Sunday, May 23, 2010

Lost - Our Star Wars

It's OK to cry.

Today is one of those days when it's truly legitimate to cry over a television show not only for the death of a character, nor for an incredibly sentimental piece of editing and music, but for the fact that there won't be a new episode next week, or next year. It is OK to cry. It is OK to mourn. I think I speak for a lot of men and women in their twenties (and live in the First World) that tonight is the end of perhaps the popular culture phenomenon that will define our generation.

We came to this world during the ass-end of the Star Wars craze - I was less than 12 months old when  Return of the Jedi came out. I got into the whole thing on video, which is not the same as experiencing something as it happens. We got into Star Wars because those people that were a few years ahead of us in school were talking about it - it wasn't a conscious decision, we just wanted to be like them. We were young and we didn't know any better.

Now, I don't want to bash Star Wars films - I like them as much as the next guy. I have never loved them, but I get the occasional goosebump and testosterone-attack when I see Bobba Fett. But, it was never mine.

"Lost", though, belongs to me. It belongs to my age group - and nobody will take that away from us. We can bask in the glory that it was "us" that gave the world "Lost" - perhaps the most intriguing television show ever. "The X Files" has a cult following, "Star Trek" shows have their ultra-dedicated fans, "Seinfeld" is still the liberals' choice for what sitcoms should be like. Actually, "Simpsons" is probably the only show that comes close (or overtakes, in some cases) what "Lost" stands for. Yet, it is a completely different beast - and it's far older than "Lost", which makes us far younger when it came out.

Tonight, I'm going to genuinely cry. I don't care if they answer any of my questions. I don't care if they answer any questions, to be honest with you. Yes, we have invested 6 years of our lives to this show and it's OK to demand answers. But, frankly I'm just grateful that "Lost" existed. Let's face it, our lives won't be different if we don't find out shit about the island. But it will be different, because there won't be "Lost" anymore.

I'm not going to go into the whole "there aren't any good shows around" thing - there will be. Did anybody see "The Wire", or " BSG" coming? No. There will always be one or two good shows that we will hook us in. Having said that, the great run of TV is over. I will even say that the "good" television was far better than "good" film in this century. Say what? Let me begin: "The Wire", "BSG", "Alias", "Shield", "Six Feet Under", "Firefly", "Deadwood", "24", "House", "Family Guy", "South Park", "The Office", "30 Rock", "Scrubs", "How I Met Your Mother", "Dexter" ... and those are only the DVDs that I can see on shelf next to my TV. There's more in the next room.

"Lost" isn't the greatest TV show ever. But it is my generation's Star Wars. We were there when it came out. We had "Lost" parties. We drank beer and ordered pizza and watched multiple episodes. We had endless email threads with our theories. We bought each other the DVD boxsets for Christmas and birthdays. We updated our Facebook statuses because we didn't like an episode. We all had a crush on either Kate or Sawyer. We talked about the previous night's episode at work or in school. We all played those numbers to win the lottery at least once. We evangelised the show and annoyed many people. We were there.

It's OK to cry.

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