Binge On This - Lost: Mystery With Addictive Potential
Finally I get to write a post for the new CiveTV community, and what better way to start than reviewing one of my favorite TV shows: Lost. This series aired first on ABC network between 2004 and 2010, but I didn't even attempt to watch it until 2013. I remember it having a powerful effect on my curiosity. After each episode I was literally burning to find out what was going on, and where the story was leading. And like an expert drug-dealer, the show didn't disappoint in feeding me just enough info to keep me intrigued, while raising further mysterious questions.
A Series Made For Binge-Watching
In a way, I think Lost was way ahead of its time. I remember, it must have been the third season, or so, when I saw so much excitement about this series that I took a peek at it. It was an absolute disaster. I sat through a whole episode, trying to make sense of at least something, and by the end I declared that I was way too late to the party. I realized I should probably wait until it comes out on video. Remember, at that time TV series were handled completely differently.
Back then, fans had to wait a whole week (sometimes more) for each new episode to come out. It was usually aired on the same day at the same time, so it was easy to keep in mind. But if you could not make yourself available at that specific time, you'd miss it completely. The only other chance you'd have were re-runs on other days of the week, if the network decided to show them again, for more popular shows. But even then, you never knew which one of the previous episodes they would put on. For a show like Lost, where every bit of development in the plot-line is crucial, this could be devastating.
Gigantic Cast, Numerous Plot-lines, Many Levels of Mystery
One of my favorite things about Lost was its many characters. Instead of having one or two protagonists, there were at least a good two dozen main characters, each with their own background story introduced throughout the show. Each of these people would interact with each other, forming relationships of various sorts. This was made even more interesting by the story's setting: A commercial airliner crashes on a remote island in the Pacific. The survivors are typical strangers to each other, as well as to their surroundings.
Each episode focuses on a different character, illustrating their background story in flashbacks. And they are as colorful as they come: there is a criminal fugitive, a former Iraqi soldier, a charismatic survivalist recently cured of paraplegia, a surgeon taking on the leadership responsibility for the group, a Korean couple from a wealthy and influential background, a pair of siblings with tainted money issues, a drug addicted English rock-star, an obese lottery winner, a sarcastic con artist, a young mother-to-be, and several others...
This type of unintentional closed community is already interesting as it is, made only more exciting by having to face challenges of basic survival: food, water, shelter, and medical needs. But if all that was not enough, some highly unexpected things start appearing: There are polar bears on this tropical island! There are also traces of civilization, in form of abandoned, but surprisingly intact structures, including a heavy vault door. Eventually it's just a matter of time before our survivors realize, they are not alone on the island. But the series takes its time revealing the nature of these so called "others".
The Unusual, the Strange, and the Outright Supernatural
Just like you would expect from a good mystery show, Lost offers little bits and pieces of info, answering the burning questions arising in the audience. But each time something is revealed, a few new mysteries arise with it, keeping the viewers' suspended indefinitely. This way, the series managed to gather a large cult following of fans trying to make sense of the show's phenomena, waiting with anticipation for each new episode.
As the series progresses through the seasons, these mysteries take on many different forms, from hidden gateways to secret machinery, all the way to nuclear bombs and time travel. Especially the last season seems so full of wacky things that even the most hard-core fans (like me) could be tempted to give up on it. - Granted, I was probably not most hard-core. Still, I watched it till the end, hoping for some sort of clarification... which came, but not like I expected it.
Without giving away any spoilers, it suffices to say that the overlaying mysteries and the interactions of the various character types makes this a superb TV series. While I probably wouldn't go as far as claiming it to be "the greatest show of all time" or anything like that, I did enjoy it immensely, and I missed it when I was done with it. But to watch it again... C'mon, there are so many other great series out there!
If you've gotten interested, take a look at this trailer:
Take a Look at the Previous Posts in my Binge On This Series:
Babylon Berlin: Sociopolitical Tremmors in the Weimar Republic
Rome: A Realistic Sandal Series
Carnivàle: A Throw-back to the Thirties
Weeds: The Hillarious Alternative to Breaking Bad
Mr. Robot: Hackers, Freedom, and Mental Issues
Das Boot: A Real German WWII Series
Black Sails: Pirate Lore Galore
Twelve Monkeys: Time Travel and Pandemic
The DocsMX 2020 Film Festival