The first season DVD set of Lost revealed what I suspected all along: ABC’s hit show plays best in chunks, without weeks and weeks of reruns and pre-emptions. The show was a carefully woven character drama that had its own sense of pacing, best appreciated a couple of hours at a time. I expected that the second season DVD would be the same sort of experience – while the season aired parts of it felt flabby and unfocused, but I just kept saying, ‘It’ll work on DVD.’ I was wrong.

Lost’s second season falters badly in the first half, spending hours and episodes on a plotline that doesn’t advance much of anything before spectacularly coming back together in a back half that blows away anything else on TV last and dramatically upping all the show’s antes.

At the end of season one Jack, Locke and Kate had blown open the Hatch and Michael, Jin and Sawyer were stranded at sea after the Others blew up their raft and stole young Walt. Season two takes up these storylines… and then annoyingly drags them out as long as possible. It takes three episodes for the Hatch to explored in any way, and then it takes eight episodes before the raft survivors finish their drawn out side adventure, which brings them into contact with a second set of plane crash survivors – the people who were at the back of the plane.