Lost - Season 4

More than three months after their crash, the stranded passengers of the ill-fated Oceanic Flight 815 learn that the only thing more dangerous than the Island itself might be the people who have come to rescue them. Jack (Matthew Fox) and his followers head to the beach in anticipation of their departure while the group led by Locke (Terry O'Quinn) heeds the advice of Ben (Michael Emerson) and goes into hiding.

If you haven't watched the previous three seasons of Lost, you may want to skip the next paragraph to avoid any spoilers.

Season four picks up after the shocking final episode of season three in which we discover that Kate (Evangeline Lily) and Jack—and perhaps others—have escaped the Island. What about everyone else? The 13 episodes from the strike-shortened fourth season provide some answers to questions about the mysterious Island and its inhabitants, but as expected, they raise many more. The writing on this series is brilliant and compelling—something sorely lacking in Hollywood these days. It's easy to see why the show has earned seven Emmy Awards and more than 20 nominations during its first three seasons.

If there was ever a show made for HD, Lost is certainly it, with rich tropical hues—especially green—inky black levels, and rich color saturation. The detail is exquisite with well-defined textures in clothing, every pore in close-ups, and individual beads of sweat rolling down the actors' faces. I've seen snippets of the show broadcast on ABC over the years, and the 1080p AVC encode on Blu-ray is a substantial improvement over the 720p MPEG2 feed from Comcast.

The PCM 5.1 soundtrack is nearly as amazing as the video encode. In fact, for a TV show, the sound design rivals many theatrical features with excellent dynamic range highlighted by the whispers of "the others," ringing gunshots, and explosions—of which there are many. The dialog is always intelligible, and the amazing surround ambience brings the jungle to life. The icing on the cake is the Emmy-winning score from Michael Giacchino, which adds that extra dimension not found in your run-of-the-mill TV production. Bravo!

The 5-disc set offers a compelling set of bonus materials, including a unique look back at the first three seasons in "Lost 8:15" (subtle, eh?), which recaps the major plot points in 8 minutes, 15 seconds—with some witty humor thrown in for good measure. Commentaries accompany four episodes, and the remaining supplements reside on the fifth disc—bloopers, deleted scenes, and behind-the-scenes featurettes relating to the locations, the guns, and the music—all in HD.

This decade has produced some great TV dramas such as 24, Battlestar Galactica, and the first season of Heroes (since then it has lost its mojo). But they all pale in comparison to Lost with its consistently strong writing and gripping story from episode to episode. It's the best show I've ever watched, and the presentation on Blu-ray is first-rate. Highly recommended!

Release Date: December 9, 2008

Movie: 10/10
Picture: 10/10
Sound: 10/10

Review System

Panasonic DMP-BD55

JVC DLA-RS1 projector
Stewart FireHawk screen (76.5" wide, 16:9)

Onkyo Pro 85 pre/pro
Anthem PVA-7 Amplifier
Belkin PF60 power conditioner

M&K S-150s (L, C, R)
M&K SS-150s (LS, RS, SBL, SBR)
SVS PC-Ultra subwoofer

Monoprice HDMI cables (source to pre/pro)
Best Deal analog-audio cables
PureLink HDC Fiber Optic HDMI Cable System (15 meters) from pre/pro to projector