Lost returns to TV tonight in the UK. The premiere double episode of the concluding sixth season started on Tuesday in the US and for fans over here it's been a tough 3 days avoiding spoilers in blogs, newspapers and websites.
MLYW and I have been watching Lost since the first episode and I think we've had the same experience as most fans. The first one and a half seasons were essential viewing. Then it got a bit bogged-down until halfway through season three - lots of people stopped watching, and I confess we nearly gave up ourselves - but then, in a brave move, the programme makers convinced the network to let them set a finite end-date for the series which let them focus on telling a coherent story rather than, as with most US series's, just rambling on and never really getting anywhere.
And it's been a great success. Season 4 was great and season 5 was fantastic. Confusing for some people, I think, with its time-travel and doppelgangers, but as a completely immersive mystery story it was a huge success.
So tonight is the beginning of then end and in about 3 months we'll have a whole bunch of questions answered - hopefully!
In celebration of this, here are my Top Ten TV shows ( in no particular order).
Lost: As I've already discussed.
The Wire: Genius from David Simon. Totally believable, uncompromising and gripping television.
Deadwood: Brilliantly sweary, muddy frontier drama. Like Twin Peaks it finished prematurely.
Seinfeld: No hugging, no learning. Be master of your own domain. Yada yada yada...
Curb Your Enthusiasm: Seinfeld, with swearing.
Father Ted: You know you love it. Admit it. Go on. Go on go on go on go on go on, you do!
Mad Men: It's not been around long yet, but this slow-moving glossy '60s Madison Avenue drama is a classic already because it says more with a look, or with what is not said.
Spaced: How many times can I watch Pegg & Stevenson's masterpiece sitcom. Thousands. That's how many.
Angel: Buffy spin-off that, for my book, was darker and more coherent than its illustrious parent. I realise I'm in a minority here!
The Singing Detective: Dennis Potter's singing, dancing dark comedy about a bed-bound detective story writer.
Twin Peaks: At its best, David Lynch's influential TV show was by turns hilarious and genuinely creepy and unsettling.
NYPD Blue: Excellent police procedural that was shamefully hidden away by Channel 4 in its last 2 or 3 seasons.