kimmel Live” all for the chance at seeing my favorite characters again. Will I know what to do with myself now that “Lost” is gone? Most likely, I’ll be practicing what the show preached and finding my time better spent strengthening my relationships with those loved ones around me.

Cue closing credits.

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Has Liz Lemon Jumped the Shark?

Back in the day, Tina Fey aka Liz Lemon aka Sarah Palin was in her element alongside Amy Poehler aka Leslie Knope tearing it up on “SNL” with her weekend updates. The comic duo were sassy, sharp, and never missed a punchline. They represented a new prototype of feminist – they weren’t your mom’s brand of feminist whose extremist tendencies of either too traditional or too workaholic repelled you from the whole notion of “women’s lib.” Poehler & Fey proved that funny, smart, and confident with a hint of vulnerable could work and moreover, women could be successful at this shtick.

So imagine my disappointment this season as I watch Liz Lemon on “30 Rock” pathetically whining, mooning over past loves, and contemplating the concept of settling for the dreamy Michael Sheen over going at it solo. Her cynicism reaching new heights, Lemon’s once empowered femme drole is merely a shred of her former hip lady self. The compelling storyline involving Liz’s desire to adopt a baby (something many single, career-minded women in their late 30s might be able to relate too) which was ongoing for the past few seasons has all but vanished with her character shifting into more of a slapstick sidekick providing occasional comedic relief for the venerable Alec Baldwin. On a side note: Do I really care if Jack chooses Julianne Moore or Elizabeth Banks? Just bring Selma Hayek back! Note to network television: In case you didn’t notice from the ratings success of “Modern Family,” Latina relief is the only thing working on sitcoms these days…

On the other hand, Amy Poehler has managed to transform Leslie Knope, a rather plain yokel and no doubt the anti-Liz Lemon hipster chick into a comedic heroine by steering clear of the “SNL” footfalls of vitriolic NY-bred humor – the type of bagel humor that might have worked with “Seinfeld” 15 years ago but doesn’t do it for the iGeneration. In contrast to Liz Lemon, Leslie is kind and giving to a fault and like Liz, she is not without her ambitions and her desire to win at all costs.¬† The difference is Poehler’s affable delivery – it’s her refreshingly candid demeanor that endears her to us and also at the same time represents a true shift in in what we want our female role models to look like.

Today’s Mary Tyler Moore doesn’t need to wear black, live in the 100- zip code, walk around all day muttering “oy vey” under her breath, and sip soy lattes while dreaming up the wittiest retorts in preparation for their next rendez-vous. They can date park rangers, go hunting with the boys, and put it all on the line for a friend in need. They don’t need to arm themselves with sarcasm to shield themselves from being vulnerable or employ self-deprecation as a means to communicate with others for fear of actually conveying any shred of authenticity.

Today’s lady can be geeky, socially responsible, single, self-aware, sassy, and genuinely happy. Welcome to the ’10s ladies. It’s a bold new world and you, too, can be cool in this one – even in NBC’s impossibly hip Thursday night line-up.

Btw, contrary to rumors Amy’s impending baby mama status is not the cause of “Parks & Rec” push back to NBC’s Thursday night mid-season 2011 lineup)