by Linda Holmes
The minute you acquire a Blu-ray player, the jokes begin: "It's a good thing I can watch Dude, Where's My Car? on Blu-ray! How else would I appreciate the glorious visuals?" "How will I ever appreciate the cinematography of Miss Congeniality 2: Armed And Fabulous while I can only see it in standard definition?"
Not everything benefits from being seen in beautiful HD, but if there's one TV show that really is different with a high-quality picture, it's probably Lost.
What the Blu-ray release has to offer, including saving your place, after the jump...
Shot in Hawaii, largely outdoors, it's an intensely visual and beautiful show -- an element for which it gets less credit than it probably should, because it's so well-known for the byzantine plotting and storytelling.
Seasons 3 and 4 have already come out on Blu-ray, but today marks the release of Seasons 1 and 2, meaning that the show's fanatics and completists (of whom there, to say the least, plenty) can now watch Matthew Fox's eye pop open so vividly that you can't help but be hypnotized by his pupil contracting.
(I should pause here to point out that if you have a really good HDTV, your experience will be better than mine, because I have a mid-range model.)
They haven't decked out the Blu-ray releases with new features to lure DVD owners, so you don't need to shell out the money to upgrade your collection if your primary concern is content.
What is new with the Blu-ray discs is something called "Season Play," a feature that marks and recalls where you left off in a multiple-disc season, even if you take the discs out and watch something else in between. It supports multiple users, so if you and someone else in your house are both plowing through the show but you're doing it at different times, it can remember where you both were. It's not a feature I'd pay extra for, but it's a nifty little perk.
I've owned up before to my spotty history with this show, which I've always found kind of frustrating in 45-minute chunks, because just when I'm getting settled into its (entirely) alternate universe, it ends. I did much better watching it like this -- it took me about four days to get through the entire first season, and my enthusiasm never flagged.
It's expensive to upgrade if you're talking about owning rather than renting -- these seasons are listed at $69.99 each, although Amazon currently shows them at $48.99. It's not for the faint of heart, financially speaking, and if your primary concern is the storytelling, it's absolutely not necessary.
But this is, indeed, a very, very attractive presentation of a show that's made with a lot of care -- an impressive display of what television can look like if you try hard enough.