Best of the Small Screen, Dramas No. 9


Over the next 9 weeks I'll be taking a look at some of my favorite TV series, broken down into three groups (Limited Run Series, Comedies, and Dramas). In my post on March 1 I laid out the ground rules for these categories and this exploration, the biggest of which is no series that are currently airing. To read the whole thing, check out the post "Best of the Small Screen" from March 1.

Today I continue dramas with another polarizing choice.

LOST (2004-2010)
Number of Seasons/Episodes: 6/118
Network: ABC
Starring: Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lilly, Josh Holloway, Terry O'Quinn, Yunjin Kim, Michael Emmerson, Naveen Andrews, Daniel Dae Kim, Jorge Garcia, Dominic Monaghan, Henry Ian Cusick, and Elizabeth Mitchell
Creator: J.J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof, and Jeffrey Lieber
Favorite Season/Episodes: Season four, 1.01-1.02 "Pilot," 1.04 "Walkabout," 2.01 "Man of Science vs. Man of Faith," 2.03 "Orientation," 3.06 "I Do," 3.23-3.24 "Through the Looking Glass," 4.05 "The Constant"
About: Last week, when I talked about the requirements for this list, I emphasized the importance of seeing the completed series. In the case of last week's show, "Breaking Bad," the final seasons put it on the list for me. "LOST" is a show that illustrates the opposite point. If I would have been making a list of my favorite shows of all time after the first four seasons, "LOST" would probably easily have been in the top five. I loved the show a lot for quite a while. But then the final two seasons happened, and it soured me some on the show. I didn't feel the quality in the storytelling held up, and the ending was a major deflation. Much like with "How I Met Your Mother," the finale was so polarizing some forgot what the rest of the show meant to them. I was frustrated at the time, but I feel like time has helped give me some perspective on the show and it's place for me on this list. This show also illustrates another theme you'll see time and again, that I have certain showrunners who really appeal to me and have landed multiple series on these lists. Carlton Cuse, who was a long-time showrunner here, worked on "The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.," which appeared earlier in this exploration. Both Damon Lindelof and J.J. Abrams will appears later on this list. They do work that appeals to me, and "LOST" is a big part of that. As far as favorite episodes, I was always a Jack (Matthew Fox) fan, naturally. The first three seasons are all great. I love the pilot, which established the world. Episode 1.04, "The Walkabout," showed how layered the narrative could be in revealing the backstory of John Locke. One of the themes I always loved in the series was the exploration of faith and reason, and the season two premier was a big piece of that. Other famous episodes make the list. 2.03 explored the weird world of the Island and the bunker, and 3.06 had a fascinating piece of backstory for Kate. Episode 4.05, "The Constant," was one of the most beautiful episodes for the series in what I consider to be the best season, season four. But, of course, a personal favorite for me is "Through the Looking Glass," which featured an incredibly emotional story but also the biggest reveal in the show's run, when we see Jack tell Kate (Lilly), "We have to go back." Love or hate the finale, "LOST" was a show that changed television, and deserves to be remembered for its cultural impact.

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