I've taken lots of time to process this (hey, I'm raising support, give me a break!) and what my life will look like post-finale. I hope that some of these things will help you process this as well.
Q: What will the finale do to LOST's legacy?
A: I think most people are putting lots of pressure on this final episode to answer every question. It's like they have taken JJ Abrams hostage and are torturing him to get answers about the light in the island, Jacob and Flocke's identities, and who Desmond is. They have threatened to be eternally frustrated with LOST if these things arent answered and will huff and puff every time it comes up in conversation.
To me, they have already answered most of the questions. Remember when we didnt know where the polar bears and the smoke came from? When we wondered who the Dharma folks were? Why Richard never aged? When we wondered how Kate could date a guy as short as Charlie in real life? The last one is still a head scratcher, but the rest have been answered. The show has done what it is supposed to do: entertain and make us want to wonder what will happen next. So for me, the end would have to be REALLY stupid to tarnish the show as a whole.
Q: So after LOST ends, how will I fill this time slot?
A: It's like after a guy/girl in an emo movie gets dumped. You have 2 choices, 1) over eat, get drunk, live an generally vagrant lifestyle or 2) find another passion whether it be another person, a cause, or musical instrument. My stint team watched a movie where a long time professor meets some homeless African people who teach him the wonders of playing the Djembe. So he finds life in playing the Djembe on the street for change and applause, gaining street cred along the way.
So what should be your Djembe be? There are a few suggestions I have. Something not so similar to LOST that it just seems like its a lesser version of it, but something long enough and interesting enough to give you that same hunger to watch the next one. In my opinion the reason people loved LOST, was because of the characters you pulled for. Without them, its a weird science fiction story that is confusing and doesn't make you tip in favor of watching it. Basically, its what I envision Battlestar Galactica being. Here are a couple of ones I've seen already that fit the bill. (I'm leaving out reality TV shows and comedies because they are a different genre and a different experience altogether).
1) Friday Night Lights- on it's fourth season. Good music, good acting (for the most part), great writing, very easy to watch in mixed company. Really can't recommend this one enough to everyone. Plus, it has the guy from Early Edition as the star (anyone else not allowed to watch non-CBS shows growing up???)!!! Cons- gets a little soap opera-ish at times and I still don't know if Tim Riggins is Canadian or not.
2) The Wire- I know I said I'd never suggest it and technically I'm not endorsing it. You definitely won't be talking about spiritual significance or "who the Christ figure is." But it is a unique look for ivory tower white people like me into the drug culture of inner cities. It's a sad, harrowing, and gritty look. It is kinda depressing at times, but has that same quality of stickiness that LOST has. There's a reason critics have said its the greatest show of all time. Lots of no name actors, but has great writing and you really never know what will happen next. The show isn't attached to any one character and anyone is as likely to "get got" or transferred away. Season two sucks big time, but the other 4 are incredible in my opinion. It's HBO, so be warned that it's not for the faint of heart and I would never recommend girls to watch it. It's President Obama's favorite show, so if it offends you, just know that it's his fault and that I didn't vote for him. (that should absolve me).
3) 24- I'd probably recommend this one the least because it's a little redundant (though intense and involving). Also, most people have already watched them. And sweet fancy Moses, the acting is turrible, turrible, turrible.
Here are a few I haven't seen, but may end up watching for afterwards as options for the post-LOST fallout:
2) The Corner
4) Breaking Bad-Heard especially good things about this one.
5) The Mentalist-Only because it's my Dad's favorite show and he talks about it non-stop
6) The Sopranos
8) Happy Town
Ones I wont be watching:
1) Mad Men-too depressing, couldn't last 2 episodes through it
2) Any Crime Scene Investigation show (because I'm under 60 years old)
3) The OC-I dont even need to explain why for this one...
4) True Blood
5) Really anything with vampires
Wow, so now that I am feeling guilty about how much I know about TV compared to how little I know about the Bible, I'm going to spend the rest of the night repenting and memorizing enough scripture to even these things out.