CORPORATE LINE: Created by successful television producer J.J. Abrams (FELICITY, ALIAS), LOST became one of the most popular and critically acclaimed programs of the 2004-2005 season. Utilizing a ripe premise and well-drawn and acted characters, LOST attracted a huge following and was proclaimed the saving grace of a television year otherwise marred by derivative reality programming. The story concerns the survivors of a terrible plane crash, who find themselves stranded on a tropical island with seemingly little chance of a rescue. Medical doctor Jack takes a position of leadership, helping to rally the survivors and prepare them for a period of difficulty as they learn how to survive on the paradisiacal island. But everything is not as it seems, as the island offers potential danger in the form of a large, mysterious creature, and evidence is found that the plane crash may not have been an accident. As they struggle to survive, each of the characters forms alliances and makes enemies, all while dealing with the unresolved issues of the lives they’ve left behind. LOST distills the difficulties of society down to their essence, exploring these problems with compelling characters and with a setting that’s equal parts paradise and mystery.
THE SHOW: Lost had one of the best debuts ever in television. It’s hard to think of a show that came out of nowhere and became such an unmitigated hit. We can’t proclaim Lost great just yet, but if the second season is half as good as the first we might start discussing the show in those terms.
The best things about Lost were its cast and narrative. It wasn’t about the scary monsters. Lost’s attraction is its ability to tell a story and make us invest in each character. The show’s brilliance is the nuances that were missed in the early episodes; The wheelchair, Kate rubbing her wrists, and so on. We couldn’t possibly know why this was happening but they left no stone unturned.
This cast, were it a film, would have numerous actors/actresses up for Oscars—particularly Terry O’Quinn’s Locke. O’Quinn is no longer the supporting actor who bounces from show to show and falls into the background. He has made Locke a cult icon. But that is only one character. Imagine the show with no Sayid, Hurley, Kate, Charlie, or Sawyer. So many shows have characters that can come and go around the leads but Lost isn’t one of them.
One thing that isn’t easy is picking an episode to discuss. Lost is more like a film than a television show. I watched it on a Sunday afternoon from beginning to end. Lost can be seen and discuss by episode but the best thing about the box set is you don’t have to watch it that way. You can enjoy twenty plus hours of great entertainment.
There are four commentary tracks. The first is by executive producers J.J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof, and Bryan Burk on the pilot. It’s occasionally interesting.
The second commentary track includes executive producer Jack Bender, co-executive producer David Fury, and actor Terry O’Quinn on Walkabout. The third commentary includes producers Damon Lindelof and Bryan Burk and actor Dominic Monaghan on The Moth. The final commentary includes executive producer Carlton Cuse, supervising producer Javier Grillo-Marxuach, and actors Maggie Grace and Ian Sommerhalder on Hearts and Minds.
“The Genesis of Lost” is a featurette with the producers discussing the genesis of the show.
“Designing a Disaster” covers the setting up of the crash.
“Before They Were Lost” is full of personal stories and audition tapes with a discussion on how the cast was chosen.
“Welcome to Oahu: The Making of the Pilot” is a look at the production and the problems they had.
“The Art of Matthew Fox” is little more than Matthew Fox promo piece.
“[email protected]” gets early fan reaction to the show.
“Lost: On Location” is exactly what the title says.
“On Set with Jimmy Kimmel” finds Kimmel on the set. It’s good for a laugh.
“Backstage with Driveshaft” goes into the history of Driveshaft.
“The Lost Flashbacks” covers Claire and Sayid at the Airport.
There are 13 deleted scenes and bloopers from the set
Finally there is a Salute to Lost at the Museum of Television and Radio’s 22nd Annual Paley Festival.
A brilliant amount of extras. Bravo to Buena Vista!
FRANKLY: Rarely does a show have both critical success and become a hit. Lost is like nothing that came before it. Only two shows could even be discussed in the same vein; The X-Files and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Whether Lost can continue to impress and grow the way The X-files or Buffy did remains to be seen.
+ Charlie Craine