The headline above refers to how Lost treats both its characters and its viewers. It entices them with hope, nourishes them even, then whaps them across the skull with reality, only to leave them coming back for more, fighting for more. It's a fairly exquisite pleasure/pain combo (heavy on the pleasure, in my opinion), and Wednesday's episode was a tremendous example.
As is usually the case with Sun-Jin stories, the flashbacks were filled with poignancy and complexity, filled with characters fighting the good vs. bad fight, outside themselves as well as within. And while the whole smashing and hauling of rocks struck me as somewhat peculiar (somehow Blazing Saddles and Take the Money and Run came to mind), the Sawyer-Kate-Jack predicament at the hands of Ben and friends kept peeling back layer upon layer. And the whole thing with the Red Sox tickled me. The fact that Lost has this much contact with the outside world, that the focus has moved to Ben's mission instead the vague Dharma Initiative, has given the show another gear.
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I'm going to offer a counterpoint to Mark Donahue's review of 30 Rock. The show made me laugh more times than I can count - it has an offbeat sensibility that is working for me, that doesn't seem to be trying too hard. The environment is dry but light. Alec Baldwin, I think everyone agrees, is terrific, but I also like what Tina Fey is providing - she's a little flat, yes, but her performance is almost a metaphor - she works for me as someone barely staying on top of her responsibilities. (The genius of 30 Rock, intentional or not, is that the show within a show, The Girlie Show, can truly suck, without affecting the verisimilitude of 30 Rock.) 30 Rock is completely unpretentious and as a result, has the promise of being quite likeable.
I'll just add that I always found Tracy Morgan over the top on Saturday Night Live, so any humor he brings here is unexpected. But he did get me a couple of times with a real enthusiastic effort. That's another thing about 30 Rock: The people seem to like what they're doing, unlike Studio 60, where so many seem like they're performing under duress.