Are we LOST?

...or will we find the answers to the mysteries?

In the history of television, there are only a handful of shows capable of producing a cult following. Viewers of these programs become followers for various reasons, but the results are always the same. They never miss a show, no matter what, and they talk about it with anyone who will listen.

The show "LOST" is one of those programs. It is a show about a plane crashing on an island, and it follows the lives of the survivors of the crash. When ABC first advertised the concept of the show, reactions to the show ranged from mildly interested to somewhat curious.

The beginning introduction into the show is simply an eerie sound with the word LOST, written in white letters, moving forward on a black screen. There is no theme song, and after watching a few episodes, fans realized that it did not need one. The intro set the stage for the premise of the entire show.

Many people who watched Gilligan's Island knew that turning tragedy into comedy is what made that show interesting. Therefore, people wondered what could happen to survivors of a plane crash that would make viewers want to tune in every week, until someone came to rescue them.

The answer to that question came within the first two hours of the premier episode.

1. The Survivors
The characters on the show come from all works of life. Each one has qualities that draw others to them. They are people who normally would not associate with one another if not for the unfortunate circumstances which brought them together. Each survivor possesses a trait that the viewing audience wished they owned, or at the very least, had friends who possessed those qualities. One character is compassionate, one is mysterious, one is funny, one is fearless, and yet another is charming and conniving.

2. The Setting
The plane crashed on a tropical island, which means that not only is the scenery and setting breath taking; the weather is gorgeous as well, except it starts and stops raining periodically, without warning. Whether it is for storyline purposes or not, the producers chose to film on location in Hawaii, one of the most beautiful places in the United States.

3. The Lives of the Survivors before the Crash
Viewers get to see what made the survivors who they are, by showing flashbacks into their lives before the crash. This gives viewers an understanding of why the characters behave as they do, and what made them the people they are today. The viewers have this advantage over the other survivors. The other survivors learn some of these secrets, in bits and pieces, long after the viewers find out about them.

4. The Mystery
The mystery surrounding the island the plane crashed on is central to the storyline of the show. The Internet buzzed with viewers' thoughts and ideas on what the mystery was, following the first episode. Some viewers believe that the survivors did not actually survive; they believe everyone on the plane died and that what they are experiencing is the afterlife. Others believe that the island is part of an experiment, to test humans' psychological and emotional reactions to catastrophic events. The show leaves viewers wondering all the time and they try to find the answers to the many questions they have, by sharing their thoughts with fellow viewers.

The writers answer some of the questions and reveal a few pieces of the puzzle, as the story progresses. However, those answers give way to new questions and new mysterious happenings that keep viewers glued to their set every week.

5. The Connection
All of the survivors connect in some way, either by being in the same place at the same time somewhere in their lives before the crash, or by an event that affected them in some manner. Directly or indirectly, the survivors are there for a reason, either by sheer coincidence, or because it is their destiny.

"LOST" is a show with a clever concept. Viewers get to know the survivors, who they are and how they lived their lives. They also get a surprise each week as the writers clear up one mystery, while creating another one that fans talk about all week until the next new episode.

"LOST" began its final season last month, after a major cliffhanger last spring, which left everything viewers thought they knew, or assumed they figured out, up in the air. Fans of the show expect to see all of the secrets of the island revealed.

Loyal fans hope that the last episode will end as explosively as it began. It will undoubtedly run in syndication for decades, and will find many new viewers to become fascinated with all of the elements of the show simply entitled, "LOST".

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