Do you remember TV before the age of DVRs, streaming and binge-watching? That’s when I fell in love with Lost the first time.
I’m talking about the dark days when we had to wait a week or more before each treasured TV episode. During each episode, we also had to suffer through interminable commercial breaks that interrupted and yanked us out of the story.
In spite of all that, we were sucked in, fell in love and had our hearts broken right along with TV characters we loved. We waited patiently for that next fix, err, installment, because there was no other option.
That’s how watching Lost was for me the first time around. Lost made me think, broke my heart, filled my head with visions of a Hawaiian island paradise and got me through many cold Ohio winters.
The six seasons of Lost aired between 2004 and 2010. That’s a lot of time real estate! In 2004 when the show began, E and I weren’t even married yet; by Lost’s epic finale in 2010, I was a new mom.
No wonder the show meant so much to me. It meant a lot to many of us, I’m sure – after all, it’s consistently ranked one of the greatest television series of all time.
Now that I’m rewatching Lost with my 11 year old, I have a whole new appreciation for the characters, crazy mysteries, fantastic mythology and overall excellence of the show. I love seeing the show elements that fascinate and catch Z’s interest, and how they differ or are similar to the things that first caught my eye all those years ago.
In Z’s fifth grade reading class, they are studying the concept of analyzing a text for main ideas and supporting details, so we often talk about what the main ideas and supporting details were for a particular episode.
I definitely didn’t put this much thought or analysis into my Lost-watching the first time around; then, it was just sheer escapism and entertainment.
Now, because I’m watching with the kiddo, I feel compelled to tease out lessons and learnings – and it definitely adds to my enjoyment of the viewing experience. Here are some of our observations – many from Z, some from me.
- The characters were all lost long before they ended up on the island. Each of the characters has both good and bad qualities and made both good and bad choices in their lives. But none of the characters really have much to go back home for – most have had serious problems with their families and loved ones, with many broken families and relationships in their past.
- Even new relationships made on the island don’t seem to stick. Z and I both “shipped” Kate and Sawyer hard, but despite their obvious chemistry, they just can’t seem to make it work and have a real relationship. Many other characters, like Sayid and Claire, lose their loves in heartbreaking ways. Maybe Lost is teaching us that we’re meant to be resilient, and to get up and keep going even when we fall down or lose someone we love?
- Miracles can happen. From John being able to walk again the moment he landed on the island, to Rose’s cancer going into remission – miracles abound on the island. Sometimes even the smallest things can feel like a miracle, like when Charlie finds a real jar of peanut butter to give to Claire. It’s a great reminder to look for the little miracles in our own everyday lives.
- Everyone deserves a second chance. Most everyone on the island gets a second chance – another opportunity to do things again and make better choices. From Charlie’s arc from drug addict to noble hero who gives his life for his friends, or Kate’s arc from wanted criminal to valued community leader – these second chance stories are woven throughout each character.
- Fat phobia is real – and it’s not okay. Even though both Z and I love Sawyer’s bad boy character, we both wince and cringe every time he throws another mean nickname at sweet Hurley about his weight. Yes, Hugo is a big guy – and yes, it’s crazy that even on an island in the middle of the Pacific, he manages to maintain his weight on a diet of mostly fish and fresh fruit. Still, making fun of someone cruelly and constantly because of their weight is not funny or cool – it’s bullying and it’s wrong. We both hate that the show creators allowed Sawyer to continue his mistreatment of Hugo with absolutely no negative repercussions. His cruel nicknames for Hurley are not okay – period.
- And one final lesson, which I have to admit came from this great blog post from another Lost fan: Learn to let go. Z and I haven’t gotten to the epic season finale of Lost yet, so I don’t know whether Z will be satisfied or call foul. I do know that throughout the show, the creators have been showing us signs that the characters and all of us need to learn to let go. Sometimes we want to keep holding on, but the right answer is to just… let… go.
Are you a fan of Lost too, and have you watched this or other beloved shows with your kiddos to gain a whole new appreciation? I’d love to hear your Lost or other TV-related stories in the comments below or over on Facebook.
And remember… sometimes, you do have to go back!