Binge On This - Lost: Mystery With Addictive Potential

in CineTV3 months ago

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.

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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.

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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.

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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...

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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.

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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


this show started off so well. ever since the polar bear however it went downhill for me to the point that i got annoyed by the slow pace, it was too slow for me. not rewarding enough to wait for some nitty gritty details to be revealed, i always felt toyed with and kept at arm's length. i really wish the story would have taken other turns than it did, until finally in season 4 or so I seriously started wondering why the hell i a even watching it any longer.
it felt good to quit ahahah.

that said, i would still recommend season 1 to people. just don't get your hopes up that the ensuig seasons will be as satisfying, despite the great promise and cast.
just my opinion of course ;)

Ah okay, so you liked it for the characters' social interaction and problem solving part. I enjoyed that too, but once the mystery bits appeared I kept salivating like a dog, begging for more. I guess this also reveals what I'm a sucker for, which I don't mind. And in the setting of watching a TV show, I even enjoy feeding it (for a few seasons).

I do have to ask ya though: Was the endng rewarding at all? I never knew where they ultimately took it ;)

Also: Have you watched Prison Break by any chance? Season 1 still counts as one of the best for me ever made!

To explain the ending of Lost, in my opinion, they tried to resolve it in the two only remaining ways for mystery shows that have already pulled all the plugs: It was all just a dream, on one hand, and everyone had been dead since the beginning, on the other. In their combination the entire island adventure was just a way into the afterlife. As for the actual island, there was a bit of a changing of the guards, but ultimately things remained the same with the two opposing forces, the light and the dark, guarding it. Normally I would agree with all the disappointed critics, that this was a horrible way to end a series. But the last few seasons had progressed in such extreme ways, that I could not have imagined any other solution either.

that souds rather good though, considering how outlandish it had gotten in between.
god when they first opened this hatch i was so thrilled but then it all fizzled lol

Well, the concept of the hatch was replaced by that button. So we kept waiting, meanwhile things were happening all around. I think it has strong symbolical value.

I have yet to watch any of this series, but that may change on the next rainy day.
That's the beauty of running into a series that has been going on for a while, binging is always fun.

Right! With a show like this I would HATE having to wait a week for the next episode, and months for the next season, while the questions are so active in my mind. By the time the continuation rolls around, I've usually have forgotten it, and then I don't even care about how it continues. But watching 2-3 episodes every night... Yes, I can see how well chosen the addiction-related terminology of "Binge Watching" is.

The beginning of this TV series is great and very intriguing. But then, as the seasons go by, it gets lost in an absurdly irritating / boring way (and it ends in a horrible way).

Well, other than the last season (which was just really too much) I actually enjoyed the absurd twists thrown at the audience. In the end it seemed like they tried to tie it all up in an ending, which obviously had never been planned. So it felt quite make-shift. But until then, I found even the nuclear time-travel was acceptable.