There have only been a handful of shows that have managed to affect me in such a profound way. Shows that have gone beyond what a television series is usually expected to be. Shows whose mere appearance on the television landscape changed the way stories are told in this medium. Shows that combined great writing with superb directing, exceptional acting with mesmerizing scenes. Indeed, there are very few television shows that have accomplished what Lost has been able to during a span of six exceptional seasons. It is a show that I fondly remember. Its moments still fresh in my mind. With a fantastic writing team that has crafted a story unlike any other and an incredible ensemble cast, it is clear that Lost is a show that has forever revolutionized the world of television on so many levels.
Created by J.J. Abrams, Jeffrey Lieber, and Damon Lindelof, Lost stars an ecclectic ensemble cast that includes: Matthew Fox; Evangeline Lilly; Josh Holloway; Terry O’Quinn; Naveen Andrews; Jorge Garcia; Daniel Dae Kim; Yunjin Kim; Dominic Monaghan; Michael Emerson; Harold Perrineau; and Henry Ian Cusick. The show tells the story of a group of passengers who survive a devastating plane crash and end up on a mysterious island where not everything is what it seems. Lost premiered in 2004 and is an adventure-drama that consists of six seasons. It is produced by the American channel ABC.
Let us begin with the superb writing team that Lost possesses. Led by creators Abrams, Lieber, and Lindelof, the writers have constructed a story arc filled with many twists and turns told across the six seasons. To be able to create a unique mythology that keeps going for such a long number of seasons is something that this team deserves the utmost respect for.
Having each episode focus on a specific character could have become a truly boring ordeal that would have instantly killed Lost. However, the show’s writers are fully aware of this and deliver fully fleshed-out characters that the viewer quickly grows to care and cheer for. Their decision to have a portion of each episode dedicated to flashbacks that tell each character’s story is a smart one and makes each episode seem fresh and full of mystery. In fact, it is that ability to provide the viewer with a constant stream of mysteries that has made this writing team such a formidable one. They are clearly one of television’s greatest ever.
A special mention should be given here to Lost’s series finale. Without giving any plot points away, I have to declare that the finale is quite satisfying. It has given fans all they could have dreamt of in terms of seeing a proper send-off to the characters they have grown with over six seasons. I have watched the show three times now and that finale is still as heartfelt, genuine, and profound as I remember it to be. In my opinion, it is one of television’s greatest finales ever, without any exaggeration.
Playing the role of the surgeon Doctor Jack Shephard is Matthew Fox. I had briefly watched Fox in Party of Five, a television show he did before Lost, but cannot say that I was fully exposed to his acting talents before his work on this show. Shephard is one of the main survivors of the plane crash who soon becomes the group’s de-facto leader. His voice is the one almost everyone listens to. His leadership looked upon when any sticky situations arise. I have to admit that it took me a couple of episodes for me to like Fox’s performance. He seemed a bit dull and one-dimensional at the start but soon evolves into one of Lost’s most formidable and trusted characters. Fox manages to make the viewer believe everything Jack says or does, without any hesitation. I like these kind of performances in which the actor seamlessly assumes the role. It makes the entire work of the actor during the show very believable. Matthew Fox is one of many actors who help make Lost such a memorable journey.
Another acting talent that Lost has gifted the world is Evangeline Lilly. Lost is her first major role in either film or television but the viewer would not be blamed for not believing that. Lilly plays the cryptic character Kate Austen, a woman with a questionable past who could pose a threat to the group of survivors. There is a lot to like in Evangeline Lilly’s performance in Lost. Her natural facial expressions, especially her tense eyes, give off a sense of realism that is captivating. Lilly is also able to aptly demonstrate Kate’s heroic personality, one that does not hesitate in helping out her fellow survivors. Evangeline Lilly does a really good job overall but it is her chemistry with Matthew Fox that works the most for me. It is one of Lost’s most intriguing relationships.
Sawyer is probably one of television’s most abrasive, arrogant, and self-righteous characters ever. And yet, he also might just be one of Lost’s most beloved personalities, thanks largely to Josh Holloway’s portrayal of him. He is a source of pure entertainment in this show and one of my all-time favorite TV characters. The way Holloway is able to exude that air of cockiness and overconfidence is so convincing that one does not doubt him for a second. As the seasons progress, more and more layers of Sawyer’s personality and past begin to appear. They only make this viewer grow more impressed by how Josh Holloway is able to deliver such an absorbing television character. A terrific acting display from a unique actor.
Even though she only joined Lost on its third season, Elizabeth Mitchell has nevertheless been able to make an indelible mark on the show and its legion of fans. Mitchell plays Doctor Juliet Burke, who has a very mysterious reason for being on the island. What I really like about Mitchell is how well she mixes between her character’s femininity and toughness. Just like Kate, Juliet is able to be sympathetic yet have enough self-discipline to know when to do the right thing. One of Lost’s most beautiful and elegant women, Doctor Juliet Burke develops a special bond with Sawyer that is most definitely one of the most sincere and authentic relationships depicted on television. Elizabeth Mitchell is yet another cast member who flawlessly fits into her role in Lost.
Terry O’Quinn’s portrayal of the character John Locke also deserves to be highlighted. John Locke is a spiritual, determined, and mysterious man. He is one of the survivors of the plane crash who soon makes it clear to all that he has his own path and plan on the island. I continue to get immensely entertained by O’Quinn’s performance as he manages to instantly make John Locke a character the viewer will never forget. That, in itself, is an achievement that is quite hard to accomplish. John Locke’s story and struggles are some of the most absorbing tales brought to television, mainly thanks to Terry O’Quinn’s magnificent work. He is such a talented actor.
If there is a more secretive and enigmatic character in Lost than John Locke then it must be Benjamin Linus. Depicting him on the show is the impeccable Michael Emerson. He is without a doubt one of Lost’s most interesting characters, if not the most. Linus appears to have a very special reason to be on the island, one of the many secrets that the show’s creators manage to adeptly unveil. If I am to choose a specific aspect of Emerson’s remarkable performance it would have to be his intense and penetrating eyes. It would not be an exaggeration to say that his eyes are the scariest of all in Lost. Those who bore witness to them would surely agree. He is one gifted actor.
A special mention should be given to three other actors in Lost. There is Dominic Monaghan who plays Charlie Pace, a rock star suffering from a paralyzing addiction. Monaghan’s delivery is excellent as he deftly balances the dramatic and comedic parts of his complex character. Jorge Garcia as Hugo ‘Hurley’ Reyes is another source of comedy in Lost. He is just the coolest and most laid-back guy on the island; a joy to watch. Desmond Hume, the third character worth mentioning, is superbly depicted on the show by Henry Ian Cusick. Though he appears in the middle of Lost’s lifespan, Hume nonetheless plays a crucial part in the show’s intricate mythology. Each of these three actors add their own distinctive flavor and are more reasons why Lost’s ensemble cast is one of television’s strongest.
There will never be another show like Lost. It is a television series that has so many unique qualities that I do not think any other show will be able to replicate. With a wealth of fascinating characters, an enthralling and expansive storyline, and a fully dedicated crew and cast, it is clear to see why Lost is still held in such high regard. After more than three years since it ended, the show is still as vibrant and exciting as the first time I watched its phenomenal pilot episode back in 2004. Those who were lucky enough to have watched Lost during its natural run will surely realize how special that feeling really was. For those of you who have not, what are you waiting for? Join us.
J.J. Abrams, Jeffrey Lieber, and Damon Lindelof
Adventure / Drama
- Matthew Fox (as Jack Shephard)
- Evangeline Lilly (as Kate Austen)
- Josh Holloway (as James ‘Sawyer’ Ford)
- Elizabeth Mitchell (as Juliet Burke)
- Terry O’Quinn (as John Locke)
- Michael Emerson (as Ben Linus)
- Jorge Garcia (as Hugo ‘Hurley’ Reyes)
- Naveen Andrews (as Sayid Jarrah)
- Daniel Dae Kim (as Jin Kwon)
- Yunjin Kim (as Sun Kwon)
- Emilie de Ravin (as Claire Littleton)
- Henry Ian Cusick (as Desmond Hume)
- Dominic Monaghan (as Charlie Pace)
- Harold Perrineau (as Michael Dawson)
Favorite Episodes: (Spoilers Alert!!)
- Pilot (Season 1, Episodes 1 & 2)
- Synopsis: A sudden plane crash leaves at least 48 survivors stranded on a jungle island, forced to scavenge for survival from the wreckage of the plane. As they get their bearings and pin their hopes on a quick rescue, the band of strangers begin to learn the island holds deep and dark secrets. A group of strong-willed survivors: Jack, a spinal surgeon; Charlie, a former rock star; and the enigmatic Kate venture into the dark heart of the jungle to try and recover the airplane transceiver. But even heroes have secrets, as the survivors will soon learn.
- Exodus (Season 1, Episodes 23, 24 & 25)
- Synopsis: Rousseau arrives at the camp with the warning that the Others are coming, meaning that everyone is in danger. To protect the group, Rousseau leads Jack and a team of survivors to the Black Rock, where there is dynamite. Jack hopes that with it they can blow open the Hatch, and hide inside until the threat passes. Back at the camp, the survivors prepare the raft for launching.
- Lockdown (Season 2, Episode 17)
- Synopsis: Locke finds himself trapped in the Swan during a resupply lockdown, forcing him to rely on Henry Gale for help. Out in the jungle, Ana Lucia, Sayid, and Charlie search for the balloon which would prove Henry’s alibi.
- Live Together, Die Alone (Season 2, Episodes 23 & 24)
- Synopsis: After discovering something odd just offshore, Jack and Sayid come up with a plan to confront “The Others” and hopefully get Walt back. Meanwhile, Eko and Locke come to blows as Locke makes a potentially cataclysmic decision regarding the “button” and the hatch. Lastly, Desmond returns and he sheds some more light on his experience on the island in the three years prior to when Locke came down into that hatch.
- The Man from Tallahassee (Season 3, Episode 13)
- Synopsis: As Kate and Sayid focus on rescuing a strangely placid Jack, Locke reveals his own agenda for finding the Barracks.
- Through The Looking Glass (Season 3, Episodes 22 & 23)
- Synopsis: Events reach a climax as the survivors engage the Others at the beach. Meanwhile, Jack relentlessly leads the group on toward rescue, while Charlie gets his mission underway.
- The Constant (Season 4, Episode 5)
- Synopsis: On the way to the freighter, the survivors on the helicopter hit some turbulence. This causes “side effects” for one of the passengers on board.
- There’s No Place Like Home (Season 4, Episodes 12, 13 & 14)
- Synopsis: The face-off begins between the survivors and the mercenary team from the freighter. The Oceanic Six return to their families.
- Dead is Dead (Season 5, Episode 12)
- Synopsis: To atone for sins of the past, Ben must attempt to summon the smoke monster in order to be judged.
- The Incident (Season 5, Episodes 16 & 17)
- Synopsis: Jack’s decision to put a plan in action in order to set things right on the island is met with some strong resistance by those close to him. Locke assigns Ben a difficult task.
- Ab Aeterno (Season 6, Episode 9)
- Synopsis: Richard Alpert faces a difficult choice.
- Happily Ever After (Season 6, Episode 11)
- Synopsis: Desmond wakes up and discovers he has returned to the island.
- The End (Season 6, Episodes 17 & 18)
- Synopsis: The battle lines are drawn as Locke puts his plan into action, which could finally liberate him from the island.
- Outstanding Drama Series: J.J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof, Bryan Burk, Carlton Cuse, Jack Bender, David Fury, Jesse Alexander, Javier Grillo-Marxuach, Sarah Caplan, Leonard Dick & Jean Higgins for “Pilot”
- Outstanding Directing For A Drama Series: J.J. Abrams for “Pilot”
- Outstanding Supporting Actor – Drama Series: Terry O’Quinn as John Locke for “The Man From Tallahassee”
- Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series: Michael Emerson as Benjamin Linus for “Dead Is Dead”