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Lost Discussion 10 Years Post-Finale: What Worked, What Didn’t, and What Should’ve

Lost/ABC - Photo by Mario Perez

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Lost finished airing 10 years ago on May 23, 2010. Join Jillian Pugliese and Tommy Czerpak as they take a look back at the groundbreaking series that helped usher in the golden age of television, and discuss why we love it (and what we think it did wrong).

Tommy:  Hi Jillian, fellow Lost lover. Thanks for joining me for this discussion. Can you believe the finale aired 10 years ago already? Did you watch it live?

Jillian: Nope, I’m a latecomer. I was only eleven when the show finished airing, and I don’t think anyone that age would’ve been able to keep up with it. I watched the series for the first time about three or four years ago and fell in love. It’s an insane show, but it’s incredibly addicting. I binged the series in a couple of weeks, and have rewatched it several times since. What about you? Were you always a fan?

Tommy: I was! I watched during its initial run. It was an incredible time to be a fan because internet discussion had just started to take off but streaming and DVR hadn’t, so while we had places to go online and discuss (may the imdb Lost message board rest in peace), everyone still tuned in at the same time every week. Each airing was an event we all watched together, which really promoted discussion. Television hype is so wildly different now. Not everyone watches everything at the same time with streaming and DVR, and I wonder how Lost is received by someone who was able to take advantage of the more recent methods of media consumption.

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Lost/ABC

So I’m curious, since you watched Lost right in the middle of the golden age of television that it helped launch – How did you decide to watch Lost amongst all the other great shows nowadays?

Jillian: I started watching Lost mainly because everyone always said it was too hard to keep up with. The legacy of the series isn’t its innovative forms of storytelling or usage of symbolism. It’s remembered for being the show that no one could follow. I took that as a challenge. So, I started to watch it on Netflix (sadly it’s been taken off since) and got lost in the world of Oceanic Airlines and The Dharma Initiative.

Lost can be quite convoluted at times, and there’s definitely plot holes within it, but because of how I watched the series I was never lost following it. I’d imagine if I had to wait months in between seasons I would’ve been much more confused. But getting to watch season four right after the big twist of the season three finale kept me invested. If Lost came out on a streaming service I think people would’ve stuck with it for longer. 

Waiting for episodes to come out would’ve been particularly frustrating when it comes to filler episodes that did nothing to move the plot along (think Nikki and Paulo). But instead, I was able to power through until I reached a compelling storyline that I cared about. 

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For 2004, the pilot of Lost still holds up really well. You can sense that it’s from the early 2000s based on how the characters speak to each other, but it’s not so dated it’s unwatchable for future generations. I don’t think some of the plotlines would fly nowadays, especially in regards to the way the show treats women at times, but it still manages to be an example of what a great television show can look like.

How do you think Lost holds up ten years later? Was it ahead of its time?

Tommy: I rewatched much of the series last year; parts of it hold up incredibly well, parts of it don’t. When Lost is at its best, it’s still unlike anything on television, even today. I think the pilot in particular is a masterpiece that has yet to be matched. It balances its large cast incredibly well, giving each main member a moment or two to develop while keeping the focus on Jack. It makes clear that the island and its mysteries are merely a gateway to explore the characters through, as each scene throughout the pilot provides some character revelation, whether it’s the kindness of Hurley passing out meals or Kate finding courage during their first encounter with the monster.

It’s a perfect mix of mystery for both the island and the characters, and has shockingly little exposition for a pilot. Most pilot episodes require the viewer to play a bit of catch-up, as they have to be introduced to the world the characters are inhabiting, but Lost has its characters getting introduced to the island along with the audience. Overall, I think it’s a phenomenal piece of work.

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Lost/ABC – Photo by Mario Perez

Ahead of its time, though? I don’t believe it was. I think Lost was an exact product of its time and naturally pushed network television forward. The medium had to evolve eventually, and Lost expanded the scope of character work and mythology that a network series could provide. With the rise of the internet and DVR, fans wanted to pause their favorite shows to look for clues and share them online. I think audiences were ready for something new and more serialized – something grander, and Lost filled that need. 

As for its story, it’s a series about redemption, loss, and human connection; age old themes that have existed for as long as storytelling. It’s a (mostly) well told story that has influenced dozens of series with its methods and brand of storytelling since, but I wouldn’t necessarily classify it as ahead of its time.

For what doesn’t hold up? You nailed it – Lost has a problem with its women. I think Kate is at her best in the pilot and the finale, but in between she’s stuck in love-triangle hell with very little narrative agency. Even Juliet, my favorite female character on the show, gets shafted by the love-triangle juice.

Jillian: My biggest issue with Lost is how they handle Kate’s character. She had so much potential in the early seasons, and the episodes that focused on her backstory were some of the best of the show. But then she started to be written as just a pawn between Jack and Sawyer when they’re struggling for power. There’s some genuinely sweet moments between her and each of the men, but I would gladly scrap any sense of romance from the show to get back the character Kate was supposed to be. 

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Lost/ABC

As for Juliet, they did her character a great disservice by involving her in the love-square mess in the later seasons. I did really like her with Sawyer, but her final moments on the show surrounded him and specifically her jealousy of his relationship with Kate. She deserved better than that.

I’ve always found it interesting that originally Jack was going to die in the pilot. Kate was the one who was supposed to lead the group. Imagine how different the show would’ve been. 

But for better or worse, we’re stuck with Jack as our lead. I’ve never been his biggest fan. He became more self-righteous as the show progressed, which made him difficult to watch. What’s your opinion on Jack? 

Tommy: I’ve heard a lot of Jack criticism over the last sixteen years, particularly in regards to self-righteousness, and I have to admit that I’ve never agreed with it. I definitely think Jack has some flaws in how he was written, particularly in some of his later flashbacks (such as when he stalks his ex-wife and the obvious, tattoo propelled tragedy of “Stranger in a Strange Land”). His actions in those flashbacks are not pleasant and do him no favors with audience perception.

On island, though, I think Jack is a great character in most instances where the series itself isn’t floundering (such as the love-triangle shenanigans we discussed above). Lost is a textbook example of how to force characters into situations that challenge the specificity of each character: Kate has no where she can run on an island, Sawyer struggles to integrate with the rest of the survivors and overcome his self-imposed loner attitude, Jin and Sun are forced to address their failing marriage, etc.

Jack’s challenge is the strongest, however, because while the other characters’ flaws are challenged, Jack’s flaws are challenged along with his entire worldview. As a surgeon, his approach to almost every problem is through reason and science, and the island throws both of those approaches out the window, essentially giving Jack a crisis of faith (even though that faith is science).

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Lost/ABC

Jack is stuck in his beliefs because to accept that he is wrong is to accept that the island is more than “just an island.” I don’t see that as self-righteousness so much as I see it as fear. He doesn’t think he’s right, he’s living in denial, and I think that’s an important distinction. There are few stronger character moments in the series than Jack immediately denying that the island disappeared moments after he watches the island disappear.

I think this denial most clearly manifests in his desperate need to be involved in saving everyone; he personally has to be the one to hunt down Charlie and Claire, to find Michael – to be the man who gets everyone off the island. I never viewed this as a self-centric “I am the messiah” attitude, I viewed this as the desperate attempts of a man to regain some control over a situation that he doesn’t understand.

If anyone on this show is self-righteous, I think it’s John Locke. That dude sabotaged equipment, blew up the hatch and the submarine, and threw a knife in a woman’s back all because he was right and everyone else was wrong. Asides from trying to control Kate’s actions half the time (which contributes to the major problem in how the show treats its women) I don’t recall Jack ever forcing his worldview on the rest of the survivors – he doesn’t force anyone to leave the beach, he doesn’t actively stop them from pushing the button – so long as their actions don’t threaten the safety of the group.

I think that most people accept Locke’s actions and attitude because he is obviously right about the island, which also hurts the perception of Jack. The audience understands that there is something special about the island, so it’s annoying to see Jack deny it and exciting to see Locke thrive on it. (To be clear, John Locke is an amazing character and truly one of television’s greats).

Of course, Jack has a massive shift in attitude in the last two seasons when he becomes a man of faith and accepts the island for what it is, finally shifting his worldview and providing the show with a strong series arc and statement, which I believe proves his value as the protagonist.

Jillian: I started another rewatch of the show recently, and my goal was to go into it and give Jack a second chance. Sometimes you dislike the main character just because they’re the main character. I wondered if that was the case with him.

But as I got further into the show I was reminded of why Jack rubbed me the wrong way. He was presented to us as our hero, the selfless doctor who’s going to save everyone. That character would’ve been dull, but at least it’s someone you can root for. Instead, as the show went on, Jack went from the archetypal good guy to a man who desperately needed to be in control of everything and everyone.

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Lost/ABC

He had a terrible savior complex that made him unlikeable. He’s not the worst character by any means, but he’s easy to hate. Especially when he’s with Kate. 

I’ll never understand the hype around that couple, when Jack consistently acted like Kate was a project he needed to fix. I know Kate’s widely hated, and as we spoke of before she didn’t really get the chance to reach her potential before being reverted to a plot device, but my main gripe with Jack was how he treated her. He was dismissive of other characters at times (Hurley and Locke especially) but his desire to “save” Kate from herself was nothing if not presumptuous. 

All the characters on Lost are deeply flawed individuals, which is what made the show so interesting. But, characters like Sayid and Sawyer who acknowledged their faults were far more compelling than Jack, who was in denial about not only the island, but himself.

My favorite character has always been Sawyer. He’s a fan-favorite for a reason. He has great character development throughout the series and provides much needed comic relief. 

But I would argue the best character on the show is none other than Ben Linus. He’s the original antihero. He’s introduced as an antagonist and pretty much remains one throughout the show (I’ll never forgive him for killing Locke), but he’s so entertaining to watch. Michael Emerson’s charismatic performance is captivating, and makes him well-deserved of the role of TV’s best villain of all time.

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Tommy: Ben is an incredible villain, and he invigorated Lost in ways no other character could due to the focus he provides for the series. He’s attached to so many of the sprawling plotlines, even if just tangentially, that his existence ends up connecting a lot of loose threads. The Others, the island pregnancy issues, Jacob, the smoke monster/Man in Black, DHARMA – Ben has a direct connection or hand in all of these plotlines, which helps keep the series together, or at least to seem together.

Because Lost can be a mess. Plotlines are picked up and dropped haphazardly at times, some due to behind the scenes logistics and some due to just plain poor writing. At times I think the only two things that hold Lost together are the thematic resonance that’s fairly consistent throughout the series and Ben barely holding the plot threads in line.

The show was frustrating to watch live at points. Mr. Eko is a badass and my friends and I all had so many theories on how his character would shake out, then NOPE.

Done-zo.

So much of the second season feels irrelevant in retrospect due to so many of the tail section survivors biting the dust. I enjoyed the second season my first time through but the lack of legitimate development that comes out of most the new characters that season really hurts it on rewatch, despite episodes like “The Other 48 Days” holding up as single serving episodes.

How do you feel Lost did with its plotting?

Jillian: It depends on the season. Season one was perfectly paced, and set up the storylines for the rest of the show. But, you’re right, season two was pointless. Ana Lucia was built up to be such an important character who ended up having very little impact on the plot as a whole. 

And then the longer the show went on the more filler episodes they included. We didn’t need to know about Jack’s tattoos, or why Nikki and Paulo were on the flight. But mostly, I feel like the show did pretty well with embedding the different aspects of their story together. 

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Lost/ABC

It can be messy at times. Especially in season five. The time travel storyline on the island was somewhat hard to follow, but it ended up furthering the arcs of the individual characters successfully. 

How do you think Lost did with establishing themes throughout its run?

Tommy: Some shows thrive in connecting their storylines to themes subtlety, some are more overt. Lost is more overt, and for a series as grand as Lost is, I think that mostly works. The show establishes its main themes very early on, with the pilot introducing the idea of two sides, “one is light, one is dark,” and just a few episodes later Jack spouts out his “Live together die alone” speech, which may be the most prominent theme in the series. And of course by the end of Season 1 Jack and Locke have the open discussion of what it means to be a man of science vs a man of faith.

No matter how ridiculous or tangential Lost’s main plots become, the show holds together thematically throughout its run. I’m still blown away by how the writers were able to come up with such an effective physical manifestation of the man of science/man of faith philosophies with the button. It’s so on the nose, but it works because it forces Jack and Locke to explore their beliefs. It’s not just a thematic tie, but a challenge for the characters and a plot point to further the narrative.

The flashbacks are also an excellent structural choice because it helps highlight the themes of redemption and letting go, as we see who these characters used to be vs who they are on the island. By using the flashbacks to show us how characters acted in similar situations previously in their lives, we are given hard evidence as to whether or not these characters are growing.

Characters like Sayid continue to torture people, consistently making the some mistakes, while characters like Sawyer seem to sway between improvement and regression, as we see in his decision not to kill the boar in Season 1, but swift disposal of the annoying tree frog in Season 3.

The flash-forwards provided similar benefits in relation to themes, giving us a reflection of how the island changed the characters, but I’d argue that the flash-forwards were a little more dependent on twists and wild setups, such as Sayid working for Ben, than character development, as the skip in time hides what the character development actually is. I love the flash-forwards, and think they were a necessary change for the series that reinvigorated the show (Season 4 is my favorite season, after all, even if it contains my least favorite episode “The Other Woman”). They just don’t tie in to the themes of the show quite as nicely.

The flash-sideways, on the other hand, are almost too closely tied to the themes. I really believe that the final season and the finale of Lost would have been better received if the reveal that the sideways universe was a purgatory of the Losties happened much earlier in the season. Saving that reveal for the end twist may have kept audiences guessing, but it kept us from understanding the context in which these adventures were taking place.

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Lost/ABC Photo by Mario Perez

I enjoyed my re-watch of Season 6 so much more on the second go because I knew that these were really flash-forwards to the afterlife, and I had context as to why Jack was a believer and Locke a skeptic regarding Locke’s ability to walk again. Instead of wondering what happened in Jack’s other sideways life to make him so positive, I could reflect on Jack’s journey throughout the show. Desmond’s journey to reunite the survivors takes on a whole new flavor when you understand that he’s acting on the “live together die alone” philosophy the show spouted enough times to make Rose want to punch Jack in the face.

So while I think the adherence to the show’s themes hurt the flash-sideways in the series’ initial run because the audience lacked the context to understand it, I do believe they are a valid storytelling method and they hammer home the concepts of faith, togetherness, and redemption (Ben’s storyline in the afterlife is one of the best examples of redemption on the show). Personally, I’m not a huge fan of the concept, but I think it works.

Jillian: Lost definitely established itself as the benchmark series when it comes to utilizing flashbacks/flash-forwards to provide insight into their characters. I’ve always been a big fan of the flashbacks especially, because it helps you understand who these people are and how they got to the island. Sawyer wouldn’t be nearly as compelling of a character if we just heard about how he became the man he hated for ruining his life. Seeing him go through that made him much more sympathetic.

Likewise, seeing the heartbreak Locke experienced every time his father disappointed him was intrinsically important to the reception of his character. We can feel the desperation he felt in those moments, and his desire to matter to someone, or something, radiating from the flashbacks. We could never understand the depth of Locke’s devotion to his faith in the island without seeing where he developed that strong sense of faith from. 

When I watched the show I knew what the flash sideways was going into it, and that’s why I loved the final season so much. If I didn’t know, I’m sure I would’ve been more focused on figuring out what the hell is going on instead of appreciating the character details embedded within it. I loved how the series tied up, and I thought the finale was a great conclusion.

However, it left audiences divided. What’s your take on the finale? Did you like it?

Tommy: It’s so interesting to discover that you knew about the flash-sideways prior to watching Season 6. What else did you know of before watching the show? I know we are a small sample size but considering your love for the final season and my renewed interest in it upon re-watch, I wonder how many other people could have benefitted from knowing the deal beforehand.

I have a weird take on the finale, as I constantly find myself defending it despite not completely loving it. Part of this comes from what I said above – I think the flash-sideways emphasizes the themes and characters of the show nicely, but it’s not how I personally would have preferred they tell the story. My favorite part of Season 6 is the lack of information about the Man in Black and his effect on the world should he leave the island, as it truly defines Jack as a man of faith. To me, the fact that there is a definitive afterlife in the Lost universe sort of pulls that away, proving that faith is rewarded, which for me, hurts the theme.

In other ways, however, it strengthens the themes, which is why I find myself defending the finale despite my distaste for some of it. The Losties literally don’t die alone. That’s fairly beautiful, and we get to see characters like Ben make the right decisions in the afterlife because they grew as people in their actual lives. I can appreciate that, even if I don’t like it.

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Lost/ABC Photo by Mario Perez

Some aspects, though, I just don’t think work. Sayid reawakening because of Shannon? Really? The series depicts Nadia as Sayid’s strongest romantic connection by far, with his love for her spanning the time frames both before and after the island. I don’t want to deny Shannon’s importance for Sayid, but I think I’m just going to. Shannon’s loss was barely felt after her death, especially compared to characters like Alex or Charlie, whose deaths continued to motivate characters like Ben and Hurley long after their demise. Shannon’s death pissed Sayid off for a while, and then Sayid, from a story perspective, just moved on. None of Sayid’s choices or actions past Season 2 seemed to stem from Shannon in any way, so why is she the one he ends up with? 

The reawakenings also reek of clip show to me, which I’m never a fan of. I can understand some fans liking them because they provide a bit of nostalgia but I find them uninteresting for the most part. And the final scene of the church. . .it’s nice to see everyone so happy and together but it also feels a bit preachy to me just by the nature of taking place in a church, even if that church is purposely nondescript. It lasts too long as well, giving me plenty of time to ask where Mr. Eko is and wonder if Walt would be a kid or an adult if he showed up.

My absolute biggest gripe with the finale is its lack of closure for the island itself. I don’t mean answers, I actually think they tried to answer too many mysteries in the final season (the whispers and donkey wheel explanations were lame and I think should have been left unanswered. It’s a magic island for God’s sake. Magic things happen there. End of mystery). I mean the island doesn’t get a goodbye. It’s such an iconic piece of television history that to this day it only needs to be referred to as “the island” to be recognized, and there isn’t even a wide shot of the place in the final 104 minutes.

It irritates me every time I watch it. It makes me want to scream. I can’t understand what happened where the island doesn’t get this final shot. Several characters are flying away from it on a plane and it doesn’t lead to any full view shots of the place????? AUGH. Would this have been so hard???

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Lost/ABC

All the on island stuff, though, I think is pretty solid. I love the ridiculous cork in the center of the island. It makes no sense at all and I love that, because magic island and story about faith. It all works to drive the themes and story home.

Love Hurley taking over the island. Love the numerous callbacks that come about the narrative naturally. Love Christian’s speech to Jack, and love the final shot of Jack’s closing eye. It’s a beautiful wrap up to a story about life, death, and what it means to find faith in others, to let go of your past, and try to be better moving forward. I think the finale holds true to everything Lost as a television show is. Character driven, thematically over-rich, nonsensical, and grand.

I just personally wish it could have found a way to be all of those things without the flash-sideways, but I can’t fault it for not being what I would have preferred. Overall, I don’t think “The End” reaches the heights of Lost at its best, but I also don’t think it’s Lost at its worst. It’s just the end of Lost, and I’m happy with that.

What about you? Did you find any missteps in “The End” or did you love it front to back?

Jillian: Since I knew going into the show there was some type of afterlife aspect in the final season, I didn’t feel “The End” was too rushed in explanations because I understood where we were headed all along.

There’s definitely a level of cheesiness when it comes to the reawakening moments with the couples, but I still loved it. It was sweet to see the characters find each other again, and for all of them to finally find some version of peace. It’s nice when you’re rewatching the show to know that no matter who dies or what happens, they all end up in the same place at the end. 

While that could take away from the narrative impact of character deaths, it’s comforting as a fan. I like being able to watch the great “Not Penny’s Boat” moment and know that Charlie eventually finds his way back to Claire. The choice to have them all literally “die together” was a great way to drive home the central theme of the show, a sense of community. Of course there’s struggles with morality and faith that are more often discussed in analyses of the show, but what makes Lost so great is the relationships between the characters. 

It’s a character driven show, and over six seasons you can become easily attached to your favorite ones. So seeing almost all of them reaching the end of their journey together was very cathartic. 

I also really loved the full circle moment between the final shot of Jack dying and closing his eyes compared to him opening his eyes in the same place in the pilot. It felt like the writers had been planning that closing shot since the beginning. 

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Lost/ABC

I agree about Shannon and Sayid. It didn’t make much sense for them to end up together. All the other couples that had their reawakening moments were much more central to the show. Shannon was barely even in the show, and had very little impact on Sayid’s character arc. 

But otherwise, I think the finale was done really well. It wasn’t perfect, and I still don’t love how Claire was dealt with in the final season, but there’s nothing about it that I have resentment towards. Everyone ended up where they should’ve, and found closure together. 

Except for Ben. But I think it was a really smart choice for him to work to redeem himself further. It wouldn’t have felt right to have him in the church with the rest of the group. 

All in all, “The End” was the perfect end for me

What did the rest of you think about “The End?”Join us in our discussion and comment with your insights, critiques, commentary, and whether or not Jack is the worst!


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Editorials

21 Underrated TV Shows You Need to Watch

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22 underrated TV shows

Not every show can be the next Grey’s Anatomy or Game of Thrones, both of which have amassed a cult following of well over 8 million fans and followers on Instagram. There are so many other shows that are worth a watch, so here’s our list of 22 underrated TV shows that you need to check out.

Don’t forget to comment below which shows you agree are underrated or any titles you feel should be on this list!

1. Love (Netflix)

Produced by Judd Apatow, Love has a similar indie feel to his other work Knocked Up. Mickey and Gus, an unlikely pair, meet in a chance encounter at a convenience store. Mickey is wild and rash, while Gus is a quirky goodie two shoes. Defying the cheesy stereotypes of a romantic comedy, Love stories their surprising bond as they grow together and learn the complexities of love.

2. Shrill (Hulu)

Starring SNL comedian Aidy Bryant, Shrill stories the trials and tribulations of a plus-sized writer who uses her insecurities to grow her career. Along the way, she learns lessons in self-love and friendship all with a healthy dose of humor.

3. The Haunting of Bly Manor (Netflix)

The second mini-series in the Netflix anthology by Mike Flanigan, The Haunting of Bly Manor is set against the backdrop of a horror show. However, it’s not so much a ghost story as it is a love story. And a sad one at that. Once you get through the few jump scares, you’ll look back teary-eyed and appreciate its beautiful reimagination of memory loss.

4. Please Like Me (Hulu)

Please Like Me is an Australian comedy, coming-of-age story about twentysomething Josh. After his big gay awakening, he’s just trying to figure out life. Amid his recent move home after his mom’s attempt at suicide, moving out again, and dealing with big life changes, he doesn’t always handle things perfectly. But he faces tough events and forges his own peculiar path.

5. Dollface (Hulu)

Mixed in with a few fantastical elements, Dollface shares the truth and importance behind female friendships. After getting dumped by her boyfriend, Jules realizes she had been neglecting her friendships, so she now has to work to rebuild them. Starring some big names like Shay Mitchell and Brenda Song, this is the perfect light-hearted comedy for your nights in.

6. Behind Her Eyes (Netflix)

A single mother gets caught up in a dangerous game when she starts an affair with her boss and befriends his wife. Behind Her Eyes is a slow watch at first, but once you get to the end of the short six episodes, you’ll be shocked. This psychological thriller is vaguely reminiscent of Jordan Peel’s film Us, so get ready for some twists and turns.

7. Dark (Netflix)

You’ll need to watch this one with subtitles unless your fluency in German is up to par, but I guarantee it’s worth it. Dark is a mind-twisting puzzle about a small German town. Following the disappearance of two children, the town’s underbelly is exposed and nobody is who they think. Full of time travel, you’ll need to make sure you have a pen and paper to keep up, otherwise, you’re sure to get lost.

8. Made For Love (HBO Max)

If you like Black Mirror and the scary concept of technology, you’re sure to love HBO Max’s recent release, Made For Love. While in a toxic marriage with a tech billionaire, a woman is implanted with a chip that monitors her every move and emotion. She finally escapes and is on the run looking to regain her independence.

9. Insecure (HBO Max)

Perhaps one of the more well-known titles on this list, Insecure stars Issa Rae in this comedic yet realistic series about two friends Issa and Molly. Set in LA, the show depicts their flaws and insecurities as they make it through daily life in a city full of exclusive parties and status. It’s also an important watch for the social and racial issues it touches on.

10. Workin’ Moms (Netflix)

Think parenting is hard? It is. Workin’ Moms is a Canadian comedy all about a group of new mothers and their struggles balancing it all. Through mistakes and hiccups, they learn that while being a mom isn’t easy, it’s certainly rewarding. Even if you’re not a mom, you’re sure to get in a few good laughs.

11. Feel Good (Netflix)

In this semi-autobiographical portrayal of comedian Mae Martin’s life, Feel Good centers around the main character Mae as she grapples with her sobriety and a new girlfriend. Whether or not she’s simply replacing her drug addiction with love, she’ll have to find ways to heal and cope if she has any hopes for her relationship’s longevity.

12. Kim’s Convenience (Netflix)

The lack of Asian representation on TV is horrendous, but Kim’s Convenience is one small step closer to bridging that gap. The show follows a Korean family in Canada who owns a convenience store, and the cultural and generational gap between the immigrant parents and their two children. Although at times, it falls it into common stereotypes, the show is still fun and goofy and you’re sure to fall in love with all the characters.

13. Mindhunter (Netflix)

If you like psychology and have ever been curious about the psyche of the most infamous serial killers, Mindhunter is the show for you. Sort of like Criminal Minds, the ensemble led by Jonathan Groff, researches and studies the minds of Ted Bundy, Charles Manson, David Berkowitz, and many others to really learn what makes a murderer. In its neo-noir filming, the show is really like a mini-movie series.

14. Looking for Alaska (Hulu)

Based on the popular book by John Greene, Looking for Alaska is a sweet story about a boy named Miles, the new kid, at a boarding school. He immediately gains a loyal group of friends and falls in love with the mysterious girl Alaska. When tragedy strikes, the group looks for solace as they try and make sense of the loss they have experienced.

15. Little Fires Everywhere (Hulu)

Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington are the two big leads of the adaptation of Celeste Ng’s novel of the same name, Little Fires Everywhere. Two mothers who lead very different lives seem to have a colliding fate. With varying access to resources, each mother makes a different decision that affects their family forever.

16. Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist (Hulu)

A musical show featuring the beautiful vocals of Skylar Astin, Alex Newall, and Peter Gallagher, just to name a few, Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist is about the unusual powers Zoey yields after an MRI. Zoey is suddenly in tune with the inner songs of her coworkers, family, and friends and has to learn how to use her powers to help those in need.

17. Mixed-ish (Hulu)

Following its successful predecessor black-ish, Mixed-ish is all about Rainbow Johnson’s experience growing up in a mixed-race household. Narrated by Tracee Ellis Ross, each episode takes a comedic approach to educate and highlight the specific challenges of being Black and mixed-race in America.

18. Love, Victor (Hulu)

Love, Victor is about Victor, a closeted teenage boy who is struggling with his sexuality in his traditional Latino family. Set in the same world as the innovative movie Love, Simon, Victor uses Simon’s success story to guide his own truth.

19. Dead to Me (Netflix)

When Jen’s husband dies in a tragic hit-and-run, she looks to a support group for healing. There she befriends Judy, who has a horrible secret that could wreck their friendship forever. Dead to Me is a dark comedy starring Christina Applegate who delivers an outstanding performance alongside Linda Cardellini.

20. Sweet Tooth (Netflix)

Filmed like an intricate movie, Sweet Tooth is a cross between fantasy and sci-fi. As the world is rocked by a health epidemic and a mutation that produces half-humans and half-animals, Gus is on a journey to find safety and a fresh start.

21. Firefly Lane (Netflix)

Two childhood best friends are working on navigating their friendship through adulthood in Netflix’s original series Firefly Lane. Tully and Kate have gone through the wringer together, but their friendship has always survived, until something major ends it completely.


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Manifest

Manifest: 11 Questions We Need Answered

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Manifest Review Precious Cargo and Destination Unknown Season 3 Episode 7 and Episode 8

When NBC canceled Manifest, audiences rebelled. And rightfully so.

A cancelation meant that after years and time invested in the series, we’ll never find out what happened to Flight 828, which is unacceptable. 

Manifest has one of the most dedicated and loyal fandoms. After every episode, fans took to Reddit and various forums in hopes of figuring out TV’s biggest mystery. 

And that was even more true after the Manifest Season 3 finale as it left audiences hanging with several major cliffhangers!

This tweet below sums up my feelings in the most accurate way  — apologies for the profanity. 

 

The series was mapped out to span six seasons, so naturally, ending it after season 3 leaves us with plenty of unanswered questions.

Showrunner Jeff Rake has been very active and vocal on Twitter as he encourages fans to keep the faith and remain optimistic.

He’s determined to give fans a proper ending — the ending we deserve. 

“We’re trying to find a way to conclude the series. Could take a week, a month, a year. But we’re not giving up. You deserve an end to the story. Keep the conversation alive. If it works out, it’s because of YOU,” he tweeted to Manifesters from all over the world.

Fingers-crossed that NBC greenlights a finale movie, Hulu makes an offer for additional seasons, or Netflix reconsiders their decision and renews the show (after all, it’s still trending in the #1 spot weeks after its debut on the streamer!)

Here are the most pressing questions that need to be resolved! 

1. What Happened to Flight 828

I mean… duh. The disappearance of Flight 828 and its return five years later is the overarching mystery. The plane mysteriously vanished leaving Jamaica to New York and landed five-and-a-half years later after all the passengers were presumed dead. Where did they go? Why didn’t any time pass in their reality? I can’t go on not knowing what happened to the plane or what caused it. If I don’t get an answer, it’s going to haunt me for the rest of my life. 

2018-2019 TV Season Schedule

Manifest NBC

2. What Are The Callings?

The Callings are warnings or puzzles that need to be solved, but what triggers them? Why doesn’t everyone get the Callings? What is their purpose? Are the passengers supposed to follow the Callings to become better people or find redemption?

One Redditor went to extreme lengths to figure it all out and suggested that the Callings were a result of a shared consciousness. In his Reddit essay (which is a well thought out 46 pages), he suggests: “And the visions, sounds and feelings the characters are having are a metaphysical collateral damage from sharing the same mind? The Callings are scattered impressions and manifestations from memories of the lives of everyone affected, off the responsibility of adapting to chronological order.” 

It sounds like the most reasonable explanation I’ve heard, but it’s so complex that I’d really just rather see it pan out on screen in order to get some closure. 

Manifest Emergency Exit Review

MANIFEST — “Emergency Exit” Episode 207 — Pictured: Melissa Roxburgh as Michaela — (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC)

3. Why Is Cal an Adult?

In the last few episodes of season 3, Cal tells Grace that he’ll see her again and disappears within the walls of Eureka. The Stone’s + Saanvi get a joint Calling where they see Cal back on Flight 828. He informs them that he won’t be coming back just yet. We then see him standing over Grace as she’s taking her last breaths, but this time, he’s no longer a child. Cal appears as an adult… but why? Is this Cal from the future? Is this Cal if he never disappeared on Flight 828? 

4. What Does He Have To Do?

Cal tells his dying mother that “he knows what he has to do now,” which is truly vague. What does he have to do? Does he want to go back in time and prevent the flight from ever taking off? Is that what happened to him? Can he somehow undo all the damage that’s been done? 

 

5. Did He Survive His Death Date?

Cal is presumably his normal age now (the age he would’ve been if Flight 828 never disappeared), so if he traveled back in time, it likely means that he beat the Death Date. Does that mean everyone else in the Lifeboat also survived? Or did wherever he go preserve him? Could this be a Cal from a different reality? Or is this a hallucination? So many questions.

 

6. Is Grace Alive?

The general rule on television is that if you don’t see a body, you shouldn’t write that character out. And that’s especially true for a series that centers around a group of resurrected people who were once presumed dead. What if Grace returns with her own Death Date just like the passengers, meth heads, and Zeke did? 

Also, Cal didn’t seem to be too worried about saving his mother, so maybe he knows that in the future she survives? Or that she wasn’t going to die? Or maybe he’s the one that stabbed her because he knew it had to be done! I mean, why else was he there and how did he get in? Or was he a hallucination?

7. What Does Angelina Want With Baby Eden?

For starters, Angelina stabbed (we think), stole, and baptized baby Eden. It’s unclear what she plans to do with her, but the fact that she thinks this child is her guardian angel is concerning. She’s gone to great lengths — and done some unforgivable things, which will likely sink the Life Boat — in order to be with that baby. But why? Why is Angelina drawn to the child? Why is she under the impression that she’s following God’s will?

What is Baby Eden’s purpose? I’m convinced she’s playing some kind of role in saving Earth from the apocalypse as she’s a child of the returned. 

Some have hypothesized that Eden is evil, while others believe there’s an alternate timeline where Angelina is Eden’s mother. I honestly don’t know what to believe, but I’d love a chance to find out. 

8. Where Did Captain Daly Go? And the Plane?

Captain Daly was clued into dark lightning and electrical storms way before Ben and Saanvi, which is why the government tried to get rid of him. He was so desperate to make his point that he kidnapped Fiona and flew them directly into an electrical storm. Ben didn’t believe him at first, but when they disappeared from the radar, it either meant that the rogue plane had been neutralized (though there were no signs of debris, explosion, or anything) or that maybe Daly was onto something. 

While we first expected to see Daly in 2024 (the Death Date), in the final moments of the third season, Daly reappeared in the cockpit of the salvaged 828 in Eureka. His return was likely triggered by another electrical storm. Unfortunately, he was only back for a few seconds to yell “help me” before vanishing with the whole reconstructed plane.

It’s important to note that he was once again in the cockpit and wearing his uniform, which isn’t what he had on when he vanished with Fiona. Was this a different Captain Daly… possibly the one from the original flight? 

Why did he need help? Why did the plane vanish with him? And where did he go again?

 

9. Where Was Fiona?

Most importantly… where was Fiona? Why didn’t she return with him? Did they make it to 2024 to help the passengers beat the Death Date? Is her expertise in neural psychology how they’re all getting these Callings?

When asked about where Fiona and Daly have been for the year and a half, Rake told TV Insider: “Captain Daly has been exactly where Cal was from the end of Episode 312 when he disappears to when he returns right there at the very end of the season finale. What that place is I’m gonna let Cal speak to that when we come back in Season 4. I’m going to let Ben chew on that and use that information to try to navigate where to go forward.”

 

10. Zeke or Jared?

Jared’s in love with Mic — he always has been and he always will be. He’s finally coming to terms with that, and while telling Mic that he thought “Zeke would be dead” was rude, he was simply caught up in the moment.

Zeke is an empath who has developed an intuition that allows him to feel the emotions of others, so he knows with certainty that Mic is conflicted. When he tells her that they have to “talk” in the finale, it seems like he might be taking a step back in order to allow Mic to figure out what her heart truly wants.

Mic has had a hard time letting go of the past and living in the present, and with the Death Date looming large, she’s going to have to get really honest about what she really wants out of the time she has left.

The audience also wants to know her decision. Will she stay married to Zeke? Will she return to Jared? This love triangle needs to be resolved!

Manifest Season Finale Review Mayday Part 1 and 2 Season 3 Episode 12 and 13

MANIFEST — “MAYDAY PART: 2” Episode 313 — Pictured: (l-r) J.R. Ramirez as Jared Vazquez, Melissa Roxburgh as Michaela Stone, Matt Long as Zeke Landon, Ellen Tamaki as Drea Mikami — (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC)

11. What’s With The Major’s Daughter?

There has to be more than meets the eye when it comes to Sarah. I don’t believe that her relationship with Jared was innocent. 

As Mic pointed out, he could’ve dated anyone, and yet, Sarah made her move on him almost immediately after he told her his mom was dead. She also seemed way too chill to find out the truth about her mom!

Is she going to come after Saanvi after seeing the tapes in her mother’s box? Did her mother put her up to this? I can’t be the only one who thinks that The Major is still alive and gearing up for a comeback. Maybe she’s the person above Vance that’s pulling all the strings! Or maybe she has a death date of her own!

 

There are definitely more than 11 questions within this post, so the point is, we need answers, and we’re not going to stop looking for them! 

What are your thoughts? Read all our reviews right here!


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Editorials

11 Best Board Games Inspired by TV Shows That You Need to Play

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11 Best Board Games Inspired by TV Shows That You Need to Play

We may no longer be stuck in quarantine, but one of my favorite pastimes from the pandemic has stayed with me. 

I’ll be the first to say it — adults don’t play enough games!

I forgot how fun games from my childhood like Monopoly or Life were! And they’re even better with a pop culture twist.

Some of your favorite board games have gotten a makeover from your favorite TV shows. 

Since the pandemic, I found myself collecting these TV-inspired board games. 

Here are the ones I suggest you add to your game collection:

 

Clue – Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

The classic Clue game gets a witchy twist. In the “whodunit” game, based on the Netflix series, players must figure out who is responsible for murdering Aunt Hilda! The gameboard is themed with locations including Baxter High, the Greendale Mines, and the Spellman Mortuary. The game is suitable for ages 14 and up. 

Credit: Amazon

Clue – Bob’s Burgers

If you’re not a fan of the dark arts, you can try the Bob’s Burgers-themed board game instead. In this one, you’ll try to guess who killed “Ned Buddy” while navigating iconic elements from the animated series. The game is suitable for ages 8 and up

Credit: Amazon

Monopoly – Riverdale 

Invest in houses in Riverdale as your favorite CW show character. The game features favorite Riverdale locations including Sunnyside Trailer Park, Sweetwater River, and The Pembrooke. Will you find yourself as rich as Veronica Lodge? Or will you end up the town villain in jail? The game is suitable for ages 8 and up.

Credit: Amazon

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Board Game

This game comes with a bit of nostalgia as you channel your inner slayer! Buffy, the Chosen One, needs help purging Sunnydale of all supernatural. As you roll the dice, you help get rid of monsters. The characters are fully integrated into the game, just make sure you read and understand all the rules first before beginning play! The game is suitable for ages 12 and up.

Credit: Amazon

Life – Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Life

Think you have what it takes to make it as a stand-up coming in 1950s New York? The game, inspired by the Amazon series, asks players to find their calling and choose a path or fame and fortune. But will they make it in the Big Apple or find themselves scraping by? The game is suitable for ages 14 and up.

Credit: Amazon

Jumanji The Game

Did someone hear that thudding sound? I think it’s the game calling to use. Jumanji isn’t a TV show, but I feel like everyone should have this iconic game in their arsenal. The game rules warn: “Play the game that pursues you! Do not begin unless you intend to finish.” The game is suitable for ages 8 and up.

Credit: Amazon

Catan – Game of Thrones

Transport yourself to the land of Westeros! The strategy board game wants you to become the new Lord Commander by building, defending, and rising above your brothers. Just be careful because winter is coming. The best part is that you’ll never play the same game twice as it teases limitless replayability. 

Credit: Amazon

Friends Wheel of Mayhem

Do you consider yourself a huge Friends fan? Put your skills to the test in this fast-paced game that includes wacky challenges and tough questions. “ Play like Ross and Chandler and try to not be bamboozled,” the description warns. The game is suitable for ages 12 and up.

Credit: Amazon

Monopoly – Friends

The game features some iconic Friends television moments. And you’ll get a kick out of the game pieces which include a handbag, a dinosaur, a sweater vest, a pizza, a chef’s hat, or an acoustic guitar. Spaces include Relaxi Taxi, All the Candy, Ross’ Teeth, and Holiday Armadillo! The game is suitable for ages 8 and up.

Credit: Amazon

The Walking Dead The Board Game

The board game allows you to enter the world of AMC’s The Walking Dead. Players live through a zombie apocalypse where those who have died come back to hunt down survivors, the players, who are doing their best to find refuge and defend themselves.

Credit: Amazon

Monopoly – Stranger Things

Are you ready to embark on a journey to the Upside Down? The game is inspired by the first 3 seasons of the Netflix original series. Fans try to outbid each other for properties in Hawkins, but instead of houses and hotels, you’re buying up Forts and Hideouts (like in Dungeons and Dragons!). The game is suitable for ages 14 and up.

Credit: Amazon

*CraveYouTV.com may make commission from purchases made through links in this post.*


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