KARACHI: “Lost”, a television show that broke all the narrative rules of television during its six-season run, will end on May 23 with a two-anda- half-hour finale.
It will be available on DVD and for download in Pakistan on May 24. An addictive fan favourite throughout the world, “Lost” has built up a passionate cult following in Pakistan.
The owner of a the DVD store Laraib testifies to the popularity of “Lost” in Karachi, saying he gets at least 25 customers on Wednesdays, the day “Lost” airs, asking for the latest episode. He also credits “Lost” for a trend in DVD sales. “I started selling individual episodes of TV shows on DVD because of “Lost”. People did not want to wait till a few episodes had aired; they needed to see it at once.”
Sahr Ahmad, an investment banker in Karachi and avid “Lost” watcher, says the finale will trigger mixed feelings. She says, “The thought of finally having all our questions answered is exciting. Yet I will miss the show, all the characters and the constant suspense and twists.”
The rest of the world is also feeling the “Lost” love this weekend. Seven countries - the UK, Canada, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Israel and Turkey - will simultaneously telecast the finale with the US, even though in many cases that means the show will be broadcast in the early hours of the morning.
In the US a 30-second advertising spot has been sold for $900,000. Only the Super Bowl and the “American Idol” finale charge more for ads. Even the Emmys changed their rules to allow the “Lost” finale to be eligible during awards season. Previously an episode had to be a maximum of two hours for it to be submitted for consideration but an exception has been made for “Lost”.
The power “Lost” fans wield isn’t lost on one of the most powerful men in the world. US President Barack Obama was forced to yield to the passion of “Lost” fans. His State of the Union address was scheduled to be delivered on February 2, the day of the “Lost” season premiere. After “Lost” fans, distraught that their show may be pushed back by week started vociferously protesting, Obama’s press secretary announced that Obama would change the date of the speech so that it didn’t clash with the show.
“Lost” began as a show about a diverse group of people whose plane crashed on a mysterious island. Starting out as a show about survival, it soon added elements of time travel and alternate realities and became a philosophical treatise on the nature of fate and free will. Over the course of six seasons, the survivors of the crash, including actors Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lilly and Naveen Andrews, have attempted to unravel the questions surrounding this unique island and discovered that they were little more than pawns being used to fight an epic, centurieslong battle.
Fans across the world participated on online forums, discussion groups and even “Lost”-themed parties. All that will come to an end on May 23. As photographer Danish Khan says, “I think I’ll be lost once the show is over.”
Published in The Express Tribune, May 24th, 2010.