Tonight is a night that many TV fans have been waiting for. A sad night, but an exhilarating one. Tonight is the beginning of the end for LOST.
I love LOST. No really, I think that it is genius. J.J. Abrams started with a basic premise. A plane crashes on a (not-quite-right) island & the surviving passengers try to figure out where they are & how they can get back home. But it is where it went from there that got really interesting. LOST delved into the kind of serial drama that would change not only television, but the marketing of television programs.
Much of the credit must go to the crazy geniuses (Carlton Cuse & Damon Lindelof) who took J.J.’s pilot episode & turned the subsequent series into the television equivalent of a page turner. They decided early on that LOST had a story arc. A beginning, a middle & an end. Very rare for television. Networks don’t like that kind of commitment. Either they commit to to that arc, the show tanks & they are then painted into a corner. Or they are left clamoring for more when a popular show reaches the end of its arc.
But I didn’t come here to talk about networks. I came here to tell you why I love LOST & why for 5 seasons it has held the permanent top spot on my DVR Season Pass list. (Please note there are possible spoilers ahead if you have not watched through the end of season 5).
1. The Characters – LOST hooked us from the beginning with the most compelling cast of characters that television has ever seen. Layered & flawed come to mind most to describe our beloved castaways. Some of them are good. Some of them are bad. Most of them are both. And that’s why we love them. We cheer for them. Cry for them. And genuinely feel for them. We want them to get off that damn island. Or do we?
2. Breaking the Mold – Again, from the beginning, LOST broke the mold. Serial dramas were all but dead on TV before LOST. And I’m not talking Grey’s dramas. I’m talking the kind where you can’t miss an episode. But the biggest way LOST broke the mold is that no-one (& I mean no-one) is safe. It doesn’t matter if you are loved or hated, you aren’t safe from the chopping block. Boone, Shannon, Charlie, Locke, Ana Lucia, Libby, Juliet, Michael, to name but a few. Cuse & Lindelof have always made it clear that they don’t want any of their characters to feel safe. That just isn’t the island.
3. The Mythology – You can delve as far into this one as you want; just test the waters with your baby toe, or do a giant cannonball into the deep end. LOST wrote the book on Easter Eggs. It seems that everything means something on LOST. That painting behind Widmore of the buddha & the polar bear. The airplane that Kate kept from her childhood sweetheart. The record that played when we were introduced to Desmond. The book that the Others were reading at their book club (don’t you just love the idea of the Others having a book club?!?). Everything means something, & you can find a million theories on the internet as to what all of these clues mean & how they fit into the bigger LOST picture. For my money there is no-one better than Jeff “Doc” Jensen over at ew.com. The man is a genius when it comes to piecing together the different pieces of the puzzle that make up LOST. Whether it is referencing classic works by C.S. Lewis & Lewis Carroll, picking apart the apparent bible references, discussing the physics of the island, or analyzing the different music of LOST, Jensen seems to just get it all. He either has a “rain-main”-type brain or he has a huge behind-the-scenes team to do all of his research. I’m betting on the “rain-man” brain. Him & his buddy Dan Snierson also do a weekly LOST video called Totally LOST, where they ponder both the mundane & the pivotal of LOST episodes & lore. They are always funny & often have the best “guest stars” (this week being none other than the Man in Black himself).
4. Love Triangle (Square???) – LOST has been able to sustain the best love triangle on TV for 5 seasons. That of course being the Jack-Kate-Sawyer triangle. It has become a square (quadrangle maybe??) with others (Season 2 with Ana-Lucia, Seasons 3-5 with Juliet). I have never tired of this one (I know many have, but not me), it is always riveting, as the choices have changed over time. Jack, our flawed hero, or Sawyer, our (possibly) reformed con-man. I married a Jack (really bad analogy, as my hubby doesn’t really have that whole moody, self-loathing thing going on, but stay with me). I dated Sawyers (okay, so I dated pale imitations of Sawyer, but work with me on this folks). So which one does Kate really want? Apparently that is a pivotal part of Season 6. Add in the fact that three years with Juliet made Sawyer into a quiet leader & frankly a whole man. (Juliet, silent sob. Cuse & Lindelof have confirmed that she is indeed dead…my theory is that Juliet is actually from the future. Take a look at the “flashback” from the Season 5 finale when her parents told a young Juliet they were divorcing. That was no 1970s childhood. But I digress.)
5. Those Cliffhangers – LOST has no doubt created some of the best cliffhangers in recent memory. The light turning on in the hatch. Mr. Friendly “We’re taking the boy.” Charlie warning Desmond that it wasn’t Penny’s boat. Jack’s flashback is actually a flashforward at the end of Season 3 . Locke being the dead man in the coffin. Juliet “detonating” the H-bomb & the screen going to white as opposed to the customary black. And there are so many more. Every episode has a cliffhanger. Every episode leaves you not knowing if you can wait the full week (or eight months) ’til the next one.
I could just go on & on. This show is so chock full of goodies to absorb & ponder. I would love to know what are your favourite parts of LOST? What keeps you coming back for more?
Normally I would leave you with a preview for Season 6, but as all LOST fans know, spoilers & previews are pretty much hard to come by. I WON’T, however, post the (supposedly) leaked first 4 minutes of tonight’s premiere that has been floating around the internet (trust me it isn’t hard to find). We’ve all waited 8 months, we can wait a few hours more. So instead I’ll leave you on a funny note with a few laughs from our fav characters from the five seasons of Lost. Enjoy & come back tomorrow for post-premiere round up.