Monday, May 24, 2010
The "Lost" finale: Solid, with good but not great ratings
Jack's father is "Christian Shepherd," a forgiving spirit. Jack gets stabbed in the side and dies for his friends, as historic hero. Yes, the ending of "Lost" had its Christ allusions, and a final gathering of spirits in a church.
I was exhausted when I watched it, so it's taken me until now to see that the whole series wasn't the meandering of restless spirits from passengers killed in the plane crash on the island. The final shot of plane engines on the beach made me think that.
But apparently the series' events were real (although some of the mysteries went unexplained and characters stayed missing). The final season's alternate reality was like a shared purgatory for the characters AFTER their eventual deaths. Which explains why Desmond and Hurley were so calm and blissful in those scenes. Kate, too, at the end of the charity benefit.
The finale was true to the show, always engaging, exciting and a bit mysterious. Lush and lovely in high definition. Ratings were good but not up to the hype by ABC and others in the media.
"Lost" did things few other shows could ever accomplish or would even attempt, and it did so with a cinematic look most times.
You can argue about the somewhat sedate ending and whether it should have been cooler, but no one who tuned in tuned out on Sunday night.
Says the New York Times:
“Lost” averaged 13.5 million viewers, but it varied by only about 200,000 viewers from start to finish. Similarly, its rating among viewers ages 18 to 49 (the favored audience for many advertisers) was strong and steady throughout, starting at a 5.6 and finishing up in prime time at a 5.7. (In its last half hour – which fell out of prime time — it jumped to a 6.4 rating)."
We checked with WTNH, which reported the finale delivered an 8.7 household rating on WTNH Sunday in the Hartford-New Haven market, (that's 88,705 households) and was #1 in the time period. It's only modestly above the show's normal average, so nonviewers weren't as likely to tune in for the ending to the complex show as they would be to a standalone comedy or nonserial drama.