• James Hewlett

What If Lost, but on HBO?

I noticed the other day that Lost has limited time left on Amazon Prime and the idea of getting my discs out of the loft or downloading the final season to complete my rewatch has spurred me into picking back up where I left off.

The good thing is that the last few episodes of season five are great and lead into the sixth season with so much momentum. It was between those two seasons original airing that I went to San Diego Comic-Con for the final panel with show runners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse and hung out with a lot of the online Lost community I had been a part of. I remember standing in the Hall H line with them at two thirty in the morning so we could definitely get in to that panel and discussing the show intently with everyone from high school kids, to reality tv show cinematographers to NFL referees. It was a weird and wonderful time!

I’m now a few episodes into the sixth and final season during this rewatch and despite starting to go back through the entire show a few times in the ten years since it ended I don’t think I actually ever made it to season six. That means I’ve not seen these episodes since their initial airing although the likelihood is very strong that I watched each multiple times the week they aired.

I remember being one of the seemingly few who liked the ending of the show right away. Many more people have flittered either from liking it to disliking it or have come around to it more in the intervening years, but I was a defender of it straight away. I am prone to like things I’ve committed time to, but it doesn’t stop me from pointing out the flaws when they are there. I’m going solely off my memory at the moment but there are things I very much disliked about the way the show wrapped up. I always felt like they did the character of Sayid dirty in the final season and although the moment of their death was done well and was sweet I think Sun & Jin deserved more than they were given. And what was the deal with that Dogen character?

Oh wow… yeeesh. Through 2020 eyes, does Lost season six have a race problem?! Boy, I hope not! I guess I’ll find out as I keep going.

I’ve really enjoyed rewatching the show though. I’ve always considered it one of, if not my very favourite show and I still believe it is more responsible for the golden age of television that we’ve been in pretty much ever since. It was airing almost concurrently with my other favourite show, Avatar The Last Airbender and I have also recently gone back through all of that show and its follow up, The Legend of Korra. It’s hard to separate the two now as despite being set a generation apart and being released at very different times, they are very much parts of a whole.

I think that is why now, on reflection of both Avatar and Lost I feel confident crowning Avatar not just my personal favourite show but quite possibly the best television show of all time, at least for someone with my tastes.

I don’t say that lightly, but where Lost has some extremely high highs it also suffers from some very low lows. Avatar is able to be consistent from start to finish and even the ancillary materials like the novels and comics that are still coming out feel like works of one consistent vision.

Lost suffers in that regard because it was spearheaded by a visionary creator, Lindelof, who was desperately trying to have that level of consistency but had to work under the constraints of network television. Beyond that, this was mid-two thousands network television before Lost had changed the game for everyone. There are famous struggles between the creators and the network about how long the show should remain on the air and this led to many decisions being made that I believe were in service of the powers that be instead of the story.

It’s an awkward and impossible catch twenty-two, without Lost who’s to say we have the types of genre stories we get on TV today and we likely don’t get the Damon who went on to make The Leftovers and the masterful Watchmen at HBO, but imagine a parallel universe in which in 2020 we get Damon Lindelof’s creative vision of Lost on an HBO, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon or another high end network. Given the budget and creative freedom to tell the story he wants to tell, over the length of time that it dictates as opposed to is dictated to him. That would be one hell of a show!

Hey, look at that! I had a plan for a blog post and put together something I’m actually pretty happy with. Who said lockdown life can’t produce good content?! I might have some more TV talk tomorrow, you’ll have to come back to see.

And that is what they call a cliffhanger.


Recent Posts

See All