Monday, May 24, 2010
LOST Comes Full Circle
I have really tried to stay away from writing a blog post about LOST for several reasons: 1) As much as I’ve absolutely loved watching every single episode of the six-year show, some of the science aspects were a little out of my league. I’d much rather focus on the characters’ stories. 2) There are so many details and so much to discuss and I didn’t want to get bogged down in a bunch of theories and recaps. I’ll let the nerdy LOST-obsessed bloggers do that. 3) So much has happened and it has been so awesome that I wasn’t sure how I could possibly tackle such a beast. Because LOST was a beast of a show in every way possible. From the number of characters and storylines to the time travel to figuring out what was real and what wasn’t to the actual beasts like the polar bear and the smoke monster, it was just too much...but in a good way.
But since it was such a groundbreaking show and the finale was last night I knew I had to write something to pay my respects. Between the actors who literally had to pick up their lives and move to Hawaii for six year to the crew and the writers, I can just imagine the kind of epicness that went on to make sure the show went on. In the recap before the two-and-a-half hour finale, the actors were interviewed (which I thought was extremely enjoyable and well done) and they said how this show was a total team effort. And I totally believe it. I don’t know how something like LOST could be pulled off any other way. Much like the characters in the show, the people who were responsible for making the show happen had to either live together or die alone in the sense that if there was no collaborative effort there would have been no show.
The finale averaged 13.5 million viewers which according Entertainment Weekly was “solid but not spectacular.” Just to put that number into perspective the M*A*S*H series finale, which is the most-watched series finale of all time, attracted 105.9 million viewers when it aired in February 1983. The second most-watched series finale of all time was the Cheers series finale which aired in May 1993 and attracted 42.36 million viewers. LOST’s number ties with the King of Queens series finale which ranks #56 on the list of most-watched series finales. I honestly can’t believe that an incredible show like LOST ranks so low but maybe DVRs had something to do with it. Which brings me to my next point:
Since I was unable to watch the finale live last night I relied on my DVR to record all things LOST for me. That being said, because of the popularity of the show I knew that I could not open a computer, search the Internet or check Facebook before I watched the finale because I didn’t want anybody spoiling anything. I think that not only is that fact a testament to how much LOST changed and challenged television but it also shows how engaging the show was from beginning to end.
The finale showed LOST coming full circle. Episode one began with Jack on the ground, waking up after a plane crash and the final episode shows him laying on the ground seeing a plane take off (with his friends who finally get to leave the island on board) before he dies. I loved the idea of the show coming full circle and concluding the way it began, while still making sure that everything that happened in between not only happened but was important.
I think it will be a very long time before we see a show like LOST that sparked so much conversation and went so deep into so many characters’ stories. There is no question that these writers knew what they were doing and were ballsy from the beginning considering the two-hour pilot cost $11.5 million, making it the most expensive pilot in TV history. They knew they had something great and they had the courage to run with it and everyone in the pop culture world thanks them.
So here’s to LOST: a show that took big risks and didn’t just jump over the bar set by previous television shows, it hurled, leaped and took flight over the bar. A show that brought us characters from all over the world with intertwined stories that were so intricately woven that you literally could not miss one episode. A show that brought out all kinds of emotion and discussion. A show that relied just as much on its writers as it did its actors. A show that will never be duplicated.