Michelle’s Top 5 Shows: #1 – LOST

Lost

It’s been fun reliving some great television with this list and reading the choices made by all the other writers, a couple of whom have already talked about my number one favorite show, LOST.

What it’s about

Oceanic Flight 815 crashes onto a seemingly deserted island and the castaways must find a way to survive and find a way off the island. They soon learn the island is far from deserted and is much more than it seems.

Why I loved it

From the opening shot of Jack opening his eye in the pilot to the closing shot of him shutting that eye in the finale, Lost was a twisting, mind-bending adventure that changed the rules and the narrative often enough to always keep me a little off-balance. Mysteries unfolded, creating new ones in the process, and I speculated endlessly in real life and online–hitting refresh over and over as I waited for new spoilers or Doc Jensen’s latest column. I searched for the Easter eggs and read books I hadn’t thought about since college because they were deemed important enough to make it into the complicated and rich Lost mythology.

The writing is incredible and beautifully layered. Lost used flashbacks, flash-forwards, and flash-sideways to tell its story and develop the characters. It had more levels of storytelling than most shows can only dream of and the writers were meticulous with every detail while never taking themselves too seriously.

Lost is one of the most gorgeously shot shows ever. The producers made full use of their Hawaiian sets: the Island was both lush and peaceful and dark and broodingly dangerous. Not only was Lost written differently than other shows, it looked vastly different, too and was tailor-made for high definition.

As with my other favorite shows, I loved all the complex, flawed, fantastically fleshed-out characters (well, not Nikki and Paulo), and rooted for them to find their paths. I waffled between Jack’s man of science stance and Locke’s man of faith one, and cheered for both Sun and Jin and Desmond and Penny. I cried for so many because no one was safe on Lost and I marveled at Ben and Juliet, two of my favorite characters ever.

Why You should watch it

What, you need more? Okay: the frozen donkey wheel, the four-toed statue, Smokey, the polar bear, Jacob and the Man in Black, “Not Penny’s boat,” the numbers, Eko’s stick, the whispers, the Dharma Initiative, Vincent, Sawyer’s nicknames, “We can go Dutch,” Jacob`s cabin, “Guys, where are we?” Plus, on how many shows does a woman shoot and kill her son before he is even born?

On a deeper level, Lost never shied away from big themes: science vs. faith, redemption, good vs. evil (and determining which is which), fate vs. free will. While Lost was entertaining on a surface level, it also made me think and I was always fully engaged and there just aren’t many shows like that.

In the end, Lost was fun, plain and simple. I was always surprised when an episode was over because they seemed to fly by and they always left me wanting more. I still do.

Top 5 Episodes

5. “Through the Looking Glass” (Season 3) — It’s the Losties versus the Others as they battle to get to a ship. Charlie discovers the hero within himself while off-island Jack’s life unravels. Tragedy is all but eclipsed by a shocking ending.
4. “Walkabaout” (Season 1)–John Locke’s first flashback episode. Incredibly moving and with one of my favorite shocking moments.
3. “Because You Left” (Season 5)–The on-island Losties are jumping through time while Ben is working to get the off-island Losties together.
2. “The Constant” (Season 4)–The most romantic episode and one that put time travel front and center.
1. “The Man Behind the Curtain” (Season 3) — We learn Ben’s backstory while Locke forces Ben to take him to Jacob.

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