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I had some criteria in mind when I started this Summer Marathon series. All the shows I have suggested (Warehouse 13, Sleepy Hollow, 24) have one particular element in common, other than being awesome:

They are best served binge style.

Some shows have a knack for the cold open (the brief, illuminating start of a show before the opening credit sequence) and the cliffhanging ending. One show did them both to perfection.

From the first few minutes before the logo floated into view, to the last scene before the “poom” smash cut…

L O S T grabbed you and didn’t let go. Just like 24, the time in between each episode could be torturous. The joy I had rewatching the show, binging it and absorbing the serial nature of the show back to back was unparalleled. But honestly, on first airing, the time between episodes was also crucial to the success of the show. Back in 2004 when the pilot aired, the internet was really taking off into the realm of interactivity with television and movies. It is the reason I used the word "Experience" in my title.

Because L O S T was so good at creating mysteries, chat rooms just exploded with theories about what we were seeing every week and what we would see next. And more importantly – what it all meant. Some believed L O S T was just a metaphysical event; the plane crashed and everyone died and the island was just purgatory or something similar. Some believed the group traveled in time. Alternate dimensions, dreamstate, and just face value of people castaway on an island were also theories.

Now, while I want to sell you on giving L O S T a chance if you have never watched it or didn’t stick with it, I am going to make @Mirelapilipo really proud and avoid spoilers beyond the premise of the show. But I need you to know this, because the predominate reason I heard for people not watching the series was that they didn’t think what was happening on the island was real, for whatever reason. Everything that happens on the island…happens! While LO S T delves into the mystical and spiritual, science fiction and real physics, monsters (in many forms) and survival, good and evil – it always remained grounded in the reality of real events. What I am saying is, do not hesitate to invest yourself into the events on the island, because all of it is does happen.

So, on to the premise of the show. L O S T was conceived based upon the success of the reality show, Survivor. The 1st season of the show focuses on the survivors of a plane crash on an isolated island paradise. The rub is, this island is not all that it seems. Invisible monsters, unexplainable inhabitants, and unlikely events shroud the island in mystery. It is initially a story of survival. But what makes it all work is the most amazing ensemble cast that is each given individual moments in an overarching narrative about “living together or dying alone”. What L O S T does to perfection is a unique strategy of storytelling. The first couple seasons relied on “Flashbacks” to tell the backstory of characters, drawing a parallel between events in their past and what was currently happening to them on the island. Each week, a different castaway would get a “centric” episode (in Lostese – when the story that week was, say, about Locke, it was “Locke-centric”).

L O S T ran for six amazing seasons, but the timeline of the story was much less than 6 years. Over that time, it went from just a story of survival to a greater mystery with more elements than I could possibly list. Not to mention listing them would ruin the surprise. All I will say is that beyond the first season, there is massive serial storytelling that will have you borderline obsessed with answering all the questions. And let me debunk a popular internet opinion – the puzzle pieces are all there to answer every question L O S T asks. But it takes active watching and brain power.

The only mysteries not answered are the ones the showrunners chose to leave up to the viewer’s imagination. This opinion is the one held by every L O S T fan who paid attention and rewatched the show. I will provide testimony at the end of this if you won’t take my word for it.

I put together a clip of the opening moments of L O S T. If you aren’t impressed with the first 7 minutes of this series, than I assume I am going to lose my argument with you.

JJ Abrams was involved in every part of the 2-hour pilot, but turned the show over to Carton Cuse and Damon Lindelof (affectionately referred to as “Darlton”) from there on out. These two were absolutely amazing, doing private little podcasts every week and stoking the fire of mystery - although not giving us many answers. I suggest you jump on YouTube and try to immerse yourself in the whole experience as you watch.

There were some spoilers that leaked out from time to time, but as is the nature of anything Bad Robot, secrecy was paramount. Continual speculation was, for me, the most enjoyable part of the experience of L O S T. And it was just that – a captivating, six year experience. I grew so close to people during its run, people I still talk to almost daily. I want to just share with you the words of people I consider bigger experts of L O S T than myself. I hope their words convince you.

Paul Burrows:
“Back when L O S T was airing live I would hang out a lot at Ain’t It Cool and at the Lost blog that I ran (Room 23) and it was funny how excited people were speculating over what the whispers were and who the Others were and many other questions that were raised, it was a fun atmosphere to make new friendships (that’s where I met the knucklehead writing this article. LOL). Eventually people started complaining, people would complain that they weren’t getting answers and then they did get answers they would then complain about that also. I remember trying to respond to some of their concerns only to get verbally dogpiled on; I actually grew a tough on-line skin from the whole experience which has helped me a lot. Funny thing though every summer since I started watching Lost I have rewatched the DVDs, (I still have a Lost, Fringe & Once Upon A Time rewatch every summer) and the answers are there for the most part or I should say that the puzzle pieces are there to construct all of the answers. If you watch the show again there’s enough information scattered about between the show itself and the DVD extras (even more if you can hunt down the old podcasts) that one can connect the dots for a fairly complete picture. There are still a few open mysteries like Walt, but what I love about Lost is that Darlton didn’t just spoon-feed us like babies, but there were many levels to the show. One could casually watch and get the basic character driven story or you could dig deep and get an even richer experience. The answers ARE there if you look hard enough. My favorite aspect of Lost was the friendships and experiences that I had when Lost wasn’t on. As I mentioned before I made friendships that I have to this day on-line, I was able to start and run Room 23 blog and out of that I designed most of the characters and created a line of Lost and Fringe trading cards which I sold in my store. Lost has and always will have a special place in my heart and I treasure all that came out of it. Thank you Carlton Cuse and Damion Lindelof and all that had a part in creating the experience!”

And our own @MirelaPilipo:
“WOW! So you're going to open up that can of worms are you? I admire your bravery good sir.

After LOST I look at television as pre-Lost and post-Lost and so do many others. Some are a very loud minority who absolutely hated the ending and some are people who know that LOST was an absolute masterpiece from start to finish. I'm obviously in the latter group. I've said this many times before but before LOST - I watched television but once LOST came along, I started to live and breathe it! The show challenged the viewer to switch on both heart and mind to full-power. It stimulated our intelligence in the best way possible while also making sure that we were always emotionally invested. The show knew how to tug at your heart strings (no show made me cry like LOST did) while also encouraging you to think like no other. Especially when it comes to pondering some of life's most interesting questions. This show is a study of the human spirit and what it really means to exist. For those of you who have heard things like "but they didn't answer all of the questions" or "the ending ruined 6 years’ worth of development" - I urge you to forget both of these statements, as neither is true. LOST answers all of its important questions and every viewer who paid attention will tell you that. However, the show doesn't like to insult your intelligence or hold your hand too much because its themes are broad enough for each individual to also have their own take or interpretation on the more philosophical themes. And it does this without being frustratingly ambiguous. It is not a hard show to watch, especially if you're binging your way through it but it's not a show for dummies either. As far as the ending goes, those of you who haven't seen it need to know that a big reason why there was so much controversy surrounding it was because that loud, angry minority simply did not get it. It is an ending that requires more than 10 seconds of brain usage but it's not an ending that takes away any of the 6 seasons worth of story, if anything it only adds more food for though and beauty to it. So, I assure you newbies that if you have half a brain YOU WILL get it!

If you like TV shows that really stimulate the brain (and the tear ducts) on a regular basis -serving up a diverse variety of delightful characters, adrenaline-fuelled plot, with just the right amount of comedy, drama, mystery and a sprinkling of sci-fi - you will love LOST. It is the first show that I recommend to everyone and a treat that I think every human being should experience. And it is an absolute delight for marathon viewing."

- Edshrinker
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