The final season of Lost premiered on February 2, 2010. So, happy anniversary, Oceanic 815 survivors! Much has changed in the year since Lost's final go-around aired, most notably the fact that we actually know how this particular story ended: with everyone in a church on their way to heaven. Or something like that. That controversial ending still sticks in the craw of some Lost devotees, as creator Damon Lindelof knows; he told TV Guide that he still "loses sleep" when people slam the ending. But should he? Here are three reasons why, one year after its final season premiere, Lost still matters.
1. People are still talking about it!Perhaps the biggest one, but here you go: One year after the final season premiere, Lost is still popular enough to carve out a niche in the national pop culture conversation. If a sect of irate fans are Twitter-bombing Lindelof nine months after the finale, clearly they're still fans. As Lindelof himself rationalized, "[I]t's nice to know that at least they cared enough about the show to reach out and tell me so." That type of fan loyalty is what set Lost apart when it was on the air, and what will set it apart going forward. As great as The Sopranos was—and it was better than Lost as a whole—you don't really find people still obsessing over the Journey-fueled ending. Sorry, David Chase. Speaking of which...
2. No show has filled the void that Lost left.Networks have tried and repeatedly failed to replicate the success of Lost since its September 2004 premiere. The carcasses of Invasion, FlashForward, The Nine, and a host of other convoluted narrative shows litter the television landscape like dinosaurs after the Big Bang. If there's a reason why fans are still pissed (or pleased) with the ending of Lost, it's because no series has managed to hit that sweetspot of mainstream popularity and obsessive Internet culture. People love Mad Men and Breaking Bad, but it's doubtful anyone would spend a day on Wikipedia researching a picayune plot point about a statue. (Not that we've done that.)
3. It never compromised.Love or hate Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse (and in the post-finale months, it's been pretty easy to hate on Lindelof, since he seems more like a petulant child than an in-control television producer), at least they did what they wanted to do with the show. Many times during Lost's six seasons, the pair seemed to bend to the whims of their vocal fan base (see: Nikki and Paolo); that they didn't in the end, and finished their series with a controversial, out-of-left-field ending is something to be respected. Lindelof and Cuse might not have had the skills of David Chase, but, in the end, they certainly had his balls.