I know I’m over a decade late, but I’ve recently started binge-watching the hit TV series ‘Lost’ on Netflix. Prior to beginning this enigmatic show, I was already aware of its critical acclaim and had a basic idea of its premise. I knew it was created by J.J. Abrams which added some credibility to me. I’m a pretty big fan of a lot of his subsequent works. Multiple people recommended it to me, but I used to have an aversion towards watching shows that everyone in the world seemed to like. It’s an aversion that I think came from a disdain with popular culture and mainstream multi-media. My aversion towards pop culture slowly dissipated as I got older, less close-minded and realized that the reason why certain shows become critically acclaimed is because they’re actually good! So my tipping point towards watching ‘Lost’ was when my girlfriend who used to watch the show with her dad insisted that I at least watch the first episode. Needless to say I am now hooked.
I’m currently on Season 4 of 6. I’ve realized that the main allure of the show is the character development and the unique way in which the show implements flashbacks to paint a larger picture of each character’s personality, as well as to explain how each character ended up on the island in the first place. After the core cast is introduced in the first couple of episodes my girlfriend asked me which characters were my favorite so far. I made quick judgments on each character based on whether I knew them from other shows, and more importantly how they handled the initial crash. I decided that I hated Jack because he seemed far too righteous for me. I liked Charlie because I recognized him from ‘Lord of the Rings’. Sawyer just seemed like an evil hick. I thought kate would be the pretty damsel/love interest. Sayid I immediately respected because of his intelligence, calm demeanor, and the way he was mistreated because of his race. And then there was John Locke who I liked because he seemed like the most confident, and his spirituality was interesting. 3 seasons later my opinions of each character have been greatly altered. Sawyer is now my favorite, Kate is a warrior, I pity Jack, Hurley is incredibly endearing and also a badass, John Locke is crazed, and nothing is ever what I think initially. By far, the craftiest element to ‘Lost’ is the constant swing between flashbacks and “present-day” events. The next biggest allure to ‘Lost’ is the mystery behind the island. The season finales are always my favorite because they highlight that “pitfall” feeling of eerie suspense that the show tires to convey in each episode. [Spoiler alert] Two things stood out to me on the finale of the first season. One was the discovery and opening of the hatch at the very end. The camera is aimed from inside the hatch, pointing towards the down-turned faces of those who opened it, then the camera falls away from their faces while still looking at them as if the camera man is falling face up. This gives an eerie illusion of the immense depth of the hatch, which also aides the mystery of what’s in the hatch and also why the hatch is even there when the island seemed fairly remote at first. Second, when Sawyer, Michael, his son Walt, and Jin are on the raft attempting to leave the island, a motor boat appears out of nowhere from the darkness of the night. The crew of the mysterious boat seems like help at first, but they soon attack the raft crew, kidnap Walt, and speed off into the vast darkness. Again, after thinking that the island is remote, this scene left me with an unsettling feeling as Walt is taken away from his father by unknown men while Michael is left floating in the murky waters hysterically shouting Walt’s name. These two scenes gave me anxiety like I’ve never experienced in a show. The finale of each season continues this trend of enhancing the scale of the mystery surrounding the island
3 more seasons remain for me; I am over half way done. When the show is finally wrapped up and the ultimate mystery of the island is revealed maybe I can do a deeper critical analysis or interpretation of it.