(Above: A detail from one of Kate Beaton's Lost strips; follow the link below to see the rest of it and some of her other strips riffing on the show)
I didn’t watch Lost when it first started airing, as I didn’t watch a lot of network TV at the time—with the exception of Meet The Press. Back then I was still working as a writer/editor for an altweekly paper, and one day my fellow editor gave me the DVD of the first season of Lost to take home and watch if I was interested. She said it was incredibly addictive, and thought I’d dig it.
She had already watched and reviewed the DVD for the paper though, so I didn’t have to read in order to write about it. So there was no urgency to watching it, and I left it on top of the To Watch, Someday Hopefully Soon pile of similar DVDs that studios sent us for possible review.
One of my roommates at the time got to it before I did, and as I was passing through our living room one day I saw the oldest Salinger sibling from Party of Five, a hobbit and an attractive woman in what looked like part of air plane lodged in a tree, while some sort of big monster tried to get at them. It sounded like a dinosaur, but the director was being really stingy about showing it. I watched for a while waiting to see what the dinosaur looked like, got bored, and went back to whatever extremely important business I was doing in another part of the house.
My roommate reacted similarly to my co-worker; he liked it, was instantly addicted, and ended up watching many more episodes on the DVD in a row than he intended to, having some difficulty stopping watching it.
I asked about the dinosaur, and he didn’t know what I was talking about. So I asked about the monster—I assumed it was a dinosaur, but maybe it was a monster?–but he still wasn’t sure what I was talking about.
Eventually, we sorted out the conversation I was trying to initiate, and he informed me that no, they never did show the monster in the first season. There was a polar bear at one point though, and a smoke monster.
Both of these folks ended up getting caught up on the first season via the DVD, and then watching new episodes as they aired. I’d occasionally ask if they had shown the monster yet, or if they ever explained what was up with the island. They never did.
That was the extent of my flirtation with Lost. I just didn’t want to get involved spending hours and hours and hours watching a show where they never show the dinosaur, you know?
That said, I know the show has been enormously popular within my online, um, peer group…? The demographic of which I’m a part? Like, Marvel Comics let one of those Lost guys write the first third of a miniseries for them and published them without getting the rest of it, as if he were Chasing Amy-era Kevin Smith. Newsarama and similar sites would write about comics writers joining the creative staff (Brian Vaugh and Paul Dini, I think?). My then-local comic shop would always have dudes talking about the previous night’s episode whenever I went in on Wednesday afternoons to pick up new books. Kate Beaton did some strip sthat I didn’t get (but wanted to).
So I know some of you watched it. Hell, maybe all of you did.
I also know that the last episode aired tonight…or is maybe still airing, depending on your time zone. This I know because while I’ve never watched Lost, I watch Dancing With The Stars religiously.
So, can someone tell me in the comments section a) Did they ever show that goddam dinosaur? And b) What was the deal with the island anyway?
Go ahead, be as direct and spoiler-y as you want. Well, you need not to be detailed, as I don’t know the characters beyond The Guy Who Was On Party of Five, Harold Whose Name Is Hard To Spell So I Usually Just Say “Mercutio From Romeo & Juliet,” The Guy Who Was A Hobbit and The Fat Guy. Just a simple “It turns out they were in little Matrix vats and it was all a programmed virtual reality hallucination” or “They were all different personalities in the same crazy person’s head” or “It was all a dream M. Night Shyamalan had one night” is sufficient.
I have no intention of ever watching the show, and, if for some reason that changes (Maybe it will be on cable when I’m in a nursing home watching TV 18 hours a day?), I won’t mind knowing what’s going on.