Monday, March 17, 2014

PaleyFest - Lost


Another fantastic PaleyFest panel, this time celebrating the 10th anniversary of the premiere of Lost, one of the most innovative, original, addictive, puzzling, spectacular series in television history.

Now, here is where I would go into a brief synopsis of the show for those (few) of you who may not be familiar with the show but honestly, I can't. Wikipedia gave it a shot though, so here you go:

"Lost is a primarily character development based drama series containing elements of science fiction and the supernatural that follows the survivors of a commercial passenger jet, Oceanic 815, flying between Sydney and Los Angeles that crashes on a mysterious tropical island somewhere in the South Pacific. The story is told in a heavily serialized manner. Episodes typically feature a primary storyline on the island, as well as a secondary storyline from another point in a character's life."

Oh, that SO doesn't cover it.  There's just no way to sum up those magical, mystical six seasons.  Too much happened.  Too many twists, turns, secrets, shockers, so many characters, flashbacks, flash forwards, plus an ending that may be one of the most debated ever (love it, hate it ... it's all up to you).


It was so great to see many of the cast members, joined by showrunners and head writers Damon Lindelof (who co-created the show with J.J. Abrams and Jeffrey Lieber) and Carlton Cuse, back together again and enjoying the reunion immensely.  It would have been impossible to get all the primary actors together on this one night, but Paley rounded up a nice group that included (L-R) Lindelof, Cuse, Josh Holloway (Sawyer), Jorge Garcia (Hurley), Yunjin Kim (Sun), Ian Somerhalder (Boone), Maggie Grace (Shannon), Henry Ian Cusick (Desmond), and Malcolm David Kelly (Walt).

First wee were treated to a screening of the episode "Exodus Part 1," the first half of the epic first season finale.  It's always so cool watching a show in a room full of fans who appreciate what they're seeing.  Then everyone went wild with applause as each panelist came out. 


Most shocking was Kelly, who was just a kid when the show began.  To see him all grown up is surreal.

The group covered a lot over the course of the discussion, which was moderated by comedian Paul Scheer who was determined to get answers (yeah, right ...).  Here are some highlights (beware spoilers):


  • Ian Somerhalder (above, L, with Grace) was the first actor cast and the first character killed off.  Says Somerhalder affectionately to Lindelof and Cuse, "You gave me death but you also gave me life."  He was so professional about getting the axe, Lindelof said "That was great.  We gotta kill more of these guys!"
 (Cuse, L, and Lindelof)

  • There really wasn't a script completed when they started casting, and several characters were created after actors who the creators liked auditioned(among them, Yunjin Kim, who at the time was one of the biggest stars in Korea, and Jorge Garcia, who Abrams had seen on an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm  and said "We gotta have that guy on Lost!).

  • Kim (pictured above with (L-R) Holloway, Garcia and Somerhalder) is fluent in Korean but her on screen husband, Daniel Dae Kim (Jin) wasn't, and they had a good laugh over how often he wasn't speaking the language correctly in their scenes.
  • Lindelof and Cuse said that during the show's run, the questions they got asked the most were about Walt (played by Kelly, pictured above, right, with Grace and Cusick).
  • The writers didn't want to have the very last episode end, then jolt the audience right into a random ad for detergent or something, so they explored options for a buffer.  They went through their archive of footage and found some from the pilot of the plane remnants on the beach without any people around.  But Lindelof and Cuse said that actually exacerbated the debate about the overall fate of the characters.  Cuse did confirm that the characters were not dead the entire length of the series, but did not elaborate much beyond that.
  • Lindelof said that Lost would have been an entirely different entity had it been on cable or had had fewer episodes per season ... and probably not as good.  
After the panel was done, it was great to see most of the panel sign autographs for those lucky folks who had front row orchestra seats.  I always appreciate when time is taken to interact with the fans, and boy, were there a lot of fans there last night - we were told the Lost reunion panel was the fastest selling event in PaleyFest history.  I felt very luck to be a part of it!

Get Lost all over again with all six seasons on DVD and on Netflix.

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