Last night Lost wrapped up what you could call the most irritating show on t.v. Everytime you thought you knew what was going on they either confused you with 4 new questions or took the direction the show was going and put it into reverse went back 3 blocks and turned down a side alley. The X-File was an equally deep show, but its mysteries were not nearly as numerous, but even in the end still left you going bonkers over unresolved loose ends season after season.
Characters: There is no question Lost wins this category, it’s so lopsided I don’t know that you can create a suitable argument for X-Files to take this on any level. While Mulder and Scully are classic style and deeply loved in the genre, X provided little depth beyond them. The Cigarette Smoking Man and the Smoking Gun trio were awesome but just don’t hold a candle to the supporting ensemble the Lost can toss at you.
Story: Both had depth, conspiracy, deception and mystery but only X-Files had versatility. Lost had a set path in a sense, even in all it chaos Lost’s story was still a journey to solve the island’s mystery and “go home.” X-Files moved from aliens and UFOs to assassinations, Mulder’s sister, super soldiers, Scully’s medical phenomena and sometimes just a good old crime drama. When the X-Files hit a rough spot they didn’t have to explain it away they could just start fresh as they didn’t have a “soap opera” style to follow.
Life Span/Syndication: Content on both shows aside. You can not just pick up Lost mid-season, thus makes it near-impossible to put into syndication. While this does not matter to a fan of the show it does relate to casual viewing. I own the X-Files complete box set, I will also pick up the Lost set when it’s released, but watching X-Files is a matter of just grabbing a disc and hitting play, the order is not all that important after having followed it once. While skipping poor episodes of Lost in a viewing marathon is not all that harmful to enjoyment, watching random episodes just won’t be encouraged.
consistency: Lost never had a down season, where as X-Files started to lose its way and was in need of rediscovery when Mulder left and Doggett(Patrick) took over in 2000 temporarily. While the show never lost its allure for me there was no doubting its sub par comparison to it’s better seasons.
Finale: Both finales were good, but the X-Files excelled where Lost failed.
The X-Files left the show wide open but had Mulder escaping the government oppressors to continue his search for the truth even in the closure of the X-Files as a FBI program. While it leaves the show unresolved it keeps with Mulder’s character, had the “government” been exposed and the truth uncovered there would always be a mystery for Mulder.
Lost really botched their legacy in my opinion. For 5 prior seasons they lived and died with mystery and answering one question only to leave behind 3 more. Season 6 was nearly irrelevant and it could have been compressed into 6 episodes and given us more Island mystery. While I like how they tied in Jack’s neck cut in the finale to the season opener to show continuity the lack of discovery really hurt its reputation, not to mention completely minimizing the importance of the cast and focusing all of season 6 solely made for Jack when closure was revealed. While the finality of Heaven was a great idea it took a whole season to explain their newest mystery while neglecting everything they left behind in Season 5. I really wanted more explanation about Dharma, how the Island does what it does in regards to healing and pregnancy mortality, the Egyptian symbolism, the cabin, Hurley’s mysterious friend and the list goes on and on.
When you weigh it out the shows are in a dead heat draw, but with the factoring of the finale and closure and the ease of watching a casual episode at night X-Files is a slight leader. I will watch both shows with pleasure in the future, but even after a near-decade without X-Files the show still holds all the luster it had in the mid-90’s. There is no harm in being #2, but watch out for V, it may creep up on Lost one of these days.
I was getting hatemail regardless of what outcome I chose, so don’t feel bad about voicing your opinion.