LOST 10th Anniversary Reunion Paleyfest Event @ Dolby Theater; Los Angeles, CA

March 17, 2014

Remember when I was obsessed with LOST? How long ago was that!?

It’s hard to believe the finale aired almost four years ago. It’s even harder to fathom how ten years have passed since the show premiered way back in 2004. I was still in college at the time. Hell, I didn’t even watch the pilot. I don’t think I really heard about the show until the “numbers” episode created national headlines. Apparently so many fans went out that week and bought lottery tickets in the hopes that 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42 would win them millions of dollars it made a headline on CNN’s website. I remember reading that article and thinking, “God people are stupid.” Of course, had I been a fan of the show at the time I probably would have done the same.

As it turned out, I became  obsessed with the show. I was just later to the party than most. But the costume parties, large group viewings, paraphernalia-purchases, podcast interviews, weekly blog recaps, and attempted bids at that Profiles In History auction cemented my hardcore fandom. Of course when I heard there was a 10th anniversary reunion it was met with shouts of, “We have to go back!”

LOST @ Paleyfest; Dolby Theater, Hollywood

So there we were last night: Me, Nate, Tom, Mark, Louise, and David. It was just like old times. Except we were seated in the nosebleed seats high atop the Dolby Theater (like, eye level with the catwalk that spans the roof) staring down at a panel discussion — moderated by Paul Scheer — with Damon Lindelof, Carlton Cuse, Josh Holloway, Jorge Garcia, Yunjim Kim, Ian Somerhalder, Maggie Grace, Henry Ian Cusick and Malcolm David Kelly (WAAAALT!).

The evening began with a viewing of the penultimate episode of the first season, “Exodus Part 1”. Then the panelists took the stage and answered some of Scheer’s questions. Josh Holloway (Sawyer) told a great story about an obsessed fan, while Carlton Cuse recounted a story about Terry Quinn being literally abducted by a fan while he tried to hitch a ride home from the set. The cast members spoke about props that may or may not have followed them home after shooting wrapped. There were anecdotes about casting, filming, and life after LOST. A few of the actors mentioned how they were cornered by fans who offered up really, really bad theories about the future of the show during earlier seasons. There were discussions about how much the actors knew at various times during production. It was interesting to learn the answer was, “Not much.” As in, they were pretty much going from script to script without having any idea about the broad strokes of the main story arc or their own character’s life expectancies. There was even some talk of how the Jack character was supposed to die in the first episode of the show. The showrunners spoke about how one idea was to have this character appear on all the posters, and in all the commercials, only to die in the first episode. But then an executive at ABC — smartly, and rightly — suggested that if you take away viewers’ trust that quickly, they’ll never believe anything you tell them for the remainder of the show. Smart executive, whoever that was.

Then the floor was opened up for questions from the crowd (and one Twitter user with a really pathetic username I can’t recall at the moment. Something about CSI, though…). This turned out to be a pretty terrible idea, and led to Scheer reinterpreting some of the inquiries to make them more interesting. Of course the first question was some nerd talking about the outrigger during that scene in Season 5 where Sawyer is shooting at some unknown people whose identities are never revealed. And, of course the answer was a non-answer. I don’t think it’d be so bad for Lindelof and Cuse to just say, “We fucked up” or “The director fucked up,” but when they try to feed the mythology by saying, “Oh know, we know who was in the other outrigger but we can’t tell you — there’s a script that reveals it — maybe we’ll auction it off in another ten years” is kiiiiiinda bullshit. I could give a fuck what the answer is, but I thought the answer was a cop-out. The rest of the fan questions were generally terrible. Oh god, the nerds. They were out in force last night. I think one of them even said, “I bought this jumpsuit at the auction after the show…” then asked Josh Holloway, “…is this really Sawyer’s blood on it? Can you sign it?” Cringe.

Overall it was a good time. The nostalgia factor was high. There was clapping and cheering throughout the episode they aired before the show, and learning  more behind the scenes intel made for an informative and fun evening. LOST will always hold a place in my heart for being one of the most engaging and exciting television experiences I’ve had. I think Paul Scheer hit the nail on the head when he said that LOST was the first show that ushered in this culture of “binge watching” television shows. Its influence on pop culture is massive. And if any series should be trotted out after 10 years and patted on the back once more in a very public forum, it should be LOST.

Afterwards I had a shitty margarita and stale chips from Sammy Hagar’s Cabo Wabo Cantina. And it was still better than sitting in Hollywood/Highland traffic after a huge event at the theater.

The La’s – I Can’t Sleep [MP3]

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