It was ten years ago that the pilot episode for the ABC drama Lost aired on television. Some of the cast and crew recently sat down at the Paley Center for a reunion of sorts, to commemorate the anniversary.
Despite being so much a fixture of American pop culture at the time, Lost almost feels like a show from another generation. It’s not completely fair, but since Lost began, television has moved from the network and pilot-season format to almost a new way of doing things.
New shows are released year round, forgoing the dated and rather silly idea that there would be a time of year that a new show would have to premiere in. Ratings are much different (AKA much lower) than in years past, making the level of a successful show very different. And cable stations dominate niches as well as the populous. Network dramas succeed so rarely that many people probably just assume Lost was one of the early AMC shows or something. ABC couldn’t possibly air an engaging drama oozing with intrigue.
Even though Lost was in its own time as far as network dramas go, it seems like the show has been all but forgotten in the television conversation. When anyone mentions a list of the top shows this century, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, The Wire and the normal suspects come up. But no one ever gives due credit to Lost, especially considering the degree of difficulty airing a network show.
Seasons were made up of 22+ episodes apiece, as compared to 13 or even 10 from some of the competitors. There were also different guidelines that had to be met for a show to air on network TV as opposed to cable. Despite its imperfections, Lost got a lot right and, looking back, it doesn’t get the credit it deserves in the TV landscape.
It is worth watching the show again. This is especially true if you were one of the viewers disappointed by how the show ended. I was one of these people. I HATED the ending my first time through. I thought it was a cheesy way to cop out from actually bringing the story to a conclusion.
However, I recently rewatched the end few episodes of season six, and I enjoyed them a great deal more the second time. Overall, Lost holds up much better than I would have previously anticipated. In fact, the show almost works better the second time through. If you just set your mind at ease ahead of time, knowing certain things aren’t important and will never be addressed again, the show is a wondrous romp through a clever world of impeccably detailed character plot and drama.
A decade later, it’s worth zooming in on doctor Jack’s eye once again and getting Lost.