Live Together, Die Alone

I just finished watching all of the Lost episodes…I seriously cried about four times in the series finale. [I know, I know, I cry easily. Just let it go.] It goes to show that no matter how many questions you leave unanswered, if television/movie writers focus on the characters and their multiple storylines (and find some damn good actors), they can’t really go wrong. Not to mention making the confusion last six glorious seasons, basically dropping the non-serious viewers from the ratings.

Yesterday I also finished the Heroes series. It didn’t actually have a series finale—they just cut the show after the fourth season because of poor ratings. I understand why, even though I’m actually a fan of the show and its plot. The point of me blogging about this was to brainstorm the similarities between Lost and Heroes, because I actually saw quite a few.

The plotlines of each show are completely different, really: Lost is set mainly on an island that the main characters’ plane crashed on, and the characters are all completely ordinary people—it had been said, actually, that the characters were “picked” because they were nobodies, that their lives were going down the crapper—trying to find a way to survive and be the better for it. Heroes is set all over the world, and the characters were all ordinary, until one day they woke up and realized they had superpowers—then they struggle between heroism and villainy until they find where they belong.

The main thing I noticed that overlapped between the two series was actually the names of a couple of episodes. “Tabula Rasa”, “Orientation”, and “Collision”—and Lost has two separate episodes titled “One of Us” and later “One of Them”, while Heroes has one single episode titled “One of Us, One of Them.” No, I didn’t go so far as to re-watch each episode separately to find similarities; I’m not that weird (I hope; get back to me in a couple years). The ones that really interested me were the ones titled “Tabula Rasa.” I Wikipedia’d the term (which I realize isn’t technically okay, but this isn’t some term paper, people!), and it defined Tabula Rasa as: the thesis that individuals are born without built-in mental content and that their knowledge comes from experience and perception—that we’re born essentially as a blank slate, and everything we do after that is what shapes us as people. I don’t really have an argument for or against tabula rasa being true or false; I just thought it was really cool that both shows used it as a title.

I could go on and describe everything that coincided with the two shows–FATE, depth of characters, banding together to save the world, faith, heroism in general, search for meaning/purpose, etc. Mainly I just wanted to say how much I loved Lost. And how sad I am to see it go, but how thankful I am that it was created (I think I’ll miss you the most, Jack). If you want a really good analysis of the finale, check this out.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Thank you, Netflix. You are one of my favorite things in this world. You showed me the beauty of the Lost series, as well as having a Watch Instantly button that aids my procrastination on the ugly things in life—like me exercising. Trust me, you don’t wanna see it.

2 Responses to Live Together, Die Alone

  1. Kayla says:

    I actually noticed “tabula rasa” just because it was such an odd name. Then Wikipedia helped a bunch. And I recommend Netflix for everyone! I use it every day, and for $9 a month it’s totally worth it (if you have really fast internet, of course). I haven’t seen any of Fringe, but will definitely check it out–thanks for the recommendation!!

  2. Eleni says:

    I used to be a big Heroes fan, but I stopped watching after the third season. I just couldn’t stand the confounding characters anymore. But seeing as there’s only one more season, I might pick it up at some point, even if there’s no satisfying finale. Maybe if I get Netflix :)

    That’s funny that Heroes and Lost had so many shared episode titles. You probably noticed this when you looked up “tabula rasa” on Wikipedia (totally an OK source to look things up…just not for formal papers, as you say), but the man credited for the modern theory of tabula rasa is John Locke. Knowing Lost, this is no coincidence.

    People do bring up Heroes as one of many examples of a studio trying to find “the new Lost” (more recently: FlashForward, The Event). There are big differences, as you point out, but they’re both heavily serial (miss one episode, you’re going to be pretty confused next week) and have rich mythologies. I do like that kind of TV show, because it can be so rewarding for the viewers who follow it. But it’s easy to get lost in it unless the characters are really strong. The character-driven story of Lost is what I think put it above Heroes, which I think at times had its characters do really uncharacteristic things for the sake of plot/creating tension.

    Thanks for the plug ;) Do you watch Fringe? It’s another show created by J.J. Abrams, one of the original creators of Lost. And it’s probably my favorite show on TV, now that Lost is gone.

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