Since the spring of 2010, a large percentage of the human populace has been drifting aimlessly through time and space, unable to determine what year it is, hoping desperately to latch once more onto something they know, love and understand: something you might call a constant. This group is known to the masses as LOST fans (although they might go by terms like Islanders, Others, Flight 815ers, the Dharma Initiative, or Friends of Jacob), and they’ll probably be thrilled to know that ABC’s newest drama, Scandal starts up tonight, April 5 at 10 p.m. ET/PT, with one of their old favorites in tow: Henry Ian Cusick, a.k.a. the constant himself, Desmond. But is Cusick’s casting enough to get LOST devotees to watch the show?
Since the majestic island series ended on May 23, 2010, fans have been looking high and low for replacement shows — for many, nothing has come close. But there is the pleasure taken by seeing your old island favorites on other series. In fact, some fans tune into series they wouldn’t otherwise be too interested in just to see their beloved plane crash victims.
This season of television has offered a lot of opportunities on this vein. LOST‘s home network, in addition to welcoming Cusick, has offered veterans Emilie de Ravin (Claire) and Alan Dale (Charles Widmore) on Once Upon a Time. CBS delivers Daniel Dae Kim (Jin) and Terry O’Quinn (John Locke) on Hawaii Five-0 and Michael Emerson (Ben Linus) on Person of Interest. Even the CW gives us a dose of Ian Somerhalder (Boone) on The Vampire Diaries. Finally, Fox gives fans a necessary dose of Hurley: Jorge Garcia stars on J.J. Abrams’ thriller series Alcatraz. And this isn’t even covering the LOST alumni on the big screen.
But the LOST cast seem to be facing the same danger that have plagued the Seinfeld four for years. Sure, you might tune in to see a new show starring one of the aforementioned actors. But how long will you stick with the program? After nearly a whole season of Person of Interest, are you still waiting for Emerson to reveal his reverence to Jacob? Are Hawaii Five-0 viewers hoping to see O’Quinn preach openly about the mysteries of the island (of Hawaii)?
Seeing these actors play other characters just serves to remind that the great series is all in the past. Thus, the LOST appeal may grab viewers, but it isn’t always enough to keep them. Unfortunately, the only thing that can truly satisfy LOST cravings is returning to the series itself. You might always feel totally willing to thrust yourself full force back into one of the most addictive TV shows of all time, but sooner or later, you’ll realize: you have to go back.