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For Lost Fans, the Beginning of the End

Fanatical viewers predict strange things to come

| From BU Today | By Vicky Waltz and Ned Brown

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In the video above, fans of ABC’s hit television show Lost tell us their predictions for the series’ sixth and final season.

When rumor had it that President Obama was eyeing February 2 for his State of the Union Address, fans of the television show Lost mounted the kind of campaign that most political action committees can only aspire to: they bombarded message boards with protests and tweeted the hashtag #NoStateofUnionFeb2. After all, February 2 was the much-anticipated beginning of the end, the date of the first segment of the popular series’ final season. The White House listened, and without explicitly stating that the protest had forced a change of date, it assured fans of Lost that February 2 would be untouched by political speechifying.

“As pathetic as this may sound, I have to say I would have watched Lost over Obama’s speech,” says Katie Persons (CAS’10). “The president gives speeches every few months, but I’ve been waiting to find out how Lost ends for years.”

Persons is one of a great many. Since the show’s debut six years ago, millions of Lost fans have been enthralled by the often-Machiavellian strategies of the survivors of Oceanic Airlines Flight 815, which crashed on a mysterious desert island somewhere in the South Pacific on September 22, 2004. The fifth season left viewers stunned as they witnessed not only the apparent death of Juliet, who detonated the (yes) hydrogen bomb, but the revelation that the Man in Black had taken the appearance of the dead Locke and convinced Ben to kill the enigmatic Jacob.

If you’re confused, Persons recommends renting the first five seasons on DVD. “Lost isn’t a show you can jump into mid-series,” she says. “You have to watch from the beginning, because everything is so intricately linked that something that happened in the first or second season might be crucial to understanding what happens in the sixth.”

Dubbed “Losties,” the show’s fans are a rare breed, according to Nathaniel Boyle (COM’04), a Web producer for BU’s Office of New Media. “I’d say there are four tiers of fans,” he says. “There are the really obsessive ones, like me, who research and theorize and rewatch all of the episodes on DVD. Then there are fans who watch avidly and might theorize, but don’t research. You have your casual viewers, who have stayed onboard through thick and thin, and finally you have the fans Lost has ‘lost,’ probably by becoming too sci-fi or too full of unanswered questions.”

Just how annoying are Lost fans, anyway? Extremely, according to a report by the satirical Onion News Network. “I can definitely understand why talking about theories of nuclear reaction time travel, ghosts, and smoke monsters could be annoying,” says Paul Brown (ENG’11), “so I try really hard not to talk about the show around people who don’t watch it.”

While Brown tries to keep his Lost obsession on the DL, Boyle is unabashed. “I feel like a little kid on Christmas Eve,” he says. “I’m totally pumped for the new season. Yeah, I have no shame.”

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