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page added: 9/3/10

Lost: The Complete Series & Season 6
Blu-ray Disc reviews by Jeff Kleist of The Digital Bits

Lost: The Complete Series (Blu-ray Disc)

Lost: The Complete Sixth and Final Season (Blu-ray Disc)

Lost: The Complete Series (see image above)
Lost: The Complete Sixth & Final Season (left)

2003-2010 (2010) - Walt Disney Home Entertainment
Released on Blu-ray Disc on August 24th, 2010
Complete Series and Season 6 also available on DVD


Program Rating (Both): A-
Video (1-20): 19
Audio (1-20): 18
Extras: B+

Well... here we are. The sixth and final season of Lost has finally arrived on disc, and all those masochists (like my mother) who torture themselves all year, waiting to watch an entire season of the show in a day or two, will finally breathe the same sigh of relief the rest of us had back in May. One last time into the breach!

Continuing the trend from last year, the sixth season of Lost hides the aging of its cast with a touch of strategically placed softening on faces, but it's applied a bit more deftly than last year. This by no means gets in the way of the high quality HD imagery we've come to expect from the show, with its luscious greenery, deep blue seas and stunning Hawaiian landscapes that have been its trademark from the beginning. Lost was the first major new television show to hit Blu-ray, starting with Season 3, and it's continued to set the standard for TV material on the format since. I'd bet that no fan will walk away disappointed with the video quality of this series on Blu-ray. And while Lost has always been an excellent 5.1 auditory experience as well, the density and mixing tricks in the audio department have really improved. A great example of this involves the "smoke monster" attack in the statue, or the scene inside the Black Rock where you can hear it slithering in and out of each channel and the whip-pan as it strikes its targets. All in all, Lost on Blu-ray cements its place as Grade-A demo material for your home theater.

Best of all, Lost: Season 6 definitely goes out in style on the format, with a great Blu-ray experience from start to finish. When you insert the discs, the initial menus come up in white… which will please those allergic to spoilers. Also available from the initial landing pad is Lost in 8:15, a recap of the entire series thus far at hyperspeed. You get 4 commentaries on key episodes (LA.X, Across the Sea, Dr. Linus and Ab Aetarno) with the cast and crew of the show. The Crafting a Final Season featurette is a great 40 minutes' viewing, from the start of production all the way through the end of the shooting of the final episode. Lost on Location contains behind the scenes footage of 5 episodes spread over 30 minutes, while See You in Another Life, Brotha takes at look at this year's unique "flash sideways" universe, and A Hero's Journey pays tribute to the show's massive body count. Building on last year's fun, interactive educational program, the Lost University Masters Program remains one of the best uses of BD-Live on the market. Fans will once again find a great deal of value engaging with the hours of little clips, humor and background information it offers. I hope it continues to be updated with new material, like the previous season. Finally, the big feature you may have heard about - The New Man in Charge - is a 12-minute epilogue for the show that contains most of the rest of the answers people were still left hanging with after the finale aired. It's another great batch of material.

If I can make one quick comment here on the packaging, I really wish that all studios, and Disney has been a primary offender in the past (Alias), would learn to keep their packaging standardized. Nothing drives collectors batty more than a lack of uniformity. To have five seasons of fat BD cases and one thin just makes them crazy. What's worse, they can't even print out custom cover art for replacement packaging because - even after all these years - you STILL can't find reliable online retailers that sell multi-disc Blu-ray cases to end consumers. You can't even get the manufacturers to respond. A recent call to Viva after I'd received a shattered Star Trek: TOS 7-disc Blu-ray case resulted in a reply that basically amounted to "shove it".

Anyway… if you've opted for the Lost: The Complete Series Blu-ray box set, you're in for a major treat. Just unpackaging the set is an adventure in and of itself. This is a gorgeous minimalist box both outside and in. Once you expose the "temple" the box contains, opening this reveals a beautiful relief map of the island inside the lid. Its contents include a full-color, glossy episode guide, a game board and pieces for Senet (as featured in one of the Season 6 episodes), a blacklight (there are hidden secrets!) and an ankh. Buried beneath all of this is a tall box that contains the actual discs, in foldout "pockets". While these are the first such folders I've seen that don't make you feel like the discs are going to get scratched every time you take them out, there is one issue.

The Complete Series includes its own exclusive bonus disc, but accessing it is a little tough, and the packaging may not stand up to this process more than a few times. Here's how you find it: Notice the incomplete "ankh" symbols on the corners of the lid map. Turn them 90 degrees so that they line up and then lift the lid free. This is probably going to take some effort, so be careful not to damage it. Once you've got the bonus disc in hand, I suggest you leave it out and store it the main box from now on, because the packaging just isn't going to stand up to this wear and tear very well.

So what do you get for your trouble in locating the bonus disc? Letting Go: Reflections on a Six Year Journey pairs up complimentary cast members to reflect on the locations of the island. This is one of the best extras I've seen throughout the entire series of bonus features. There's a lot of real emotion here, mixed with a lot of fun and whimsy, as the cast says goodbye to the places we've lived with them over the last six years. Artifacts of the Island: Inside the Lost Prop House is like a YouTube reaction video - the actors take a prop and comment on their memories of it. Lost Slapdowns collects all of the YouTube viral videos that were produced for the end of the series. Obviously staged and a bit forced, they're mildly amusing in small doses, but the only ones you don't want to miss are the 4 visits from the Muppets. Master Muppeteers like Steve Whitmire (Kermit, Rizzo) and Bill Barretta (Pepe, Bobo) are kings of improv, and the end result is a hoot. Moving on, Lost on Location and More from the Series are collections of featurettes from across the series, made up of the leftover drips and drabs that didn't make it onto their respective box sets. They're fun to have, but you can see why they were left out before this. Finally, about 2 dozen of Lost's groundbreaking podcasts are collected here for your listening pleasure.

Lost's journey has been a long road through 6 years of twists and turns, writer's strikes, trials and tribulations. As we all know, Jack Shepard and 40-something other survivors of a plane crash found themselves on a mysterious island full of terrible secrets, dangers and wonders. But 121 episodes down the road, the journey's largely been worth it. There were missteps and "filler" episodes along the way to be sure, but once the writers knew where the ending was, they were ultimately able to pace themselves and write toward it. Lost certainly taught television executives the value of serialized storytelling when it comes to hooking and keeping an audience. It also taught them the dangers of not planning ahead. And while no series finale of a beloved show can fully satisfy every fan, The New Man in Charge answered 95% of the questions I had, leaving me feeling satisfied that my time with this show has been well spent. Your own mileage may vary, but at least now we have the entire series of Lost in gorgeous high definition to fuel our re-watching and debating for decades to come. And really, isn't that the best legacy any TV show can ask for?

Jeff Kleist
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