Lost Season 1 & 2ABC (Blu-ray)
On a flight from Sydney, Australia, to Los Angeles, California, Oceanic Flight 815 crashes on a mysterious island in the South Pacific. The ensemble cast is outstanding, but the true star of the show is The Island. Why did Flight 815 crash there? Did The Island have anything to do with the crash? What is the mysterious beast roaming the forest? Why are the numbers 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, and 42 so special? Where did the hatch come from? Who are "The Others" and where do they come from? What is the Dharma Initiative? What happens if you don't push the button?
These are just a few of the many questions posed during the first two seasons, but for every question that's answered, two more are raised. J.J. Abrams’ creation is the pinnacle of network television, and if I didn't require sleep to survive, I would have watched all 47 episodes from the first two seasons consecutively; it’s that addicting. The pilot introduces the many characters, and you quickly discover that no one is safe from The Island's wrath. Some of the main characters perish in the first two seasons, and a happy ending isn't guaranteed when the sixth and final season is aired in 2010, but the producers promise to answer many of the questions before it's over.
Lost looks fantastic on Blu-ray, with rich hues of the crystal-blue Pacific Ocean and lush foliage of The Island. The overly compressed signal I'm used to seeing on cable is nonexistent here thanks to the high-bitrate AVC encode, and the finer details come to life with individual beads of sweat rolling down the actors' faces, clear textures in clothing and skin, and razor-sharp backgrounds. The Island has never looked more inviting, although with that mysterious monster roaming around the jungle, I'd stick to the beach.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack upgrades the experience from cable with crisper dialog, an expanded soundstage, and a broader dynamic range highlighted by the whispers of "The Others," ringing gunshots, and explosions. The sound design isn't your run-of-the-mill TV production; each episode creates a truly immersive experience. The viewer can feel the apprehension of the characters when they enter the jungle with subtle ambient sounds permeating the room, and when the unseen monster is on the prowl, the LFE channel comes to life and lets you know death is near.
The bonus features on Season One are rather pedestrian and focus almost exclusively on the pilot, which cost a reported $13 million to shoot—two and a half times the norm. "The Genesis of Lost" explains how the show was created in a compressed timeline and the unique circumstances that brought the writers together. "Designing a Disaster" delves into the crash site, and a third featurette, "Welcome to Oahu: The Making of the Pilot," is self explanatory. Other supplements include audio commentaries on select episodes, spoofs, bloopers, and deleted scenes. My favorite of the bunch is "Before They Were Lost," which is about the casting and how certain roles were created based upon the auditions.
Season Two has "Fire and Water: Anatomy of an Episode," highlighting how each episode serves two purposes; to advance the story and further develop the back story of a character. Other fan-friendly featurettes include "The World According to Sawyer"; "Lost Connections," an interactive guide showing the past connections between the characters; "Mysteries, Theories, and Conspiracies"; and "Secrets from the Hatch." Like Season One, there are deleted scenes, bloopers, and a smattering of episode-specific audio commentaries. Unfortunately, the supplements from both seasons are in standard definition, but the lower resolution doesn't detract from the excellent behind-the-scenes information.
If you want to experience Lost, Blu-ray is the best way to enjoy it. Every episode ends with a cliffhanger, and having to wait a week between viewings can be excruciating. Seasons Three and Four are already available, and if you start now, you'll be ready for Season Five when it debuts on Blu-ray in December. But once you're addicted; as I am, you'll have no choice but to watch the final season on ABC and come to the realization that seven days is a very long time. Highly recommended.