Arts & Life

Navigating Netflix: Lost

Describing Lost as a phenomenon might be an understatement. During its run from 2004 to 2010, this amped up version of Gilligan’s Island was a ratings juggernaut that garnered numerous awards and drove fans crazy with its incessant red herrings.

And I didn’t watch a minute of it during its TV run.

Developed in part by the dynamic duo of J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof, Lost was the story of the passengers on Oceanic Airlines Flight 815. Their plan crashes on a deserted tropical island. Approximately 70 survivors spend the next few seasons of the show learning that this island isn’t all that deserted and is filled with a plethora mysteries, synchronicities and impossible coincidences that drag the viewer around by the nose. And the series certainly was not afraid to put its characters and its viewers through the ringer.

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This is not a show you jump in and out of. After the hype machine got rolling during the first season, I figured out pretty quickly that diving in part way would leave me confused and dizzy. This show is highly serialized. If you miss two or three episodes, you are, quite literally, lost. Imagine what would happen if you missed an entire season…

Lost never failed to engage and infuriate fans. It was an endless web of plot twists and dead ends that never fully unravelled. There are times you’re watching and feel like they’re using the spaghetti method of plot development; throw everything against the wall and see what sticks. But in the end, it just works.

The last season, and the series finale in particular, continues to be a source of much consternation for fans and critics alike. Some hated it, many loved and most thoroughly misunderstood it. Resisting the urge to break it down for you is difficult but that would ruin the entire last season if you haven’t seen it, yet. Just watch it and formulate your own opinion.

While there are more than a few stand out episodes, it’s hard to remotely suggest that anyone watches this show out of order. The best way to do it is to start from episode one and work your way through it. After doing that myself years after the show ended, I cannot possibly imagine having to wait between seasons for new episodes.

Polar bears. Monsters. Mysterious companies and savage attackers. This place had it all. For an island that was supposed to be uninhabited, it was one happening destination.

Ian Goodwillie is a columnist for the Spectator Tribune. Follow him on Twitter at @ThePrairieGeek and on Tumblr at