Now entering, The Lost Zone. Just kidding, I’m talking about Lost Season 1 from 2004, but it might as well be a long episode from The Twilight Zone. Especially with that early 00s Word Art logo. Anyway, I recently started watching Lost because it’s an infamous show that people still make references to today. It did go on to 2010, so that could be another reason why it’s still relevant. 2004 was a good year for TV because a lot of series started that year that are still remembered and watched today. Friends (ended in 2004), House, Desperate Housewives, Drake and Josh, and Veronica Mars are still recognizable and quoted shows. In addition, Lost’s ending is highly controversial. And though I don’t know what it is yet, surprisingly I don’t know any spoilers for the show, I’m really excited to see it. I hope watching more than 100 episodes of Lost is worth it.
When a TV show transcends time, it must have been an important cultural marker. And I think Lost is a cultural marker. I think it’s timeless because it takes place on an island where there’s no modern technology and no modern lingo to date it. Yes, there are flashbacks, but even those could have taken place today. Nothing about it makes it “old,” at least from Season 1. In addition, it’s not a character driven plot, but rather a mystery about the setting. The island is what makes you tune in every week, not the characters' back stories. Those are just there to give people something to relate to, but every episode they slowly reveal the answers to the questions we actually want answers to. Why are they there? How did the crash happen? Who else is on the island? And will they ever get off of it?
Almost all the episodes end on a cliffhanger because it was back in the day before binge watching was mainstream. This makes it perfect to binge watch nowadays because the cliffhangers make you keep watching for hours! The only thing I don’t like are the characters. Almost all of them are insufferable. Mainly the sister (I don’t know names), the pregnant woman, and Sawyer, god Sawyer, who just wants to be disliked for reasons still unclear. The love triangle between Jack, Kate, and Sawyer, BLEH. I do like John Locke though (very subtle Lost), he seems kind and is extremely resourceful. I hope he doesn’t turn evil in the end.
There does seem to be some attempt at diversity even though they get it wrong a lot of the time, and there’s still a focus on the white characters and the racially, bodily, and religiously, othered are minor characters. At least they get stories, but to be fair, even the white characters are bland archetypal characters. Jack is the well meaning hero who sometimes makes people angry, Sawyer is the bad boy, Kate is the main girl character (her trait is her being a girl), there’s the pregnant woman who’s pregnant, there’s the rock star character who sings and is light hearted, there’s the overprotective brother and his naive and vain sister etc.
As for the people who are different from the white characters there’s Hurley, the “fat” one. His fatness is addressed because people think he’s hoarding food, when he’s not. When that’s found out the other characters “apologize.” But even when his fatness isn't addressed, because of fat's inherit symbolism in our culture, it's easy for us, the audience, to stereotype the characters ourselves without any help from the plot or dialogue. For example, Hurley, the "fat" one, is the comic relief. He doesn't use his fatness to be funny, rather we the audience will now associate fat people with being "fat and jolly" because there are no other representations of fat people on the island. There are the Korean couple whose husband is abusive and who’s wife is quiet and submissive, but slowly gaining agency. There are no other Asian people on the island or who survived the plane crash, therefore, we get a limited perspective into Korean culture. Here the show goes further with stereotyping. With Hurley, we project ideas onto him and associate traits with his body. With the Korean couple, the show tells us who they are and we have no room for interpretation. The show makes us assume all Korean husbands are manipulative and oppressive and all Korean women are powerless and demure. There’s the black father and son who didn’t even get a back story yet! Lastly, there’s an Islamic good guy character. I guess the show was forced to be diverse because they were on an international flight, but the executives of the show also still control how many minority faces they're willing to show and explore. Clearly, it's like Noah's arc and there can be only 2 of each race (at least with Asian and Black people), but just one fat person, and just one Islamic man. There does seem to be some romantic tension between the Korean woman and black father, so that might be interesting.
I also like how I don’t know where they are or what’s going to happen. Literally, ANYTHING could happen which is exciting. Survival shows have never been my thing, but they’re a running theme through art - humans against nature. And it’s interesting to see a modern take on that.
Of course, a lot of it is unrealistic, but they can’t make it totally real because then it’d just be like that History Channel show Alone. And we all know reality TV is never reality.
So overall I really like it so far and hope the characters get less annoying and that we find out more about the setting. I also like how they don't use CGI effects, everything is practical and it looks a lot better than CGI because even when it looks fake because at least I know something is really there. And that's a novelty that doesn't wear off quickly. I don’t like how they drag things out so much, but I think the pay off will be worth it.
Please no spoilers!
23 year old English major and ESL Teacher. Currently living in Fortaleza, Brazil. Feminist and kill joy with a cause.