What I learned from rewatching Lost.
Confession: I was not a diehard Lost fan. I enjoyed it during it’s primetime run, but for anything after the first season, I was a sporadic viewer at best. Then came 2011, a time in which my living room became a den of DIY projects, a time in which I had ample alone time with my flatscreen and Netflix streaming. Enter Lost. In the span of 11 weeks, I watched it all. Six seasons, 121 episodes and a shit-ton of my time. And I don’t regret it. Rewatching what I’d seen, and watching what I had missed, in rapid succession was like a serial vacation. In just about living on the island for those 11 weeks, I gained some insights about life (that most people probably learn without network TV).
It’s always better to be the interesting character than the romantic lead.
Interest appeal mindcheck: Jack was a Nilla Wafer most of the time thought mildly conflicted at best and Kate was a criminal driven by the pure motive of familial love. Ben Linus committed mass homicide, Jin was in organized crime and Danielle was an insane woman with automatic weapons and a stolen child. Would you prefer to be normal and popular or fucking interesting?
Good and evil are always based on your perception.
This is a major motif of the series, so I won’t pretend that I’m making a huge thematic moral discovery here. But it’s something really pervasive in the series and in daily life, especially in details. Is it good or bad of Hurley to help himself to some Apollo bars? Is Sun good or bad for withholding her knowledge of English from a husband she no longer knew? And is the Dharma Initiative bad or good for wanting to explore and discover the power of the island? It all depends not just on who you ask, but when. It may be black and white today; tomorrow it may very well be white and black. Both are valid.
If you can’t catch, grow or kill it yourself, don’t eat it.
If I was stranded on an island, forget wanting my iPod or mascara: I would want a goddamn hunting knife. Sure, a plane crash on an island is a big push to learn basic survival, but it also shows how disconnected the vast majority of us (myself included) are from where, how and why we get to eat. But Jin’s garden! And Locke’s hunting and tracking! I sure hope my castaway-mates include helpful people like them. My guess is that if the Lost crash really happened, most people wouldn’t know an edible plant from a dead starfish.
Civility is a thin veil over our primal nature.
Most of us want to kill, do or ignore each other; we just have many socially acceptable ways of disguising or communicating these urges. But let’s face it, there are days all we want to do is eat, sleep, fuck, repeat. Enter a potential threat to that trifecta of a routine, and you’ll have a problem. We just have means to safely express our discontent, you know, by tweeting something bitchy or commenting about how we’re skinnier.
If you are going to be in a psuedo-scientific commune, make sure the area isn’t already populated by time traveling Lost Boys.
For real, didn’t Richard and his posse remind you at least a bit of Peter Pan and his crew? Just, like, older and dirtier and less sing-y? Still, if I was to travel to a remote island to do social scientific research (or the services it necessitates like teaching and janitorial arts), I would fucking make sure there wasn’t a hostile band of natives. I mean, didn’t Juliet have the internet?! Sure, there probably weren’t many Google results for The Island (aside from the meh sci-fi film with Scarlett Joha-Idontfeellikelookinguphowtospellit), but you could at least do some primary research. Here’s how that could’ve happened.
Juliet: “Is it safe there?”
Dharma Dude: “Yes. Totally safe. Now take this massive sedative cocktail and climb aboard this submarine.”
Juliet: “Um, I think I left my curling iron on. Do you validate? (speedily exits)”
Shoulda, woulda, enter coulda.