Tonight: The Beginning of the End for Lost

Big confession: I never got Lost.
I know that makes me a TVFMF fraud but, thing is, I simply never bought into the premise. When that Oceanic Flight 815 went down in the pilot, I went down with it. Six years of how do they get off the island just was not a trip I was willing to take. It all seemed too Gilligan’s Island meets Survivor for me.
Many others disagree. Lost has been a critical favourite over its six seasons. Nominated for 146 awards so far, it has won 58, including The Peabody, Golden Globe, the Emmy and the critic’s TCA Award.
Even though I’m not into the show, I do admire ABC and the producers for insisting three years ago on an end point to the series, which begins its final season tonight at 9 p.m. on ABC and CTV. Too many shows drag on past their best before date and these guys seem to have called it exactly right, as I wrote in Saturday’s Starweek magazine:

Even rival network programmers are acknowledging that the Lost exit strategy is a smart move. “I will bet dollars to doughnuts that Lost is going to be fantastic,” FX president John Landgraf told reporters at the recent TV critics press tour.
ABC entertainment president Stephen MacPherson told critics on the same tour that picking an end date for Lost three years ago was among the proudest programming decisions he’s ever made. “I think it made the stakes of the final season even bigger,” he said.

ABC flew most of the cast, including Canadian looker Evangeline Lily (above), in from Hawaii for one last bow on the press tour last month in Pasadena. The last time Lily was at one of these TCA events she couldn’t get off the stage fast enough. The impression she left at the time was that she was spooked by the whole level of fame thing that comes with being on a hit series. There are some reports now that the 30-year-old is done with television. “I am going to cry like a baby when this show ends,” she told critics last month.
The role was the Alberta-native’s first ever speaking part. Before Lost, he biggest TV deal was a series of dating commercials. “It’s become so nostalgic for us to look back over six years and have grown up in front of all of you together,” she says. “It’s been so intense that for it to come to an end is going to be life-changing.”
Tonight’s episode promises some mind-bending surprises. “There are some head-scratchers,” says Jorge Garcia, who plays Hugo “Hurley” Reyes. “I think I had to read it about three times before it actually made sense,” adds Australian actress Emilie de Ravin, Lost’s Claire Littleton. “Totally does, but just getting my mind wrapped back into it.”
For a re-cap of the past five seasons, check out the handy ABC starter kit here.
And you’ve got to love CTV for promoting this as one of the greatest TV shows ever in their on-air campaign after they kicked it back and forth between CTV and A the past few seasons. They’re still doing it; Lost will begin tonight on CTV but in two weeks goes to A against the Olympics before switching back again.

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