sorry this has taken me so long to answer. I’m assuming this was brought up by the recent 10 year anniversary Paley Fest plus the HIMYM finale, which irked a lot of people (myself included).
There was of course, the realization that the creators of HIMYM filmed the kids’ reactions back in season 2, so they’ve known for 7 years now how this story was going to end. There’s a great piece I read by Alan Sepinwall about the problems this caused. Lost comes into play because the creators did not have an endgame in sight, and a lot of fans felt the show suffered because of it.
But before I answer your question, there’s something you should know: Lost is the single most important television show in my life. It was a very very big part of my childhood and my teenage years, and it helped shape me into the person I am today. A lot of my beliefs and opinions and experiences were molded by this show.
At its core, Lost was a show about people. It was about how these strangers banded together to survive, to love, and to live. The friendships they made, the relationships, all the time they spent on that island was the most important part of their lives.
The finale did a fantastic job of portraying this. Any time someone tells me they “didn’t get” the end of Lost, I quote the church scene between Jack and Christian at them.
"Nobody does it alone, Jack. You needed all of them and they needed you."
As for the “but they were dead the whole time!” debate, I don’t think it can get any clearer than:
"Everything that’s happened to you is real."
But if you’re still unconvinced, here’s executive producer Carlton Cuse explaining it at this year’s Paley Fest.
While it was clear that with Lost there was no true endgame in sight, I really admire Sepinwall’s piece for saying that it’s a GOOD thing. Shows evolve. Characters grow and change. In regards to a sitcom especially, if you can say by the end of season 2 how you want your show to end, it won’t have a satisfying ending for anyone but yourself.
It was SO painful to watch Barney revert back to a man who uses a playbook and sleeps with 31 women in a month. It HURT to hear about Barney and Robin getting divorced — not only did it happen off screen but we spent 23 freaking episodes at their freaking wedding and they freaking get divorced after three freaking years OFF SCREEN?!?
But the part that really got me grinding my teeth was hearing about the Mother’s death. Again, hearing about it. Not seeing it. We saw her in a hospital bed, but we didn’t see Ted mourning her. I started the show from the beginning last summer, and before I ever watched it, years and years ago, I went around telling everyone “the mother’s dead that’s why Ted’s taking so long to tell this story!!!!!” and no one believed me.
I wish I had been wrong. Ted deserved happiness with the love of his life. I’m sorry, I love Robin and all, but that was the Mother. We spent a whole season falling in love with her, only to have her die off screen and Ted (and his kids?!??!) be totally cool with it. I get moving on is a good thing and healthy. But can anyone really say that Ted’s obsession with Robin is healthy? Robin was the backup. And that sucks because Robin was a great character who deserved so much better.
I’m just so angry and so bitter about the way this ending (that they’ve had planned for 7 years, remember?) was handled. Because in a lot of ways, characters reverted back to their earlier selves. This was the ending that would have happened if the show had been canceled many years ago. But the HIMYM that’s been on for 9 seasons did not deserve this ending. It made me cry tears of rage.
The Lost ending, on the other hand, made me cry buckets of happy tears. Those characters all got what they deserved. Jack was able to let go of the fears he had and save the people he loved. Hurley and Ben were in charge of the island. But at some point in the future, they all found each other again, and were able to move on together.
It was a beautiful ending. If you felt angry and bitter and cheated by that, then I’m not sure you really understood what the show was about in the first place.
So did I like how Lost ended?
Yes. Yes, I did.