Do Nice Guys Finish Last in LOST and in Literature?

Lost - Sawyer, Jack, Kate, Michael
Lost – Sawyer, Jack, Kate, Michael (Photo credit: wcm1111)

Being a perpetual student I am certain that at some point I will have to do a dissertation. Thankfully, I already have my topic selected, “Determining Your Future Romantic Success Based On Your Choice Between The Lead Characters On LOST.” If you are not familiar with it, the hit series aired on the American Broadcasting Company from September 2004 to May 2010. The equal parts sci-fi and supernatural series featured the survivors of an airline crash who are marooned on an island somewhere in the South Pacific Ocean between Sydney, Australia  and Los Angeles, USA.

Although it was hardly the main focus of the show, shortly after the crash a love triangle formed between three of the principle characters, the protagonist Jack Shepherd,  Kate Austen and James “Sawyer” Ford. Therein lies the  crux of my argument, despite his issues Jack embodied the stereotypical “nice guy or white knight” and Sawyer, the conman could be nothing other than the “bad boy.”  Ultimately and with much back and forth over six seasons Kate did pick Jack but was this simply a fictional construct done at the behest of the fans? Furthermore by the end of the series had Sawyer become a “nice guy” by, for all intents and purposes, settling down with Juliette?

Recently, I have noticed a disturbing trend, by the end of the story the “bad boy” is completely redeemed and seemingly not only ready but eager to settle down with the heroine complete with a white picket fence and two point five children. I seem to have become less willing to suspend disbelief that this is actually in any way realistic. Am I just being obstreperous? Yet this was my thought upon finishing both Hopeless and Losing Hope by Colleen Hoover and again when I completed Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire. Perhaps this is just a trend with New Adult literature about which I am still trying to decide how I feel?

Again I come back to the same point, if what we read is simply entertainment then go ahead turn every bad boy into the model of domesticity. What I find contentious is if these stories perpetuate the belief that the smoking drinking philandering parolees that I hear about every morning on 99.9’s Bad Boyfriend Poker to make this transformation we are bound for disappointment.


4 thoughts on “Do Nice Guys Finish Last in LOST and in Literature?”

  1. I just can’t find bad boys sexy anymore. I just can’t. Of course, I am a happily married mother of three so that colours my response, but still…bad boys grown up to be bad men. There’s no happily ever after there, and I can’t suspend my disbelief that far…

  2. I have to think it all comes back to hope. The human spit it’s eternal…albeit flawed at times, hope that things and people can change and rehabilitation isn’t just something cooked up alongside the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy. What would we do without our rise colours glasses leading us into life’s potholes-Live happily ever after? Which is the greater myth?

  3. Excellent point. I do think the bad boy is so much more interesting to read about and watch, even though in real life I was never drawn to them. My wonderful husband is about as straight an arrow as they come, thank goodness. You’ve intrigued me, so now I want to write a bad boy that stays bad. I think another problem authors face is that they make their good guys so boring and one-dimensional. If we use the Lost example again, Desmond was a “good guy” but was a rich character, so I loved him even though he didn’t need any redeeming.

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