Beautiful. Emotional. Mysterious. Spectacular. Brilliant. Lost is science-fiction, comedy, tragedy and deep characterisation on an unprecedented scale - a grand adventure story unlike any epic ever portrayed on the small screen.
In fact, Lost is the perfect collision between the intellectual world, and the world of pop culture. Unlike most other shows, it appears to have no ceiling to its understanding, at least not that I can see. I am still trying to understand its meaning. Not of its storyline, but rather, its effect on popular culture, science fiction, literature, philosophy, history and even physics. But it's the unique personal journey I find myself on as a consequence of those 121 episodes that fascinates me most.
You see, Lost is a story about me. It's also about you, and in turn, the people you know. The myriad of "one degree of separation" connections on the show are a metaphor for the connections we have in our own lives as well as with the characters themselves. It is most certainly not a coincidence that they were all so deeply intertwined. Lost taps deep into the fibre of our being. We have strong connections with the characters because they are us. The words on the image above spoken by Jacob during his infamous speech were intended just as much for the viewers as they were for the Candidates. Indeed it is all our names that are also inscribed on the Lighthouse dial.
A New Standard of Television
How can I say that I'm an observer? I'm a participant in this process. I'm having to spend a huge amount of time trying to figure out what's going on... It's non-linier storytelling. (Pearson Moore - Author)
Lost single-handedly lifted the standard of what we expect from television. The post-Lost TV landscape is punctuated with cinematic productions like Breaking Bad, House of Cards, Homeland and even Game of Thrones, all of which I believe are products of the bar being lifted dramatically by Lost. Indeed Lost inspired a litany of new original programming with episodes that looked more like a feature movie, rather than serial drama. Lost managed to make a seemingly inanimate Island its central character in a way that really is believable. (Indeed, any true Lost fan would only ever refer to the Island with a capital "i"). It rewards, more than any other show, generously on each re-watch. It is a masterpiece of demonstrative drama, one which never catered to the lowest common denominator by spoon feeding every detail. Instead, it dared to respect our intelligence and ability to work things out for ourselves. Lost required us to be active participants instead of passive attendants and portrays characters in a way that facilitates a greater connection with viewers by making them all flawed, failing and messy. We find great comfort in this because these are attributes we all share.
It is a TV show that intentionally disorients so as to break us in much the same way as the characters in order to come out at the other side an enlightened version of our former self. Lost tricked us into believing we were watching a six season mystery adventure before boldly turning it around in the final minutes to reveal it was actually about so much more. It turned us all into "accidental intellectuals", without us ever realising it. It didn't make us smarter, but it did facilitate a deep connection within ourselves that changed the way we view the world.
Lost is both ground breaking and inspiring. It's a TV show where the most important question is not "how do they get off the Island?", but rather "why are they there in the first place?"
It Only Ends Once - Everything Before That Is Just Progress
Like most people, I often feel lost in my own life. It is all too easy to feel isolated in a culture where conformity is the norm. Lost reinvigorated my passion for learning. For growing. For maturing, and ultimately to accept the non-conformist within. In doing so, I re-discovered what I'd always known... that life really is awe-inspiring.
It is precisely because we are lost, that Lost endures. It challenges us to think critically, puzzling out the mysteries, thinking about everyday philosophy while engaging with the characters of the show.
Yet that really is just the beginning.
Whilst I mourn the end of Lost, I take solace in its ongoing contribution to who I am. The Island's not done with me nor am I done with it. I know the book of Lost will never be closed because the definitive judgement of its meaning will never be achieved. With Lost (as in life), it really is all about the journey.
Lost is much more than just a TV show. It will live within me for the rest of my days. It is my companion in life. A window into all that is bad and good. It is for this reason that I do not need to experience the flash-sideways to know that Lost is my constant.