Even if you’re almost two decades late to J. J. Abrams’s acclaimed series, Lost, it’s still worth picking it up even now.
Maybe you didn’t watch it before because you were too young, didn’t have cable, or weren’t interested in the subject.
Based on trailers and reputation, it might seem like Lost is just a fictional series about survival but it’s much more than that.
It’s about fate, loss, acceptance, love, and forgiveness.
You will become invested in the characters, binge-watch all six seasons, and reflect on the human condition.
Is Lost Worth Watching? (10 Reasons It Is)
1. Complex Characters
Lost features some of the best character development of all time in a television series.
Though many shows are either plot-driven or character-driven but not both, Lost artfully managed to master a complex plot and intricate characters.
The issues in themselves were interesting, while audiences were simultaneously interested in each character’s backstory and progression throughout the series.
For example, various characters engaged in love affairs on the island, while others became more introspective and sometimes villainous.
It showed how people can react in times of crisis, and how trauma can make people do things that seem out of character.
Audiences became invested in all characters, as they watched the plane crash and its aftermath unfold on the screen.
Such an attachment to these characters contributed to the perfect example of the anti-hero, where an audience’s beloved characters become the “bad guy” and put viewers in the interesting position of choosing whether to root for the moral high road or base their opinions on love and compassion.
Benjamin Linus became the epitome of the anti-hero, where his actions represented pure evil, but he still had a heart full of emotion, which made audiences confront their own internal alliances.
The storyline is complicated, and each episode features serialized events that give context to a character.
As the show progresses, audiences are stunned to learn how the various characters are intertwined, like the ways real people are connected though they might not even know it.
Lost managed to flesh out the complex inner stories of so many characters.
The only other show to rival this artful storytelling is The Wire.
Lost shows how complete strangers can form the deepest bonds of their lives by undergoing mutual trauma and having to rely on each other for safety and support.
2. Reflections On The Human Condition
Every character has their own backstory, which makes each character profile like its own drama within a drama series.
For example, Jack seemed to be starring in a family drama about substance abuse.
Sawyer was trying to find revenge.
Sun and Jin developed a romance.
Hurley was in a comedy.
Sayid was in a crime drama.
Locke was on a spiritual journey of self-discovery.
That is not even half of the cast.
Everyone else has their own stories as well.
Lost was truly the show for everyone because it included so many genres in one.
You could find catharsis any way you wanted—through romance, loss, and triumph.
It was simply never boring.
If you’re worried about the emotional strain of watching a drama series, you might be comforted to know that there are some comedic elements as well.
The character Hurley always comes back with quick-witted remarks and jokes that provide comedic relief even when emotions are running high.
The humor never wanes throughout the show.
Even in the penultimate episode, Hurley is making silly remarks at the height of the drama.
It shows how humor can be used as a device to calm audiences and humble characters.
3. Interesting Twists And Turns
Sometimes the best thing a writer can do is leave it up to the audience.
Though it might be frustrating to have some unanswered questions after the series finale, it also gives the audience some creative liberties to draw their own conclusions.
At six seasons, most with 20+ episodes at 45 minutes each, Lost is sure to captivate you for some time.
It is a true rollercoaster of emotions that will have you feeling all the feels.
It was really like two shows in one: one about broken people dealing with extraordinary circumstances and another about mysteries going back centuries.
In the final season, the show introduced another sci-fi element of “flash sideways” in which whatever happened on the island impacted an alternate reality.
The final season was tasked with answering the many questions that were left open-ended in previous episodes while maintaining the impressive character development foundation that had been already laid.
4. Divisive Finale
Some viewers say that the show went downhill after season four, but to not finish the show would be to miss out on some of the most important character developments, and the fates of the beloved protagonists.
It’s not one of those shows where you can just watch a few random episodes and hope to understand the show’s full effect.
Viewers need to truly invest themselves in each episode, and they will undoubtedly become entrenched in the lives of the characters.
While the series starts as a drama, it delves into the world of mystery and science fiction in later seasons.
Even viewers who aren’t typically interested in sci-fi are sure to love the show from beginning to end since even the sci-fi elements add important context to each character’s background.
Even if you were already told the ending, it is still worth watching because of the roller coaster ride you will be on throughout all six seasons.
In Lost, it’s about the journey, not the destination.
If you decide you don’t like the finale, that doesn’t change the experience you had and the bonds you formed with the characters in one of the best shows of all time.
For some people, especially those interested in alternate realities, the finale was a fascinating conclusion to a show about tragedy.
Others were less impressed, especially those who were more interested in the character-driven narratives they were promised in season one.
5. Love And Romance
Lost isn’t just about the drama or the sci-fi.
Like a lot of the best television shows of all time, it also includes some romance.
There’s the Sawyer and Kate romance that lasted until season six.
They both came from outlaw lifestyles that drew them to one another and made audiences hope they would last.
Then, there was Bernard and Rose.
Rose had cancer and found a new lease on life when she arrived on the island because she somehow knew that the magical island cured her cancer.
Bernard comforted her through it all, and we got to see Rose rise beyond the sick patient trope that she inhabited at the beginning.
It also raised several philosophical questions for the audience such as, “Would you stay behind on a deserted island if you knew it could make you cancer-free, or would you return to society where your risk of cancer would come back?”
Of course, Sun and Jin are the fan favorites because they are one of the most realistic married couples to ever grace the television screen.
The island affects them in profound ways, but they also have their own complex backstories that make the audience invested in their success.
They love each other but suffer from a lack of communication that continues to impact their relationship.
They refused to tell each other about their toxic and strange interactions with the other’s parents, for fear of upsetting each other.
Then, there’s Sawyer and Juliet who seemed like a match made in heaven throughout season five.
Their relationship was fun, unpredictable, and emotional, during a season that was busier and more dramatic than ever while audiences grappled with time-hopping, time travel, and atomic bombs.
One of the favorite romances of the show was Desmond and Penny, whose love was arguably at the heart of the show.
They had incredible chemistry, an unmatched storyline, and some of the most emotional scenes together.
Several scenes such as Desmond meeting Penny at the monastery, reading her note in the hatch, and a famous phone call where their love for each other was crystal clear—Lost fans loved it all.
In a show full of endless drama, some of the best scenes are the ones between couples with complex backstories who still find time for love.
For those hopeless romantics out there, you’re sure to still find your favorite genre in Lost.
6. Real Issues And Timeless Lessons
Beyond the romantic relationships, several friendships make the show as legendary as it is today.
It proves how relationships can form, sever, and develop depending on external circumstances and personal changes.
Many of the friendships reminded audience members of their own friendships, whether for their comedic aspects or loyalty to one another.
One favorite friendship was between Hurley and Charlie, whose friendship provided much of the fun of the show.
They provided comedic relief at some of the direst times while still sharing a deeply personal bond.
They had fun, played pranks, and shared laughs.
It reminded us of how we all need at least one friend that makes us feel like kids again.
In season three, Desmond and Charlie form their own bond that proves both strong and, at times, problematic.
Desmond foresees Charlie’s death to the point where the audience begins to wonder about the self-fulfilling prophecy.
Would certain things happen if we were not told they would happen beforehand?
One of the most iconic friendships in the show is between Locke and Jack.
Though many of their personal beliefs clash at the beginning of the series, they become indispensable leaders whose respective opinions save their fellow island members.
Locke is a man of faith who believes in the island’s magical properties, and Jack is a man of science who only wants to believe what is based on fact.
This represents much of the dichotomy we have today in politics, religion, and society, where people’s philosophies come down to their basic leanings towards religion or science.
Then there’s Locke and Desmond, whose rivalry extended from seasons two to five.
They were constantly trying to seek revenge on one another but there was also an undercurrent of respect and admiration for each other’s intelligence and perseverance.
Not all of the relationships are positive.
Sawyer and Jack had a fierce competition to be the “man” of the group.
Sawyer came from an outlaw background who didn’t care for the rules.
Jack was a doctor who wanted to do everything he could to help the survivors on the island.
They eventually both shared a romantic bond with Kate, which enhanced the drama.
Their relationship reminded us how people can come from opposite ends of the spectrum yet share the same interests and desire for similar successes.
It also reminded us how some of the worst of enemies share much more in common than they thought before.
There are also those delightfully unexpected moments when Sawyer and Jack put their differences aside to help one another.
Many of the dynamics on the show, though dramatized, told timeless lessons about interpersonal relationships that showed audiences the nuances of the human spirit.
7. Cool Visual Effects
For sci-fi and action lovers alike, Lost is full of visual effects that draw the audience in.
The show included several types of visual effects including computer-generated imagery (CGI), pyrotechnics, stunt-related effects, and more.
Lost was one of the first shows with a budget big enough to incorporate CGI.
Even in the series premiere, CGI is used to animate Jack’s dilated pupil.
In addition, the first nine minutes of season one, episode one uses 100 visual effects shots to demonstrate the plane crash, with the wing falling and exploding.
The interior cabin view of the airplane’s tail falling off was created using CGI and won the show the 2005 Visual Effects Society Award for Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Broadcast Program.
CGI was used countless times throughout the show, at a time when the technology was brand new to series television.
There were also several stunt-related effects, including cliff falls and deep-water dives.
Then there were the pyrotechnics, where several fires were created from monsters, explosions, crashes, dynamite, and more.
There is no shortage of effects in Lost.
To know its cultural context and groundbreaking nature is to make it an even more impressive watch.
Parallel to the complex character storylines is the magic of the island itself.
Upon crashing on the island, Locke seems to be cured of paralysis and Rose of her cancer.
It also seems to prevent a dangerous force from escaping.
There’s a bright light at the center of the island that only the bravest characters muster the courage to go and see.
It is the source of life, death, and rebirth.
Later episodes reveal that the island was previously inhabited by ancient civilizations of Egyptians, Sumerians, and Southeast Asians.
The history of the island and its respective cultures inspires curiosity about what happened on the island, and why these cultures ultimately left or perished there.
On top of this, are the sci-fi elements of time travel and flash-sideways.
After Flight 815 crashed on the island, characters found themselves erratically moving through time.
Each instance would begin with a ringing or buzzing noise, and eventually, the entire island would be engulfed in white light.
There are so many unanswered questions that the island leaves for its viewers, that will inspire you to delve into various fan theories and form your own opinions on the role of the island in the characters’ lives.
9. One Of The Best Series Premieres Of All Time
Lost has a record-breaking 94% approval rate on Rotten Tomatoes and a 96% audience score for season one.
The first episode premiered on September 22, 2004, on ABC and became one of the most legendary episodes of television of all time.
In the pilot, the 48 survivors of a plane crash land on a deserted island, and they must scavenge for what they can from the plane wreckage.
They encounter a frightening jungle creature, and the survivors must decide how and if they will function as a group.
The hypothetical of “If you were stranded on a deserted island” is often posed, but it is hard to truly imagine what it would be like.
Well, Lost puts all of that into perspective by showing how a group of people just like us would react to a plane crash that left them for dead.
The very first episode immediately adds layers to character complexity and captivates audiences as they try to put themselves in the characters’ shoes and wonder what will happen next.
10. Part Of The Cultural Lexicon
Lost is one of those shows that many people have watched and was the subject of intense conversation and heated debate for all the years of its run.
It left such an impact on people that you can find people today who still feel strongly about the show and want to discuss how the plot unfolded, in addition to various fan theories.
Half the fun of watching a television show is being able to share the experience with others.
The show includes a lot of Easter eggs, or subtle hints and foreshadowing throughout the show, that you may only learn about from speaking with fellow viewers.
Lost is one of the best shows of all time and continues to be worth a watch.
It is full of timeless struggles, sympathetic characters, and endless mystery.
Though the show ended quite some time ago, you’ll be sure to find a Lost fanatic almost any time you bring it up.
It was a groundbreaking series in television and is worth the watch now and several years from now.