9 thoughts on “When Did Lost Jump the Shark?

  1. LOST is one of those shows that –ahem–completely lost me toward the end. I believe I watched the first couple of episodes of Season 6, and then just…never bothered again. I didn’t make a clear choice to stop watching. It just meant so little to me at that point that I never went back to it. It was on my DVR for a couple of years (!) waiting for me to sit down and give it some attention, but I never did, and then I upgraded my DVR and it was gone. Still not all that sad about it.

    That said, I can’t pinpoint where the show jumped, except to say that it was for me the point where the thing the creators had been utterly denying–the afterlife concept, which they were right in saying would feel like a cop-out–was the way they were going to go after all. Somehow, there was a “if you’re not playing fair, I’m not gonna play anymore” feeling about it for me.

  2. I think a huge problem with season 6 is that, if they did have a plan for that season, it wasn’t a very good one. With all the mysteries and plots from the earlier seasons that remained unresolved, they then kept introducing new ones that they clearly weren’t ever going to be able to explain, which made the whole thing unsatisfying even before the ending.

    @Teague: that seems to be a common misconception. All along, there were theories that everyone died in the pilot and the island was purgatory, which is what the creators denied. With the final season, it seemed to many that it was proving that the island was, indeed, purgatory, but that wasn’t the case. Yes, the concurrent story to the main plot was, essentially, the cast in purgatory, but they were very much NOT in purgatory the entire time. Those scenes were really another flash-forward, to everyone being reunited in the future after they had all died in the “real” world, before they all moved on into the afterlife together. (It’s perhaps a bit confusing in that they didn’t all die at the same time – there were years of difference between some of the deaths – but the afterlife doesn’t have to follow the same flow of time, I suppose.)

    When they denied the idea that they were all in the afterlife, that was actually a case where they DID play fair with the audience. (There certainly were enough cases where they didn’t, but that wasn’t one of them.) The island wasn’t the afterlife, and they didn’t all die in the crash. They did all die at some point (they were all still mortal), and they were reunited in the afterlife, but that’s a very different thing from what the creators were denying all along.

  3. Lost… ugh, a show I loved and then hated.

    Why couldn’t babies be born on the island? Why did the same pattern of numbers show-up time and time again? Why did the Dharma Imitative have strange training videos? Ugh…

    I thought it jumped the shark at the end of season #4. Six people made it off the island and that should have been the end. They got away. End of story. Everything after that point was a complete mess.

    Lost is the definition of “not sticking the landing” for an ending.

  4. Lost jumped the shark when Ben showed Jack that the Red Sox won the World Series. Season six definitely destroyed the rewatchability of the show as well as contradicting Jack’s speech of “Live together or die alone.”
    I think that the show did answer many of its questions. It’s simply that the answers given were mostly terrible or dull. For example: Q. What is The Dharma Initiative? A. Essentially a hippie collective of nobodies funded by some rich, eccentric people.
    The worst answer they had was the smoke monster being the man in black. That might have worked if they revealed this info sooner to the audience as it would have increased the stakes considerably but by waiting so long it removed the tension of a stronger foe for the curiosity of its mystery.

  5. For me it jumped the shark from the get go. They try something to get off the island, Terry Quinn makes cryptic remarks about how the island doesn’t want them to go, and nobody ever sits him down and asks “What do you know? How do you know? Why are we here?” Everyone had to act like idiots the whole show.

  6. Personally, I think it jumped in season 3, but recovered in season 4 and was good till the end. Which I guess means it technically didn’t jump.

  7. It’s an interesting question, Heather, as to whether a show can jump the shark and recover, while still counting that initial incident as “jumping the shark.” I think it can happen, but I can see why people think otherwise.

  8. I agree with Heather that Season 3 was the jump. The first two seasons were so full of promise. Adding the “tailies” worked for what it was. The main characters being captured by The Others should have been an opportunity for the rest of the cast to step up in the story. Instead, the lack of direction in the writers’ room meant we were subjected to an extended series of the main characters being tortured in polar bear cages.

    While I did enjoy the recovery and the effort the writers put in to stop improvising, I’d argue none of the post-season 3 content reached the levels of those first two seasons.

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