Believe it or not, I actually manage to watch/read/think about things other than Lost each week. Each weekend I'll be posting a listing of non-Lost media that tickles me and/or ticks me off. Nothing but good vibrations this week:
1. The Venture Brothers - Fans of Lost's knottily plotted narrative and the comedy stylings of folks like Mike Judge (Office Space, King of the Hill) and/or Ben Edlund (The Tick, Firefly, Angel) should give The Venture Brothers a shot. What begins as a goofy, potty-mouthed parody of shows like Johnny Quest quickly evolves into an intimate epic about the death of our jet-age dreams and the complexity of family. But hilarious. The show isn't for everyone - especially those people who don't enjoy a good off-color joke - but I'd recommend it to anyone with an off-beat sense of humor and an appreciation for intelligent storytelling.
2. Fela - My wife and I had the opportunity to catch the show 'Fela' on Broadway recently, and we were both blown away. Fela is the (basic) story of musician Fela Kuti, Nigerian multi-instrumentalist and political activist, told through dramatization and through Fela's songs, none of which I was familar with before the performance. If you're in NYC and you've got the opportunity to attend 'Fela,' I'd advise you to see it. Antibalas, the Afrobeat orchestra who've worked with TV On The Radio and DJ Logic, serves as the production's house band, and they set the place on fire.
3. Locke & Key - Ever read a comic book? Even if you haven't, as a fan of Lost you should consider picking up Locke & Key, published by IDW. L&K is written by Joe Hill, son of Stephen King, and his writing contains the same gift for creating characters that his father possesses. Hill is very much his own man, however, and L&K is a terrific showcase for his authorial voice. Why will Lost fans want to read this title? Besides the emphasis on character, the book is also a compellingly-plotted mystery about the Locke family's ancestral home, Keyhouse, the special doors and keys that lay within it, a potentially world-changing/ending secret hidden deep in the caves that lie beneath the house, and a generational struggle between the forces of light and dark that's told largely through hints, allusions, and suggestion. Highly recommended.
4. The Conference of the Birds - Ever read an epic poem revolving around the Sufi belief system? Me too! The Conference of the Birds is an allegorical fable about the source of, and the primacy of, divinity. It's written entirely in short, clever rhyme, and it's got a twist ending worthy of Lost. It's also arguably relevant to Lost's larger themes, though that's solely my opinion. If you're looking to do a little mind-expansion with your pre-sleep reading, give The Conference of the Birds a try. At the least, you'll enjoy the richness of the language. I'll be talking more about this poem in the next Back To The Island column.
Enjoy the weekend!