Sunday, November 07, 2010

Lost on Netflix (No Spoilers)

I dedicate this article to Shannon Brown, Kelly Flynn, Rich Gillum, Sarah McMahon, John Prado, and Kelley Prado, my co-workers who also watched Lost but did not spoil the ending. Thanks everyone.

I have “No Spoilers” in the title because I want those who have not seen Lost to be able to read this without having plot twists ruined for them. This article is about 1) the show Lost and 2) how using Netflix can be a better way to watch television shows.

Back in 2004 I remember people talking about the show Lost like it was the greatest show ever made. A few years ago I decided to wait for the show to completely end and then I would watch the entire show by renting the DVDs on Netflix. At work several months ago, I asked fellow employees not to discuss the show in front of me because I did not want the ending ruined. I wanted to see why people were so crazy about this show. After the final episode of Lost aired, I started watching the show from the beginning.

For those who have not seen the show, it is mainly about a group of passengers who have survived a plane crash and are stuck on an island. Each episode has a focus on the life of one of the characters before he or she was on the plane in addition to showing the group on the island. This is key because it allows us to learn about what made some characters the way that they are and keeps the story interesting.

When students go to college after high school, they get to start over in a way. When you are in your first year of college, other students will not know that your past (positive or negative) and you have the opportunity to start over. For those on the island, they can tell as much or as little about themselves as they choose. Some of them have very painful pasts.

What makes this show so fascinating is the character development and the plot twists in the show, both from their lives before being on the island and their lives on the island. The plot twists hit the audience like the Twilight Zone. This is not the drama version of Gilligan’s Island. This is an interweaving story of shocking revelations that I won’t reveal in this article. We learn how characters developed into the people they are on the island and why they may be more likeable than they initially appear.

In my opinion, Lost is the greatest drama that I have ever seen on TV. My focus on watching six seasons of Lost prevented me from spending time watching many movies, but I do not regret this. I give Lost four stars and watching the show is the equivalent of watching a long four-star film. It is a masterpiece.

Now about using Netflix to watch television shows. Obviously I have paid money to watch a show that others have seen for free over the last six years. This is something that I not only don’t regret, but will use to watch other television shows in the future. Lost was a fascinating show, but those who viewed it had to wait week by week to watch the show. They also had to go months at a time between seasons. In my situation, I was able to watch the show as slowly or as quickly as I chose to. By waiting until Lost ended, I got to watch the show:

1. Without having to wait during commercials.
2. Without having to wait for the next episode.
3. Without having to wait for the next season.

I literally could watch the show without ever having to wait. Instant gratification. I also was able to enjoy the show over a few months instead of over six years. I know I could have gone through the show more quickly, but I was not in a rush to get through it. I got to enjoy it at my own rate.

There are many shows that I have yet to see. I have decided to wait for some shows to end and then I will use this method to watch them. Having the ability to watch a show straight through without waiting is (ironically) well worth the wait.
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