We at Londonist are practically wetting ourselves with excitement at the arrival of Lost (Wed 8.30pm/10pm C4, 10.50pm E4). Especially after reading the god-like Mark Lawson's hyperventilating piece about it in Friday's Grauniad. We're even prepared to believe, having talked to our American friends, that this is programme that will, indeed, "eclipse Desperate Housewives", as the C4 microsite has it. And the television in the Londonist dungeon was tuned to 4 every Wednesday for 20-odd weeks when Dessie Housewives was on - yes, every week. Yes, we have a life, honest. Anyway, the basic premise of Lost, if you've been living in a cave for the past few weeks, is the old 'plane crashes on island, 48 survivors have to, well, survive'. More on the show in this Grauniad Guide article about the show's genesis, including this tidbit from Lost's creator, JJ Abrams:
"He [then chairman of ABC, Lloyd Braun] said he had a show he wanted to put on the air about the survivors of a plane crash and would I please help him do it," remembers Abrams. "I thought, 'How is that a show?' And then I thought if I were to do this it would be far too weird and borderline sci-fi and he'd never want to do it. But his response was no, I love that idea."
"Weird", "borderline", "sci-fi". Are you not coming over all funny just thinking about it too?
Watch Lost, unless you really enjoy not being able to join in conversations around the coffee machine at work. Trust us, it's going to be bloody amazing.
In fact, if you positively enjoy pariah status, make sure not to watch the Big Brother final, too (Fri 10pm C4). And the mid-week eviction (well, we're betting there'll be an eviction, anyway) special on Wednesday at 8.30pm and 9.30pm, sandwiched between episodes of Lost. Go on, ignore it, you curmudgeonly buggers. After all, everyone knows popular culture is rubbish, for the proles, and unworthy of critical attention, don't they? But will a late surge of affection for Eugene (after he heart-breakingly gave up high tea to rescue Makosi from her cage after the other oinking pigs in the house prolonged her mid-air ordeal with their selfishness and attachment to booze'n'cigs) see him beat bookies' favourite Ant-knee the poison dwarf? Like Saskia, Ant has, as Charlie Brooker pointed out, "a face that could advertise war". Charlie, we at Londonist thought it was impossible to love you more than we did already; with that statement, you proved us wrong. God bless you.
What, there are other things on TV this week apart from a programme about a band of two-faced backstabbers trapped in some sort of Sartrean anti-chamber to Hell, forced to use their wits to survive, and Lost? Oh, here we go, then ...
Well worth a look should be The Best And Worst Places To Live In The UK (Tue 8pm C4), which sounds like a rip-off of the brilliant Idler Crap Towns book, if slightly less negative. Anyway, surely the best place to live in the UK is, er, London, and the worst place is, er, not-London? That sounds about right to us. Let's see if Kirstie and Phil agree.
Three topical companion pieces that will depress and inform you are The New Al-Qaida (Mon 9pm BBCTwo), Dispatches: Why Bomb London (Mon 8pm C4), and The Cult Of The Suicide Bomber (Thur 9pm C4). We know we've mentioned The New Al-Qaida before, but it can't hurt to mention it again, and the other programmes will certainly generate column inches. Must-watch TV, albeit of a different kind than Lost? We think so.
Don't forget Adam Hart-Davis's How London Was Built (Tue 7.30pm ITV) - we've plugged this previously, but this week is about skyscrapers, and skyscrapers are cool. Oh yes they are (building porn mmm, Freudian imagery, steel and glass - what's not to love? Make the world high-rise, that's what we say).
For a real head-fuck, watch Sad To Be Gay (Tue 9pm BBCTwo), about some bloke who is, well, sad to be gay, and goes off to Love In Action in the US to try and 'cure' him of his gayness. Well, there isn't a 'rolleyes' emoticon in the world big enough to express this Londonist's scepticism of the methodology of the LIA people, especially after the whole Zach incident. The presenter, David Akinsanya, appears sincere in his wish to become 'ex-gay'. We at Londonist think the whole so-called 'ex-gay' movement stinks more than an un-air-conditioned fish shop in a heatwave (*cough* brainwashing *cough*), but we'll just have to watch and see how David gets on.
Anyway. Watch Lost. Just ... watch it. That's an order!