Silver Chips Online

Get lost in "Lost" alternatives

ABC hit on hiatus, alternatives prove useful

By Bridget Egan, Online Art Editor
January 3, 2006
Disclaimer: This article is geared towards the die hard fans of "Lost"

People all around the world are in mourning. Not because of a death, but because ABC's hit show, "Lost," has gone on a six-week break. Just thinking about waiting any span of time to find out what happens to the characters of "Lost" makes fans wish that somebody had actually died.

"Lost," directed by J.J. Abrams, tells the complex story of the survivors of an airplane crash who are stranded on a mysterious Pacific island between Australia and Los Angeles. After the last episode's chilling cliffhanger ending, with Michael (Harold Perrineau) making contact with his kidnapped son, fans everywhere are guessing as to the unusual circumstances of which contact was made. While nothing can make the long wait go any more quickly, other television shows, movies and books can offer a good alternative to the show.

If you like "Lost" for the cliffhangers

J.J. Abrams packs bewildering perplexities into a plot that puts the audience on the edge of their seat. All "Lost" fans remember the intense feeling of suspense when they read the screen of the computer as the horrifying word "Dad?" came alive on the monitor on the computer found in the hatch. While nothing can replace those moments of pure suspense, movies like "Trapped" and books by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child can come close.

"Trapped" is the story of a kidnaping that goes horribly wrong when the victims decide not to allow everything to go according to their captor's plan. Starring Charlize Theron and Kevin Bacon, the movie is similar in style to "Lost." The plot is complex yet enticing because the audience doesn't know whether the characters will live or die.

Acclaimed authors Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, authors of "Dance of Death" and "Cabinet of Curiosities," have written various books that contain more suspense than the entire Hitchcock collection. The character in their mystery novels, Special Agent Pendergast, will remind readers of various characters from the show. Additionally, the obscure facts that Preston and Child insert into their novels will remind readers of how Locke (Terry O'Quinn) teaches the "Lost" survivors about survival.

If you like "Lost" for the survival aspects

While many "Lost" characters have never learned basic survival skills and live happily without them, hunter John Locke is the obvious exception. Not only is he ingenious with his hands, but he can track animals - and people - when needed. More imporatantly, Locke can live stranded in a strange environment using only what he has on his body. For those who want to learn as much about adaptation as Locke, "The Survival Manual," originally written for CBS "Survivor" fans will provide more than enough information about living in the wilderness. Though the book obviously lacks Locke's intense personality, it provides information on survival in different regions, first aid, hunting, trapping, fire making and edible plants.

The classic endurance novel is obviously "Lord of the Flies" by William Golding. "Lord of the Flies" focuses on the psychological effects of isolation on a group of young boys between the ages of 8 and 10. While "Lord of the Flies" does not have the interesting characters of "Lost," it instead delves into the psyche of young boys who are suddenly thrust into an unfamiliar situation without any adult supervision.

A classic movie that revolves around the theme of survival is "Castaway," starring Tom Hanks as the sole remnant of a plane crash who is stranded on an island with a volleyball. What makes this movie different from other survival movies is that there is only one character, which allows the viewer to understand the trials and errors of Hanks. As well as being a wonderful movie, Hank's acting is superb, conveying all of the emotions of being stranded alone with perfect accuracy.

If you like "Lost" for the actors

There is no doubt that much of the appeal of "Lost" is for the talented and physically attractive actors of "Lost." Unfortunately, many of the actors are relatively new to Hollywood and have not been in many movies. Old "Lost" star Maggie Grace and Daniel Dae Kim were both in movies this past year. Maggie Grace starred in "Fog" with Tom Welling, while Daniel Dae Kim was in "Crash" with Don Cheadle and Sandra Bullock. Anybody with the urge to see hero Jack (Matthew Fox) in a show when he was younger need only rent a season of the '90's television show "Party of Five."

If you like "Lost" for the universal themes, spectacular acting, character development and brilliant plot, the you are going to have to wait until the next episode, because nothing can replace "Lost" with perfect accuracy.

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