Contrary to common belief, The Walking Dead is not about zombies; it is about what happens to the human race, emotionally and physically, when they are forced into an impossible situation such as the zombie apocalypse. It depicts the deterioration of society when people are forced to do whatever it takes to survive.
But, 10 years ago, before The Walking Dead, a hit television show about a group of 48 survivors trapped in a seemingly deserted island after a plane crashes on the way from Australia to Los Angeles aired on ABC. The Emmy-award winning show, Lost, was created by J.J. Abrams, now known for his work in the 2009 movie adaptation of Star Trek and Star Wars: Episode VII.
Lost forced its viewers to question the meaning of life when the diverse survivors are forced to work together in order to survive on the island, especially when they discover there are already malignant inhabitants there who want to protect their island. As the leader of the survivors, Jack Shepard, famously said in one of the show’s most memorable speeches, “We either live together, or we die alone.”
The show delves deep into the human mind and the choices people must make in order to survive, very much like The Walking Dead. Through flashbacks and flash-forwards, viewers are presented with three-dimensional characters whose motives and reasoning are influenced by their experiences in the past.
Convicts, con artists, doctors, disabled people, police officers, kids, travelers on vacation, lottery winners; the survivors are all different. Each of them, though, have similar characteristics.
They each have a story for having been on the plane the day it crashed and a purpose for being on the island. Like The Walking Dead, Lost has its own supernatural elements. There is a monster who is referred to as the “Black Smoke” and strange appearances of random animals (particularly polar bears and horses) on the island. Of course, these are not zombies, but more intense, powerful omens that mean something to each of the survivors. To some of the characters it is almost as if the island is “speaking” to them, as if it was their destiny to have crashed on the island.
Bill Carter, reporter of The New York Times called Lost “the show with perhaps the most compelling continuing story line in television history.”
Entertainment Weekly listed Lost as number 10 on the list of the 25 best cult shows of the past 25 years. Lost is a critically acclaimed show with raving reviews, and it is ABC’s biggest hit.
For The Walking Dead fans who love the emotional, psychological aspect of the show, Lost is an absolute must-watch.