Looking back at Lost: Season 1

Let’s transport back to Fall 2010 for a minute. I’m sitting in my senior year english class next to Mr. Apple Juice himself. (Shout out Mrs. Gonda for letting me turn in all of my papers at the end of the semester, months after their due date) Netflix had just launched it’s streaming service and he recommended that we start Lost.

I had obviously heard about the show; my dad had been watching weekly over the previous 5 years but I never really thought it would be my cup of tea. At the time, my televsion lineup consisted of The Simpsons, Family Guy, 24, and anything they had on Comedy Central.

What proceeded that conversation was, in my opinion, the most dedicated binge in American history. We must have finished the series in a month. I was staying up until 2-3 am nightly watching episodes on my grandpa’s old 25 lb laptop.

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In short, watching the show changed what I knew about how television could be created. Damon Lindelof and JJ Abrams had created what was, at the time, the most talked about show in history. It honestly still might be up there given all the philosophy classes that use the show as fodder. Since 2010 I have rewatched the show two times and will be watching along once more as I write this series of retrospectives.

Each post will take a look at the good, the bad, questions that were introduced, and how all these little puzzle peices fit together to create one of my all time favorite shows.

Let’s get started… (Spoiler Alert)

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The first thing that Abrams and Lindelof had to figure out was, “how do we diffuse the audience’s desire for the survivors to get off the Island?” The answer to that question was to make the island a character as well. They baked in a number of mysteries such as the monster, polar bear, distress signal, Rousseau, the Black Rock, and the hatch throughout the season to keep the cast occupied in figuring out what exactly was going on.

The Good —

Season one doesn’t miss on much if we’re being honest. The first episode is action packed as the survivors scramble to make sense of what just happenened. It’s intense, gory, and almost disorienting at times. at 13 million dollars, the pilot was as expensive as some movies. We get to meet some of the main players such as Jack and Kate, Charlie and Hurley, as well as Sayid and Locke as they set up camp. That last scene introduces everyone to the unknown at that point smoke monster which ensured the audience knew that things were going to get weird.

Every time the writers answered a question, they introduced something else to dig the audience deeper and deeper. We are never let off the hook from episode 1 through 24. Like many shows before, Lost mastered the cliffhanger. The lasting shot of Locke and Jack peering into the hatch as the camera descends just teases us about how much more there is to this story than we know.

The Bad —

Lost relied heavily on flashbacks throughout the series. In addition to ensuring the audience was invested in learning more about the island, Abrams and Lindelof had to create backstories for each character in a way that made them not want to go back to their real life. Jack had his fathers funeral, Hurley was bad luck, Kate was in custody; the island was a sort of rebirth for each.

While many of the flashbacks are interesting and necessary for the story, some just feel half baked and uninteresting. The whole world would have been fine without the Boone Shannon stepsibling romance plotline. I found myself skimming through some of the flashbacks to get right back into the action.

Quick Hitters:

  • Hurley became a fan favorite very quickly in most part because he always seemed to be asking the same questions as the audience. He’s also worth 156 million dollars which is awesome and unexpected. However, since those numbers are bad luck, I understand why he never seems to want to share any details about his life as he tries to distance himself from all the bad that had happened since his windfall.
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  • Charlie and Claire’s budding romance is a brightspot throughout season 1. You can tell he really wants to become a better person for her and eventually Aaron(Turnip Head).
  • You feel so bad for Locke during every flashback he has. His sad office life and shithead boss, getting conned into donating a kidney to his estranged father, his failed attempt to woo a pay by the minute phone companion. Dude’s life was a wreck. While the survivors are still unaware of all this, the audience now knows why Locke feels so at peace on the island
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  • Need more Vincent — Who’s a good boy?
  • Speaking of, could you imagine being a 10 year old kid stuck on that island. You went from playing your Gameboy SP to stuck with your estranged dad with no entertainment, tough break
  • Artz (Arntz?) — It took until the 21st episode of the season for the writers to give us any detail on some of the other survivors on the island. Artz makes a joke that he wanted to be a part of the “merry band of adventurers” clique (AKA the main cast) then proceeds to blow himself up
  • Foreshadowing — After a few watches, you start to pick up on a lot of the foreshadowing in the first few episodes. There is the polar bear from the comic book as well as the reference to light and dark in a few places. (Backgammon game between Walt and Locke)

Burning Questions left unanswered:

  • What is inside the Hatch?
  • Why are the numbers cursed and popping up everywhere?
  • Who are the others?
  • Why the obsession with babies and Walt?
  • What is the Smoke Monster? (Security system for the island???)
  • How did the polar bear and the Black Rock ship end up there?

Catch up with me for season 2 in a couple weeks!

Until next time…

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