Should I watch Lost?

I love JJ Abrams, but I also hate him. I was really frustrated with how he finished “Alias”, and vowed not to invest my time in his shows until they were done to see if people were generally happy with the conclusion. So I’m creating this poll.

If you have something to add regarding the series as a whole, please include spoiler boxes. I have a general knowledge of what the show is about (let’s call it Season1-level info), so you don’t need to spoiler every single thing (otherwise I won’t/can’t read it).

I never really watched it much, because every single time I tuned in for even a minute, there was somebody being evil/mean to someone else in a seemingly pointless fashion. Every.single.time. I just completely fail to see the appeal.


If you can be happy with a mystery novel that never reveals whodunit or why, and also fails as a decent character study, yes. Lots of the individual episodes are wonderful, but the whole is never more than the sum of it’s parts (and is almost always less)

For me, the allure of the show was having getting answers to the mythological/fantastical parts about the universe the writers constructed. Knowing that I won’t get those answers now, I wouldn’t bother - I don’t much care for prime-time soaps.

I think the flaws of the series will be minimized by watching it on DVD. A lot of the beefs of the series come from waiting a week or months for a new episode.

“Yeah - there are still a lot of unanswered questions, but it’s worthwhile.”

Without spoiling – Some questions are answered; some are not. Some of the answers are satisfying; some are not.

I think if you know that going in, you’ll be much less likely to be disappointed than some Dopers were. And you’ll see some pretty fantastic hours of television, and get to know some interesting, and in some cases, fascinating characters. I happen to disagree that it fails as a character study. This was its main strength.

Watch it. Enjoy the ride.

Yeah BUT…

Don’t buy the series boxed set. You may get a season or two into it and not want to finish. That happened with a lot of people trying to watch it in real time.

You’ll be much happier watching it without commercials and without breaks (that’s how I actually first got into it - watching seasons 1&2 on DVD).

But you will miss a big part of what made Lost different - the glut of day-after Internet and IRL discussions, as well as the games and weird clues that the producers threw at us early on in the run. Turns out those mean diddly-squat now, but they did provide for a whole new level of TV watching than what the world had been used to before.

Losing out on that stuff won’t make you lose out on any of the story, but you might end up saying to yourself “I don’t get what all the fuss is about.” It’s still a great story and a fun ride but some of the excitement did come from “being there” as it were.

I watched the first five seasons in about three weeks on DVD, then caught the last season in real time. I don’t regret getting into it, though a friend had to pester me endlessly for me to watch it, but, at the same time, I’m glad it’s over. To me, I liked the characters more than the mysteries, and also thought it was better in the beginning, before the focus shifted from things that could maybe be explained in a sci-fi manner to outright fantasy, but it still held my interest until the end.

Give it a shot.

I watched the whole thing in a 6-9 month time frame. Watching it back-to-back the way I did highlighted many of the problems of the series, it didn’t cover them.

There were some very good episodes of television mixed with some very bad episodes of television, an utter failure of a story arc, and some mixed character studies.

If it’s a choice between Lost & My Mother the Car, watch Lost. But Lost and Law & Order reruns (which also ends a run tonight), I’d pick L&O.

I pretty much agree with the above. I am ambivalent about the ending and not entirely satisfied, but I think the ride is worth it in the long run for the various high points.

I’m going to half agree with you, half with Fenris. Some of the characters as created were excellent. Michael Emerson’s character in particular is fascinating to watch and though a great deal of the credit must go to the actor himself, some must go to the writing.

However IMHO only one character development arc really panned out for me across the board and the entire run of the show. Others were haltingly good and some were stuck in loops for much of the run.

I have been reading and listening to various people commenting about the show and the finale. The TV “expert” on the Ronn Owens radio show today was talking about how the best thing about “Lost” was not really the mysteries and puzzles but that it was a very character-driven show. People got into it because they got so involved in the characters, got to care about them.

I watched the entire first season of “Lost” and the first couple of episodes of the second season.

I agree that having characters you care about is crucially important, but I find the comments above by the expert to be rather ironic in my case because, the precise reason that I stopped watching “Lost” was that, after watching faithfully for an entire season, I still just could not care one whit for any of the characters. They were either one-dimensional cliches (Jack, the good doctor), thoroughly reprehensible (whatshisname, the long-haired slimy dude), or just boring (the asian couple).

Most of all, though, every single character without exception was dumb, dumb, dumb, and dumb. They all did the stupidest things in the stupidest ways for the stupidest reasons. In real life, a crisis like a plane crash tends to bring out the best in people. In “Lost”, it brought out the worst and the stupidest.

My opinion is watch the first couple seasons. They are worth while. The rest of the show is just episodes to drag addicts around. Hope you don’t get addicted.


Not perfect, but a very good show.

No, I would definitely recommed against it. I could tell from probably mid-season 2 that it was going to be dissapointing, that they were just keeping us on an endless mystery treadmill with no satisfying resolution in sight. I should’ve stopped watching it then - I did downgrade it to half-watch status. I have 2 computer monitors so I watch some shows I’m only half interested on one while doing stuff like reading the SDMB on the other.

But in retrospect I wish I’d have stopped watching when I realized it was just going to end up being mysterious stuff just for the sake of mysterious stuff, always one-upping itself to keep the viewers interested until things got so random and weird that it just couldn’t hold together anymore. That’s more or less what happened, except they had a planned end date 3 years before the end. But you’d think that would’ve helped - that they’d get a clear idea of where they were going and work towards a satisfying ending… but they didn’t.

I mean - imagine you (someone who’s seen the whole show) experiencing the show again by watching it with someone who never saw it. The new person might constantly ask you stuff like "Wow, [whatever mysterious thing cropped up that episode] was amazing… it must be really interesting to find out how that turns out. And you’d have to constantly give answers like “uh… well they never really explain” or “yeah that turns out to be unimportant” or “yeah that doesn’t end up making any sense”. There’d be so few, if any, moments where you’d say to the person “oh, you’re in for a treat when you see the meaning behind that one!”

I’ve never bought the “it’s about the characters!” BS that people use to defend the show. Especially since they usually come off as smarmy and elitist about it (not the post in this thread, but in general there’s been an attitude persistant through the threads on the series). They think that they’re somehow on a higher level of artistic interpretation that they don’t worry that the actual story and plot don’t make sense, that us simpletons who care about the plot aren’t as cool as people who care about the characters and that we’re wrong to expect anything to be consistent or make sense. But the funny thing is - it may be even stupider as a character show.

The characters constantly change their motivations to service whatever nonsensical stuff was required by the plot that week. The characters are almost uniformly stupid and their motives often nonsensical. The romantic relationships were for the most part lacking in substance or chemistry or anything interesting. Few of the characters grow meaningfully during the series, and some even regress. Even if you somehow hold the attitude that the plot is unimportant because the show is about the characters, it still doesn’t make sense because there’s very little interesting about the characters.

Now during the first season, it certainly gives the appearance of having interesting characters - you find out interesting stuff about their background, it seems like there’s some greater purpose about their presence on the island, at this stage it seems more plausible that they’re basically in shock and dumbfounded (and hence willing to be strung along without understanding anything), but they don’t get any better in that regard. They get much worse - they start to have access to more information yet don’t share or inquire further or seem to care. Their first round of flashbacks hint at something really interesting, but their second and third rounds of flashbacks range from mildly interesting to tedious. Even with TV being a vast wasteland, there are far more interesting shows to watch if you want a character-centric piece.

The first season is really good - it gives the impression that the writers know what’s going on, it’s presented in a really slick way, and it gives you the impression that this is going to build into something great. It doesn’t. It basically coasts for 5 years on the way the first season hooked everyone, and manipulates you just enough that you think if you stick around you’ll figure out what it’s all about. You don’t.

I think JJ was more heavily involved in the pilot than later in the series. Certainly, Damon and Carlton are the figureheads in terms of showrunning. I don’t really consider this as counting as a real JJ Abrams show.

The ending is emotionally satisfying. There’s a key part of the finale that many people didn’t like because it puts a spin on season six that many were disappointed at, but that doesn’t ruin the finale itself, just that particular plotline in season six if you don’t like what they did with it at the end. The main plotline is great though, is a good story and serves the characters. OTOH, if you are watching the show just for the mysteries and mythology, you will probably be disappointed. We get a pretty good sense of things, and fun peeks at certain things, but many things are never explicitly explained ‘in your face’, though most are given strong hints. And I loved the way each season had a kind of ‘theme’ to it, and the various ways it plays with the flashbacks.

You could do so many better things with those 120 hours. I wish I had. :frowning: :mad:

No, don’t waste your time. Looking back at all the wasted time devoted to dead ends and bunny holes is just frustrating.

Just for clarity, JJ Abrams was the original creator. He brought in either Carlton Cuse or Damon Lindeloff (I forget which) to help co-write the pilot. Shortly thereafter he brought in the other one. By halfway through season 1 Abrams left, leaving the show entirely in the hands of Cuse and Lindeloff for the remaining 5.5 seasons.

I agree with everything SenorBeef wrote.

I really disagree with the few posts above me. 120 hours is a big investment to recommend for anything, but I don’t regret a second of the show. It was consistently well written, well acted, and is definitely one of the best four or five shows I’ve seen.

The way it ended was great–it left me completely satisfied…one of the best endings to a series I can recall. Highly recommended.

First couple seasons were decent television. It went downhill really fast.

Some people say the show was mostly about the characters. The biggest beef I have with the show is that the characters are idiots and never talk with each other about anything important to the now. If you watch, be prepared to yell at the television for the characters to stop shouting at each other and instead have conversations where they share information. Way too many times you will see a situation where a whole scene could be resolved if only one character would tell the other what s/he was thinking or just saw. It killed the show for me.