It’s been nearly ten years since Lost’s pilot episode aired on September 22, 2004 and wowed audiences with its amazing production values and twisted plot lines. While the show has been off the air for a while, it is still in many people’s minds and I thought it would be a cool thing to review the entire series starting with season 1. The fascinating thing about this show is that while the plane crash storyline has been used a lot before, Lost showcased an original set up to a familiar premise and bled fresh with interesting storylines and crazy surprises. The storyline is simple: A plane crashes on a remote island somewhere in the South Pacific and the survivors are forced to work together in order to survive but come to realize through a series of events that the island they are stranded on is no ordinary island.
One of the great things about this show is the character development and you can argue it has some of the best character development ever seen in any media format. Season 1 sets the stage for all the development we see later on. While some characters have more development than others (characters Jack and Kate have much more development than single father Michael and millionaire Hurley) the overall development is still very much exciting to see unfold. The sci-fi element in the show is the before mentioned original set up I hinted to earlier as you could have just done another Lord of the Flies style set up and while this show obviously has that as an influence, the additional sci-fi elements give this show more to work with. One of the things this show does brilliantly (even though it is a bit formulaic) is with each episode, it focuses on a certain character through “flashbacks”, which are stories told of a certain character before the plane they were on crashed on the island. One of the best episodes is “Walkabout” which is centered on the character John Locke. When you see what happens to him and how he was like before the island, you begin to understand his development over the course of the season as he is the one character with the “best” relationship with the island. He isn’t the villain but he is definitely seen as that from the rest of the castaways. He can be considered the most misunderstood character of the first season.
Another element this show has is the mysteries surrounding the island itself which are left fairly open to interpretation this season (as you would expect with a series that lasts six seasons). We are seen glimpses of so-called monsters and we even get to see a polar bear get shot by character Sawyer. Yeah, that’s right, A FREAKING POLAR BEAR! You are left to wonder what kind of secrets this island has and you can’t help but wonder what will happen next. It keeps you on the edge of your seat. The acting is especially well done with brilliant performances from all performers including Harold Perrineau as Michael Dawson and Terry O’Quinn as John Locke. We are also introduced to two characters who do not speak English, Jin and Sun Kwon from South Korea played by Yunjin Kim and Daniel Dae Kim. It’s an interesting and smart move from the creators to create a truly international feel to this show as their scenes are in Korean (of course) with subtitles. The communication barrier creates tension for them as they feel alienated because of the language barrier. Their storyline in the first season does feel a bit stereotypical but it is executed well.
The comedy in this show is quite grounded but hilarious with characters Sawyer, Charlie and Hurley bringing in much needed comic relief from all that dangers surrounding them. Sawyer’s exclusive trait is that he gives each character a nickname, most famously “freckles” that he gives to Kate. He is absolutely hilarious but troubled as well. The music created by Michael Giacchino is one of the best ever in television. His use of string instruments adds immensely to each scene and he is especially strong during scenes of peril and demise. I dare you to not get goose bumps when you hear those really high notes from the strings as something shocking is about to happen. He is by far one of the best things about this show and you just can’t envision this show without Giacchino’s genius music.
While the season isn’t perfect, with a few episodes being somewhat silly, like Sawyer chasing down a boar because it stole his tarp (yeah, that’s a storyline in the first season), the overall enchantment this season had when it aired caused fans to speculate what was on the island. Theories started to pop up all over the internet with their own theories as to what was going on on the island. There aren’t a lot of shows that garner such fan reaction and this is one that will stand the test of time. The first season of Lost not only introduces us to the main characters but introduces us to the mystery that surrounds them and the dramas we see unfold. I strongly urge you to watch the first season of Lost as it is one of the best to ever grace the screen. Some Lost fans would say it’s the best season of the entire series. Of course, everyone has an opinion. Anyway, this is how you introduce a TV series!
Best Moment of the Season: John and Jack’s first conversation about “destiny” in the episode Exodus. This conversation sets up their Man of Science, Man of Faith debates that, while they were hinted at earlier, isn’t realized until that very conversation.
Jack: “I don’t believe in destiny.”
Locke: “Yes you do. You just don’t know it yet.”