Last week, The Lighthouse closed its doors for the last time. Just over a year after its premiere, the cultishly-popular Netflix original series came to an end. Was it all a big waste of time? Let’s take a look and see.
The Last Days
While we await the premiere of the highly-anticipated second season of The Witcher, fans of Netflix’s The Lighthouse can look back on the series’ finale with a mixture of nostalgia and dread. The 10-episode story wrapped up pretty much everything that had made the series so special in the first place. It was an emotional story about a group of people who found a way to find love and acceptance in this world. While we will never know the full extent of the show’s influence, it seems certain that Love, Simon is a result of The Lighthouse’s cultural impact.
The Social Reintroduction Of ‘Fancy’
The Lighthouse’s biggest legacy may be the way it helped bring back the word ‘fancy’ in popular culture. Until recently, ‘fancy’ had largely been used in formal situations. When spoken by a woman, it could be taken as an insult. However, after the show’s premiere, it became clear that ‘fancy’ had completely changed its perception in the eyes of the public. According to a piece in The Telegraph, ‘fancy’ is now seen as a positive term by 54% of Brits. Only 27% disagree and consider it a negative term. This is in marked contrast to the 27% who see it as a negative term and the 46% who see it as positive just two years earlier.
While some may see this as a positive development, it’s important to note that the term ‘fancy’ is now often used in the wrong way. For example, 43% of respondents in The Telegraph report that the most common mistake is using the word to describe something as “sales-y” or “trying-to-be-cool”. This could indicate that the word is being overused and perhaps even become meaningless. So while it’s great that ‘fancy’ is no longer strictly defined as “refined and cultured”, it’s important not to lose sight of its more negative connotations.
Fancy Is The Key Word
Fancy may not be a completely positive term, but it is a commonly-used one. In fact, it’s one of the most-used phrases on Merriam-Webster’s ‘nerd dictionary’. A key word study conducted by the American Institute of Stress has identified ‘fancy’ as one of the top words used to describe feelings of anxiety. This could indicate that the use of ‘fancy’ isn’t quite what it seems at first glance. Perhaps it’s not as positive a term as we thought it was.
The Series’ Impact On Relationships
One of The Lighthouse’s most striking legacies is the way it portrayed the importance of relationships. Throughout the show’s run, the characters constantly stressed the need to build strong connections with others. Even Penny, the show’s cynical main character, admitted that she had been “brainwashed” into believing that everyone deserves love. It would seem that the show had an effect on viewers, prompting one Twitter user to tweet: “I think almost everyone can agree that The Lighthouse was pretty influential in opening peoples’ minds to the importance of loving others.”
While the show undoubtedly impacted viewers, it’s also important to look at how the characters themselves were changed by their time in the lighthouse. After spending a decade living largely apart from the outside world, the characters gained a newfound appreciation for intimacy and committed relationships. Hannah Witton, writing for Vogue, said: “Many of the relationships we saw develop in the final season seemed pretty meaningful, so it would appear that the isolation they endured for so long had positive effects on at least some of them.”
Nostalgia And Regret
It’s difficult to look back on the series finale without feeling a mixture of nostalgia and regret. Nostalgia for the series’ beautiful cinematography and luscious costumes. Regret for the brilliant minds that brought the series and its characters to life. At least two episodes were directly inspired by the 1989 film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, which many fans may also remember fondly.
The series began as a passion project for showrunner Jon Bokenkamp, whose previous work included producing the mini series Bandersnatch. Familiar to many, Bokenkamp was also the writer and director of the Emmy-nominated series The Handmaid’s Tale. Like Bokenkamp, it’s fair to say that many viewers will feel let down by the finale’s conclusion. The series ended on a relatively negative note, with many fans expressing their disappointment that it had to come to this. One Twitter user wrote: “I’m actually starting to feel bad for the cast & crew of #TheLighthouse… This was supposed to be the end of their story, not the start.”
However, perhaps the most poignant reaction came from Hannah Witton. Writing for Vogue, she said that the finale had made her “feel sad and angry” because it had confirmed that “loneliness exists” and that “no matter what, there will always be another season”. While it may be hard to imagine that there could be more episodes, it seems certain that fans of The Lighthouse will continue to speak of its characters and stories for quite some time.