The story of how rewatching Lost is the new Lost

Yes, I am about to talk about Lost. I know that no matter my audience, a bunch of you are probably all, “MEH!  Lost sucks because the ending was totally bogus!  They wasted six years of my life on bullshit!  Because of the last episode!”

The way I reckon it, Lost is a cat you adopt from the pound (or, kitteh jail, as I like to call it).  You don’t know how old it is, so it has some mystery.  You have some great times, and also from time to time the cat might puke in your shoe.  Overall though, good times with kitteh!  Then it dies. A horrible, gross, sudden death.  Yeah, you knew it was coming but yeeesh – you didn’t know it would be like that.

Some people will say “Screw cats!  They die and break my heart!  NEVER AGAIN!” Which is fine. That’s a huge blow when you have invested love into something and then it just keels over.  However, other people, like myself, appreciate all the good times with that kitteh, and choose to remember that over the horrible end.

That being said, dear reader, please take into consideration that my love of Lost was unblemished by the end, and I have, as Damon Lindelof suggested, moved on.  (By the way, click that link and I dare you not to be moved by Michael Giacchino’s incredible talent.)  I will adopt another cat from the pound, hoping to find the love and companionship I enjoyed from the previous pet.

I could easily regale you with my favorite parts of Lost, what made it so special for me, how it was not just a TV show but also a community, but that is all for another time.  The time now is to look at what TV networks do in order to attract the meandering Lost fans in their hour of vulnerability.  (And yes, it is a long hour.)

So, because of the incredible success of Lost, all the other networks are trying desperately to find The New Lost so they can also make a jillion dollars.

The so-called Lost clones

Persons Unknown

This show was canceled after the first season of this NBC show, so you may have forgotten it already.  But hey, our buddy Jonathan Frakes directed a bunch of episodes, so it was worth a watch. Now I see they are calling it a mini-series. I didn’t notice that before but maybe it’s always been the case. Ok, I’ll give it that pass for not surviving past the First Summer After Lost.

I think out of all the “clones” I may have enjoyed this one the most (no, not because of Jonathan Frakes – I found that detail out later).  It was not terribly Losty, but it was very interesting.  A handful of strangers from very diverse backgrounds find themselves plucked from their everyday lives and imprisoned in a strange ghost town with the potential to kill themselves or each other.  One of them is Cameron from Ferris Bueller.  He may be a wonderful adult actor by now, with grey hair and the whole bit, but he is still Cameron to me.  Did I mention their every move is followed by cameras from every angle?  Well, yes, that is happening, too.

Some moments are predictable, and maybe it is hard to tell where things are going, but I found the cast to be very good, and really, the plot is intriguing.   The whole thing is the brainchild of Christopher McQuarrie who you may remember as the writer of The Usual Suspects and my complete love, The Way of the Gun.

While this show is pretty danged cool, it was canceled, and has not yet been released on DVD.  Expect release date?  Unknown.


Flash Forward

I think a lot of people thought Flash Forward was going to be the show after Lost ended. After all, there were what – three Lost alums on there? Dominic Monaghan (Charlie), Sonya Walger (Penny), Kim Dickins (Cassidy)… The rest of the cast wasn’t too shabby, either. The premise was interesting, too – everyone in the world passed out at exactly the same moment, and saw the future. Neat! Why would this happen?! I want to find out!

Well, this all sounded like a good idea, until you realized the sound you were hearing was a collection of the worst American accents ever combined on one television program. This together with the spiffy scifi potential of What It All Means crushed by overwhelming government conspiracy drama (not to mention the protagonist actually being a major douchebag), sent ratings into a downward spiral and the show was canceled. Oh well.

The Event

The Event is sort of an interesting show. I find myself watching it most weeks, but I can’t say I care about the characters. There are plenty of twists and impossible situations and creepy weirdness that might make Fox Mulder raise an eyebrow, but it just isn’t compelling.

Terra Nova

Instead of ordering a pilot and seeing how it goes, Fox ordered 13 episodes of Steven Spielberg’s Terra Nova. This show, premiering this fall, starts in the future when we have screwed up the Earth so bad that scientists have figured out how to send people into the past to “get it right.” Of course, it won’t be all Jurassic Park all the time, but I would be kind of ok with it if it was. I’m interested to see how this comes out.

The alternative

Re-watching Lost

warning: the video above is spoilery if you haven’t seen all of Lost
I’m about half-way through season two of my rewatch, with a friend who was a Lost virgin. It is pretty awesome, actually. I look forward to it every week more than I do any current show. It is fun because I while I know what happens, I am noticing new details I hadn’t before. The whole-show knowledge really enhances my viewing, especially since when the show was current, I was getting really into it, with podcasts, ARGs, and the Lost community at large. I have my very own Apollo bar, for pete’s sake. Neat, right?

Lost changed TV for not just the viewers, but also for the industry itself. Companies want to cash in on the potential of a passionate following, but it is pretty unlikely that any TV show will be as unifying for a long time. Similar to how the Sopranos really started an era for TV shows on premiere channels, Lost has done something that people will still be scratching their heads to figure out how to replicate for a long time. In the meantime, the box set is pretty danged cool.

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I want to knit a blanket of the undersea level of Super Mario Bros.