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The End of "Lost"

We say goodbye to “Lost,” the TV series that began with a plane crash and became a phenomenon. Plus, the “24″ finale.

The cast of LOST (abc.com)

The cast of LOST (abc.com)

After six years of mystery on a tropical island, ABC’s long-running series “Lost” ended last night, with a two-and-a-half hour finale, in five and a half hours of hoopla.

“Lost” was a landmark television drama – a kind of “Twilight Zone” shot in Hawaii and so loaded with plots, sub-plots and cosmic themes that viewers were eventually either in or out.  “Losties,” or just lost.

But the loyal were incredibly loyal, bent on a search for the meaning of life – or at least the smoke monster.

This Hour, On Point: we’ll look at the end of “Lost” – and what that all meant.


Jeff Jensen, a.k.a. “Doc Jensen” to “Lost” fans, is senior writer at Entertainment Weekly. His video blog is “Totally Lost.”

Lynnette Porter, professor of humanities and social sciences at the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. She’s co-author, with David Lavery, of “Lost’s Buried Treasures” and “Unlocking the Meaning of Lost”.

Aaron Barnhart, TV critic for the Kansas City Star. His blog is “TV Barn.” Read his piece on what it means for three “defining dramas” —  “Lost,” “24,” and “Law & Order” — to bow out together. He’s the author of “Tasteland.”


Former On Point intern Suzanne Merkelson blogs about Lost for The Atlantic. Check it out!

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  • jeffe

    Not sure why this is such a big deal.

  • Jerry

    It isn’t.
    This is called “filler” for onpoint radio.

  • David McAlpine

    Last night leaves me with my head whirling. Row row row your boat gently down the stream merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream… I enjoyed watching this show for six seasons, but this show is definitely bloated and it’s too bad for the rest of us that the writers couldn’t have tightened up this story to three or four seasons tops. I think the writers were “lost” after about the fourth season, and couldn’t tell the rest of us. Somehow the writers managed to pull and ending out of thin air. The final episode of Lost is evidence that the writers never knew where they were going with this story despite their claims.

  • David McAlpine

    I need to add that Jerry and Jeffe’s comments strike of snobbery, and Lost was a very unique show. Whether you liked it or not it’s the first show of its kind that I’ve seen on television. I’ve seen comic books follow threads like this show.

  • Michael Drew

    Wow. On Point does entertainment shows folks; always has. Deal. They just recently did a show on Robin Hood for no apparent reason (which was fine by me!). The state of the T.V. drama in the new media landscape in an interesting topic in itself that I’m sure will be a focus of the hour. Sure, they usually do this Fridays, but why do that when you can do it right after the show’s aired? By this Friday, it will be completely not current. I appreciate it.

  • Ann Mesritz Gronvold

    LOST is, ultimately, frustrating.

    Well acted, well directed — but the storytelling is fake and superficial.

    The essence of a well told tale is hero(s) and/or heroine(s) trying to overcome obstacles to reach a goal, and in reaching that goal, find or learn or achieve something that will give a boon to their community.

    In LOST the characters are trying to survive, to get back to their lives. A big part of that is trying to figure out what’s going on, who they can trust, how rules on this island work.

    The ISLAND, the place of the story is little more than a backdrop — we see little of the characters making shelters, finding food, dealing with and learning about the different creatures and different growing things that live on the island. They never seem to adapt and find a way of being in that world — they are caught up in a gang-like street culture of good guys, bad guys and life and death moments that never leave room for anything. The life and death tension is relieved by various romances and love matches, but nothing that takes on the real issue of making a meaningful life in the NOW!

    Some characters are good, some evil, but we never really understand why — others are swayed one way or the other, depending on how their fears and survival instincts lead them.

    In the end, the characters are told that all they have is each other, and now.

    The message reduced to a cliché that substitutes for a truly satisfying ending.

    And LOST is, ultimately, simply a mirror for what too many experience in our modern culture: a mirror for the seeming senselessness of modern life, where we meet countless obstacles, in a culture run by corporations, whose motives are disconnected from humans real needs, whether they are spiritual, physical or emotional.

    In the end, the writers and producers of LOST are simply part of that culture of meaninglessness — offering nothing of depth and substance. It’s cheap, it’s fake, it’s LOST.

  • jeffe

    I’m not snobbish, I just never watched it, don’t know anyone who did.

  • petra

    despite the negativity surrounding LOST, this was truly TV unlike anything we’d seen before — a non-traditional genre series with WELL over a dozen characters (later whittled down to half that), narrative complexity that asked the viewer to not only stick with the story arc’s crazy twists and turns, but also think about what it meant to them personally. The almost startling degree to which individual interpretation has defined this show, its meanings, and its messages, is what in turn cemented LOST’s significance. it indeed stands head and shoulders above nearly all scripted drama we’ve seen this past decade.

  • John

    LOST was riveting – filled with twists, turns, and surprises. It had complex characters and deeply interwoven plot lines. No other TV show has made me think so hard, and generated so much discussion among my family and friends. It messed with my head for six years. I will dearly miss LOST.

  • Nick

    I agree w/the first 2 commentators: w/so much REAL news to discuss, why waste valuable air time on a TV show (which I have never watched! For that matter, I haven’t watched regular TV for 14 yrs!)

  • Brad Harris

    Simply put, Lost was a show that sparked conversation, and trusted that the viewer was smart enough to make complex connections on their own. Beautifully written, shot, and scored.

  • Jim

    the island itself was never explained. only their journey.

  • Paula

    I loved LOST when it was it was a puzzle, and full of surprises, moral issues,
    But I have to agree with the NYT . The final episode was ‘mawkish”,
    and overly simplified with giant obvious signs directing us
    towards Christianity.
    However Jack and the dog was a nice touch,
    but it seemed so silly to just have it that everyone’s really DEAD.

  • Chris

    When a society needs a tale of Good versus Evil that is this cartoonish and obscure, you KNOW that the society has long-since lost its way!

    I MUCH prefer the new series, “Treme”, which includes the evil of political self-interest and malevolent disengagement and other, more “everyday” power plays. And, in “Treme”, Positive Spirituality is MADE manifest thru the MUSIC, thru the characters who can BUILD and MAKE things, and thru the Treme community!

  • Paula

    How is discussing “Lost” any different from discussing any other piece of pop culture, whether a movie or a comedian (there was just a show on one Friday, Sarah S…)? “On Point” often spends its 2nd segment on a current work, author, or artist, and universities now recognize that so-called low culture can be analyzed with as much depth as high culture.

    I just recently got a working TV (within the past 2 years) and decided to watch “Lost” on DVD before it ended. (I haven’t caught up yet.) It’s fun, it’s got philosophical/religious and some literary allusions, and there are plenty of blog archives where I can read what other viewers thought after the episode I’ve just watched.

    I’m covering my ears during today’s program!

  • Christi Malone

    No, they were not dead all along. You have to remember what Christian said to Jack. There is no *NOW* here. It is my belief that Jack has met those people in his here after and they may or may not be dead in his present. ALso, Hurley and Ben both refer to each other as having “been” a good # 1 and #2. And clearly that time in LA was 3 years prior to the last time we saw them on the island.

  • steve

    What was your guests’ interpretation of why Ben did not go inside the church? Is he not choosing “heaven” (if that’s where they were going), because he knew he didn’t merit that?

  • Steve

    Lost is what all that time people spent watching such gibberish.
    This was an example of the gullibility of TV watchers. After wasting so much time watching such drivel the “dedicated fans” will forever refuse to admit that it is such. The idea that there were deep philosophical content is true only for people who have none themselves.

    It was entertaining but that’s it and that’s all it needed to be. It is TV after all.

    As for me, I watched 6 or 8 full episodes but found it boring and too self involved for my taste. As such, it is understandable why so many loved it.

    Good bye and good riddance :))

  • Paul

    We are now seeing a mass choice-supportive bias after people have sunk six seasons into watching a horribly conceived show. The emperor has no clothes and LOST has no point.

  • BHA

    Never watched it myself. Never watched ’24′ either.

    I won’t be having any withdrawal symptoms :)

  • Filmprof

    The guests drank the Kool-Aid a long time ago. Lost started out as a great show but given the current status of TV, it was clear they didn’t have any clue where they were going — great concept, no narrative arc. I gave up on this series a few years ago, in no small measure because of this lack of direction and ultimate resolve. Go back to “Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” or movies like Woman in the Window. Been there, done that. The puzzles were fun for a while, but ultimately it was about sucking in suckers for ratings. The mock endings on Jimmy Kimmel were just as good as the pap served up.

  • claire

    The shows ending makes me look differently at the flashbacks in the early years of the show. If time is not linear, flashbacks and flash forwards and sideways worlds are all simultaneous–characters are working out redemption and forgiveness on all planes(!) and the island world gave them another plane to process and develop relationships…I see it as the entire show happened in one instance and the characters were united in the end (or a new beginning) by their redemption and their connections and love for one another.

  • Nez

    Hey, it had great characters, great visuals, great mystery and was totally fun!

  • Paula G

    I always like that LOST included so much diversity:
    different nationalities, different class strata.
    Koreans and Iraqis. College grads and rednecks.

  • Rex

    Lost is another night time soap opera that I make a conscious decision not to watch because I will get hooked.

    The writers did a fantastic job of keeping everyone hanging on week after week to see what happens but not reveal any answers till the end.

  • Amy from Suffolk, VA

    Last night’s finale was OK but it pulled its punches: everyone we lost got to reunite, we’re not sure if they survived or died, and there was an ambiguous “spirituality-ness” (think truth-i-ness). I love a good story. In books I love, authors are not afraid to make hard choices–characters die (and stay dead). This seemed like a result of a marketing focus group. I’m happy to let questions go unanswered–but this was too wishy-washy. All in all, however, Lost provided some of the best TV storytelling I’ve run into.

  • http://www.fairplaydogs.webs.com Jean McCord

    On Lost’s ‘unanswered questions’ – Life presents us with thousands of questions each and every day; how we choose which questions to answer, and how we go about answering them, determines the courses we travel. There are many dead ends, and some people do get caught up in them. I think the show answered the most important questions relative to the characters (and the characters’ characters, as it were) and it let the others go, as we all must do.

  • Barbara Bird

    Haven’t read all the other comments, but it looks like
    there is a lot of hostility amongst listeners…; what’s
    up with that?

    My point, however, is: it occurred to me while listening
    earlier in the show that it is too bad British Petroleum
    doesn’t have access to Jack and his Giant Stone!

    Love your show Tom and personally loved Lost.


  • Walter Clay

    Jack: Where are we?
    Christian: This is a place you all made together so you could find each other.
    Jack: You mean, Facebook?

  • Christi Malone

    From the begining I thought of the similarity to Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone. I would like to hear the panel’s opinion about that.

  • BHA

    petra: “The almost startling degree to which individual interpretation has defined this show, its meanings, and its messages…”

    As it always is when there is no clear, tangible, repeatable proof of the answer to a question. People say Lost was a religious reference. Petra’s comment suggests the viewers’ responded in exactly them same way to the unanswered questions.

  • Rob

    That’s what brought me here! This is at least the second or third time they are having in depth discussions about a TV show; the NPR people must be huge fans and/or the show or network must somehow be a sponsor. It’s a show that I have never seen so I appreciate the information; I get that it is a phenomenon, but it seems like a lot of coverage. And, now, I hear that they are having a show on 24 tomorrow to cover the finale of that show and they just spoke with Keifer Sutherland last week about it…

  • Kathy Simmons

    I would have liked more concrete answers-and while I enjoyed seeing the characters get together the whole ‘life after death’ thing left me, an Atheist, disappointed. However, I still love the entire 6 seasons, and the good vs. evi–from a SciFi point of view!

  • Dan

    The ending was a disappointing cop out. It showed lazy writing and silly spirituality. They built this big plot of multiple time lines (perhaps in different dimensions) and then they said…actually they’re all dead. The whole flash sideways was just the afterlife. Well, how cute and stupid. Why not just have Jack wake up and say “Oh, what a dream!” The flash sideways were pointless, making the last season pretty silly. I liked the main story line and the afterlife scenes were always a distraction and a time waster.

  • Cyndi

    We tried to watch it during the first season but life is always more important than TV. So, we found that you couldn’t miss a week here or there and keep up with it. Our plans all along was to wait for it to end and get the over the top DVD release and watch it all at once. We just understood that it was going to take an investment we weren’t willing to give it.
    *shrug* it is, after all, just a TV show. Good bad or otherwise, it’s just a TV show.

  • Michael Drew

    I understand coming onto this board to say you think the hoopla is overdone or that you didn’t watch or like it. I don’t for the life of me understand why it needs to be done in a nasty, insulting way when certainly many people who are fans (many of whom are quite emotionally invested) will be gathering on little sleep and with raw emotions to discuss the show on the morning after it has ended. We all know television shows have had that kind of effect on people in the past. Some people think it is one mark of true art. Just listen to the callers. (I even know of one very sincere critic who holds television to be the greatest of all art forms: http://www.thetvcritic.org). Why be insensitive? This isn’t life or death; we’re not debating the Iraq war here. Would you appreciate someone coming into a discussion you are having of some piece of culture you enjoy and not just saying it is lame – that is fair game – but basely insulting you for your taste? What in the world? What has happened to respect?

  • Frank Ryan

    I was not a regular viewer (perhaps eight episodes of the entire run), but with each viewing, I got the overwhelming impression that I was watching a modern day “Pilgrim’s Progress” [John Bunyan] in parallel. Imagination and creativity? Yes. Originality? No.

  • Michael Drew

    @ Frank Ryan

    This, too has been said before. It’s fair. But is there really a problem if it’s true?

  • David McAlpine

    I was really disappointed listening to this discussion. There was no real discussion of the flaws of Lost. I love Lost, but I was really looking for more of a critique. It was worth having a discussion about this show, but it turned into a Lost love fest only. No one asked how this show could have been done better or about any of the threads of the story which may have led to a better path. I also wish I heard less of you Tom and your guest and more from Lost fans probably trying to dial into your show.

  • Vivienne

    What I really wanted was to have Jack, Sawyer, Sayid, Kate, Hurley, Jin and Sun wake up in bed with Suzaane Pleshette. Now that would have been an ending.

  • Jeanette

    Tsk, tsk. Most of these comments seem to be made by very cynical people who obviously have a superiority complex! I can’t understand why it bothers them soooo much that other people enjoyed the show & will miss it! Life would be very boring (maybe their’s is) if we were all the same. Obviously, on one taught them that life lesson. :)

  • Maria

    Oh stick a sock in it! Not you On Point – these too above-it-all comments. I loved the journey of “Lost” and today I am mourning the passing of this beautiful and rich TV show.

    I won’t waste my time defending my devotion to Lost. Like “Avatar” this show is something that needs to be experienced not explained. It means very different things to different people – and that’s part of the fun! What I don’t understand are people who need to dismiss something simply because they aren’t a part of it. Seems very high school, no? I’ve seen a handful of “Star Trek” and not one ep of “24,” but it’s never occured to me to bash the shows or the people who watch. Whatever for? Good is good. Enjoyment is enjoyment. We Lost fans had 6 years of joy, anticipation, tears, thrills and community. Sorry you missed out.

  • peter nelson

    Most of these comments seem to be made by very cynical people who obviously have a superiority complex! I can’t understand why it bothers them soooo much that other people enjoyed the show & will miss it!

    No, that’s not what the complaints are about. It’s fine for people to enjoy the show, just as it’s fine that some people collect hummels, or artwork of children and puppies with big sad eyes. Personally, I collect and study cartoons from the 1930′s by Max Fleischer, Hugh Harmon, Rudolph Ising, and others. I’m sure I can get just as excited by topics related to that as you can about some TV show. But I certainly wouldn’t expect them to indulge my little hobby when there are more important things to talk about.

    The complaints are because in a period with an ongoing environmental disaster of unprecedented scale, the Eurozone melting down and many experts warning that the Euro itself might cease to exist, a dramatic change in government in the UK, a US budget deficit approaching $1.5 trillion, the sinking of a South Korean naval vessel by North Korea, a pivotal US election coming up in the fall, a new health plan going into effect, new banking regulations about to go into effect, fundamental questions being raised about the concept of “expertise” in a period where many recent news events were regarded as 6, or even 7 or 8 sigma just prior to actually happening, the recent creation of a totally synthetic bacterium, dramatic technological advances in a host of areas, huge shifts in the centers of global economic and R&D strength, declines in US intellectual competitiveness and the recent passage of a landmark religious conservative syllabus in Texas, and lots of other exciting, meaty, substantive, relevant, and important topics, some of us who regularly contribute money to our local NPR stations because we like OnPoint’s coverage of such matters are disappointed that they would waste an hour on a TV show like “Lost”.

  • Matt from CA

    TV shows have become so central to our lives that we have to discuss them on the radio?

  • peter nelson

    What I don’t understand are people who need to dismiss something simply because they aren’t a part of it

    Comments like these really reinforce the stereotype that TV viewers have had their minds addled by watching so much TV, because you clearly don’t get it.

    I’m not dismissing “Lost” because I’m not part of it, or because I haven’t experienced it, (although since I’ve never seen it, those are both the case) or because I object to your being “devoted” to it or because your had “joy, anticipation, tears, and thrills” from it. I get some of those things by being a New England Patriots fan, but I would object just as much if they did a show on them. I’m glad you like “Lost” but as a station contributor I have a right to express my objection to my money being spent on this topic.

    What’s being questioned is whether, of all the topics they COULD have devoted an hour to, this is really a good use of the airtime for a program that should be devoted to substantive issues. Just previously they did Sarah Silverman. It must be “sweeps week” or something.

  • Larry

    Please, please, do not waste air time with such dribble. If the show was two hours last night why, WHY do you feel you need to do another HOUR??? WHY!! I have no idea of this show and care nothing for any of it. Very disappointing. Stop trying to “balance” substance with “fluf” in your two hour show. You have an opportunity to enhance the public discussion not”entertain” them with popular trivia crap.

  • Bishop

    Thank you Tom for giving discussion to this amazing show, “Lost”. I’m not an avid television watcher, but this show really captivated me over the past 6 years. It’s not often you come across a film, tv series, book, or otherwise that can foster such profound emotion and thought. Exploring these enormous themes has left me with more questions than answers and as lover of the unknown, I will miss this weekly escape.

    One note left out of your discussion, the score…bravo to the music director, bravo to the creators/writers and bravo to the actors…you all broke a leg.

  • Gwen

    I am dismayed and disappointed that OnPoint would devote an hour to talking about a TV show. If you did not watch last night’s episode — and approximately 19/20 people in America did NOT (see http://blog.zap2it.com/frominsidethebox/2010/05/tv-ratings-lost-finale-takes-off-for-abc-sunday.html) — then it was a complete waste of time.

    Please, there are many other topics both more interesting, and clearly much more important!

  • Kieran

    Jeffe, Jerry, Larry, Steve and a few others seem to think that discussing Lost is a waste of time. Some of these comments seem hostile, negative and snobbish. Seems like they haven’t watched the show and simply dismiss any discussion that is not of the intellectual standards they have set.
    For years TV was derided as a waste of time, and rightfully so. Most of it was and still is garbage. But, in recent years several shows, including The Sopranos and Lost, have attempted to address the human condition, and life in modern world in a sensitive, thoughtful, though-provoking way…in the way that art is meant to. No, it’s not high art, or the deepest philosophy. But for a network TV show it was very thoughtful, and fairly arty entertainment. And fun at the same time (is that so wrong)? I wish that more time on our public airways was dedicated to discussion of thought-provoking entertainment, perhaps there would then be more of it. It’s rather narrow-minded to assume that serious, worthwhile discussion can only involve subjects like war and politics. Get off your big, fake, high horse people!!!

  • smugalert

    I have some advice to the commenters decrying the superficiality of today’s topic

    Don’t listen. No one’s holding a gun to your head and making you tune in. Tom will get back to more weighty matters tomorrow I’m sure. The world’s not going to end because he devoted 1/2 of one day’s show to a fluffy topic.

  • peter nelson

    Don’t listen. No one’s holding a gun to your head and making you tune in. Tom will get back to more weighty matters tomorrow I’m sure. The world’s not going to end because he devoted 1/2 of one day’s show to a fluffy topic.

    At least you admit it’s fluff, unlike some people here who seem to think it’s Plato’s Republic with commercials, or the prime-time TV equivalent of an LSE lecture on intertemporal choice, which is how people decide whether to watch “Lost” or listen to “On Point” or alternative activities.

    As I said, I may not be forced to listen to it, but I’m helping to pay for it as a financial contributor to several different public radio stations.

  • jason

    What a bunch of cry babies and snobs. Grow up and wipe your tears. Really! You complainers can’t take one hour of NPR that’s not about Afghanistan or the economy? I can guarantee that I’m as cultured and educated as anybody on here, but I don’t think so much of myself that I can’t enjoy well-done mass entertainment. And I don’t think so much of myself that I assume I have a right to criticize what others’ enjoy.
    The complaints I’m reading regarding Lost indicate the worst kind of small-minded arrogance and pretension. Realy, again, grow up!

  • smugalert

    “As I said, I may not be forced to listen to it, but I’m helping to pay for it as a financial contributor to several different public radio stations.”

    Again, it’s 1/2 of one day’s show. You’re acting like this is some huge insult. It’s not. Do you always take yourself this seriously?

  • peter nelson

    but I don’t think so much of myself that I can’t enjoy well-done mass entertainment

    Who’s stopping you?

    But, as I asked above, given all of topics out there to discuss, why is “Lost” a better choice than something more substantive?

    You and lots of other people have tried to justify this program choice on the basis of how entertaining or enjoyable the show is. But that seems like a non sequitur because its entertainment value is not in dispute. So what is your point by just repeating it? Why should I care how entertaining it is, what is the relevance of that?

    There are many – probably hundreds – of publications and media programs devoted to the entertainment industry, where, no doubt, everyone of excitedly discussing “Lost” right now. There are a mere handful of serious one-hour public affairs programs like On Point. So you have lots of other places to talk about “Lost” – people who want hour-long discussions of substantial issues have very few places like On Point.

  • Monticello

    Howard Beale: So, you listen to me. Listen to me. Television is not the truth. Television is a G*dd***ed amusement park! Television is a circus, a carnival, a traveling troupe of acrobats, story-tellers, dancers, singers, jugglers, side-show freaks, lion tamers and football players. We’re in the boredom killing business!

    So, if you want truth go to God. Go to your gurus. Go to yourselves because that’s the only place you’re ever going to find any real truth. But, man, you’re never gonna get any truth from us. We’ll tell you anything you want to hear. We lie like hell. We’ll tell you that, uh, Kojak always gets the killer and that nobody ever gets cancer at Archie Bunker’s house. And no matter how much trouble the hero is in, don’t worry. Just look at your watch. At the end of the hour he’s going to win. We’ll tell you any s**t you want to hear. We deal in illusions, man! None of it is true! But you people sit there day after day, night after night, all ages, colors, creeds…We’re all you know. You’re beginning to believe the illusions we’re spinning here. You’re beginning to think that the Tube is reality and that your own lives are unreal. You do whatever the Tube tells you. You dress like the Tube; You eat like the Tube; You raise your children like the Tube; You even think like the Tube. This is mass madness!

    You maniacs! In God’s name, you people are the real thing. We are the illusion! So turn off your television sets. Turn them off now. Turn them off right now. Turn them off and leave them off. Turn them off right in the middle of this sentence I’m speaking to you now. Turn them off!
    (Beale passes out.)

    ~ Howard Beale from Network (1976) by Paddy Chayefsky

  • jeffe

    Kieran I have to say it seems you have a huge chip on your shoulder. Get a grip I made a comment, and there it is.
    It’s amazing how people get so upset about a TV show.
    Well the writers were clever, they got people hooked and that was the point.

    It was not Henry V or King Lear…

    Now the Wire, there was some good writing and a wonderful series.

  • loyal_listener

    On Point covers a wide range of topics. The finale of a popular TV show is definitely within the scope of this program. I’m glad Tom did it. As usual it was a well thought out and presented.

    I have to say I was very disappointed in the finale itself. I think the only reason they made it 2.5 hours was to sell more ads. The show didn’t answer any of the burning questions I had, like What’s the significance of Hurley’s lottery numbers?; Why did the Dharma people bring polar bears to the island anyway?; and Were Widmore and Eloise protectors or exploiters of the island? I have about a half dozen more questions that will now be unanswered. The ending itself was just too ambiguous. Was it all a dream, in which case the whole adventure means nothing?

    The show basically turned into a soap opera. It threw out many interesting angles into the characters experience on the island, but in the end never showed why we were supposed to care about them. I feel a bit cheated now. I’m just glad I watched this through Netflix and didn’t get sucked in for 6 years.

  • jeffe

    I found this on HuffPost, I think it sums it up, for me anyway. By the way I don’t object to On Point doing a show on TV. It does stray from the original premise of On Point.

    The produces had an opportunity to do something great here. Everyone was watching and waiting for a point to it all. We were all rooting for them to prove all the nay-sayers wrong. That the show isn’t about nothing. That the writers had a plan the whole time and everything will make sense. Or they could have gone out in style, with a big, satisfying whopper of an ending, dazzling everyone with, if not their cleverness, then their fireworks instead. But alas, they revealed that the writers were snake oil salesmen. It reminds me of Seinfeld, another hit show that had a disappointing ending. But unlike that tightly plotted sitcom, Lost hid the fact that it was a show about nothing until the very end.

    The show was little more than a tale told for idiots. Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

  • jason

    Wow, Jeffe’s all kinds of worked up about this. Go Jeffe go! Civilization is crumbling all around us, you’re the last defense!!!

  • jeffe

    jason try growing up. I’m not worked up at all. I just it funny that people seem to think TV, and commercial TV to boot is worth anything more than the stuff it’s selling.
    Amazing jason that you would object to people making comments about a TV show that will be forgotten in a few years or less. Get a life pal.

  • Maria

    I do want to add that while I love the show I was also disappointed with the ending. I wish there had been other guests to offer a more unbiased critique. As a mostly regular reader of Doc Jensen I know he makes too many excuses for the failures and shortcomings of Lost. I’m a grateful viewer, but I do feel hoodwinked by this lazy, final season. The characters, actors and indeed the viewers all deserved better. Wish we could have a do-over season! Hmmm.

  • Frank

    What’s the deal Jeffe? What do you care if people enjoy a TV show? And then you come on here to insult people by telling them to grow up? I think it’s you that needs to grow up, and lighten up, my friend. Show a little more sensitivity and intelligence if you’re going to comment publicly
    I personally think that it might be best if you excuse yourself, and your negativity, from further comment until you calm down a little bit. Thank you.

  • Monticello

    Arthur Jensen (President and Chairman of the Board of Communication Corporation of America (CCA)): You have meddled with the primal forces of nature, Mr. Beale, and I won’t have it, is that clear? You get up on your little twenty-one inch screen and howl about America and democracy. There is no America. There is no democracy. There is only IBM, and ITT, and AT and T, and DuPont, Dow, Union Carbide, and Exxon. Those are the nations of the world today!

    ~ Arthur Jensen (played by Ned Beatty; Howard Beale was Peter Finch’s last role)

    from Network (1976) by Paddy Chayefsky

  • Astronerd

    If you want to understand the meaning of the end of “Lost”, rent and watch all of “St. Elsewhere”.
    It has a similar ending.

  • Monticello

    The real meaning of “Lost?”

    - Tying this hour of “On Point” to its first hour, Chayefsky’s eerily prescient script has CCA President and Chairman of the Board, Arthur Jensen, naming “the nations of the world as “IBM, and ITT, and AT and T, and DuPont, Dow, Union Carbide, and Exxon.”

    Chayefsky may well have mentioned among these “nations,” BP.


    We report. You decide.

  • Don

    You devote an entire “precious” hour to an inane TV program when young men and women are dying in Afghanistan? Did you not read today’s Washington Post editorial about the lack of debate in today’s politics about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq? I am thoroughly disgusted — I spent hard earned dollars to support Public Radio and you give me this drivel. I may have to rethink my decision to support such drivel.

  • rick

    i must say i am a bit surprised by all of the energy in the comments here. i watched the show (on dvd.. couldnt deal with the commercials or weekly commitment).. i enjoyed it… some seasons better than others. i dont consider myself a great intellect. but i do recognize there are better shows out there, the wire for instance. still, i saw from my students a great deal of excitement as well as colleagues from a range of different demographics. this i found interesting. dont know what this says about the quality of the show, other than it is rare to have something to talk to my college students about, that involves pop culture. should it have been a topic for tom to discuss? sure, why not… i am a contributer to npr and i am consistantly “entertained” by topics i have no experience with, until tom (or npr in general) introduces it to me. cant remember if it was tom or not, but they introduced “girl with the dragon tattoo” to me a few weeks ago.

  • Larry

    Lost. We are all lost in life until we find love. Whether it’s through a soul mate or a purpose in life.

    The island is a metaphor that each of us are an island unto ourselves. The battle for good and evil that rages on in us. That is the meaning of the golden source at the center of the island. For time immemorial there have been guardians of that source of goodness protecting it from the dark side. Wise men, priests and shamans.

    The sideways time travel or the back and forth are just ways to illustrate what a decision, large or small can mean. One decision, leads us to happiness, another to darkness.

    All of the characters found “heaven”. They all found it by reaching for love.

  • Chris

    Now I have more time to say better what I tried to say before. For me, the best metaphors are FOUND, during the creative process. For me, LOST loses it because the writers seem to be “illustrating” the metaphors, OR the obscured metaphors they WANT to use. I didn’t agree with some of the on-air comments when people said that people who don’t like LOST aren’t comfortable with ambiguity. Au contraire, for many of us, I bet! I just don’t like art that “cooks up” ambiguity. For me, there was too much “purposefulness” and “concoctedness” thruout the various layers of the show, and not enough “artistic surprise” where, with surprise, the communication between the artists and their “work” would be what provided the artists the GIFT of FOUND metaphors and ambiguities.

    I’m not really making up my general POV; it comes from ideas I got from my fine arts teachers — ideas that took me decades to understand. I can say that comparing LOST with Treme HELPED me understand that I finally understood this concept about creativity that was passed on to my generation of students. Whether it is a concept that is universally true, or whether it just is a concept for some of us, I DO know that I DO appreciate my own understanding on this matter. Others may differ; I’ve always believed that. Thanks!

  • Valerie

    Last night’s broadcast on LOST was a waste of time. There are so many pressing issues in our society today why spend time analyzing a soap opera? Very disappointed with your decision to air this broadcast which is more fitting of publications such as People or shows like Entertainment tonight.

  • jeffe

    Frank I’m not upset,I’m in the camp of this is a waste of air time. You’re reading way to much into my comments and projecting your own baggage on them.

    There you go, we beg to differ. It’s called a comment page.
    I’m not telling to stop posting so don’t tell me what to do.

  • Ben

    My 2 cents:

    The finale was horrible.

    People who’re complaining about the topic:

    On Point has always been 1 hr of hard news and 1 hr of feature news.

    You didn’t like today’s feature news, too bad. You could turn it off. When I don’t like the day’s feature news, I listen anyway.

    Just because you donate to the station does not mean the station loses its editorial right to make a show based on whatever they want.

    If you don’t like the choices, stop donating. Or donate half as much if you only like the hard news portion.

    Basically: suck it up and stop whining.

  • brittney:)

    Lost, wow! what a great journey.
    i must say though, the ending was….. unexpected i guess. the flashes sideways were just them after death? wierd. so they all died on the island? no, but what happened with ben and hugo? like did more planes crash there? what about the ones on the plane? how about the couple? the dog? did he die with jack or keep him company until death? sooo many unanswered questions. there should have been more time focused on the island not the sideways. nd what was the meaning of the island??! biggest mystery of all. i just wish there were more answers. but hey-maybe thats the point; figure it out yourself. ehh, i would have much rather had them answered for me. butt all in alll a great show.

  • Luke

    Sure, On Point devoted an hour to a TV show. Why the venom directed at the tube? Because most of it is drivel and mind numbing? They said the same thing of literature (that wasn’t the Bible) back in the day and *still* 90+% of all books on the shelves are mind numbing drivel.

    LOST certainly is On Point, literally. Millions of people in the world interacted with it and in turn, each other over it. Same could be said of “Catcher in the Rye,” but the media is different. LOST is certainly a novel on it’s own.

  • Lostie

    As soon as Jack’s father asked him the question, “Why do you think you’re here…?[paraphrased]” instantly brought about an “Aha” moment… and then I said, “I see dead people…”

    In the same vein of “Others,” “Sixth Sense” and maybe even “A Beautiful Mind” it took you for a loop…where what you thought was “real” was not “real” at all…

    Well done.

  • rondie rice

    “lost” was the story of “The White man’s burden”. Jack was the hero in the role of the new “jesus” laying down his life for all of our sins. think about it!

  • Bill Hussar

    I just wanted to note that, despite what some people have said, that On Point frequently has programs that do not deal with such current events as the oil spill, the situation in Iraq, etc. For example, last week, On Point features interviews with actress Pam Grier, poet Rae Armantrout, and comedian Sarah Silverman as well as a show on gardening. So, this week, there was an hour on something that many people were talking about the finale of Lost. I like it that On Point spends a lot of its time on the important issues of the day, but also looks at hobbies and popular culture.

    For the record, I thought that it was a great finale.

  • john

    I’ve yet to ever see an episode of this show, so i feel like i have a unique perspective on how this show affected us culturally. My friends would plan their lives around the viewing of the show, but unlike many other of these largely popular shows, i rarely heard conversation about it’s content, it’s applications to life or it’s funny moments. It’s strange that people can feel so personally connected and yet have so little to say about it to one another.

  • Robert

    Jeffe, so much anger in your comments. I think Frank is right, maybe you need to cool off for a while. That attitude simply isn’t needed here.

  • Spradd

    Appears to be lots of dullards chiming in here and offering opinions on a show they’ve never watched. Apparently, something as low-grade as a television show, as opposed to say something of real ‘substance’, such as a ‘book’, or an online comment page, can stir no debate or valid commentary of any real worth. Intellectuals have always been known for their lack of imagination (that part of the brain don’t work too hard!) and reliance on anything other than ‘just the facts, ma’am’, and most would have not been open-minded enough to allow themselves to feel the spiritual ending to a fine show. Lots of mindless, pointless, lowest- common denominator crap on TV, I’ll agree. ‘Lost’ was not.

  • dave

    Thanks Tom for having this show. I was jumping out of my skin to talk to someone about the finale. I guess if you loved the characters as my wife and I did then, you would love the show with all its twist ,turns and quirks. I still have not unraveled everything that happened in the finale,and it was mind boggling, but was glad to see the characters claim a happy ending. I wish these characters could stick around forever on television. For me LOST was a wonderful,mysterious, nerve racking show. Loved every minute of it!!!

  • Michael Drew

    To all those who chastised the producers for spending an hour on “dribble,” ie a TV show: guess what, they made this hour a “producers’ pick.” I think that’s NPR-speak for go suck yourself; if you don’t like the topic then don’t listen.

  • joshua

    I never saw jack as a hero. He was an arrogant p**ck and should have died ina different way. It was so obvious the writers would make him the “leader”, th echosen one. Whatever. It was too predictable. We saw Sawyer grow and it should have been him, if not just for the Grek hero mytholical figure cast of immortal they were looking for with Jacob. Obviosly they would not choose an Asian–it has to be a white guy right? How is Hugo going to carry his fat burden around to protect the island.

    The ending felt superficial. the fifth season was fantastic, but the sixth season was completely lost. it failed to deliver the dramatic and visual climax that the story demanded–very bad writing-it felt hurried. the writers really weren’t clever enough to pull it off.

    Overall love the story, but it has that really disappointing flat ending that a bad pedestrian novel gives or a low-budget b-flick offers.

    And they didn’t explore some of the philosophy enough. What heppened to the temple and all the egyptian symbolism–that was never wrapped in the conclusion. Immortality is passed down in a poisonous cancer causing plastic bottle from a muddy puddle. So disappointing? So many of the character personalities were so low-brow shallow stereotypical expectations of a shallow society.

    Of course they want to make all the teachers loosers, or even those who read books are seen as angry and unfit for immortality and guidance. Did Bush-heads write this?

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