A few months ago, I began watching the TV show Lost on Netflix.
A good friend and I, who had bonded in part over a shared love for the show Breaking Bad, decided that we needed a new TV show adventure in between halves of Breaking Bad Season 5.
Remembering how intense the fandom was for Lost when show was originally on air, we decided it was the perfect choice.
And were we ever right.
Tonight, our Lost adventure will come to an end. We synchronized our viewing so that we can watch the finale together, and it would only take one glance at our recent text conversations to see just how excited we are to see the show will end.
But when I woke up this morning, as the sunrise welcomed in Finale Day, there was another feeling swirling around inside of me as I looked forward to tonight that I wasn’t really prepared for.
Or, more accurately described, that punch-in-the-gut feeling we all know so well.
You might remember it from the last time you dropped a friend or loved one off at the airport after a particularly wonderful visit. Or perhaps you’ve experienced at the end of a particularly wonderful book. Maybe you even felt it at the end of an unexpectedly memorable sports season.
Either way, you know the feeling I’m describing. I’m sure of it. But you may think me a little silly for ascribing it to the end of a TV show.
I am unabashed, however.
I am beyond excited to watch the finale tonight, even with many people having told me it’s a disappointment. I’m a journey-over-destination type, so while I can see the finale perhaps being a bit unsatisfying, it cannot possibly be disappointing. The journey has been too much fun.
But I am also sad.
Sad that there will not be another season to fire up as soon as tonight’s season ends; sad that there will be no more stories of Jack and Sawyer and Kate and Hurley and Jin and Sun and Locke and Sieze-the-Day Chawlie and Desmond and all of the other incredible characters that have made the show so great; and sad that my friend and I will have to find a new show to entertain us during the Breaking Bad hiatus, because I know the next choice cannot possibly compare to this one.
Like an Unexpected Friend
Lost has been like an unexpected friend, one I’ve so thoroughly enjoyed getting to know and had so much fun spending time with. But after tonight, it will be gone. All done. No new adventures to share, just old adventures to replay.
Sure, I could rewatch Lost. I’ve thought about. I’ve heard of people rewatching three, four, even more times. But right now that’s not appealing.
What makes a friendship special, what keeps it moving forward and growing, are new experiences.
And therein lies the “sadness,” as I prepare for my one final new Lost experience.
The best part about Lost has been the excitement of the next episode. What new secret or piece of backstory would be revealed? How would this episode’s breakthrough scene lead to the next episode’s breakthrough scene? Where are these characters going, where have they been, and in what new way would the gorgeous tapestry of character development that drives Lost be sewn together next?
So many new adventures in every episode. And whether I watched with my friend, while working out on the elliptical machine, before bed, or reclining on the couch with my dog, every episode has delivered.
The best pieces of entertainment – be they movies, TV shows, books, and music – are like this. They transcend their medium to become valuable accoutrements of our lives.
Lost has been this.
Post-Lost Adjustment Period
Again, this will sound silly, but there is going to be a bit of an adjustment period for me once Lost ends.
I can’t tell you how many calories I’ve burned in 45-minute sessions on the workout machine while watching Lost. Can I find a new show that will make it seem so effortless?
On those nights when I can’t fall asleep right away, where will I turn to consume my mind, drown out the mental noise, and fall away into dreamland?
Oh, I’m sure the adjustment period won’t be that bad. I’ll find a new show or go back to music during workouts. And I’ll either get back to reading or find another show to watch before bed.
Just like you find new friends to replace the void of old friends when they are no longer part of your daily life, a new diversion will find its way into the void that will be left by Lost.
But it won’t be the same.
And that’s why I’ll be sad to see Lost end tonight.
Some friends are special. You can replace them, but never really replace them. Some shows are like that too. Breaking Bad will be like that. Lost is like that.
The Adventure Ends
Tonight, my Lost adventure ends. I’m beyond excited. I can’t wait to see where it ends.
Because in that moment, quite frankly, I have a feeling that I’ll feel a little lost myself…at least from a where-do-I-turn-next-for-entertainment perspective.
Yet, if I learned anything from watching Lost it’s that every adventure builds on the previous one, and there is always something to anticipate and look forward to coming next. That’s what has made it such a rewarding journey.
So I’ll just trust that this will be case once I move on from Lost.
But first…Finale Night!
And having used this post to purge myself of the feelings of impending sadness, I’m now ready to watch with nothing distracting my excitement.
Let’s see how it ends.
I just hope it doesn’t mean the end of The Island. Because, like an old friend, it sure would be nice to know that it’s always there if I need it.