One night in 2005, while living in a little bungalow in a holiday park in the Netherlands (which wasn’t, technically, a bungalow, we just called it that), I discovered a little television show called LOST.
I watched it because it involved a plane crash – I’m obsessed with Air Crash Investigation, Seconds from Disaster, etc. and am subsequently a terrible flyer – and it was subtitled instead of dubbed.
And Matthew Fox was in it.
Five years of confusion later I’m still hooked. While at the end of most TV shows you wonder, ‘What’s going to happen next?’ with LOST it’s more like, ‘What just happened?’ or ‘Can someone please tell me what the fudge is going on before I voluntarily walk through Othertown’s sonic fence?’
Now I’m not crazed. I don’t trawl the internet looking for spoilers. I don’t buy every book I spot a character reading, hoping that a sentence in it will reveal some clue. (I actually think at least 70% of the mythology built up around LOST by fans has absolutely nothing to do with the show.) The only series I’ve seen more than once is the last one, Season 5, and I certainly don’t spend my time fantasizing about two fictional characters who aren’t even together in the show getting it together in real life.
Just Matthew Fox, on occasion.
Normally my LOST viewing experience goes something like this:
– Watch the show
– Read a recap of the show on The Lost Diary
– Read a recap/theories about the show by Doc Jensen, EW.com’s resident LOST expert
– Discuss with one of my LOST-crazed friends.
I don’t have a very good memory so I’m usually unusually confused. I have questions and I want them answered but I try to let the show do it. In other words, I stay away from Lostpedia.
(Because once you start…)
I try, at all times, to remain calm.
But this past week, the last ever – sob! – season premiere aired and now that I write for a LOST fan site (the LOSTBlog.com), I got caught up in the excitement. I also became convinced that if I didn’t catch it ‘live’ – i.e. as it aired in the States – I’d get spoiled by the time it aired in Ireland, over 48 hours later, either by accident or because I’m considerably weak-willed.
(I’m very weak-willed.)
So I decided to stay up.
A few days beforehand, one of my LOSTBlog colleagues gave me a link to a website that promised to stream ABC (the US network that produces LOST) live and so on Tuesday night, I gulped back the coffee and settled in bed with my laptop a few minutes before 2 a.m. Irish time (which was actually Wednesday morning, but you get the idea).
Obviously, streaming live TV is not exactly legal. The website was covered in dire warnings that the channel may get found out during the show in which case its virtual plug would be pulled. With hundreds of thousands of people tuning in to this little 3 x 5 box of pixelated wonder from all over the world at exactly the same time, I figured this was pretty much a certainty.
But I decided to see how far I’d get.
It was all very covert.
To get access to the stream, you first had to join a chat room chocked full of teenage morons and wait for the magic password which would be handed down from on high minutes before the show started. As soon as I got it I switched to the stream, typed it in and pressed enter and the oh so familiar music from the tail end of last season filled my earbuds – I was in. Fifteen minutes later: kaput. The channel had been found out. I ducked back into the chat room where there was talk of another stream, elsewhere on line, that was still active. Someone posted a link; I followed it. After the same rigmarole – chat room, password, stream – I got back to LOST having missed maybe four or five minutes. That stayed streaming for another half an hour or so and then that went too. I was about to give up but then I got an e-mail with a third link, which – wonderfully – stayed live for the rest of the episode.
I felt like I’d been at an illicit rave whose location was secret and constantly moving.
But it was so worth it.
(Well, watching the show was worth it. Spending the next two days in bed recovering from staying up until 5.30 am I could have done without.)
The last ever episode of LOST will air in May and I’m already looking forward to my Season 1-6 re-watch when S6 comes out on DVD in August.
I’ll be watching with a notebook. I want to make sure all my questions are answered.
If you’ve never seen an episode of LOST, go back to the start. (Wondering what people who’ve only ever seen an episode from Season 1 would think of the current episodes is a source of constant amusement for me.) If you’ve seen them but can’t really remember what the polar bear is going on, watch this hilarious video recap by Animosity Pierre: