Sunday night, television island drama LOST ran its series finale, a thirteen-hour mega-event that chronicled the end of an era. The show, which followed the stories of Jack, Sawyer, Nina Myers, and Boo Radley, has occupied the attention of millions worldwide over six years worth of Wednesday nights. The drama, which portrayed the grit of being stranded on an island by having all the men be sweaty and grimy, and by having the fat guy never seem to lose any weight, captivated fans with dizzingly complex story lines and clouds of fog.
The series finale, which received the highest Nielsen ratings for a series finale since the last episode of ALF, caused disruptions worldwide. The hashtag #Lost caused Twitter to crash for over 12 hours, which was nearly twice as long as the average Sunday night Twitter outage. Virtual fights erupted on Facebook as east coast watchers posted spoilers and west coast fans instantly created the “I bet I can find one million Lost fans who hate the East Coast” group.
There is expected to be a significant dip in the world’s productivity Monday, as fans spend the first half of their workdays comparing and contrasting JJ Abrams’ version of Purgatory to the version described in Dante’s “Divine Comedy.” (SPOILER ALERT: The preceding sentence gives away the ending to the show. My bad.) Further time is expected to be wasted as bloggers write up lists of “Top 1,000 Questions Left Unanswered By ‘Lost’” and endlessly try to rationalize how the show ended well, even though it made virtually no sense and failed to tie up 90% of the ongoing plotlines neatly. Harvard psychologist Bob Denver has coined this phenomenon “Lost-based Cognitive Dissonance,” and says it is an inevitable result of people wasting six years of their lives watching something that ultimately left them disappointed.
ABC executive Jimmy Conway spoke about the show following the finale. “For a show that was basically just a way to ride the success of ‘Survivor,’ ‘Lost’ was surprisingly popular. As I understand it, JJ Abrams basically just put a bunch of plot ideas on a dartboard and threw darts at it to determine the plot progression,” said Mr. Conway. “It took JJ about three seasons to realize people were actually watching and to start trying to make things coherent. Of course, by then it was already a ridiculously jumbled mess, so he just started dropping plotlines when they weren’t convenient. It’s a model that has become a staple in ongoing dramas like 24 and Grey’s Anatomy. He has nearly reinvented the genre as a whole.”
Following the end of the show, ABC is looking to profit from the popularity of the show by developing spin-offs. Among the items being considered are: “Hell,” which follows the passengers of Oceanic Flight 815 as they descend from Purgatory to Hell, wherein they are forced to watch all six seasons of “Lost,” back-to-back; “Hurley’s Flub of Love,” a reality dating show where women form a tribe on a desert island to compete for the attention of the show’s most lovable character; and “Over-Analysis Theater,” a seventeen-part PBS-style documentary which examines every aspect of the show and how it could possibly relate to various schools of philosophies/works of literature/Taco Bell menu items.
When reached for comment, JJ Abrams told reporters, “Listen, I just wanted the damned thing over. I’d written myself into a corner, and all I really wanted to do was make another Star Trek movie before Leonard Nimoy kicks the bucket.”