ABC had an excellent season last year, with both "Lost" and "Desperate Housewives" becoming over-night successes. Following a pattern that has become common, the network is rolling out the first seasons of these shows, beginning with "Lost," which is now available, just in time for the Sept. 21 premiere of the program's second season.
"Lost" is quite an ambitious project for network television. Following a violent mid-air disaster, a section of a commercial airliner crashes on the shore of a tropical island. Several people emerge from the wreckage and begin to scrape together necessary survival tools while attempting to expedite their rescue. It soon becomes apparent that neither the island nor any of the passengers are exactly what they appear to be -- and with evidence of a large predator on the island, things soon become very tense.
The strength of the show lies in its ability to juggle its increasingly convoluted, though never totally overwhelming, plot revelations, while keeping each of its many characters important and fresh. There are more than a dozen principal personalities, whose portrayers include Matthew Fox, Daniel Dae Kim, Yunjin Kim, Evangeline Lilly, Dominic Monaghan and Terry O'Quinn.
Each episode weaves flashbacks with current action to reveal, little by little, the pre-crash lives of the seeming strangers and uncover the "Twin Peaksian" ways in which their pasts intersect, hinting at darker truths buried even deeper.
As a serial program with almost no episodic plots to speak of, this is a perfect television show for DVD -- to be enjoyed in marathon sessions with no concession to commercial interruptions.
The extras are a good example of what most TV series made in the DVD era can offer. The standards include cast and creator commentary tracks, audition tapes and cast testimonials, a making-of featurette and a piece by the creators on how the show was conceived.
A bonus feature especially rewarding to lost "Lost" fans is a collection of revealing, unaired flashbacks that didn't make it into the first season and hint at secrets yet to be revealed.
Lost: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON
Home Entertainment; DVD $59.99; not rated; available now
New on DVD
Fever Pitch (Fox Home Entertainment: DVD $29.98; rated PG-13; available Tuesday) Brothers Bobby and Peter Farrelly teamed up to make this tale of a rabid Boston Red Sox fan (Jimmy Fallon) who must choose between the game he loves and the gorgeous gal he likes (Drew Barrymore). Extras include commentary from the Farrellys, deleted scenes, a gag reel, a making-of featurette and the theatrical trailer.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Buena Vista Home Video: DVD $29.99; rated PG; available Tuesday) Hapless everyman Arthur Dent (Martin Freeman) and his alien pal Ford Prefect (Mos Def) meet an assortment of oddballs as they visit other planets in this big-screen version of an earlier TV miniseries and five-book set. Extras include deleted scenes, a making-of featurette and audio commentaries.