I’ve been an avid Lost watcher since the first plane crash (I think I’ve counted at least 4 so far). I’ve stayed tuned in through the ups and downs. The frustrating finales, the endless third season full of questions which we all knew deep down that they had no intention of ever answering. A few months ago though, midway through season 5 I made a decision: Enough. I finally jumped ship. I still remember the Lost moment which did it. Sun receives a phone call, and rather than just tell us who’s on the other end Lost plays it’s trademark “whaaa?” music and flashes to something else, deliberately obscuring the identity of the person on the other end, and leaving us wondering for nearly sixty minutes just who the heck it is. When that question was finally answered, it turned out not be a question worth answering. The person on the other end was the Lost equivalent of Sun’s drycleaner. There was no mystery, Lost had, as it so often does, simply created drama and tension around nothing. Lost had once again jerked me around and I finally said forget it.
But nobody ever really leaves the island. A couple of weeks ago the season ended and the verdict from my friends was that the finale, which I’d boycotted since I’d missed all of the last half of the season and was now out of the loop, was fantastic. Still I resisted, until this weekend, when Lost sucked me back in.
This weekend I watched Lost the way it’s always been meant to be watched. All at once, in heavy doses, as if there were a cable protruding from my brain and pouring polar bear filled episodes directly into my cerebral cortex. In one day I knocked out ten episodes, back to back to back. It’s the way Lost must be watched. Suddenly all the annoying mystery phone calls to Sun’s drycleaner no longer mattered. Those silly attempts to create mystery out of nothing become mere footnotes when you’re watching it all at once, with one episode flowing into the next and connecting right into one another. They try to duplicate the effect of watching the entire series as one long endeavor, with those little “previously on Lost” montages before each episode… but it just doesn’t cut it.
So here I am, pleading for a show which probably doesn’t need any pleading. Still if like me you finally checked out on Lost then consider giving it another chance, but watched in the proper format. Or if you’ve remained a steady fan then, if you haven’t already, consider changing the way you watch it as the show rolls into it’s sixth season. I know I will. We all have Tivo. There’s no reason we must tune in on a nightly basis. Sure it’s hard to hold back knowing there’s new Lost out there to be had, but trust me on this. Do yourself a favor when the sixth season of Lost gets started. Record it. Don’t watch it. Wait until you have an entire season there blinking at you on your Tivo and then dive in all at once. It’s the way Lost is meant to be watched and it’s the only way to truly enjoy it.