Unfortunately, because the FX Network geniuses have decided to plug Dirt and The Riches (I've heard the Riches is okay, but Dirt? Ugh...), and also have to try to wrap up Nip/Tuck due to strike delays this summer, looks like The Shield's final season will begin sometime in September. The least they could do is put out the Season 6 DVDs well in advance; I never understood the marketing behind, "release the prior season's DVDs right before the new season begins, even if there are production delays". Why? Movies come out on DVD about 3 months after the theatrical release these days - I Am Legend is on sale already.
The Shield will, of course, rule in its final season, so why delay the inevitable?
I try to watch as little TV as possible these days - just call me Pentti Linkola, I guess - but my few current indulgences these days include Seinfeld & Family Guy reruns, as well as new episodes of Nip/Tuck, The Shield, and Lost. Nip/Tuck is on hiatus after a pretty gruesome ending to mid-Season 5 (or, with the hiatus, that could be it for Season 5 and they'll just call the next set of episodes Season 6).
Lost seems to be in a league of its own these days. The viewers definitely have a love/hate relationship with the show, and it has to be the show that gets the most attention out there on the internet - countless blogs, spoiler postings, etc.; much more than one would even see for the Sopranos simply due to the mystery surrounding the show. Well, we had all kinds of questions and imaginative musings surrounding who the Others are, what the deal is with the island, etc. etc. from Season 1 through Season 3. And we knew at the time that there were going to be only six seasons of the show, total. That means that by the end of Season 3, we were only halfway done with the story. So when we saw Locke kill Naomi, and then Jack went ahead and called for rescue anyway, we knew there would be an entirely new story opening up in Season 4. We also thought, maybe they'll start answering some of those all-important questions, such as the following - a very short list out of the thousands of questions that exist about this show:
- What were Sawyer and Kate building during their time in the prison camp? A runway, okay, but for what - are we getting an Island Airline? I can see the slogan now - "Able to withstand a time-warp bubble wrapped around this very special island".
- What the hell ever happened to Walt and Michael? (this was actually answered in S4E8)
- Charlie was able to find out who the freighter did not belong to, but who does it belong to? (we may have the answer but we're really not 100% sure on this one)
- What's the deal with Jack's Dad? The producers have said we'll see him again this season; we already saw him in the first episode. We know the coffin Jack found in Season 1 was empty. OK, so we know the island has healing properties - Jin's fertility; Locke's legs; Rose's cancer - but can it actually bring someone back to life who died recently? And if Christian was in a coffin when he was transported from Australia to the island, wouldn't he have been embalmed? Even after dying, cold storage for days, and then embalment, we're supposed to believe the island can still bring someone back to life? It'll be a very interesting answer, whatever it is.
I guess that's the whole point here - we get answers, but they're superficial. We're looking for tidbits of the big tomale, the big picture, guys. Lostisagame.com maintains that this show is set up like a game, so certain events give you hints of what the "answers" are to "move on to the next level", but even they admit they don't really believe the show is a video game playing out; it's just set up like one. So what is the end to all this? We know the following main plot points for Season 4-6 due to the fun "flash-forward" sequences that have provided an awesome new twist in Season 4:
- The Others can leave the island as they please - Tom & Ben have both been seen off the island in flash forwards during the show (though, technically, Michael's episode in S4E8 was a flashback)
- Ben is being sought by some very powerful people who very pissed off at him. It's entirely possible that Charles Widmore is behind this (or some third party that hasn't yet been fully identified - think Abaddon from S4E1, the freaky dude who puts together the freighter crew (does he work for Widmore? We don't know that for sure yet, though the Captain has stated that the boat is, indeed, Widmore's).
- Ben is convinced that every single person on the island will be killed if the freighter gains safe passage to the island - something that has been teased to us fans in the wake of Karl's death in S4E8, and in previews for S4E9 where the Locke camp needs to band together with Ben to fight off, presumably, Keamy and whoever else went on that "errand" with pilot Frank Lapidus in S4E8.
These are just very broad strokes - never mind why Ben is off the island in the future fixing up Sayid's wounds, why Sayid is working for Ben in the first place, how the Oceanic Six are explained, why they feel they have to go back, whether or not Jin is really dead, whether or not Clare is dead or injured ("this baby will be in danger if raised by another" -Season 1) and why Aaron is now in Kate's hands. Interesting how, at the moment, the show's main characters - the LOSTies, aboard Flight 815 - are almost secondary to the plot at this point. Yeah, we have had episodes centering around who the Oceanic Six are, but isn't this season - on the island, at least - really all about the freighter and Ben?
I'm glad the show has diversified the plot, because Season 3 got a bit boring, but I hope starting with S4E9 we start to get bits of what this all means, why the island is so important - oh, and what the HELL is that black smoke monster? And uh, can Walt time travel or not - huge cop-out in S4E8, Michael's flashback - is he really just a shell of his former self at his grandmother's house, or is he traveling through time to warn Locke? Note how even though Desmond was an adult in 1996 and 2004 when he had his own flashback issues, Minkowski pointed out, "you look a lot older now, don't you?" Well, not really - he just has longer hair and a beard. I feel like they put that in there so that the producers will be able to explain why Walt appeared as older to Locke (something the producers said would be explained), and maybe why he'll appear older if he shows up again. Something tells me he's bound for another trip to the island at some point.
As you can tell by the babbling above, this show is truly maddening - we love it because it's interesting, and hate it because we get a fix week after week and then have to wait months to see the new season. I almost wish I hadn't become interested in this show until 2010 and could just watch all of it on DVD at once...