Ten Years Later: The Finale of Lost

Posted on May 24, 2020 at 3:37 pm

No one knows Lost better than Jen Chaney, so there is no one better to look back on the finale, which disappointed many fans. It’s an unsovable problem; people who stuck with the show loved its ambiguity and puzzles. So, if the finale answered all the questions it would annoy fans. And if it didn’t, it would annoy them, too.For Vulture, Chaney writes:

Many people, myself included, appreciated the emotional way it wrapped up Lost’s story. If you go back and rewatch “The End” now, you may be surprised to learn you appreciate it too, especially if the one and only time you watched it was on the night of May 23, 2010.

I recently did that, and in connection with another story I’m writing, I convinced Lost showrunners and co-creators Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse to rewatch it as well. It was the first time either of them had seen “The End” since it first aired, and it brought back what Cuse described as “a jumble of emotions.” He recalled parts of the finale as though he had just done it yesterday, while other moments he had completely forgotten. “I was a little, kind of, out of time,” he said….

They were especially moved by the events that take place in the flash-sideways, where, one by one, each major character is suddenly awakened to memories of the island, often when someone who also had been there touches them. “I got emotional watching that stuff because it felt like the characters were in a Lost reunion show that they didn’t know they were in,” Lindelof said. “It was like The Truman Show. It was like, ‘Oh, Jack, you were actually on this show called Lost where you had all these adventures on an island.’”

Those moments, in which physical contact sparks recollection of a life left behind, got me choked up for a similar reason. I was watching the characters flash back to their island existences, while I also was flashing back to my experience years ago of watching them live on the island for six seasons. But I got choked up for another reason, too: Aren’t we, at this moment, also living a little out of time? In the third month of quarantining, when we can barely recall what it felt like to live normal, unrestrained, mask-free lives, those scenes packed a whole different punch. I imagine that when we’re allowed to hug our friends again, the flood of what pre-pandemic life felt like will come rushing back, the same way island life did for Locke, Kate, Sun, Jin, Sawyer, Juliet, and all of the rest. It hurts to think about that because we’re still not there yet.

“I felt that the thematic intentions of nobody doing it alone — you need them and they need you — a lot of the emotionality of the themes was very poignant in this particular moment, when we’re all separated from each other by a pandemic,” Cuse said.

Looper’s version:

Mashable on Lost:

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TV Guide on Faith on Television

Posted on January 9, 2011 at 9:50 am

Craig Tomashoff’ has a thoughtful article in TV Guide about the portrayal of religion and spirituality on television. It has some surprising examples. The often-outrageous animated series “The Simpsons” was praised for using “Christian faith, religion and questions about God” as recurring themes.Ned_Flanders.jpg

At first glance, it seems odd that a child-choking, beer-swilling glutton who has embodied all seven deadly sins could be considered a shining example of a man of faith. Then again, as the Vatican paper explained, the Simpson family “recites prayers before meals and, in their own way, believes in the life thereafter.” Even Melissa Henson, director of communications for the Parents Television Council, says, “The Simpsons is one of the more balanced treatments of faith-based characters that you’ll see. Flanders seems like a dork, but he’s sincere.”

Most prime-time elevision shows are designed to appeal to the broadest possible audience and producers worry that identifying characters with a particular religious faith will be controversial, offending both those who share that faith and those who do not. The result is a pervasive cynicism on television with regard to faith and people of faith.

A recent TV Guide Magazine poll found that 59 percent of readers believe religion and faith-based characters aren’t being treated fairly on prime time. As one respondent put it, “So often, religious people (read: Christians) are portrayed as crackpot, hypocritical, ultraconservative nutjobs.”

community.jpgThomashoff points to “Community’ as an example of inclusion and “The Middle,” “Lost,” and “The Good Wife” as shows that grapple with questions of faith in a sincere and respectful way. “Hellcats” has a Christian character whose faith leads her to decide not to have sex with her boyfriend. And Will Scheffer of the polygamous HBO drama “Big Love” says, “Faith is our main theme. All our characters will be struggling and questioning, but in a way that won’t be off-putting to viewers, whether they be atheists or true believers.” Stories — whether drama or comedy — are about conflict. When television writers and producers portray the struggles of their characters to find meaning and direction, questions of religion and spirituality provide an authenticity and connection to viewers.

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Television

‘Lost’ and Found!

Posted on May 23, 2010 at 1:03 pm

The concluding chapter of “Lost” has prompted all kinds of speculation. On September 22, 2004, the show premiered with a plane crash on a mysterious tropical island and it has been an endless source of intrigue and speculation ever since. Some of the best of the salutes and round-ups include Entertainment Weekly’s list of the best and worst moments and most burning questions that the finale should answer and much speculation about what the last episode can and should include. The Washington Post’s resident Lost-ie, Jen Chaney has written about some of the responses to the show including the Field School’s high school class on “Lost,” its philosophy, and its references and the “recap” rock group called Recently on Lost.

If you watch tonight’s extravaganza, let me know what you think!

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‘Lost’ Travels Through Time

Posted on January 21, 2009 at 8:00 am

Jen Chaney reports in the Washington Post that “Lost” gets even more mysterious with its season premiere as the island itself begins to travel through time.
After four seasons that contained flashbacks, flash-forwards and electromagnetic forces that sent some characters into a chronological tailspin, the crafty writers of the ABC drama about plane crash survivors on a mysterious island take things to a whole new level during the fifth season. In the season premiere, which airs Wednesday, the island itself moves in time. Repeatedly. Several characters become “unstuck” in time. And “Lost” proves that it stands — to borrow a phrase from James Franco in “The Pineapple Express” — at “the apex of the vortex” of TV time travel.
Chaney remembers some other television series that experimented with time travel, including “Dr. Who,” “The Simpsons,” and “Quantum Leap.”
Entertainment Weekly has a guide to Season Five of “Lost” from Doc Jensen for those who can use a refresher. Chadwick Matlin of Slate has another guide for the lost with advice on how to find out everything you need in each episode’s opening moments.
Instead of searching for recaps online or trying to pull an 82-episode marathon, just watch the first few minutes of each premiere–the introductory scene through the first commercial–and you’ll learn everything you need to know.
Matlin knows what he’s talking about — his bio says he taught a course on “Lost.” And he says that season one was about survival, season two was about the hatch, season three may be about the Others, season four may be about the island’s advantages, and season five? Matlin says the clues will all be in the first part of this week’s episode.
What do you think about this development for “Lost?” Deepening the mystery or jumping the shark?

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Television

J.J. Abrams: “Sometimes Mystery is More Important than Knowledge”

Posted on January 11, 2008 at 12:00 pm

At Ted Talks, J.J. Abrams spoke about his lifelong love of mystery because of its “infinite possibility and a sense of potential” and how that passion influences his creation of stories like Lost and the upcoming movie “Cloverfield.”

And here is the first trailer for “Cloverfield, ” a sublime example of a Mystery Box:

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