May 23, 2010, - 8:26 pm

What is the Draw of “Lost”? Are You Watching Tonight’s Finale?

By Debbie Schlussel

I don’t get the draw of “Lost,” the ABC serial drama, which ends tonight.

lost

A few years ago, just before the show began, I was intrigued by the PR about the soon-to-air new series and watched the first two episodes.  But then, it lost me.  The idea of a commercial airliner (Oceanic Flight 815) crashing on a mysterious island, with most of its passengers surviving, interested me.  But it seemed like the writers were making it up as they went along, with monsters and flashbacks and other things I cannot describe as anything but stupidity.

So, it wasn’t for me.  Plus, I hate a show to which I must play slave.  If you miss one episode, you’ve missed everything.  But people who follow this show are fanatics.  They are slavishly devoted.  Has the show gotten that good since I left after only the second episode?  Is it that exciting and suspenseful?  In reading all the hype, I feel like maybe I missed out.  Did I? (Well, there’s always DVD.)

At 7:00 p.m. Tonight, a tribute show, featuring the show’s many actors, aired, followed by a synopsis of the story.  And then the two-and-a-half hour finale begins.  Plus, after that–if you’re not “Lost”ed out–there’s a special latenight episode of “Jimmy Kimmel Live” dedicated to the show’s finale.

If you’re watching, you probably aren’t reading this.  But in the off chance that you’re a “Lost’ devotee and you read this (or are in a different time zone in which it isn’t airing yet), why–what’s so great about this show?  Why do you like it?  What is it about “Lost” that made it must viewing for you for the last five years?

On another note, I’m glad the show created jobs for so many Americans in Hawaii, where the show was filmed.  Here’s an interesting Wall Street Journal article about the depressed Hawaiian employees, who are unsure about their futures, now that their TV cash cow has died.  A Hawaiian foam producer says the show was his second biggest account.

Exit Question:  What the heck is the “DHARMA Initiative”?  Not kidding.  I really wanna know.

Exit Question 2:  Do they ever get rescued?

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56 Responses

Never cared, still don’t. Too much t.v. rots the brain.

samurai on May 23, 2010 at 8:37 pm

….never watched ‘Lost’….

…..liked ‘Firefly’, ‘Burn Notice’….

…can’t forget ‘magnum p.i.’….

Nick Fury on May 23, 2010 at 8:42 pm

I have never watched the show.

JeffE on May 23, 2010 at 8:45 pm

Imagine, a desert island…we’re told, the middle of nowhere. A savage and brutal place. With seemingly endless wardrobe possibilities, hair stylists, along with guns & 1/2 decent chow.

P. Aaron on May 23, 2010 at 8:47 pm

I actually saw someone in Wal-Mart buying a flatscreen for the finale tonight. Couldn’t believe it. On the other hand, we’re having a small 24 wrap party tomorrow. I really, really want to see President Logan and a few others get what’s coming to them.

cirrus1701 on May 23, 2010 at 8:50 pm

My question has always been: Did anyone actually “survive” the crash, or are they all living in the afterlife.

Michael Peat on May 23, 2010 at 8:51 pm

i don’t watch it…but explain how the fat guy stayed so fat, did he have a secret stash of stuff…..TONITE IS THE APPRENTICE, the real deal where real people do real things…i hope Bret Michaels wins, and then slows down to take care of himself..bye bye.. the show is starting……jmc

pink bunny on May 23, 2010 at 9:04 pm

I never saw 1 second of “Lost” and couldn’t care less. The shows I went fanatical over in the last few years: “Malcolm In the Middle”, “McLeod’s Daughters”, “Freaks and Geeks” and “the O.C.”

DS_ROCKS! on May 23, 2010 at 9:39 pm

Like you I was interested enough to watch the first couple of shows. The drama quickly died, at least for me. Since then I haven’t watch any “Lost” and don’t intend to. Actually I prefer to get “Lost” in a good book.

kenny komodo on May 23, 2010 at 9:42 pm

Magnum P.i., Hill Street Blues, Hawaii 5-0. I dream of genie. (c’mon guys we all did even as kids!!!) F Troop. Taxi. Now it’s Breaking Bad. Maybe soon, Deadwood again.

samurai on May 23, 2010 at 10:00 pm

So I’m not alone? Plenty of us have never watched an episode of “Lost”.
I just finished “500 Days Of Summer” and I liked it.
Your smilage may vary.

Douglas Q on May 23, 2010 at 10:37 pm

You missed out Deb, but you can catch up watching the entire series on hulu.com or buy the DVD’s. I had stopped watching too, but watching the entire series without waiting for a week to pass enabled me to follow and appreciate the series. There are exactly 129 episodes to lost with 128 now on hulu.com, check it out if you have some time to escape.

mark hammond on May 23, 2010 at 10:46 pm

Its hard to describe because it transcends many genres… Its basically about a group of people who find themselves stranded in the midst of a strange scientific experiment – the DHARMA Initiative. More or less the story is less about where they are and about them and the choices each one of them has made in life – good or bad to get them where they are. I would say its roughly “Robinson Crusoe Meets Back To Future” and even that doesn’t capture what the show is all about. Its about human nature and its also entertaining escapism. That I think, sums up the draw Lost has had for many people over the years.

NormanF on May 23, 2010 at 11:09 pm

    Huh, maybe I’ll catch the reruns on cable some time. Sounds more interesting than first thought.

    samurai on May 23, 2010 at 11:17 pm

I only watch pro wrestling. Cartoons are good, tv is bad.

Juan Arguelles on May 23, 2010 at 11:11 pm

Debbie, those are good questions. I think the subtitle “everything happens for a reason” speaks to a belief I have had all my life. Basically, does anything happen to us as a result of chance, blind fate, coincidence, luck or mere happenstance?

No – I don’t think so. I believe G-d is behind everything that happens in the world. What is seemingly chaos is His design and if it happens to be confusing to humans at first everything sooner or later becomes clear.

Does the ending really matter then? I think human beings have some of the answers but not all of them. The oldest book in the world to deal with the mystery of human existence, The Book Of Job, hints that man will will never be able to answer with certainty that question.

NormanF on May 23, 2010 at 11:20 pm

Sorry, I watched “Seven Deadly Sins” on the Lifetime Channel tonight instead.

Retrosexual on May 23, 2010 at 11:37 pm

Watched the first couple episodes, as I live in Hawai`i and it is always interesting to see the local locations. Couldn’t get into it either. It was good for the local economy, or so we were told. At least we will get 5-0 now. But Steve McGarret is Australian. Go figure.

winstonsmith on May 23, 2010 at 11:38 pm

..the magic of LOST is in the great characters and their interesting , intertwined stories…after six years, it’s like we actually know them…I think it is the best drama ever in tv History( ok…that’s a pretty low bar)…required a lot of thinking to follow the non-formulaic, multiple story lines…so it wasn’t for everyone… I’ll miss it…but I guess “we have to move on…”

Catfur on May 23, 2010 at 11:44 pm

Debbie, I never saw any of it or even a promo. But judging by my facebook kvetch-o-meter just about every yenta in North America watched it religiously and is now popping a Xanax to cope with the fallout.

A1 on May 24, 2010 at 12:01 am

I have never watched lost. I saw about 10 minutes of it one time, and only because it was on in the restaurant I was in.

sharon on May 24, 2010 at 12:12 am

I just cannot read or watch anything that seems to “out there” for me. I hate romance novels and any movie or TV show that does not have some sort of grounded thought. I loved Jurasic Park for example, up until the Dinosaur opened the door.. That was just crazy. And when in the James Bond movie he jumped off his motorcycle, down a cliff the size of the grand canyon and landed sitting up in the drivers seat of his car at the bottom.. and that was the beginning of the movie. It just it not my style. I even tried to read the Twilight series, but could not get past the vampire thing..

sharon on May 24, 2010 at 12:21 am

One day I heard about the phenomenon that was Lost, and I watched the Season 1 recap followed by the Season 2 premier. I spent years hearing people obsess about it, but thinking back to the little I’ve seen, I cannot validate taking up space in my Netflix account to bother with it.
Most of what I’ve heard from other people are that the writers seemed to make a bunch of stuff up on the fly just to see what people would watch. My personal guess is that watching Lost was a hip and chic thing only, and anyone that actually stepped back and exclaimed how it made absolutely no sense were immediately dubbed uncool – kind of like a cult would shun an unbeliever.

On the other extreme, I saw 1 episode of Battlestar Galactica – the Season 3 finale – and I went out and got the first two seasons on DVD before I saw a second episode.

Bernard on May 24, 2010 at 12:52 am

You missed out Deb, but you can catch up watching the entire series on hulu.com or buy the DVD’s. I had stopped watching too, but watching the entire series without waiting for a week to pass enabled me to follow and appreciate the series. There are exactly 129 episodes to lost with 128 now on hulu.com, check it out if you have some time to escape.

maphammond on May 24, 2010 at 2:52 am

Never watched it. Figured it was Lord of the Flies with grown-ups.

David on May 24, 2010 at 6:36 am

To all you Lost fans
Take this offense
Gilligan’s Island
Made MORE SENSE!

Was never into this show and just showed how hype doesn’t mean ANYTHING in TV.

Bob Porrazzo on May 24, 2010 at 7:14 am

NormanF, very good explanation! my thoughts as well :)

Debbie on May 24, 2010 at 8:51 am

…the “chilling” thing about reading these posts is how many people are judging the show – while fully admitting to not watching it or understanding it…??…. ( uh….I don’t really know anything about it…but here’s my two cents anyway)

Makes me wonder about the quality of the commentary. Could this be a true indicator of how they assess the many other issues appearing here?? …some of which even require more thought than a LOST episode??

Catfur on May 24, 2010 at 9:12 am

Catfur, why would posters be any different than people in the Administration who criticize Arizona without reading their Immigration legislation?

FDR in HELL on May 24, 2010 at 10:22 am

We watched it for about a season, not every episode, and enjoyed it, but it got progressively way out there. One
of my nieces stayed with it and became a Lost junkie as did
many other viewers. Let’s face it, our television productions
have been pretty poor for many years.

Daniel K on May 24, 2010 at 10:41 am

Someone has to offer a dissident voice, so I guess it falls to me. I’ve watched regularly since the beginning, though don’t count myself as a “fan”*. Most see it as a story of redemption, of flawed individuals drawn into a common struggle.

The convoluted story however can only be appreciated with a general suspension of disbelief. And if one were expecting the tale to make scientific sense, well, “Lost” makes the movie Armageddon or your genre superhero tale (e.g. “Smallville”) look like a Feynman lecture by comparison. And while the finale answered many questions, numerous plot inconsistencies and mysteries remained. But with decent writing and acting, such tales can be appreciated nonetheless.

*I *did* count myself as a fan of “Wiseguy” (first season) and “Due South”, got into “Firefly” only after its cancellation. These days I really enjoy “Castle”.

Raymond in DC on May 24, 2010 at 10:45 am

    I agree – Castle is a good show; top-notch writing, except for the obnoxious and sex-obsessed mother and the tooooo cute daughter, but even there the writers are trying to stay away from the stereotypical bratty child and motherly type mother. But the actual mystery story is excellent; and Becket is a major babe (though a little too thin)and a good actress. The Mentalist is an even better show. I’ve never watched Lost, and have never wanted to. As for pre-judging I’ve friends who rave about it, but never can say why it’s good. Hmmmm? Since all shows consist of plot, performance, dialogue, and theme what’s hard about saying why you like something. Come ON! It takes 6 years to resolve a story!! This is obviously a gimmick show and the viewers aren’t going to have anything “explained”.

    David O. on May 24, 2010 at 1:21 pm

Who watches television programs anymore. If it isn’t sports or news, who cares? Hockey and basketball playoffs are going on. Pass the remote.

CaliforniaScreaming on May 24, 2010 at 10:47 am

We watched the first five seasons on DVD. ( I don’t think I would have made it through five years waiting week after week then waiting 10 months for it to return.) It’s the only way to watch it.
Like any show it had it’s good parts and it’s bad parts. But over all I though it was pretty good until the last half hour of last last night. It was just meh.

They do get off the island, kinda of.

Pete Bone on May 24, 2010 at 10:52 am

I’m still on Leave It To Beaver and My Three Sons. Now that’s hip.

roger on May 24, 2010 at 11:15 am

Well, I will admit to watching the entire show from start to finish. I guess that makes me a fan. But I’ve never done the rerun-the-episode-so-I-can-see-the secret-image thing, I don’t read any of the million blogs devoted to the show, I’m not looking for the hidden meaning of life in any of the shows. I really did enjoy the show. There were stellar episodes and filler episodes, things that were ‘Wow’ and things that were ‘Huh?’ I thought the writing was good and while all the answers weren’t given at the conclusion and I’m OK with that, I was satisfied with the ending. While I will miss the show, I’m moving on. It’s what you do when something comes to an end.

It’s television! When I sit to watch programs like this on TV, I look to be entertained. I’m not looking to start a doctoral thesis on the meaning of polar bears in one’s life. Keeping things in perspective helps when doing anything.

Lorena on May 24, 2010 at 11:32 am

I’ve never seen “Lost” which probably has something to do with the fact that it’s on at the same time as Fox’s Sunday night line-up of cartoons (The Simpsons, Family Guy etc). The rest of the week, I watch nothing but educational television.

Daniel H on May 24, 2010 at 11:54 am

Becoming “Lost” does not appeal to me! I tried to watch it but found it bizarre (like the vampires, and Fringe and anything else weird).

Since everyone seems to be adding leanings: I never miss Judge Judy. She has made me a better attorney (I beat a red light camera and collected DAMAGES $6,700 from a tenant in a landlord dispute!).

Yes, Judge Judy all the way!

goldenmike4393 on May 24, 2010 at 11:55 am

I’ve never watched it when I heard neither Ginger nor Maryann were on the island.

I’m like you, too, Debbie. I hate shows where you HAVE to watch every episode.

Jeff_W on May 24, 2010 at 12:37 pm

i tried watching it once and just find it boring… the interest in this show is “lost” on me.

howardroark on May 24, 2010 at 12:56 pm

This topic sure beats the hell out of talking stupid and boring politics, the only shows that I watch are classic movies on Turner Classic Movies (TCM), sports (I watched my Mets beat the Yankees over the weekend, hurray), a few reality shows (19 kids and counting, I really love the Duggar family), TNA Wrestling (sorry WWE fans, but TNA is more interesting and has better story lines than the WWE, plus the WWE looks too fake and phony to me!), I also watch the Weather Channel, and NO I don’t watch Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, KGB, etc. And I also watch RFD-TV and BlueHighways TV as well, and I love watching Crusin America on BHTV with Michael Wallis.

“A nation is identified by it’s borders, language & culture!”

Sean R. on May 24, 2010 at 1:23 pm

The first season was difficult to get through because the story line whipped around too much and didn’t make sense. But, for those of us who continued to watch it, we were rewarded and became “lost” addicts.

Angie on May 24, 2010 at 1:24 pm

The strongest opinions about this show seem to come from those who never watched it.
Here’s my take, as somebody who’s watched the whole thing (except the finale–I have to watch on Hulu). This was a terrific show when it started out–really great actors you’d mostly never seen before, outstanding production values, great writing, etc. It was meant to be a 3 year series, but it was a victim of its own success. and they padded it out to 6 seasons. When we were still wondering what the hell a hatch was in the middle of the jungle for, back when you could remember from one week to the next what the BIG cliffhanger was…but then it got to be anything goes, and the writers totally copped out with all this supernatural crap.
To answer your question: The Dharma Initiative was a study being done in the ’70′s by a married couple, the DeGroots, of University of Michigan, who had received a grant to study the islands unusual magnetic and other properties. As far as I know, they never do tell us what happened to the DeGroots.
I’m going to watch the stupid finale, but I’m already disappointed with the way the shows turned out, and I’ve been half watching this last season just to “get it over with.”

Dr Joey on May 24, 2010 at 2:04 pm

Part of the fun of LOST is trying to figure out the ‘rules of the game.’

For example, a ways in you discover that certain people on the island cannot be killed. Fate steps in and makes sure they live. What do you do if you’re opposed to such people? Well, they start using drugged darts, and don’t try to kill the people.

Discovering the rules of the game is part of the fun of watching LOST.

luagha on May 24, 2010 at 2:11 pm

DS,
I don’t watch too many network shows. Mad Men, Amazing race, Top chef. that’s about it.
I too watched the first few episodes. Was bored to tears. Didn’t watch again till season 3. Loved it. Been on board ever since.
LOST was an incredible show. The finale was kind of a disappointent though. Too many questions unanswered. They just sort of wrote it off as everybody was dead all along. Some sort of a purgatory, which was my suspicion of the plot all along.

but it was a fantastic show.

BC on May 24, 2010 at 3:46 pm

Sean R, please don’t even compare TNA to WWE.

Yes, WWE is in a creative slump but TNA will never come close with the over the hill gang led by Hogan, Big Lazy Nash, Hall, and the other WWE castoffs.

The only thing going for TNA is my honey Angelina Love, The Beautiful People, and, even though he’s washed up, the greatest of all time, The Nature Boy, Ric Flair!!!!!…..WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

Jeff_W on May 24, 2010 at 3:48 pm

now if you want to watch LOST, you need to tune in for any Robert Gibbs presser

BC on May 24, 2010 at 3:48 pm

THE ONLY WAY to watch LOST is to buy or rent each season’s DVDs…and watch 5 or 6 episodes at once. Until you’ve watched them all. Things are a lot more coherent that way.

I may still watch Season 5 and 6.

LOST has the mysterious, the unexpected, the good and the evil…but fails to include God in any significant way. Lost’s failure to do this, to balance its content with reality means…in the end, it must disappoint. None of life’s bigger questions are satisfactorily addressed.

Lots of pretty chicks, some good moments, and excellent aviation parts.

Don’t expect anything more.

What is Lost REALLY about?

SEE: http://lostpedia.wikia.com/wiki/Philosophy

The Canadien on May 24, 2010 at 7:31 pm

NEW AGE CRAP! That’s all it was (of course I knew that this was coming).

You didn’t miss anything (and btw J.J. Abrams is a big lib so who cares)? It was a waste of 5 hours that I will never get back.

J.S.

Jeremy on May 24, 2010 at 9:45 pm

With as little knowledge, as this bitch Debbie Schlussel (which is a German Nazi name), has about anything, she should just stay at home spread her legs in order to be gang banged and while eating her favorite meal, uncooked little Palestinian children.

I also want to add that Schlussel is one ugly chick…change the picture on your site for fucks sake. Or leave a footnote blaming neo-liberal, Arab loving camera technology for the faux-pas of what is called your face

Debbieisretarded on May 24, 2010 at 10:28 pm

    Wow you must still live in your mom’s basement or something. You that mad because someone doesn’t want to watch or do something that is considered so popular?

    That’s typical psychonutism. And you are a psychonut. Your kind considers words like “choice” or “independant” offensive. You are visually offended by people who do these things to be their own person.

    Your not a musilm, just a pretender coward hiding behind a computer with sudden bravery to say what you are saying. You want your attention points to impress your “friends”. So you’re both a psychonut and a troll. You wanted someone to respond to you, and you got it. Congrats.

    Your screen name is also proof that you lack intelligence and orignality.

    Yep, you’re a cowardly bitch, which is why I know you’ll never respond to me. Oh now what…you’ll click my link and try and get my youtube account suspended, after being utterly offended at the sight of a black man who doesn’t live in the mental plantation?

    I know every move a psychonut makes, and your type is pretty damn predictable simply because you go by one-dimentional thinking. So yeah..I’m taking up too much time now, wasting it on the likes of you.

    You’re just jealoius of debbie’s success and honesty and nothing more. And this is your typical response when anyone who isn’t psychonut speaks an opinion that isn’t the same as yours or your sad group of friends.

    I don’t need to resort to violence to defend this lady, cuz I’ve already won the battle just using my mind…something a psychonut hasn’t been able to use very well.

    Good day.

    Squirrel3D on May 25, 2010 at 12:13 am

Holy Shit, what a rap!…Right now somebody at Oxford is cataloging “psychonut”. Squirrel3D, you’re beautiful, just shine on you crazy diamond, baby.

Okay, insane ad homifoxiefeminine aside, (yes, we the sane, with lasik enhanced vision dig you, DS)I’m here with my report on the final, no shit, this is it, it’s all over now, all will be revealed, stand back, please, don’t try this at home for god’s sake, THEE finale, that is, fin, done, terminated, history, baby, as Billy Blaze coined it: In The Archives–good-bye forever L O S T. . . . . .

My review, as follows below:

Eh.

Dr Joey on May 25, 2010 at 2:40 am

Of course the show is incomprehensible, without a key. The last episode gave away its premise: the entire storyline concerns a passage from denial of death, that fell on everyone on the plane that went down, to acceptance of same. Didn’t we see that in “The Sixth Sense”? Yah, but the makers of Lost, factored in Jungian “collective consciousness” analysis, for variance. Because hundreds died together, they are said to have denied death collectively, and created a narrative projection from their own lives and expectations.

I’ll let fanatics buy the Jung’ texts and books of symbols. Oh yah, Jung – like Heidegger – was a Nazi in WW2.

Captoe on May 25, 2010 at 8:23 am

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