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More than a decade after the series ended, fans are still looking for more shows like Lost. The influential series has helped paved the way ever since for mysterious shows that end on stunning cliffhangers and leave the audience desperate for more. From smoke monsters to time travel to an extremely mysterious tropical island, it’s a television show engrained in time that will be hard to top. Luckily, there are other television shows out there that can fill that void and are fairly similar to Lost. The storylines they portray revolve around fantasy, aspects of sci-fi, and maybe a monster or two that pops up out of nowhere.
Lost fans know that there will never be a show quite like the first one that frustrated, confused, and rewarded them with such a powerful and emotional finale. The mind of J.J. Abrams is nothing short of poetic brilliance and while Lost reflected that in all of its smoke monster glory, many years have passed since fans shed a final tear over that beautiful series finale soundtrack. There have been contenders, however. Some of which J.J. Abrams was even involved in, while others had brilliant minds of their own behind their cryptic scenes.
The Wilds (2020-2022)
Thanks to the massive popularity of Lost, any show that involves people getting stuck on an island with no hope is bound to bring back memories. That’s the case with Amazon Prime’s The Wilds and as this series continues to expand, it becomes more like Lost. What started as a show about teen girls crashing on an island has grown to involve conspiracy theories, hidden agendas, and a much bigger mystery at work as well as The Wilds‘ own shocking twists. Of course, also like Lost, the show really shines because of the complex characters at the center.
- Stream On Showtime And Prime Video
The most recent show to join the pantheon of shocking series like Lost is Yellowjackets. It begins very much the same way as it focuses on a group of people who get stranded following a plane crash but it takes a much different and darker route afterward. Already being compared to Lost, Yellowjackets is told in both the present and through flashbacks and the audience never quite knows the truth of what is going on. The show features a tremendous young cast with some brilliant veterans mixed in, is great for LGBTQ+ representation, and has audiences clamoring for what’s next.
The Event (2010)
Once season 6 wrapped and Lost ended, it seemed like every network was trying to capture its magic. NBC attempted that almost immediately with The Event, a show involving a government cover-up, aliens, and so much more. While the premise was intriguing and the show had pretty solid reviews, audiences didn’t get hooked. That led to it being canceled after just one season and many of the mysteries had to go unsolved.
The 4400 (2004-2007, 2021-2022)
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Premiering around the same time as Lost, The 4400 was another high-concept sci-fi show that left audiences with more questions than answers pretty often. The show centers on a group of 4400 people who disappeared in 1946 and return decades later without aging. The mystery brought intrigue for a few seasons during the 2000s but it didn’t last too long. The CW attempted to revive it with a reboot in 2021, though that unfortunately only lasted a single season before being canceled.
Two years after Lost exploded on the screen, Heroes premiered and became a household favorite. Much like Lost, the premise focused on a group of strangers with mysterious backgrounds, though this one saw them gain superpowers. Heroes lasted for four seasons and even had a reboot of sorts called, Heroes Reborn. J.J. Abrams didn’t have his hand in this, but it seems like the producers took a page out of his playbook for this one with plenty of shocking and unexpected plot twists.
Castle Rock (2018-2019)
Based on the stories from iconic horror author Stephen King, Castle Rock was brought to the small screen with J.J. Abrams as an executive producer. With King having a hand in the production and Abrams’s penchant for great TV, fans knew they were in for a treat. The unique storyline around this television show combines some of King’s best-loved works into a tale of darkness and light and mythology. Each season is filled with great mysteries.
The Leftovers (2014-2017)
For three seasons, The Leftovers television show told the story of the aftermath of losing two percent of the global population. That might not sound like a lot at first glance but it resulted in 140 million people disappearing. The show focuses on a small community dealing with the phenomena, coping with the loss, and contains many mysteries that fans are still wondering about even today. There are also many people who feel that The Leftovers succeeded in delivering a complete story of this mystery far better than the divisive finale of Lost.
The 100 (2014-2020)
The CW’s The 100 focuses on a leap in time after a nuclear war has destroyed civilization. The people that did survive are living on a spaceship and send 100 young delinquents back to Earth to see if it’s habitable. Of course, once they get down there, nothing is quite as it seems. With seven seasons and a fitting 100 episodes, there’s a lot to find in this amazing series. The 100 features so many plot twists and mysteries that any Lost fan will likely get hooked.
Black Mirror (2011-)
Using an anthology style akin to the classic sci-fi show The Twilight Zone, Black Mirror focuses on the effect technology has on modern life, in one way or another. Some episodes are set in the future, while others are in the past. The biggest difference that keeps this from being too much like Lost is that there aren’t overarching mysteries since each episode tells its own separate story.
There’s another contender for the crown of shows revolving around passengers on a crashed flight: Manifest. The story follows the passengers of a missing flight that emerged after five years. Not only have they not aged but they soon begin to experience voices and visions, which leads to an even deeper mysterious rabbit hole. It’s the kind of addictive show that fans of Lost are likely to eat up and get hooked on. Fans have been coming up with wild theories pretty much since day one.
- Stream On HBO Max & Freevee
The similarities between Lost and Fringe should not be too surprising to fans as both shows come from J.J. Abrams. The series came out two years before Lost finalized its run and there are underlying similarities between the two. While Fringe starts out as more of a supernatural crime drama, it slowly immerses itself into alternate universes and made sure to pave the way for concrete character development. It’s classic Abrams that keeps the audience guessing at what is really going on.
Doctor Who (2005-)
For the ultimate binge-fest, Doctor Who is the perfect contender. It’s the longest-running sci-fi series in history and is a must-watch for fans of the genre. The storylines stay fresh with a rotating cast and a not-so-typical main character. The Doctor can jump into other bodies, travel the universe, and befriend aliens; this fantasy/sci-fi mix is a great alternative to dive into and enjoy. Fans have adored it for decades and it is easy to see the influence in many sci-fi and mind-bending shows that followed, including Lost.
Sleepy Hollow (2013-2017)
The Headless Horseman is a figure in literature who was been a huge part of pop culture for over two centuries. There have been several movies about Sleepy Hollow, including Tim Burton’s own interpretation, and in 2013, a television show has been on Hulu for viewing pleasure. At times, Lost could be pretty creepy, but the Sleepy Hollow television show is even creepier. When Ichabod Crane comes back to life in the 21st century and has to stop the world from ending, there’s fantasy and sci-fi galore. It dives into its own mythology which grows over the series just as Lost did, with various pieces coming into place.
Twin Peaks (1990-1991, 2017)
One of the most intriguing shows in history is Twin Peaks. It is an amazing and eccentric show about a mystery surrounding a murder in a small town. It was a moment in time when the television industry needed a change-up like this and the mysteries and characters that swirled around it still fascinate fans to this day. Twin Peaks made a perfect revival in 2017 and received rave reviews yet again. Shows like Lost that rely on those gripping mysteries and one puzzling clue after another might never have happened without the success of Twin Peaks.
The X-Files (1993-2018)
The X-Files has been making fans wonder what else is out there for decades now. Being that it’s one of the longest-running sci-fi series in history, there’s a lot to be discovered n this particular show. From paranormal activity to unexplainable creatures wreaking havoc, this show is a great choice for trying to fill the Lost-shaped void. Plus, fans can binge The X-Files for quite a long time too.
HBO’s Westworld is definitely along the same lines as Lost with its unique, science fiction-type storyline where, underneath it all, something seems not quite right. In a world where a hybrid human-android, Wild West-themed amusement park exists, it’s encouraged that the park’s guests indulge in their own free will after entering. Thanks to the codes programmed into the android hosts, they’re prohibited from harming human guests which predictably goes awry. The fun genre set-up makes way for some deep mythology like Lost, and similarly, some people complain the endless mysteries and twists led to its downfall and Westworld‘s cancelation.
Person Of Interest (2011-2016)
Lost fans will recognize the man in the photo as Ben, but in Person of Interest, he plays a character by the name of Harold Finch. As usual, Michael Emerson does an incredible job portraying a person who knows far more than he lets on, all the while controlling a game that no one else realizes they’re playing. This show, while not as science fiction-esque or complex as Emerson’s previous home, is still worth a watch simply due to the nature of its mystery and intrigue.
Under The Dome (2013-2015)
Under the Dome shares the same name as the novel serving for its inspiration by famed horror author Stephen King. Despite having only three seasons, this show racked up massive viewership numbers early on. While the reception didn’t remain consistent, the show still has a reputation worthy of being watched. It focuses on a town that is suddenly cut off from the outside world with a large dome covering it. The group of isolated characters feels reminiscent of Lost as does the search for the truth of why they are there.
Stranger Things (2016-)
Lost opened the doors for weird and wild genre storytelling for mainstream TV audiences and Stranger Things continues that trend. Not only did this Netflix original completely shatter the ceiling on modern science fiction shows, but it incorporated a retro timeline that’s fun, unique, and perfectly suited to this show’s storyline. Each character has grown since season 1 into a dynamic and diverse part of the cast, and the characters added during the last season fit seamlessly into what is now one of the streaming service’s greatest accomplishments. It features plot twists that are as shocking as those on Lost and fans are hooked on it. With Strangers Things ending with season 5, now is the perfect time to get caught up.
Yet another critically acclaimed show is Dark, which is perhaps one of the most puzzling, cliffhanger-type, and frustrating horror shows out there right now. While viewers must pay attention to the subtleties in this show, it’s well worth sticking to the end. The entire time – very similar to Lost – it’s quite unclear what’s happening in this small town. Every person carries with them their own baggage but somehow, they’re all connected. Furthermore, each episode gives off more and more of a supernatural clue… but not nearly enough to ready viewers for what’s coming.