Westworld Is The True Successor To Lost Because It’s Similarly Messy But Lovable

It was more than a decade ago that Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse closed the book on Lost. The serial action-drama, which blended in elements of science fiction and light fantasy as the years went on, lasted six seasons on network TV between 2004 and 2010. It survived the 2007 writer’s strike as one of the most popular network shows of its time and unfolded during the seismic shift in television, with viewers beginning to move from cable to streaming subscriptions like then-burgeoning versions of Netflix and Hulu.

12 years later, Lost exists as a rare hybrid breed of compelling serial drama and so-called “mystery-box,” a word sometimes used pejoratively to describe the way JJ Abrams and his writing disciples, like Lost’s showrunners, have a penchant for throwing a bunch of unanswered questions at the audience, sometimes before the writers know the answers themselves. The Lost writers’ messy but lovable handling of this aspect of the show helped popularize the online theory-crafting fandom that today can be found behind basically any popular mystery-box show. As the internet and social media were going mainstream in the mid-aughts, people took their water cooler talk out of their respective offices and onto forums such as podcasts, Reddit, IMDb, or, in this specific case, Lostpedia.

In the years since Lost went off the air, many shows have been billed as its heir-apparent– Flashforward, Dark, Stranger Things, The Event, Castle Rock, The Leftovers, et al. Most recently, Yellowjackets shares the same catalyzing event of a plane crash leaving survivors stranded. There’s been no shortage of attempts, but only now do I find we finally have the next Lost in HBO’s Westworld. The sci-fi action-drama checks all the boxes of what made Lost special, and most of all, that’s because it’s kind of a lovable mess.

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