After a b-roll of a desert, and a helicopter, and a helicopter's shadow cast onto the desert below, the announcer boomingly begins: "Six strangers, divided into three teams, dropped somewhere onto the planet." Earth, right? I'm okay with the math, but please, be specific about which planet, 'kay? "Now, it's a race to the Statue of Liberty. They try to prepare for the challenge that lies before them blah bling blah, but they can't...." I guess here is where I mention the six people, blindfolded, standing stalwart in front of the loudmouth directors, being fumblingly led around by PAs, trying not to look stupid in this reality show. People? Just give in. The more you try not to look stupid, the more it backfires on you. Just try not to be a dick -- that's all you can do. That's my life credo, pretty much. I'm not trying to mess with anyone; I don't want anyone to mess with me. In The Amazing Race, at least, there's the promise of a million dollars for all the running around. What's the reward here? Hello? We don't get to hear. Bad strategy, NBC. A director hollers at them to remove the bandannas, and the six people (in three teams of two) do, and alternately hoot and holler and declare their trip "the Blonde Ambition tour," provoking Madonna and her crack team of lawyers briefly to consider a lawsuit, then forget it and laugh and laugh at these losers, then finally dissolve into a puzzled wonderment at the barren landscape, asking where they might be. Um, guys? That's what you get to figure out. No one tells you. The thing on top of your neck is supposed to come into play here.
That horrible echo-y "where are you-areyou-areyou?" floats out of a still of a sunset, and we get a not-credits, not-intro montage of what it means to be lost (not knowing where you are, says one person of the six). There's a sunset, a cliff, a quarter moon, a dirt road, stars in the sky, and about fifty million definitions of the word "lost." Jesus. Three minutes in, and may I say that we as an audience get it already? The music kicks in; there's a windmill, a mosque, some pounding drum beats, and more voice-overs. One lady "fears fear." One guy gets more scared the farther along he goes. How can the stakes already be raised when the credits haven't even run yet? Finally, we get a techno beat and some back-talky voice-over. A man says that his idea of a "partner from hell would be someone who whined all the time." Another sexist pig says, "Some women aren't made for it!" For being around you, you mean? Yeah, I'm not made for it. Then we hear a few hundred different ways of saying that each individual wants to win and not lose, and finally, that Lost "is a test of the human spirit." And this recap will be a test of my spirit as a recapper: to make the funniest jokes, to be biased in describing these people's willingness to participate in yet another reality show with many similarities to other reality shows out there, to amass a supply of Jack Daniels to keep me working without delay, and finally, not to barf so much that my stomach aches. That is my test.