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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Thoughts on LOST

Well, it is with great displeasure that I am writing this article tonight, in the wake of the series finale of Lost, the show that has captivated the hearts and minds of America, including myself, for the past 7 years. I can't think of any show in my lifetime, or in the past, that has generated the amount of buzz and hype as Lost, as people across the world were hooked by its cliffhanger mysteries and complex plot lines. As someone who has watched Lost from basically Season 1, whereas most have gotten in the game late via hulu, dvd's, etc., the show has become such a regular part of my life that it's kind of weird to think I won't be watching it anymore.

So- some thoughts on the final episode. First off, I think it was cool how the final episode reunited everyone. I think it was great how the little "reconnection" scenes allowed us to remember the depth and storied past of many of the relationships, just as much of the last season has been about reminding us why we all loved Lost in the first place. Another thing I liked about this episode was that it really refocused the show on Jack. To me, Jack has always been THE main character, and it was kind of a bummer to me that they moved away from his story, but in the end, I believe they returned to the saga of the island as Jack's struggle. And in a sense, Jack's struggle embodies the struggles of many of us. By the final episode he is a broken man, having lost family, love, struggled with addiction, faith, and purpose, but in the end he follows his heart, and finds happiness, though, ultimately only through sacrificing his life. I was happy to see Jack finally end up with Kate. I just wish the ending was a little more clear cut (was the flash sideways reality, purgatory, etc?).

In the end, I think the reason Lost has been so successful is that it addresses those questions that we all must ask ourselves at some point. Why are we here? What is our purpose? Lost takes aim at these deep unanswerable and nagging questions. Ultimately, the central theme of Lost seems to be destiny. Every man is destined for greatness, though many, like Season 1-5/6 Jack, try to ignore their true calling until it's too late.

Overall, I have to say Lost is one of my favorite shows of all time. Both it's entertainment value as a mystery and drama, combined with its deeper philosophical messages, though at times heavy-handed, make it one of the most poignant shows of all time. In a world where many shows are content to stick to the family sitcom, Lost breaks out of the TV shell and dares to shake us up a little. It challenges us to look deeper, ask questions, and to find our own island in life.

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