10 years ago, ABC premiered one of the most groundbreaking shows in television history. All week, we have been celebrating the memory and legacy of LOST. Today marks the last day of our LOST week celebration. We concluded the week with a roundtable discussion of the legendary series, the second installment of our new weekly feature, The Set.
Tyson: I remember watching LOST when it premiered, I really didn’t know anything about it. I had seen big billboards around town, and I thought it looked intriguing, but I had no idea what it was. What kind of introductions did you guys have to the show?
Tom: For me, my introduction to the show was it’s biggest selling point. I actually had no interest or thought about the show through the first 3 seasons. Then I happened to randomly tune in the night The Constant aired. It ended up being the most memorable moment in TV history for me. The story was just so beautifully put together, the relationship between Desmond and Penny — two characters I had never heard of or seen to that point – was so well written and acted, I couldn’t help myself. Throw in the sci-fi elements (which I had no clue on really, to that point), and I was hooked. I immediately went back to catch up on everything that had occurred prior.
Will: Like Tom, I had no interest in Lost until my parent’s decided to randomly watch a second season episode. I watched it with them, and I was hooked. Soon after, I rented the first season from Blockbuster (no Netflix then lol) and got caught up.
Tyson: Lets start with Season 1. Personally, I remember my mouth hanging agap after the reval that Locke had been in a wheelchair at the end of Walkabout. I had already liked the series, but that was my first mind blowing experience with the series. There would be many more.
Will: Yup, that was an amazing moment.
Tom: Since I started out a few seasons behind, I sort of marathoned the first 3+ seasons to catch up with season 4. So my experience with the season was a little different. I feel like if I had been following the show from the start, Walkabout would have been the first episode that really sold the show to me. Like, the pilot had some amazing moments, but the moments weren’t gasp-worthy. Tabula Rasa didn’t do much for me, and while I liked White Rabbit, it didn’t really stun me. That moment at the end of Walkabout was the first real twist that showed Lost had something good going on.
Will: Same, Walkabout’s ending was the first OH CRAP! moment for me.
Tyson: I remember watching the season 1 finale with some friends and family, and I remember getting together with them again for season 2’s premiere. We had placed bets about what was in the hatch. It turned out to be one of the best characters on the show, and some retro 1970s furnishings and technology. Do you guys remember thinking about the hatch?
Will: Yup, I was wondering what was in that damn hatch. The Wizard of OZ? Candy? so many possibilities.
Tom: Again, it was sort of a double edged sword plowing through the early seasons in marathon form. I didn’t have 5-6 months to wait to find out what was in the hatch, I had a few mins between episodes. That said, the hatch proved to be an interesting driving point for season 2. It wasn’t the mystery of the numbers that really ended up intriguing me, but the sheer number of impact scenes.
Will: Thank God I only had to marathon season 1 to catch up.
Tom: Just think for a moment how many huge scenes happened while in the hatch during season 2. And how many great character interactions.
Tyson: Lets talk about the technology in the hatch, I really loved the whole 70s vibe.
Will: Yeah the retro vibe was great.
Tyson: Record players, film strips, it was entirely new (or old) and really interesting. As if our culture ended in the 70s and it was all discovered again now.
Will: Yup, they clearly loved the seventies.
Tom: The 70s aspect proved to be important later on, of course, especially during the events of season 5. It also brought about the mystery of the various DHARMA stations.
Tyson: Yeah, and the pearl station had pneumatic tubes. I LOVED those things as a kid, even now, they feel like magic.
Will: Lost was very good introducing new concepts to keep things mysterious and intriguing.
Tom: It had a few occasions where it got lost in its own mythology a bit. Some of the stations in season 3 became a bit convoluted or dead ends.
Tom: But at the time, as fans were first experiencing them, I imagine there was a lot more intrigue about just what they were doing, where they were headed, etc. Of course looking back after watching the show it’s easier to say that. At the time though no one knew what mysteries would be answered, etc.
Tyson: Yeah, it was super exciting. I felt like a kid waiting to find the toy at the bottom of the cereal box, even if the toy was disappointing, I was still excited to get it.
Will: In the end I’m not convinced they really had a plan but watching it you didn’t know that.
Tom: I think they had a plan, but the question is when the final plan was formulated.
Tyson: For me, it was all about the journey, and I don’t think any show ever provided a more compelling one.
Tom: Yes, exactly. The show was about the characters and their journey. From before the island, to the island, to post island, to beyond even life itself.
Tyson: Season 2 introduced the biggest liar on television, Ben Linus, who was first revealed as Henry Gale. He was originally only meant to have a couple episodes on the show. He is just 1 of the many characters on the show that were drastically changed based on the actors. Desmond was also originally going to be a bit player, Sawyer was originally a New York con artist, Charlie was supposed to be middle aged, and Jack was supposed to die in the Pilot (instead of the pilot).
Will: Ben turned out to be one of the best characters on the show, and it also introduced us to a fantastic actor.
Tom: I wouldn’t have minded Jack dying in the pilot. He could have taken Kate with him. (Laughs)
Will: LEAVE KATE ALONE
Tom: I’d have been fine with watching Sawyer, Desmond, Locke, and Ben run around the whole time. Also, Lepidus. Kate was frustrating beyond belief, esp. her backstory. She had the weakest centric episodes in the series, almost every season.
Tyson: Yeah, I wasn’t a fan of Kate episodes, we would groan when we found out that week’s episode was Kate centric.
Tom: I wanted to like Kate, don’t get me wrong. She was the female lead, but her episodes were so poorly done, and as a character she was INFURIATING. The love triangle w/Jack and Sawyer was painful primarily because of her wishy washy nature.
Tyson: When LOST week was approaching, I went back and watched a bunch of episodes. I have been watching Michael Emerson on Person of Interest, so it was weird to see him as Ben again
Tom: Emerson was brilliant as Ben, absolutely brilliant. The character arc for where he began to where he went was exquisite.
Tyson: did you know that Jorge Garcia (Hurley) originally auditioned for the part of Sawyer? They eventually wrote him his own character. Others who auditioned for Sawyer included Dominic Monaghan (Charlie) and Matthew Fox (Jack). Fox’s audition for Sawyer was a much darker take on the character, more intense, no southern charm.
Tom: Yep! ‘m glad they made Hurley his own character. At first I didn’t like him, in the early seasons he was mostly comic relief, but then in the later seasons, he became essential to the plot. Jorge Garcia did great.
Will: Poor Hurley couldn’t be Sawyer though.
Tom: I think they ultimately got the right man for Sawyer.
Tyson: The series production was surprisingly transparent, the writers and actors have opened up about a lot of things.
Tom: Most of the casting was spot on. There were a few iffy points, but overall they did great with the cast.
Tyson: Yunjin Kim (Sun) was originally auditioning for Kate, and Michael was supposed to be part of a love triangle with Jin and Sun.
Tom: Thank god they abandoned that.
Will: ugh yeah
Tom: Though I’ll be honest, Jack and Juliet would have been better. I just didn’t think Kate fit w/either of them. Sawyer and Juliet was by far the best overall pairing.
Will: I think the Kate-Jack-Sawyer love triangle was dumb.
Tom: Until Lafleur I never would have thought Juliet and Sawyer would connect, but once they did it was perfect.
Will: Yup best Lost couple, in my opinion, Sawyer and Juliet
Tom: That had to have been a happy accident. If not, whomever was responsible and saw that pairing was genius.
Tyson: I once saw an interview with Daniel Dae Kim (Jin) where he mentioned that his first on screen kiss was with Sun on LOST, because asian men aren’t usually treated like sexual beings on television.
Tom: Jin and Sun were good as a couple, not so much when apart.
Will: Well Jin and Sun’s whole arc was about them as a couple and their relationship.
Tom: Sun was difficult for me to like, overall. Jin was more intriguing as a character, but he didn’t get enough time by himself to shine. Still not sure I agree with Jin’s decision in the end to stay w/her in the sub.
Tyson: We will get to that later Tom. (Laughs)