I’m very excited that an end date has been set for Lost.
I think all of us who watch it have been worried that it would either drag on for season after season and become overly complex and irrelevant (a la The X-Files) or get canceled before things could get wrapped up neatly (a la Twin Peaks). Or that it would wrap everything up in season 4 then have a stupid season 5 (a la Angel).
But now we know that Lost will have 3 more seasons left with 18 episodes each.
Unlike many other mythology/arch-based shows, I think Lost‘s “big question” is much more existential than others. Unlike Twin Peaks where the mysteries revolve around a certain event (“Who killed Laura Palmer?” “Why is Windom Earle back in Twin Peaks?”) or a Big Question like The X-Files (“What is the conspiracy?”), on Lost we want to know about the nature of the lostaways existence.
It’s not just “What is the deal with the polar bears?” or “What is the black smoke?” or “Who are the others?,” what we really want to know about is the reality of the island — is it real? is it a dream? are they dead? etc.
I think this type of story structure, more than others, really needs to have a planned-out ending and cannot go on too long. Yay for giving Lost an end date!