Unfortunately, many series and films do not age particularly well. They are too closely linked to their time or simply don’t seem as strong as they did then. With one series, however, it’s completely different: “Lost” is even better today than it was then. A comment by Jan Thinius-Heemann.
In the 2000s there was hardly a bigger hype than “Lost”, which was broadcast week after week by ProSieben on free TV. The series has recently become available for streaming on Amazon Prime and this is a good reason to realize that not only has “Lost” aged well, the series is even better in 2021 than it was then.
The broadcast on TV didn’t help “Lost”
Back then I was still going to school and before the first lesson the big topic was “Lost” and what an incredible cliffhanger has already happened again. Week after week, the series kept its fans engaged with open questions, many of which were actually answered as the series progressed. The series, in which a group of people landed on a mysterious, unknown island after a plane crash, was full of puzzles and mysteries. Exciting, absurd and it invited people all over the world to take part in puzzles in the then still young Internet. However, there was the problem of memorizing all the details from an episode, especially when they didn’t become important again next week, but only five episodes later – or even next season, almost a year later.
“Lost” was complicated and keeping everything in mind just to get the polar bear puzzle was very difficult. Always a week off, almost a year until the next season. This is a point in which the series was ahead of its time: Today it is normal in series to tell complicated contexts over several seasons (see “Dark”), back then we were not used to it. But today it’s not just the attention we pay to one series that is different, streaming has changed the way we watch and “Lost” benefits totally from it. Suddenly, connections become clear that were previously forgotten. If you watch the series at your own pace today, you will find that it is much more logical than before. And that’s not the only thing.
The twists were absolutely necessary
It’s true that “Lost” wasn’t perfect, some episodes filled the gap and maker Damon Lindeloff should have stuck to his plan to reduce seasons. Everyone can decide for themselves whether the end is really as bad as was said at the time. The series was ahead of its time in several respects: In addition to the narrative style with difficult contexts and heavy cliffhangers, it is above all the twists and turns that today’s audience is much more likely to accept than in the past. Some of the twists on “Lost” were then dismissed as unrealistic or as a cheap scam to keep the audience engaged.
In the years 2004 to 2010, the series landscape was completely different: There were very fixed formats, especially an incredible number of US crime series that did not give the series makers so much space. “Lost” deliberately mixed drama with mystery and kept adding new hooks that only make sense in the whole of the series. The series didn’t just want to answer their questions, it was also about asking new ones, presenting them to viewers so that they could puzzle them out for themselves. The increase in the supernatural elements is not a misstep here, but a conscious calculation in order to create a dramaturgy. Not everyone liked that back then, but anyone who watches “Lost” now knows that it is a mystery series and that it can get wilder when it comes to surprises.