The Netflix Diaries: Lost
Lost was a drama that ran from 2004-2010. It ran for six seasons and was a success, dubbed by my older supervisor as “The big show at the time”. When it first aired I was only a kid, so obviously I never watched it. Thank goodness, though, because I don’t think I would have had the patience to wait around for the next episode every week. Lost, I find, is well-written, to say the least, and highly enjoyable and addictive for the audience.
The most important aspect of Lost is its characters. You guys might not know this about me, but I am a completely character-driven person, which is why I love a good Bildungsroman. I get attached to characters, whether they are good or bad, and I really appreciate the characters of Lost, particularly Sawyer, Charlie, Desmond, and Ben.
From the very start I fell in love with Charlie Pace. He had a boyish innocence to him, despite the fact that he was originally a heroin addict. His backstory was the first that made me teary-eyed because the idea of being used and abandoned by those we love is ultimately one of the scariest things in the world. In all honestly I had no major problems with Charlie until his tragic death (yes I justified his stealing Aaron and “kidnapping” Sun). It did not make sense to me why he locked himself in what became his death chamber rather than shutting the door from the outside and escaping with Desmond the way they got in. I felt that it wasn’t his time yet because he was really showing his promise, pretty much acting as a dad to Aaron.
The most complex characters on the show were The Others, particularly their leader, Benjamin Linus. He was so human; he was calculating and hurt and was seeking love always, from his unhappy father, his rebellious daughter, from the island he sacrificed everything to. But he lost them all. So he took solace in The Man in Black because “he’s the only one who’ll have [him].” At first I believed him to be just a clumsy, troublesome captive of Jack and John, but I immediately warmed up to him when he started showing his deceptive and manipulative side. I believe he epitomizes extreme qualities desirable to most people. He’s smart, cunning and knows how to get what he wants, but he’s very much a human and cares deeply for his daughter and the island.
Lost was not without bad characters, however. For example, I really disliked Kate. I didn’t think she was well-written or likeable but she was obviously a favourite amongst the writers from the get-go. She didn’t have any surprises to offer the audience (except maybe when she handed Aaron over to his grandmother); her being the criminal on the plane, falling for Sawyer, becoming overly attached to Aaron, it was all predictable. But on the show she was treated with so much importance it really irked me.
The overarching plot of Lost was interesting and provided enough surprises to keep the audience captivated. The first few seasons did not deal with the exciting science fiction elements that the last few did, but they were mortally entertaining nonetheless. At first I thought the polar bears from Season 1 came from some sort of unreported storm or tsunami that carried them all the way to Oceania. When it was revealed that the DHARMA Initiative brought them, it made a lot more sense, though it was not as fantastical. Again, I loved seeing The Others, seeing that they are people, not heartless mutants. These ordinary humans who somehow got sucked into that world and chose to stay and obey, yes, they were fascinating.
I did find that I became even more invested in the series by the fourth season. I loved Daniel Faraday because he was played by the talented Jeremy Davies, who I also loved on Hannibal. I loved him on Lost because he made the unreal sci-fi believable when I was freaking out over what was happening with Desmond in the beginning of Season 4. I comforted myself by believing he would be safe following Daniel.
In Season 5, there was the most science fiction in the series. I love finding sci-fi shows and novels and movies, so I really appreciated the time-travelling early on. The writers did well in making the time-travelling easy enough to understand but confusing enough to be believable and keep the audience engaged. A standout scene from the season was when Miles was explaining how nonlinear time is/was because of their jumping around different times to Hurley confidently but still not know how Ben did not recognize Sayid. I still don’t know the answer to that, but I liked how it was done.
Season 6 kept me on my toes, and I loved it. Mark Pellegrino’s Jacob was another one of my favourite characters on Lost. Because of the flashbacks and his appearances to Hurley (and his comrades later on) we saw this character unravel and reveal himself but also still take control of everything. Jacob was completely brilliant and shone light on all of the Candidates. Because of Jacob we saw the Candidates show these brilliant and mature sides. I also appreciated the flashes of that alternate dimension because it was quite a sweet ending that tied the entire series in with a bow.
With good there are always going to be some bad aspects. Not too many because this show was superb, but a little here and there. My main “problem” (for lack of a better word) was how connected the characters were. It struck me as odd how they had passed by each other, drank with, visited each others’ hometowns, but not really know each other until the plain crash. I found small things in individual plot lines odd; like how Sayid fell in love with Shannon, even though he was going to LA to find his true love, who he then immediately married after escaping the island sans Shannon. And just a small note, I know that Jacob manipulated some passengers to board the Oceanic Flight 815, but why were there no families and so few Australians? Considering the plain is departing from Australia I would have expected more than just Claire.
All in all, Lost is an absolutely solid show. It provided satisfying characters who were realistic and showed qualities unique and familiar to us. While the characters and their development were my favourite aspect of Lost, I did also greatly appreciate that they took the risk of adding science fiction elements. I know I’m not the only one who appreciated it, as The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences did, too (though they are still not prepared to honour the hands down brilliant Orphan Black, see details here) To anyone reading, I recommend Lost 100%. Whether you’ve seen it before or not, if you have Netflix, you need to watch this.
And so there you have it folks! If you have any TV shows you want me to watch or review feel free to comment down below. You’ll hear from me soon. Ciao, bella.