From the opening, when Jack faced the devastation of Oceanic Flight 815's crash to the final moments when Jack's eyes closed on the island, Lost was an absolute experience. Even in its weaker moments (I'm looking at you season 2), it combined intricate storytelling with complex characters and a mythology of its own. Just as you thought one mystery was uncovered, a new one emerged, and just as one "ultimate" villain was revealed, a new one bigger and badder crept into Lost. Just as you pegged someone one way, they were revealed in a new and clearer light. Just as you thought you were in the present, you were in the past,you were in the future, you were in another world.
Using Jack's "live together, die alone," motto, Lost was about flawed characters and love above all else. Just try not to cry thinking of Charlie's sacrifice, or Jin and Sun's evolving love, or of Jack's final moments with Vincent the dog. Everyone had favorite characters. I couldn't help but love the creepy/intriguing Ben Linus and the jumbled/genius of Daniel Faraday. Everyone had...not so favorite characters. Ana Lucia anyone? Lost didn't always make its fans happy. The finale shook its fan base, splitting opinions. Even still, none can deny its lasting impact.
No other show that I can think of turned a single prolonged piano note into the scariest sound on television. No other show required almost religious viewing to even hope to understand what was going on. Not only does it stay on the minds of its collective fans, but it also stands tall and ominous as the standard for new high concept television shows. Thus far, no show has been able to handle the pressure.
FlashFoward, a show about the world seeing glimpses of the future, crashed and burned despite initial excitement. Jericho only lasted a few seasons, which is better than The Event, Terra Nova, and The River, which each only survived a season. The shows ranged in quality in both storytelling and character development, but none stood well next to Lost. It can be argued that the standards and expectations are too high for these high concept stories, but shouldn't it be? Truly profound landmark shows are rarities. Sadly however, many of these shows could have developed into almost Lost worthy stories if they were given the chance. Many shows were squashed very early if they didn't maintain high ratings for the high concept. Lovers of Lost, including myself, are given a whiplash as viewers and are hesitant to commit to any of the new attempts at Lost-like grandeur, fearing they'll be canceled before any mysteries are solved. No one wants to love something that will get snatched away so quickly.
Even so, I have the Lost hope that a great and epic show is out there to fill a the hole left in Lost's wake. I keep giving shows a chance, especially if J.J. Abrams, the MAN behind Lost, Alias, Super 8, and of course the reboot of Star Trek, is attached. I keep getting burned by cancelled shows, but I can't help myself. I have hope that there is a show like Lost, somewhere out there, probably in the mind of Abrams.
The newest hope can be found in Revolution, a show about all power shutting down in the world, leading to a brave new world order. The trailer looks promising, with wild explorers meets the future themes.Watch it here: Revolution I think, even knowing the fear of a high concept/high anticipation, I can't resist the hope. After all Lost lovers, if we don't watch together, the shows will die alone.