For years, the only way I watched Lost was from a distance. I heard it had several things relevant to my interests–monsters, survivors trapped on an island, a good critical reputation–but two things stopped me from diving in. First, with television if nothing else in my life, I’m a completionist; I like to start with the first episode and finish with the last, and I’d missed half a season or more before getting clued in that it might be watching. Second, as the series rolled on and people started to grumble about wheel-spinning, I began to worry its creators might not actually have any idea where they were going with it, and that it might end up canceled, or continuing into self-parody, or getting wrapped up with an idiotic conclusion–maybe it was all just a dream!

Then it ended. Opinion about how it ended ranged all over the map. I read a summary of the ending, which struck me as less than perfect, but at the very least ambitious, and, depending on how all that mythology played out over its run, possibly highly satisfying.

So I started watching two nights ago. I’m only three episodes in. The show is over 100 episodes long, and I hear a lot of those in the middle involve more running in place than a jailed marathoner. But I loved the pilot–that opening scene, smart dialogue, some fine actors with intriguing characters–and thought the next two were pretty sharp as well.

I’m a latecomer. I won’t be able to get caught up in the same heights of speculation and theory-making as the first-run fans. But being removed a ways means that maybe I won’t be so anxious about its outcome, either. I know going in that it has an ending, and while it may not be the glorious capper such a beloved show deserved, it doesn’t sound like anything I’ve ever seen before, either.

I’m going to see about writing about Lost episode by episode, then, with an attempt, from here on out, to cover each one I watch before moving on to the next. I don’t know if I’ll make it. It’s a big commitment, and I’ve got a lot of other projects to keep up with (some of which even pay!).

But I think there’s a chance I’ll love Lost. If so, all that work will be worth it.

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