Early LOST writers' guide is a tribute to self-delusion


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So, it’s like Gilligan’s Island on steroids.

All artists know that initial ideas are just to get the juices flowing. Faith to one’s initial impulse is not the best approach to being creative.


I can’t wait for the ending of LOST to finally air.


Heh heh… “Self-contained. Seriously. We promise. […] This is not lip service - we are absolutely committed to this conceit.”

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For season two, the series bible was shortened to:

“They’re there for a long long time. They’ll have to make the best of things. It’s an uphill climb.”

And then:

“When in doubt, make shit up that keeps them watching.”


“Yes - character arcs (romances, alliances, grudges) carry over the scope of a season, but the plots
will not. Viewers will be able to drop in at any time and be able to follow exactly what’s going on
in a story context.”



It’s a Cop Show!
It’s a Lawyer Show!
It’s a Floor Wax!
It’s a Dessert Topping!


I’m a pretty bad chess player.

Surprisingly, I’ve usually managed to get early material and strategic advantages against far better players than I… but never learned how to close the deal.

My end-game in chess is totally non-existent. I get bored, lose interest, and lack the discipline to really play a full game, much to my embarrassment.

So, what I’m saying is that I play chess the way those guys write, and that’s a real shame, for any of us who fell for the psych-out that there was some point to Lost.


So are they going to continue to spout BS in interviews about how they were not totally making all that crap up as they went along.

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Well sure, after all everything was always:

True to our commitment to provide rational, real-world explanations for the seemingly bizarre,

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IT’S A SHIT SHOW. If something potentially interesting happens in the storyline, make sure you drag it out to the point of exasperation before revealing it’s a dream sequence.

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Are there any shows that actually seem to have been planned out from the start to the finish? Babylon 5 seems to have been mostly. Though they ended up compressing seasons 4 and 5 both into season 4 since they thought season 4 was going to be it. Breaking Bad I think they might have known where they were going, but I don’t think they really had everything in between mapped out. The Wire seems to have been planned out one season at a time. That’s about the most that can be hoped for generally.

Battlestar Galactica had the same issue as LOST. Every time the introduction played, we were told they had a plan. They didn’t! There was no plan. Don’t tell me they have a plan if they don’t have a plan. Veronica Mars had more of a plan than the Cylons.


There was a lot of potential for Lost and it definitely piqued my imagination many many times but it was one big fuck up after another. They didn’t have a plan. They didn’t know what they were doing. The writers/producers told lie after lie about the show and it all ended in possibly the worst final season of any show I’ve seen.

Even if they had ended with season 5’s nuke detonation and never answered the main questions then at least there would be some room for interpretation. Season 6 was unbearably terrible. Ugh!

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Game of Thrones?

It had more satisfying story arc resolutions than The X-Files, but then so do most of the nightmares I get from eating too many habanero peppers.


Depends on wether or nor George R.R. Martin has actually a plan for his books series.

I’d exclude filmalizations (is that a word? it should be) anyway, though, since they get their main plot not from the shows’ writers.

Though I guess they could create on of their own. I have this ongoing fantasy of inhertiting a couple of hundred millions, buy Perry Rhodan TV rights and make it he first 400 issues into a coherent animated series.

(Would have to be animated - CGI would wreck the budget and how do you keep the main protagonists at middle age, unless you can pull a Doctor.)

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I had faith that Lost would make scene right up until the third to last episode where they started to introduce more characters rather than resolve anything… Not to spoil the ending for anyone but it turns out that the mystery all along was that the island has a giant needy orifice that Jack’s purpose in life is to plug…

That show is dead to me…

Also Prometheus, another Damon Lindelof debacle, is marred by the same “throw some shit at the characters and see what sticks” style of writing… Please, for the love of god, stop giving him work until he can learn the basics of writing a plot which resolves somewhere in the third act…

SELF-CONTAINED ??? Now, that’s a laugh; especially the later seasons were MUCH too heavy on cliff-hangers, and the storylines would hardly make sense if you didn’t know the whole setting.

And the last season was bunk. Apart from that, many of the storylines were really fascinating - I liked the button you had to push in the hatch, because if not the world would self-destruct (and this was true, and it did, kind of), and I especially liked the whole string of episodes abt Desmond’s love story. But as a whole, LOST was an artistic failure. Lots of good stuff, but ruined by excessive use of obvious devices like cliffhangers and red herrings.

Depends on wether or nor George R.R. Martin has actually a plan for
his books series.

I firmly believe that Martin has a plan, just based on the kind of writing he does. (As my husband says, “This is a man who treats Chekov’s Gun like a religion.”) His problem seems to be having SO MUCH backstory sketched out that he loses track of what to use and what to just keep in the background.


Ah my people!

I’ve firmly been in the “LOST IS SHIT” camp for quite a while after it became clear that there was no PLAN that it was more of a writing exercise for those creating it. LETS DO SOMETHING COOL! OH NOS! HOW DO WE GET OUT OF THAT!

@Jardine B5 remains one of my top 5 shows of all time precisely because it had a planned story (and backup planned story if things didn’t work out). Sure the effects and makeup date it a bit, but the story is king! I also got real sick of BSG for the same reasons you mention. Recently the Mrs and I went back and picked out shows we want to watch/re-watch/introduce to each other. Zero zero desire to ever rewatch BSG.