Before I can really dive into talking about why I love this show so much and why it effects me so deeply I think I need to give a quick brush up for those who maybe have never seen it and for those who haven't seen since it ended. Lost basically starts w/ a bunch people crashing on an island. The first character we meet is a doctor named Jack who quickly emerges as the hero and leader of the passengers of flight 815. We quickly realize that they haven't landed on a normal deserted island and that strange things seem to be common place. We also learn that Lost isn't simply a show about castaways and adventure... we find that the people are all lost themselves from the first episode.
When Lost first premiered way back in 2004 it had one major problem for me... Smallville. I am a huge fan of comics so it was pretty much a no brainer that I would choose to watch show centered around them! The problem I ended up running into was that that I started to flip between the competing shows. If you haven't seen the first episode of Lost it is incredible! It set the stage for what we now know as "cinematic" TV! I watched more of the premiere of Lost than I did Smallville, but I still wasn't quite ready to give up my comic show... It wasn't until about the sixth episode that I fell in love with Lost and from that point on I was hooked!
One of the reasons I love this show so much is because it is almost impossible to put this into any one genre... It's drama, it's comedy, it's adventure, it's mystery, it's horror, it even has elements of the western and sci-fi crammed in there. And above all else it's really about the characters and the fact that we as an audience can relate to them on an extremely personal level. (at least I do) Another reason this show is so great and ahead of it's time is the "time" narrative or flashing back in time. This was never really done to the degree that Lost did it on television. This tool of story telling helped the characters become real and honest people trying, like all of us, to find their path in this life or the next!
Lost raises a lot of questions that were always a big deal while it was airing... Things like... "What is the hatch?" to "Who are the Others?" to "What is the smoke monster?" and " What the hell is up w/ the four toed statue?" were all questions through out the show. BUT what everyone gets super hung up on is the answers, which we did get in most cases. People weren't always satisfied w/ the answers, but we did get them. Things like a four toed statue really don't even matter when it comes to what the show was really about (for me personally), which I will get to. In life there are about a million things we will leave this earth not knowing, this is a fact, and this is yet another reason this show is so easy to relate to! Life is frustrating and unfair, but it's also filled with interesting experiences and PEOPLE to connect with who help you realize your potential, both as an individual soul and as a collective part of the universe!
Going back to time... (if I skip around relax this blog is about Lost and it skips around) a man made creation to let us know where we are in the universe. (and of course to turn us into hamsters on a wheel) Lost was all about jumping back, forward and sideways through time! I love this aspect of the show. They use time as away to zero in on individual characters, which again lets us get to know who they really are through their greatest mistakes and triumphs! A great example of the way time is used on Lost is with the character of Desmond Hume. When we first meet Desmond he's running the stairs in a football stadium training for a boat race around the world... "Ironically," he and our hero Jack cross paths and have one of those super deep conversations w/ a person you will probably never see again. (you know what I am talking about) I won't go into anything else other than that, Desmond eventually starts to have these visions of the future. He even starts to move forward, backward and sideways in time himself. As you watch the show you begin to see that time isn't linear for him it is happening all at once. This is a huge concept that is tough to think about, but begins to raise spiritual questions, which become very interesting later in the show.
Here's something about Lost that you need to understand going in or if you started to watching in a very shallow and half assed way... You must commit to it fully and you must have an open mind to different religions, people, concepts and cultural backgrounds. This is a show that will test your own belief systems and make that thing between your ears do that "thinky thing" that hurts sometimes. To be perfectly honest I am doing the best I can trying to explain why I love this show, but I don't think the real point of the show is to have one definitive answer to every concept of the show. I believe the main point is people growing and finding their way together if I were going to sum it up, but this show can mean so many things to different people. We have all loved and lost, we have all been in fights w/ the people we love, we have all done things we aren't proud of, we have all had our struggles w/ interpersonal relationships, and we all have our own private islands and crosses that we bare! And that is why you have to watch this show "open" and let it wash over you... and read about the concepts in the show because much of it is based around real science and philosophies!
God... To say I love the characters on Lost would be the greatest understatement I could ever make! I really do feel close to them, and not in a creepy way. I mean that their individual stories touched my heart personally, and each way their stories end is beautiful. One of my most favorite characters is John Locke... I won't give away his entire story, but it is sad, courageous and moving. He goes through so much and he never loses his personal faith and ability to believe in himself and others! His life is always filled w/ people telling him what he can't do or people just being mean to him, but he never loses his faith and above all else courage to stand up for what he believes in! These characters all have their own unique stories that we can identify with because at some point we have all been through something similar! Never the same, but similar! There is a Book by Brian Mcdonald called the Golden Theme, which is the idea that we are all the same. This is a concept that I think Lost knocks out of the park because it is impossible not to relate to the characters on the show. It is impossible not to empathize with them. (Unless you're a cyborg) Each character plays a major role with in the series, and that is why it is difficult to say there is a real lead character... Sure there is a Joseph Campbell type hero's journey archetype and the supporting characters, but each person in the story has there time to shine and be included in the larger story.
The end... I personally think that Lost was the greatest and most emotional ending ever filmed on television! I will try not to give anything away, but The ending of Lost is also very controversial. Many people have expressed displeasure as to how it ended... To these people I say watch the whole series over again. I say keep an open mind and don't expect every question to be answered. (I didn't) I say read about different types of religions, quantum mechanics and theories about time and time travel and alternative science! The four toed statue didn't really matter except to give the idea that the island is very old and that the world is never what it seems! The main point isn't the life or death struggle on the island it's about the people going through those struggles together... and again this is what it means to me... I think that is why the show is so great... you ask anyone what they think Lost is about and they will probably tell you something completely different. And that is a beautiful thing. I don't think Lost set out to answer and explain what everything means I think it just wanted to make people think and then give their own reflections and interpretations of possible outcomes. Okay I will stop! Just watch the show and tell me what you think!
On a personal note... Lost came out at a time in my life when I was doing a lot of growing up... I was working and going to college and ended up breaking up with a girl I dated for quite a while. Lost was there when I felt lost and it helped me feel like I wasn't alone. I took comfort in the fact that every Wednesday I could check in with Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Hurley, Desmond, Charlie, John, Claire and Sayid... And I can't forget Ben either. Sun and Jin too!!! These characters and their stories gave me something to look forward to, week to week when I was simply just unhappy. They taught me lessons, I related to there mistakes and I was there when they won the day. Maybe it sounds weird to talk about characters that aren't "real" like this, but wasn't that something else Lost challenged... What it real? What is reality? AND Isn't art something that is supposed to move something inside you? Isn't art something that makes you think? I feel like Lost does both of those things and it has influenced the work I make, simply because I consider things that Lost did well and apply my own variations on some of those ideas and themes. I think about some of it's ideas about life, love and death when I write. Other things influence me as well obviously, but Lost and John Hughes make me think about emotions, relationships and what does it all mean!
Okay! I feel like I didn't even scratch the surface, but this show is huge! I think that as time goes on Lost will only become more important in the world of television. It covers so much ground. It is impossible to sit here and try to sum it up. I just feel like I need to express my feelings about the show and what it means to me. And why it influences me. So there! Please as always let me know your thoughts and share your feelings about Lost and it's characters and so on! Thank you as always for reading!