What I didn’t know at the time was what Lost would become: a phenomenon. All I knew of the show was that it was about a plane crash and the survivors were stuck on a strange island. Below is the promo trailer:
I remain a fan to this day and while there are plenty of things wrong with the show, I choose to love it for the good things it did. Many great characters and fun, memorable moments, twists, and surprises keep me enthralled by the awesome show. Many other shows have come and gone trying to recreate the enthralling experience of Lost. They all fell short.
For myself, Lost opened some doors in my own creative mind that has definitely paved the way towards story structure. As I said before, there were many times in the show where it seemed like the writers were writing as they went, answering questions but then opening the doorway to two or three more mysteries. This was not the best method because by the end of the show, some of the answers to the mysteries were not truly satisfactory.
However, I believe that the serial structure of the show is far more superior to the otherwise opposite procedural in that continuous story lines help keep characters grounded but also available to grow. I’m not saying a procedural cannot bring character growth (many do) but these lingering story lines help us look back at the beginning to see how far the character has come once they reach the end.
Case in point, Jack Shepherd (played by Matthew Fox) is one of the main protagonists in the show and the focus of the pilot episode. The show opens with his eye opening (a common theme in the show with many characters) and he finds himself surrounded by trees in a jungle. He then proceeds to discover the plane he was on has crashed and he has to act instantly (that’s the doctor in him) to start helping the other survivors. That’s his sole goal throughout the first season and onwards in the series: to help people.
I won’t spoil it but to consider the character of Jack from the beginning and to see his journey until the end of the show (minor spoiler but, yes, he survives the entirety of the series), you can truly appreciate the writing. There were missteps along the way but my love for the show can easily be captured in the overall arc of Jack who is a tormented, broken man but one of quality and ability that supersedes his faults.
Call to Action: To watch Lost is an endeavor. It’s a long show with all kinds of twists and turns and highs and lows. I still think the two-part pilot is one of the greatest episodes of television to date and always recommend watching it. Do you agree? Tell me what you thought about Lost when you first saw it. I can always talk about it and watch it no matter what!