I spent the last few days of my holiday break binge-watching a few Netflix series and there was one that completely hooked me. It was absolutely enjoyable but what really amazed me was how the show was able to make literally EVERY scene so compelling and interesting. That never happened to me before. The show I’m talking about is Lost in Space.
Lost in Space was originally released in April 2018 and was apparently a reboot of the 1965 TV series. I hadn’t known about it back then (2018 and 1965 both). Season 2, on the other hand, was released just recently—December 2019—and this was when I discovered it and decided to give it a try.
It was a few days after the New Year, I was still on vacation and I had nothing to do so I watched Season 1 Episode 1 with no expectations whatsoever and then 2 days later, I found myself finishing all two seasons, 10 episodes each. That was how much I was blown away.
First let’s meet the Robinsons family which is who this series is all about.
- Quick thinker
- Problem solver
- Former Navy SEAL
- Eldest child at 19
- Medical doctor (1st year)
- A natural leader
- Middle child
- Artistic, aspiring writer
- Sarcastic but funny
- Full of quips
- Youngest child at 12
- Timid but determined
Lost in Space is centered around the Robinson family who are on the 24th Colonist Group to travel to Alpha Centauri. Earth at this setting is slowly becoming inhabitable and the government as a solution, found a new planet to live on and that is Alpha Centauri. But of course not everyone gets to go. There is a selection process and those who want a ride need to pass a number of tests. All members of the Robinson family passed but on their way to the new planet, they encounter a series of well, unfortunate events, and thus the story begins.
If I were to give one reason you should watch Lost in Space, I would cite brilliant writing but while that is certainly the backbone of this series, there are also a couple other reasons worth mentioning. But warning, this post will be full of spoilers. I tried to limit it but one way or another you will be spoiled. I suggest you just go right into it and watch the series. It’s better going in blind anyway.
But if you’re still here that’s okay too…
Why Lost in Space is worth watching:
Juxtaposition, transition, music, sound effects, etc.—all of these things work together to tell a great story and the production in Lost in Space has perfected this art. A great story is an effective story and it can only ever be effective if your storytelling is on point.
HIGH QUALITY VISUAL EFFECTS
Are we sure this is only a digital series? With such top tier vfx you’d assume it was for a massive film but no, the people behind this show just doesn’t know what “mediocre” means.
I always say that in reading books, pace is important to keep the reader interested and the same is true for movies. A big part of why Lost in Space was “unputdownable” in bookish terms is because it wastes no time in developing its plots scene after scene but it was never overwhelming or rushed. It’s always escalating but it escalates with grace and reason.
THE BEST OF SCI-FI & FAMILY DRAMA IN ONE
How does the show do it? Why does it always escalate? Won’t they run out of plots fast? That’s the beauty of space. There is an unlimited number of unknowns waiting to be turned into a plot and the show obviously utilized this to their advantage. As Murphy’s Law states, whatever can go wrong will go wrong.
While all that sci-fi adventure is taking place, the Robinsons experience all sorts of family drama that not only mend their broken relationship but also make them grow both as individuals and as a family unit.
THE BEST LEAD CHARACTERS EVER WRITTEN
The nuances in EVERY character in this show proves once again how brilliant the writing is. Just take the Robinsons for example. They are far from being the perfect family, they all have flaws, yet they are so lovable because they felt REAL. If there was one goal a writer should have before crafting a great story, making it or making the characters feel real is probably the pinnacle.
I’ve described the Robinsons above and they’re all positive adjectives but these very traits can also be their weaknesses. Maureen is goal-oriented but sometimes it can be too much like a tunnel vision. All she cares about is getting to her goal not realizing the pressure she’s put on her kids.
John is a former Navy SEAL and is understandably a patriot but what about his family? Is loyalty to one’s nation more important than family?
Judy is an achiever but sometimes she takes more than she can handle and she doesn’t realize that she doesn’t have to shoulder all the responsibilities. Her siblings are there to help her if only she can trust them enough.
Penny is the jester in the family, never quite serious but she hides a deep insecurity about her contribution to the family. I relate to her the most because frankly, if I were thrown into an apocalyptic world, I wouldn’t know how to survive and my “artistic skills” would be useless. Cheers to you Penny!
Out of anyone, it’s Will who may have had the hardest time adjusting to his new life and new environment because he’s so young. His mentality is not yet ready for the stress of new challenges and he’s had to quickly mature in order to keep up.
At first, it may seem like it’s only Will who needed growing up but the truth is every single one of them needed to and it was a joy watching them grow each in his/her own way, at his/her own pace, individually and also together as a family.
MINOR CHARACTERS THAT CHALLENGE YOU
Dr. Smith is probably the most hated character in the series (aside from Hastings I guess). I’m pretty sure every viewer has suggested to “space her out the ship” but it never happened and worse of all, she’s always so lucky. While The Robinsons took the cake for all the mishaps they could come across, Dr. Smith got a meager icing.
Dr. Smith is such a compelling character because she does so many hateful things but then she shows a tiny bit of goodness in her and you start to doubt her evilness but then she does something bad again and you’re back to zero. It’s a never-ending cycle with her but one thing’s for sure, she makes the show so much more suspenseful because other than hostile aliens, Dr. Smith is also someone you have to watch out for. You just never know what she has up her sleeve.
Meanwhile, Don West is another interesting character. He was mostly annoying in the beginning but in the usual magic of the writers, they were able to turn him around and make him likeable without it being so obvious. One minute, “UGH I hate his face” and then next, “Aw, he’s so sweet.” He’s more like an older brother or an uncle now to the Robinson children and that’s really heartwarming.
SPECIAL CHARACTERS THAT SURPRISE YOU
Everyone stans Robot now. Robot is the first alien robot Will befriended. Who would have thought he’d be so adorable? Just like Will, Robot is navigating strange, new experiences and it’s so beautiful watching him learn and feel things he’s never known before. He’s formed such a great bond not just with Will but the whole Robinson family that he is now, without a single doubt, a Robinson.
No one saw it coming but Scarecrow has grown on most viewers too. Scarecrow is the second alien robot Will encountered. He started hostile but that’s to be expected because some stinky humans stole his engine and made him a slave. They tortured him. Who would not grow bitter? But just like Robot, Scarecrow isn’t a lost cause. He has goodness in him, he just had to be shown what it is first.
STELLAR PERFORMANCES FROM ALL ACTORS
No matter how great a story is, if there are no good actors to breathe life into their characters, a great story would still be rendered flat. Everyone in this show is so believable in their roles. The whole time I was watching, I didn’t think of them as actors at all.
Parker Posey, the actress who portrayed Dr. Smith, stood out the most but of course, everyone else did an amazing job.
I could keep talking about the greatness of Lost in Space but it would take forever. Some of these things are just a few of what came to mind when thinking about the value of Lost in Space. I’m here to encourage you to watch it because honestly, the series deserves more love.
I wanted to write about it because it’s so underrated compared to other Netflix shows. I hoped that maybe this post will influence someone to take a chance on it.
Just a reminder: even if you’re someone who doesn’t like Sci-fi, you’d still be able to enjoy this one.
That’s all for now. Let’s stan the Robinsons together! 😂