Which Lost Character Matches Your Fandom?
by Jason Mittell — Middlebury College
May 21, 2010 – 14:38
As I can’t seem to think about anything else, and it’s a fine distraction from grading, I’ve been engaging in a lot of conversation about Lost this week across a range of media. On Twitter this afternoon, my friend Derek Kompare commented in a discussion that no matter what the finale offers, a good portion of fans will be irate that it didn’t match up to their expectations for the faith they put into the show – and then he compared the reaction to John Locke at the end of season 2, raging against the button.
This led to a round robin of Twitter brainstorming for this: a taxonomy of Lost fans as represented by Lost characters. In addition to me and Derek, participants in the #LOSTfantax Twitter discussion include Noel Kirkpatrick, Nina Huntemann, and Myles McNutt – all media scholars. Here’s a compilation of our wasted time:
- Locke = a fan with utmost faith in the show, only to have his beliefs come crashing down in the end.
- Jack = a fan who convinced their friends to watch early in the series, but now wants to leave the show and can’t pull the plug because they’ve dedicated so much time to it.
- Hurley = a die-hard fan who edits Lostpedia, collects action figures and t-shirts, and spouts catchphrases, with utmost trust for the producers to pull it off in the end.
- Sun = a fan who only watches for the ‘shipping.
- Jin (circa season 1) = a viewer who has no clue what’s going on or what anybody’s talking about.
- Sawyer = a fan who sarcasticly mocks show, but really loves it.
- Claire = a person who watches intermittently, but insists on talking through episodes asking to be filled in on what she missed.
- Michael = a fan who wanted answers, was unsatisified, and left – but then came back when he heard show got awesome, and then left angry because he didn’t fit in anymore.
- Juliet = only watching because her it’s her boyfriend’s favorite show; secretly wants a new boyfriend.
- Desmond (season 6 version) = a blissed-out enthusiast happy with whatever the show gives him.
- Faraday = a fan who could explain it all to you, but won’t because he knows you wouldn’t understand.
- Kate = a fan who has expertly tracked the series and contributed to fan culture, only to be dismissed by other fans because she’s a girl.
- Richard = a genre fan who dove in enthusiastically, but gave up right before the end.
- Ben = a fan with a theory for how it all makes sense, and the ability to rationalize and twist everything to fit into his theory.
- Arzt = a stubborn fan who has good theories, but is such a jerk that they blow up in his face.
- Walt = an avid fan for the first two seasons, only to watch later seasons rarely and unpredictably. May watch finale, but still unclear.
- Ethan = a lurker on fansites who chimes in with occasionally creepy comments under a strange pseudonym.
- Rose & Bernard = fans who decide to just wait for the DVDs.
- Frank = a viewer who has no idea what’s going on or why he’s still watching.
- Dogen = a viewer who decides to check out the show’s final season to see what the big deal is about, only to leave in confusion after a few episodes.
- Smocke = a fan who wants to re-write the entire show to fit his desired narrative, dismissing everyone else’s opinions as wrong.
- Jacob = Darlton, sadly realizing that they’ve created a monster, and looking to pass on responsibility.
So who are you? And please add more parallels in the comments…