I rewatched my all-time favourite television show for the first time since it went off the air a decade ago. To be honest, I never rewatched the series despite having all the seasons on DVD because I was scared it wouldn’t *hold up*. But boy, oh, boy did it ever.
I just finished rewatching #LOST for the first time and it still holds its place as my favourite show ever. The series finale aired ten years ago today and finally watching it again was an A+ experience and I wholeheartedly recommend it. See ya in another life, brotha 👋🏻
Because of Covid-19, we’re all helping to flatten the curve by social distancing and in many cases, self-quarantining. I work in a school and the first two weeks of this actually occurred during spring break so aside from weekly tasks I had to complete for my online course, I felt that I was actually able to binge-watch some TV entirely guilt free.
Back in 2016 I became an excellent binge-watcher: Buffy, Full House, Party of Five, and X-Files all among the ranks via Netflix and in 2017 after I had caught up on the books, I watched Game of Thrones through a combination of borrowing my friend’s DVDs, sketchy streaming sites, and renting the series from the public library. And then watched it again with my parents. Twice.
Since then, I haven’t really been into TV. Sure, I watch my weekly shows, but since 2018 I’ve tried to focus more on reading instead of watching serialized shows. Especially in the age of streaming sites, and much due to my tendacies to procrastinate and my lack of self-control, I’ve avoided getting invested in any show beyond the ones that I can only watch once a week due to release schedules.
But here we are. It’s 2020 and we’ve been asked to stay home for weeks and weeks at a time. What’s a girl to do?
Watch Lost, of course!
I started watching ABC’s Lost when the second season was airing in 2005. I was in grade nine and my mom (who is truly an iconic television connoisseur) was watching some show on our family TV. At the time, we had family friends staying with us for two weeks, the eldest of whom was my age and we were intrigued by the show my mom was watching and the guy who apparently lived in some abandoned hatch in a jungle… on a mysterious island. So we did as any teens would do back in the early 2000s…. We headed to the video rental store.
I have this super clear memory of walking to the video store with my friend, selecting the next instalment (you could only rent one DVD at a time) and sitting down for white hot chocolate while Gwen Stefani’s L.A.M.B. album played over the stereo and I remember clearly thinking: Wow, this must be what it really feels like to be a teenager! Precious, I know.
Once we had finished watching season one four/ five episodes at a time, we would watch the weekly episodes live and then reconvene either over the phone, via MSN messenger, or in person at school the next day. Throughout high school being a fan of Lost became part of my identity and every Thursday or Friday people would stop me in the halls to ask my thoughts on the previous night’s episode. When the show ended a year after I had graduated and shortly after my 19th birthday, it was truly the end of an era.
One of my favourite Lost-related stories was that during my grade nine year I found this mini-series that The Sims 2 used to do (I cannot find it on YouTube for the life of me but I swear it was real haha) where they totally spoofed Lost using Sims (obviously). The series ended by them discovering they had been in Cleveland the whole time, and I actually succeeded in convincing most of my French class that I was moving to Cleveland for grade ten (this was also the year we decided who was going to be each character from Sailor Moon lol). This entry from my yearbook (well, technically the scrapbook I made to be glued into my yearbook) had the least personal information so… here you have it:
While preparing for this post, I went through the Lost tag on my Tumblr (you can do the same HERE) and found this post that I reblogged six years ago:
Not due to any sort of magic pill, but instead because of ten action-packed years passing and the fact that I originally watched the episodes one at a time, once a week while I was in high school… turns out I did forget a lot of what actually happens in Lost.
Obviously, I still had the gist and remembered the basic plotline: a plane crash, an island, a smoke monster, the Others, the freighter, and the end (which… at nineteen, I didn’t really understand). Plus flashbacks, flash forwards, and flash sideways. But the rest was… a blur.
I also remembered my beloved characters. And… not so beloved. I tried my best to go into the series with a completely open mind, even though when Michael first came on my screen I still felt a complete sense of disdain for Mr. I-Need-To-Find-My-Son.
Watching Lost back for the first time after ten years was totally the ideal way to experience it. Seeing characters I loved when I was a teenager filled me with so many warm fuzzies, just as knowing when certain characters were about to meet their end filled me with dread but allowed me to appreciate the episodes and the characters even more. I could pick out Easter eggs and clues that would be irrelevant to a first time watcher (like the brand name on the pregnancy test found in the wreckage that a character uses), but also had a clear *Oh, this is important!* sense whenever certain things would happen, even if I couldn’t fully remember why it was important. And then, certain things would come back to me. There were, however, certain things I still had no recollection of and experienced almost as if I was watching the series for the first time.
Despite the decade that has passed, Lost still holds up really well. Of course certain things date it (boy, we really did like the whole low-rise flared jeans look in the early 2000s, didn’t we?), but that helps establish the series in our cultural timeline and, really, makes it seem all the more impressive. While we are now all familiar with TV shows that seem to have mini-feature-film quality episodes, it really wasn’t done back when Lost was on the air and I feel like that really sets it apart and also set the stage for the high quality serialized entertainment we enjoy today.
Now, all these years later, I watched the series with the perspective of someone who is around the age of many of the characters. I’ve seen the actors move onto other projects: Boone became Damon Salvatore, Evangeline Lilly joined both the Lord of the Rings franchise as well as the MCU and, well, half the cast found themselves on Once Upon a Time. Things have changed. I’ve changed. But rewatching Lost, a show that I consider to have significantly impacted my teenage years, also showed me how much I am still the same person I’ve always been.
As much as Lost was the show of my teens, Digimon was truly the show of my childhood. Okay, woah, I know… just hear me out. There are a bunch of characters with completely different personalities, who never would have met otherwise, find themselves on a mysterious island. They all have experienced traumatic events in their lives up to that point which they deal with during the course of the series, often with the help of other characters. Not only is the setting a major character in itself, steeped in lore that is slowly revealed throughout the series, but the unlikely band of misfits are all flawed and have their own intricate histories, naturally forming relationships with each other that have different layers and complications. They find out the island has strange inhabitants, some benevolent and some… not, and they do their best to find their way home but ultimately discover that they’re been fated to come to the place they are trying so hard to get off of, and they’re destined to be there together. They face a series of antagonists but ultimately end up against the source of all evil that will destroy the world if they don’t prevail. Sound familiar?
Rewatching Lost really gave me this insight into the kind of stories I love most. I love character driven stories with mythology and many layers to it, especially when there is a dynamic cast of characters who create relationships with each other and find goodness despite being very flawed and having survived horrible things. I love how every type of conflict is present (person vs person, person vs self, person vs nature, person vs society, person vs god/ fate/ supernatural… throwback to English 8, anyone?) and the battles aren’t just dramatic fight scenes, but appear in so many different ways. I really enjoyed Game of Thrones until the last season, because for me the ending didn’t do the characters justice. Their personal journeys did not pay off in a way that made sense. All of my favourite stories are about very different people thrown together in extraordinary circumstances. And boy, do I love me a good *found family* trope done well.
Speaking of endings, I mentioned that on my first go-round, I didn’t really understand the ending of Lost. Watching the series all in one go really helped me feel like the majority of plot lines were wrapped up satisfactorily, and watching the series as an older and wiser person definitely helped. The ending itself was good too (No, they weren’t all dead the whole time).
Something else I really enjoyed that added another layer onto my enjoyment of this rewatch was the bonus features on the DVDs. Each season had the usual deleted scenes and blooper real, but there were also really thorough behind-the-scenes looks into the actual making of the show from talking about the casting to how they actually tore apart a real plane to make the wreckage. My favourite bonus features were the fake documentaries that were made specifically for the DVDs, one being an episode of a made-up conspiracy theory show on cults (this episode focusing on the Dharma Initiative) and another being a kind of true crime-eque look at the plane crash of Oceanic 815, which was again kind of conspiracy theory-esque but I’m all about that kind of stuff. Right now I’m going back and watching all the episodes with commentary and I just finished season one.
Last December, I was working at my retail job on a relatively quiet evening. I saw someone who was dressed very fancily wandering around and I went to offer them help and when she looked up I nearly died… my mind was just playing, on full volume, with sirens: THAT’S EVANGELINE LILLY. THAT’S KATE FROM LOST. My one coworker who was in the area with me told me I was wrong until he “went to the washroom” to check his phone and came back, freaking out, telling me I was right. We spent the next hour quietly fangirl/boying and the rest of the night wrapping all of her kids’ Christmas presents (well, he wrapped and I Tetris packed them into shipping boxes because there’s no way I was going to let my infamously horrible wrapping be showcased in front of her). Evangeline said my name multiple times and as she was leaving I got the nerve to tell her that Lost was my favourite show of all time. Did I also want to say “See ya in another life, brotha”? You betcha! Did I? No. Friggen. Way.
Being able to rewatch Lost and revive my appreciation for it after a whole decade has been such a really fun experience. It’s like opening a time capsule (or a hatch, shall we say?) and getting to experience something that I held so dear for so long, all over again. Doing my Wreck This Journal pages, my Tumblr tag, and the plethora of features it has on my quote board justice (and the fact that I still kind of talk like Hurley?), I’m very happy to say that yes, Lost is definitely still my favourite show.
If you ever get the opportunity to watch/ rewatch Lost, I wholeheartedly recommend it. Thanks so much for reading this post and I hope you have an awesome day, (Insert-Random-Sawyer-Nickname-Here)!