It's been a little over a year since the adventures of Jack and the rest of the survivors from Oceanic flight 815 came to an end. Watching the TV landscape now there is nothing that comes close to this ground breaking TV show. The Event, Flashforward, V etc etc all try and replace the Sci Fi Serialized mythology heavy hole that Lost has left behind. All of them have failed because they fail to understand one simple truth, that was executed so perfectly in the finale. The show....is about....the characters. More on that later.
Heroes came and reached Icarus levels of success only to burn up far too soon and come crashing down as a pale resemblance of what it once was. Fringe is the only other show that comes close to being what Lost was but it took the first two seasons to gain its footing...but since then Fringe is firing on all cylinders with this last season finale successfully blowing holes in all of our minds. Still though its no Lost.
I'm going to say that nothing ever will be. Take The Prisoner for example, another mythology heavy show about a suspicious island. Each show somehow its own self contained episode all the while slowly pushing forward the story of #6 as he struggles to solve the problems of the Island. It even spawned a remake that albeit passable, was nowhere near capable of capturing the brilliance, social commentary and downright insanity present on the island. Once again mistaking mystery and secrets for substance and character. Like Lost, The Prisoner ended on a quite controversial note, essentially answering the question of who is number 1 in a rather weird "are they serious" type manner.
As much as I love Lost I am not going to do an intensive retrospective(for now at least that honor is for The Simpsons), but I do want to talk about my feelings for the finale one year later. I remember watching the finale and about an hour into it it became all too apparent that there was no possible way they were going to answer all of the questions I wanted answered, because you know what the 10 questions I was dying to find out were probably completely different than the 10 questions you wanted answered. Hell I never cared about the outrigger I just wanted more statue info, and more history of the light and its magical stopper. What the finale did thought that still impresses me, is made me forget that I even cared about these questions. As I was watching the finale begin to resolve characters storylines I realized that it didn't matter who built the statue or how the lighthouse did what it did, or why the wheel transported people where it did. None of it really mattered because this show was about this group of people brought together to save the universe from evil and in doing so find redemption. I am still in awe of this feat, Mr. Funkowitz and I had many alcohol fueled discussions about the numerous mysteries of Lost. I was(am) a diehard fan and was always on the edge of my seat picking apart each scene to find the "answers," and they managed to make me forget that I ever cared about anything but these people.
That's not to say the revelations we did get weren't satisfying,
-Jack laying down and closing his eyes with Vincent is exactly how I always wanted it to end.
-Hurley taking over the Island with Ben as his number 2 was genius and such a great end to Hugo's story.
- I love Ben and Locke refusing to go inside the Church because they felt they didn't deserve it.
- Seeing Charlie and Claire, and Sawyer and Juliet are brutal scenes acted out brilliantly by everyone involved.
- Locke and Jack going at it fisticuffs style was quite possible the best commercial break scene cut of the series.
ok maybe "kill" was a bit strong...
- Desmond trying to "kill" everyone in the sideways verse still brings a smile to my face
Those are just a few of the key moments. The finale did everything it needed to do whether we liked it or not.
So I'm still here in a relatively barren wasteland of mediocre clones waiting for something to come along and hopefully not get cancelled. USA and AMC are turning out entertaining and challenging fare respectively, but little else is what I would call exciting. Lost was a show I followed from beginning to end, and I was there with the characters every step of the way.
Before I wrap this up I want to talk about one last thing. The big "thing" with Lost is that it ended up being all about the characters. It transcended its Sci Fi roots to give us a complex story of humanity and its neverending search for meaning and redemption. It was a story that everyone could enjoy, no better example than the fact that this is the one piece of sci fi/fantasy that I have been able to share with my future wife. Now the ladyfriend and I share many common interests, but science fiction, super heroes, and serialized television are definitely not at the top of her list. So when I gave her the season one dvds to watch on one of her business trips I was in shock when she came back DYING to see the rest(at that time Seasons 1-2 were on dvd and I had season 3 saved on the TiVo). I said that I was there every step of the way, well she was right there with me. This show managed to bring us together to enjoy this genre blending show in a way no movie or tv show has been able to do since. She refuses to watch Batman, or Spiderman or cartoons, but every week we both looked forward to Lost. We talked about what we thought was going to happen and what new revelations each episode gave us. Yah its a relatively personal reason that only I would care about, but I imagine this show was able to achieve the same success with many of you out there. Lost had something for everyone, and as much as I would love for something to come along and be just as amazing, I am perfectly content with the time we had together. I'll meet you all at the Church before the next big move.
BenceOne last thought - one of the most heartwrenching scenes of the series.