I drew up a chart to illustrate my theory about people’s interest in LOST. I feel that the general trend is for interest to climb until the point where people start to feel like they don’t know wtf is going on. While there was a huge spike of interest caused by the mysteries presented in the first season, by the second people had a hard time even describing the show to their friends. Since the show was open ended, people lost confidence that the writers would ever resolve these mysteries they kept piling on. By season three, so many characters and plot twists had been introduced that ABC started adding elaborate recap episodes to the beginning of each season. The casual fans could only watch those recaps and mutter ‘oh yeah, the four-toed colossus foot…’

Most people I know who stopped watching LOST experienced something like this...

Most people I've talked to who stoped watching LOST described an experience like the one depicted in this graph.

Thankfully the solution came in the brilliant decision to end the story! ABC announced that there would be a finite amount of seasons, and all of a sudden the writers were empowered to begin the exciting process of unraveling their sprawling and labyrinthine tale. All of a sudden, they introduced the flash-forward (instead of just flashbacks), and viewer confidence soared with the feeling that at least the story is going… somewhere!

Of course there are a few outliers that affect people’s interest level in LOST. For instance, many jaded viewers found renewed interest by marathoning the DVD box sets. To alleviate the uncomfortable feeling of suspense which follows each episode, the binge viewer simply sets the DVD to ‘play all’ and kisses their anxiety (and their weekend) goodbye. Other outliers include the inconvenient offing of your favorite character due to drunken driving escapades among the cast, random Hollywood writer strikes, or alternate scifi/fantasy programming stealing your interest.


Everybody loves helpful factoids!

Everybody loves helpful factoids!

But Season five of LOST has wholeheartedly swung back to resolving plot elements and revealing information. With the introduction of time travel (sure, why not) and teleportation (I knew it all along!) viewer interest is at an all-time high. And to further assuage the confused masses, the producers have even started adding pop-up-video style comments to the episode that airs before the newest one. Thanks ABC!


This week’s episode focused mostly on Jin and Sun, and continues the plotlines of the islanders flashing through time and Ben trying to wrangle the crew in LA. I won’t go into spoiler territory, but will instead pose a question. While interest is peaked, and longtime fans are relieved to have their patience rewarded, is it enough? Are the writers really going to get away with adding devices like time travel teleportation into the fifth act of their story? And although these devices are convenient, will they deliver the ending that this story deserves? Only time will tell. (Or you can feel free to tell me what you think in the comments section! –SH)

Special thanks to Create a Graph

-Originally published on The Factual Opinion

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One Response to “An analysis of lost interest in LOST (spoiler free!)”

  1. mr. rendon says:

    I agree with your assessment, but I would like to say that I really liked the character driven episodes that seemed to piss everyone off (Hurley’s VW comes to mind). A lot of that character development is coming to fruition for me now. But setting the end date was key.

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