1. The huge, diverse cast
You couldn't help but fall in love with every character and for different reasons. We have people from all over the world coming together on the island-- some of whom didn't even speak English. It showed the real struggle of how difficult it would be to relate and survive with people from different cultures. (Insert Jack's epic 'Live Together, Die Alone' speech here). After a while, though, we learn that it doesn't matter where you come from. Everyone is human, and we can all relate on that level. The biggest joy of the show was seeing how friendships and relationships were formed between these strangers. Remember when Charlie, Jin, Desmond, and Hurley went on a guys' camping trip and Jin told a scary story in Korean and it still scared them? Total awesomeness.
2. All the insane twists
There were so many OMG WTF moments I lost count. From the very beginning, I would find myself exclaiming, "Locke was in a wheelchair before the island?!" or "Sun can speak English?!" and "ETHAN WASN'T ON THE PLANE?!" And much later: "Locke's father is Mr. Sawyer?!" or "Jack and Claire are siblings?!" I could go on for hours. Basically the writers masterfully came up with original plot twists that made sense but still blindsided the audience, which is what all awesome shows should have. Lost never let up on you; it never coasted through a week. It challenged you and kept you on your toes at all times.
3. The Lighthearted Moments
While the show was often very grim and had life or death moments, there were still plenty of cute, funny moments to cut the tension. In season one, Hurley built a golf course for everyone to enjoy. Jack helped a grumpy Sawyer get a pair of truly hideous glasses. In season three, Hurley, Charlie, Jin, and Sawyer fixed up an old van they found and took a joy ride in it. Scenes like these were crucial to get us to laugh in between all the tears. It was very true to life, too. If regular people were really trapped on an island, of course there would be moments where they weren't worrying about survival... they would just be bored.
4. All the hot people
Loosely quoting creator J.J. Abrams, only the hot people survived the crash, and boy was he right. We got to see Sawyer's super hot bod, Sayid's sexy, romantic side, and hear Desmond's beautiful Scottish accent. Let's not forget the babes that were Kate, Shannon, and Sun. A++ to the casting director. This one is definitely more of a visual. Feast your eyes.
5. The Flashbacks
Giving each character their own episodes with a new piece of their history was a brilliant way to reveal so much about them and also break up all the action happening on the island. Remember how you would strongly dislike a character before we got their flashback, and then afterwards you were head over heels for them? (i.e. PLOT TWIST: JIN ISN'T A TERRIBLE HUSBAND). There was just so much careful complexity to every flashback; everything we learned was important in some way. By the end of the series, we felt like we knew these people inside and out. Maybe we even pretended they were our best friends (or was that just me?)
6. THE FLASH FORWARDS
Take a breath. Close your eyes. Think back to that moment when Jack met Kate outside the airport, and you're all, "Huh? Jack and Kate knew each other before the crash?" And then they talk about the island and you're literally like, "OH SHIT THEY GOT OFF THE ISLAND! THIS IS A FLASH FORWARD!!!!!" Seriously. That was probably the most epic revelation in television history. Then a few episodes later, Hurley's all "I'm part of the Oceanic Six" and you're like, "ONLY SIX OF THEM GET OFF?!" And you freak out all over again. Freaking be still my beating heart. This was pure genius.
7. The love stories
With a bunch of castaways trapped on a deserted island, people were bound to start doing it sooner or later. But the best part about the romances on Lost was that they were all different, but all meaningful. We had the whirlwind love story of Shannon and Sayid (with an unfortunately tragic ending). We had the classic Jack/Kate/Sawyer love triangle that took the whole series to resolve. We had the slow and steady cute power couple of Charlie and Claire. We had Jin and Sun, the estranged married couple that fell back in love on the island. On so many other shows, characters are constantly hooking up and switching partners like crazy. Lost was different. There were rarely any hookups (and let's be honest, that Sawyer/Ana-Lucia one night stand was crazy hot), and characters weren't constantly forced into new relationships that had no chemistry. When these people fell in love, it was for real.
8. The way it made you cry
There were so many sob-worthy moments, but for different reasons. When Claire gave birth to Aaron, we cried tears of joy. When Charlie "Not Penny's Boat"-ed us, we cried tears of sorrow. And when Jin, Sun, and Sayid all died in the submarine explosion, we cried tears of such devastation that most of us have still not recovered and probably never will. Lost made us feel such a variety of intense emotions. We were so invested in every character and story line that we couldn't help but cry at everything. Viewers should be this connected with every show they watch.