The Five Types of Lost Fans

Lost is a character study. But it's also an action show. And its involves some pretty hardcore science-fiction elements. And we can't forget about the romance. In short, it's a lot of things. Because Lost attacks drama from so many of these angles, it has attracted very different audiences. Audiences that, if our hypotheses are correct, can be grouped into five categories.

To help explain the audiences, I've asked for the help of Jo Garfein, freelance writer and author of the excellent Lost fan site Get Lost with Jopinionated (definitely check it out!). She helped organize a big fan bash in Hawaii for the Season 6 premiere, and weighed in here on four of the following five categories.

Note: I love Lost fans, each and every one of you. We're just having fun here.

The Super Hardcore

The poster children for the stereotypical Lost fan, these guys take obsession to the next level. While you and I brag about having watched the entire series twice, these hardcore fans have just wrapped up their fourteenth viewing (yes, even "Stranger in a Strange Land"). They've completed all the Lost ARG Web games, paused the action and taken detailed notes every time Daniel Faraday opens his notebook, and would follow Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse off a cliff. If you encounter one in a hallway, avoid eye contact unless you're willing to risk listening to a "Vincent is the Smoke Monster" theory for the next three hours.
They're also watching: Battlestar Galactica (for the eighth time), Fringe (to relax and give their minds a break)
Identifying signs: General twitchiness, has worn a Dharma Initiative costume the last four Halloweens.
Jo's take: "There are far worse hobbies to have than expressing great fervor for an intelligent television series! Lost fans tend to be quite passionate and have a very vocal, visible presence online; they have created an amazing community that is admirably supportive and interactive."

The Skaters, Jaters, etc.

Who will Kate get it on with? Who cares? These guys. They don't mind that Kate has turned a deadly plane crash into her own selfish dating game, they just want to see her end up in the arms of Jack (Jaters) or Sawyer (Skaters) because it's her "destiny." Even though the very fabric of our existence is about to explode, they care more about who is locking lips with who. And it isn't just "Jaters" and "Skaters." What about Juliet and Sawyer (Julawyers)? Libby and Hurley (Hurbys)? Juliet, Kate, Ben, and Sawyer (Jubekawyers)? What about the crime-against-nature orgy of "Sawlietackurlayidsunsmokeincents"? If you ever get stranded on an island with one of these types, go ahead and push them in front of a charging polar bear.
They're also watching: Grey's Anatomy, Jennifer Aniston movies
Identifying signs: Cries during Hallmark ads, owns lots of cats.
Jo's take: "It is completely valid for 'shippers to be invested in and enjoy Lost for the romantic aspects of the show. However, I am far more interested in Jin and Sun's marriage than who Kate winds up with, and individual histories and flashbacks resonate on a much deeper level with me than love triangles and quadrangles."

The Catching-Up-on-DVD Set

These guys were turned on to the show well after it began airing, and spent many weekends on the couch in a disgusting heap catching up via Lost marathons on DVD. Not only do they overload their brains and miss key details due to their cram sessions, but they love to talk about where they are in the show with those who are up-to-date. This only leads to awkward one-sided talks about who this Henry Gale guy really is. Please, catch up or shut up.
They're also watching: The Wire (currently on Season 2 ... wow, it IS as good as people say!)
Identifying signs: Just got an e-mail account, recently upgraded old 23" CRT TV to a 32" CRT TV.
Jo's take: "I love introducing Lost to friends and family for the first time, and have accrued more than enough recruiting points over the years to earn a Dharma badge. I am constantly loaning out my DVDs, and am so amused by their initial confusion, reaction to shocking moments and myriad questions that I refuse to answer until they've caught up. Having just completed a five-season re-watch myself, I recognize the little details that have both captured their attention and caused them frustration."

The Angry Lost Fans

Highly devoted through Season 1, still fans during Season 2, and near-absentees during Season 3, these picky people have had it up to HERE! with Lost. The endless questions, the lack of answers! Who do those producers think they are!? They'll still begrudgingly tune into the show now, but only to remind themselves how right they were to not watch the show in the first place and give them ammunition to tell you why you are an idiot for still watching the show. And don't even get them started on time travel or parallel realities, because it will give them a stroke.
They're also watching: Nothing, because they're too busy complaining and whining on message boards.
Identifying signs: Inability to wait until Christmas or other seasonal holidays to open their presents, high blood pressure.
Jo's take: "It seems that those who abandoned Lost did so in Season 5 when time travel became a major factor. It is disappointing but not altogether surprising, given the level of commitment that Lost requires. While I cannot fathom giving up on a show after several years, seasons, and emotional connections to characters, I tell those who do that they should return to the series on DVD in the future. Curiosity and enthusiastic fan feedback will lure them back into Lost's clutches after the series ends this year."

The Eternally Confused and Faithful

These fans, which appear to be a middle-of-the-road majority, freely admit that they are confused by what's going on—but they don't care. Loyal to the program and filled with faith that everything will come around eventually, they don't mind that the show's questions are answered with more questions, because "OMG did you see that last cliffhanger?" These are fans who simply take the show for what it is: quality television entertainment. No conspiracy theories, no real annoying habits, just fans of good moving pictures. Come to think of it, they're pretty boring.
They're also watching: Standard television programming. They also leave the house sometimes, as they have a normal life.
Identifying signs: 2.3 children, average behavior.

For the record, I am definitely a hybrid of "Hardcore" and "Eternally Confused and Faithful." Which type of Lost fan are you?


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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Jun 30, 2011
None of the the 5 categories fit my type. I'm a LOST GREEDY OBSESSED DIEHARD fan, and I'm not the only one. I'd jump off a cliff after many of the LOST characters, but no Lindeloff nor Cuse ect... they killed LOST. PS I don't watch stupid battle star gallactica. I do love Westerns

~ LOSTeph
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May 24, 2010
Nice.
I'm angry and confused.
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May 24, 2010
Why all of a sudden do people hate season 3, the best moments of lost were the season 2 finale and the season 3 finale. guess what takes place between these two finales? ya thats right season three, this is when a lot of questions are answered and still a lot of mind bending questions are thrown our way. season 3 was lost at it's best.
also this the season where desmond becomes a regular on the show, YAAA DESMOND!!!
oh and I guess I'm moderately hardcore.
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May 24, 2010
I am Eternally Confused and Faithful!
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May 23, 2010
Little hardcore, but mostly Eternally confused and faithful
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May 23, 2010
Bit Of a "hardcore" sometimes
but i always come to my senses and be "Eternally Confused and faithful"...
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May 23, 2010
By the way, what the heck is "standard television programming"? Let me make one thing perfectly clear, I DO NOT watch reality TV. I do leave the house, read books and listen to music but i watch a lot of TV, mostly recorded in one way or another.
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May 23, 2010
Easily "Eternally Confused and Faithful". Not sure what is going on but it's very entertaining. The minutiae minions only serve to confuse me even more. Theories about what's going on are basically stupid because there's only one answer and they don't know what it is although most of them think they do. I'll watch until the end and probably still not fully understand but hey I was there every step of the way.
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May 23, 2010
Super Hardcore...unfortunately.
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May 23, 2010
I was the "Angry" type at the end of season 2 (mysteries over mysteries). A year later I became "The Catching-Up-on-DVD Set". By the end of season 4 I was "Super Hardcore" (I had my own theory indeed). Since mysticism proved to have a major role (Jacob) I became angry again, and soon thereafter, more relaxed, became Confused and Faithful. I never was Skater, Jater or alike. I REALLY don't care about most of the characters I just want to know more about the ISLAND. I almost stopped watching after "Across the Sea" because I think that nothing really meaningful about the Island will be said after that episode.
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May 23, 2010
Yet another horribly written cliche filled list, TV.com has turned into a complete joke.
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May 23, 2010
non-fan

I could understand why people would get angry at it. The producers claimed in the beginning that the show wasn't sci-fi, then turned around and made it a sci-fi show because they needed explanations for their gimmicks.
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May 23, 2010
The Eternally Confused and Faithful
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May 23, 2010
I`m The Eternally Confused and Faithful and proud to be it.
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May 23, 2010
"Julawer" - Cultural insensitivety always makes me laugh.
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Mar 31, 2010
i would be the last i am lost sometimes i get it but then again gets lost
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Mar 23, 2010
A mix of all of them except hater cause really, who has the energy? I love Lost for all the times it's made me gasp, yell at the screen when it's over or just simply entertained me. And season 5 was AMAZING!!!
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Mar 22, 2010
I'm half angry, one fourth shipper, and a fourth hardcore. I gave up on it halfway through season 5 because I got bored with an episode and I never went back. I have no interest in the insane science fiction they've turned this into. I LOVED the character development, and the mystery, and the WTF moments of the first four seasons, but I didn't ever want it to turn into a completely science fiction show, and I don't want to see it happen. So I'll happily go along loving Lost, pretending it ended partway through season 5.
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Mar 17, 2010
im a super hardcore + skater [but i cant stand greys anatomy and jennifer aniston, lol]
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Mar 10, 2010
Hmm, I'm caught up now, but I definitely started as a Catching-Up-On-DVD fan. Honestly, I enjoy tv shows more when I can sit around and watch several eps in a row. I get more into it. Now I'm somewhere between the last two categories. I don't complain, but I'm not as excited to see the show anymore as it gets more and more convoluted. Still plan to finish it, as I've come this far. . . But I have never re-watched an episode, and I never plan to. This is a one-time entertainment thing, not an amazing "Oh my God Buffy/Friends/Star Trek/Sex and the City/Chuck/Firelfly/Doctor Who/Queer As Folk/Angel/Veronica Mars. . . are amazing an must be watched again and again and again." I can name at least another 10 show that are better. It's just a bit of entertainment, not some fantastic intelligent opus.
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Mar 08, 2010
lolol, I just rewatched all seasons last month to catch up to this one, but season 6 its kinda slow and they dont explain much, i wish they would at least make another season :(
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Mar 08, 2010
I am the Skater, Jater and the Eternally Confused and Faithful. Love the characters of the show and to read all the theories but I do not have all the qualities of a Super hardcode Fan.
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Mar 02, 2010
very happy to have watched season 1 as a stand alone it was great, suppose that makes me a angry lost fan thats not angry.
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Feb 28, 2010
Came really close to becoming "angry" over the time travel motif in season 4. Did not seem like the first season, where the producers promised us "scienitific probablity" which time travel is definitely NOT! Hung with it and am loving season 5, as I am back along for the ride.
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Feb 27, 2010
I'ma Super Hardcore!!!! but also a little Skater!
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Feb 27, 2010
pretty good mix of "Hardcore" and "Eternally Confused and Faithful", little more on the "Hardcore" end of the spectrum
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Feb 27, 2010
I'm someone who likes Drama, Sci-Fi, and good acting. Like it says about the hardcores, I love Battlestar and Fringe. But I have only ever watched it once, mostly to challenge myself!
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Feb 27, 2010
In some ways I'm Eternally Confused and Faithful,,,,in the sense that I just really enjoy watching LOST and don't get bent out of shape/angry by its unanswered questions and storytelling devices. But I'm definitely not part of that boring or 'standard television' description. I have always loved watching Sci-Fi and Fantasy programs. I find it fun discussing LOST on forums and reading all the post-episode analysis on Lostpedia. So I'm probably a bit hardcore too.
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Feb 27, 2010
hardcore with a tiny mix of jater (and suliet) and eternally confused and faithful.
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Feb 26, 2010
I am certainly the eternally confused and faithful type, but also a little bit the skaters, jaters and julawyers type with the exception that I don't watch Grey's Anatomy.
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Feb 26, 2010
The Eternally Confused And Faithful, though I do like to throw out a theory or two.
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Feb 26, 2010
Im the eternally confused and faithful with a bit of super hardcore
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Feb 26, 2010
I'd be classified as angry lost fan, if I were actually angry, or a fan. But yeah....I saw the signs of where Lost was heading long before it was what it is, and I've checked out. My wife is DEF. the confused faithful though. And I watch lots of other stuff, mostly because I'm fearful something I begin to like will get cancelled....but if it's 1. NOT law and order something, 2. NOT a show about doctor's/hospital (the exception is, Mercy), 3. something sci-fi/fantasy and not cheap/cheesy/b-movie ish, I'll probably like it!
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Feb 26, 2010
I'm apart of the Skaters/Jaters group and the catching up on DVD set group... except instead of the DVD it's on the internet =)
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Feb 26, 2010
I am definitely the skaters, jaters and eternally confused and faithful, I love this list and this show and cant wait to find out what happens in the end.
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Feb 26, 2010
Though this was amusing, I wouldn't say I'm any of these. I'm obsessed with Lost (I compare every other show on TV to it) but I don't theorize or analyze every little thing. I hate the "Skate/Jate" nicknames and really want that to stop. I thought Lost fans were better than that cutesy media BS. I would like to say I view the show confused and faithfully, but I'm never really all that confused while watching. If there are questions, I don't freak out about it. I just wait for the show to give me answers. And keep waiting. And keep waiting. Uh oh, I think I know where I fit in...
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Feb 26, 2010
Definitely an amalgam of hardcore and Eternally Confused and Faithfull. Want to know the truth about the island and the relationship of the characters before and after the crash. The "alternate reality" we are now into - the "if the plane had not crashed" is interesting but confusing, to say the least. However, I take exception to being boring. The regular TV fans, no fanfare, a little bit geeky but with a life to go with it, are the core of the entertainment industry. We pay their salaries by faithfully tuning in! Have watched every season, and also own all DVDs. Not boring - just faithfull...
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Feb 26, 2010
I would say I'm mostly "The Eternally Confused and Faithful" type of fan. Although I was definitely a member of "The Angry Lost Fans" somewhere back where Jack, Kate and Sawyer were captured by the "Others." I've since gotten very Zen about the whole thing. Probably around the time when Jack screamed "We have to go back!" If I'm a shipper at all it's for Desmond and Penny and Jin and Sun. Although Sawyer is just breaking my heart over his grief for Juliet.
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Feb 26, 2010
I'm the one who's wasted 7 minutes reading this.
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Feb 26, 2010
none of the above?
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Feb 25, 2010
I think you missed one of the categories that matter the most.

Loyal fans.

Loyal because no matter how confusing or frustrating the show becomes, it is still one, The, best acted show on the tube!

As soon as it comes on you are drawn in because of the strength of the characters, the actors themselves make it all believable! Doesn't matter how outlandish it gets, you seem to Genuinely care about Kate, Jack, Sawyer, Hurley, Jin, Said and all the others. You can FEEL the pain and anguish the characters feel and project. Great writting, Great directing, Great acting, Great Show!

I'm a Fan!
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Feb 25, 2010
I've faithfully watched, but was not excited through seasons 3 to 5. This year I am more excited than ever. I guess I'm a hybrid of angry and eternally confused. I am re-watching from season 1 and loving the things I missed the first time around. I resisted watching the enhanced episodes, but this week I found out some things and I think I'll continue watching them as well as the new episodes.
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Feb 25, 2010
I'd have to say I started as a catching up on DVD fan after season 2, then became part hardcore, part eternally confused and faithful, as I have seen MOST eps of the first five seasons at least 4 times. I did just do mthe whole 5 season re-watch all in Jan, b4 season 6 started. I love the show, but I can't help but wonder if this season will end up unsatisfying. I will definitely miss the cliffhangers (Season 3's finale and 5's finale are my favs) and all the questions they keep piling on to my ponderous stack of unanswered Q's. I hope I am happy with the end of the show. I am sure I will rewatch the show about 10 more times before I finally feel like I fully understand everything(which will be never).
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Feb 25, 2010
I'm a mix of the Catching up on DVD and Eternally Confused and Faithful, although I take extreme umbrage at the descriptions provided of the people who fall into these categories. I watched the first 2 seasons then stopped watching due to the really long hiatuses and just having other things going on, then caught up on the last 3 seasons last year on DVD prior to watching this last season - when I went back to rewatch the whole series from the beginning I was reminded of just how good the series really was - I had forgotten. I'm far from a "standard television programming" viewer as I don't watch a ton of tv - but what I do watch is mostly sci-fi and fantasy, and definitely do not consider myself "average (read: boring)" or with 2.3 kids - nor am I a techno-phobe who only recently discovered email - being a Web designer who has been active online since about 1996 (while not the very start of the internet, not long after its advent.)
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Feb 24, 2010
I am also a cross between Hardcore & Confused and Faithful. Those I would like to see how all the relationships, friendships, and family ties play out. Your article was hilarious. Thanks for it. :) LOST is just to great a show.
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Feb 24, 2010
Lost is great! As long as you watch it there is no confusion. I don't know how many times I have had to explain what is going on to those who are dazed and confused. lol
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Feb 24, 2010
Eternally Confused and Faithful are we! We love the complexity, the mystery, the always-surprising moments that no other show has ever given us. I'll miss it.
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Feb 24, 2010
I think I fall into the "Eternally Confused and Faithful" category. I love LOST, I'm confused, but I don't care! I'm in it for the long haul! :)
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Feb 24, 2010
Hybrid of Hardcore and Eternally Confused and Faithful
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Feb 24, 2010
Confused and Faithful, yep that's me. Lost is just good fun. I don't need to know all the answers (I doubt we ever will), but I look forward to rewatching the series from the beginning after it's all over so that more of it makes sense.

I don't have a good enough memory (or the time) to be a hardcore fan, and I could do completely without all the who-gets-with-who crap. I have my theories about how things are going to play out, and I'll be completely satisfied if I'm even close to the truth in the end.
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