Lost debuted on ABC September 22, 2004 and instantly became water cooler talk. The cant miss show of the season about a group of strangers whose plane crashes on a beautiful island in the Pacific. The viewer quickly learns all is not as it appears. The island held many secrets just like the passengers of Oceanic 815. Little did people know the juggernaut unleashed upon us. The program quickly turned from a regular show to being touted as a must see event each week.
Supernatural debuted on The CW September 13, 2005. The story of two brothers, Sam and Dean Winchester, who "hunt" creatures thought to be of myth and lore. It quietly became a cornerstone for the network in a very difficult Thursday night time slot. Fans didn't have a clue what was in store as each season the bar was raised more and more.
Season 1 of Lost was mostly about the group of flawed characters and how they were going to get off this island. But from the fist episode the island showed us it has plenty of mystery as well. Each week another layer unfolded. For every question answered, many more became apparent.
In Season 2 the battle for the island heats up as the survivors battle against "the others" and the Dharma Initiative starts popping up.
Season 3 continues the war against the others and introduces several new cast members on both sides. And the survivors make contact with a rescue team.
The strike shortened Season 4 deals mainly with the rescue team and their motives. However Jack, Kate w/ Aaron, Sun, Hurley, and Sayid escape the island and are known as the Oceanic 6 Survivors. Everything changes in the final episode of the season as the flashbacks turn into flash-forwards.
Season 5 deals with the Oceanic 6 trying to get back to the island, which is jumping around in time. It settles in the 70's where the remaining survivors become part of the Dharma Initiative.
Season 6 deals a lot with Jacob vs. the Man in Black. We are also introduced to to a flash-sideways universe where everything is similar to the characters, yet different. And of course the final battle for island takes place.
Through out the course of the show there are themes raised about fate vs. free will, the complexity of human nature, many philosophical references, salvation and redemption, and an idea of the afterlife.
Supernatural takes a different approach to take similar themes, such as fate vs. free will and controlling your destiny.
Season 1 starts out with several "monster of the week" episodes and then you get a beginning of the yellow eyed demon tale they try to find their missing father, which becomes a major part of the show's mythology. Many comparisons to The X-Files were made in the format of the show.
Season 2 has the brothers dealing with the death of their father and continuing to hunt down yellow-eyes. Along the way Dean makes a deal with a demon: his soul in one year in exchange for Sam's life. And the gates of Hell break open releasing several demons.
Strike shortened Season 3 has the brothers trying to find a way out the Dean's contract and hunting the demons accidently released from Hell. Sam also discovers his special powers and battles with them taking over. Another main demon named Lilith is introduced.
Season 4 has Dean pulled from Hell by an angel, Castiel, to help stop the Lilith from breaking the seals to release Lucifer from Hell. We also find out that most angels and demons are fairly similar, just with different agendas. Dean and Sam's relationship is strained as Sam continues to be manipulated by his powers. Lucifer is freed and the Apocalypse is upon us.
Season 5 is all about the upcoming Apocalypse. Sam finds out his is the true human vessel for Lucifer while Dean finds out the he is the true human vessel for the angel Michael. All they have to do is say "yes" to their destiny. As the brothers try to figure out how to stop the Apocalypse, we find out their relationship also mirrors brothers Lucifer and Michael. They stop the inevitable due to their freedom of choice but it's not without consequences.
Lost fans seem to branch out two different ways. Those who are charmed by the island and its secrets (the characters became secondary); and those who were captivated by the characters and their plights (the mysterious island was always secondary). If you are the first type of fan, the final was utterly disappointing. If you are the second type of fan, the final was extremely rewarding. And each side will never convince the other side of their view is correct about the finale.
For me, after Season 1, when Daniel Lindelof and the writers started introducing all these other characters and themes into the mix, the story became about the battle for the island and about not the Oceanic survivors. Basically, the island became the main character in the tale. So obviously I fall into the first category. While the finale was slightly rewarding from the original characters stand point, I felt like most of the questions weren't answered and the show took the easy way out. In fact, during most of the final season I felt this way.
As for Supernatural, Season 5 was going to be the finale. Creator/Head Writer Eric Kripke stated for the beginning he knew where the story was going and how long it would take to get there. Now there is a Season 6 happening, may be more, but Kripke will be gone. So I'm gonna treat it as the end...of sorts.
The last episode which ends a five year story arc is nothing short of brilliant. Many questions raised where answered but there is some mystery surrounding it. Some fans were turned off by the first person narration of the prophet Chuck, I found it to be outstanding and not done in a hokey manner. Kripke wrote from the heart. I'll paraphrase the following from the show's.
Endings are hard. You will never please all the fans. All the loose ends need to be tied up and you are about to forget a few. Yes, endings are hard.
Both of these shows have developed a ravenous fan base over the years. They have forever changed pop culture, though Supernatural is far more on a cult level than Lost.
I am and always will be a fan of Lost. The 121 episodes provided viewers with a unique mythology and strong, non-stereotypical characters. It is open ended enough to let people form their own opinions regarding certain aspects of the show. It was great television that challenged the viewer to keep up with several narratives from the past, the future, the current, and an alternate place.
However, I feel Supernatural (through 104 episodes and counting) is the better program. A show which at first glance appeared to be about two twenty something brothers hunting monsters through the heartland of America, evolved into so much more. It is the far more rewarding show. This long term story felt more like an excellent novel, revealing more and more layers until the climatic & satisfying ending. I don't know what the future of the Winchester's may be, and it surely can't top the last five years, but I'll be waiting to continue the journey.