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Old 11-27-2012, 10:02 PM   #1
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New Sepinwall article on the origins of Lost

http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/...l-origins-lost

It's quite lengthy.
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:35 PM   #2
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It's an excerpt from his new book.

http://www.hitfix.com/whats-alan-wat...-was-televised
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:37 PM   #3
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I'd heard bits & pieces of that story before, but never as complete as that. Very interesting read.

Thanks for posting!
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:25 AM   #4
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Wow, Jack was supposed to die, kinda like Babylon 5.
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Old 11-28-2012, 12:00 PM   #5
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Who would have thought that George Costanza's childhood arch rival thought up Lost?

Excellent article. When you think about the short time frame, it amazes me that the pilot, to me, was one of the gripping pieces of TV I have ever watched. I was hooked after that first 7 minute sequence.
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Old 11-28-2012, 12:44 PM   #6
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I'm still pissed about the cockamamie resolution of that show.
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Old 11-28-2012, 02:35 PM   #7
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Great piece. I assume this is just the beginning of the LOST chapter in the book. Hopefully the book has a lot more.

I've wanted to get the book and read it, but I've only seen about half the shows it talks about, so I'm not sure it makes sense to only read certain chapters of the book.
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Old 11-28-2012, 03:03 PM   #8
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Great piece. I assume this is just the beginning of the LOST chapter in the book. Hopefully the book has a lot more.

I've wanted to get the book and read it, but I've only seen about half the shows it talks about, so I'm not sure it makes sense to only read certain chapters of the book.
I only read the chapters of the shows I watched. (I skipped maybe two or three)

They are self contained. So you are not missing anything. He has really good interviews for each show. I highly recommend the book.
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Old 11-28-2012, 03:09 PM   #9
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I only read the chapters of the shows I watched. (I skipped maybe two or three)

They are self contained. So you are not missing anything. He has really good interviews for each show. I highly recommend the book.
Cool, thanks. I'll put it on my list.
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Old 11-28-2012, 04:57 PM   #10
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I only read the chapters of the shows I watched. (I skipped maybe two or three)

They are self contained. So you are not missing anything. He has really good interviews for each show. I highly recommend the book.
Does it have pictures/graphics, or is it ok to read on a Kindle?
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Old 11-28-2012, 08:24 PM   #11
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I'm still pissed about the cockamamie resolution of that show.
I know. Everyone has their own opinion of it obviously--some people absolutely loved it and some completely hated it. I'm in the second group. I wish I wasn't because until that last season, Lost was as good as TV gets for me. No other show made me that crazy with fandom.

But the last season put a damper on the whole experience. I don't believe the "it's all about the journey and the ending doesn't matter" school of thought, personally. If you don't like the way something ends up, no matter how great the rest of it was, that last experience is gonna be the one that resonates the most.

Doesn't mean it made the rest of the show crap or anything--it consistently had the best writing, most creative storytelling devices, and top-notch acting on TV. I learned some things as far as story crafting that I'm gonna use for as long as I'm writing, so it is what it is.

I'm gonna read through this though--I love reading about how things come to be. It's always crazy how far what we end up seeing is from what they start with at the inception of the idea.
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:40 PM   #12
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Wow, Jack was supposed to die, kinda like Babylon 5.
I didn't read this article, but I thought that has been 'well known' for a long time… (Just like how Julianna Marguilles' character died in the first 'er'.. but they miraculously brought her back after that.)
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:17 AM   #13
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I know. Everyone has their own opinion of it obviously--some people absolutely loved it and some completely hated it. I'm in the second group. I wish I wasn't because until that last season, Lost was as good as TV gets for me. No other show made me that crazy with fandom.

But the last season put a damper on the whole experience. I don't believe the "it's all about the journey and the ending doesn't matter" school of thought, personally. If you don't like the way something ends up, no matter how great the rest of it was, that last experience is gonna be the one that resonates the most.
Yes

I'd bought the 1st 5 seasons on Blu-Ray in eager anticipation to re-live the journey and the wonderful characters but given the way the out of the blue denouement made 90% of what had happened in previous seasons totally pointless it robbed me of any desire to watch. They remain unopened.

Yet I really enjoyed reading the article posted by the OP. Thank you.

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Old 11-29-2012, 07:46 AM   #14
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Does it have pictures/graphics, or is it ok to read on a Kindle?
No pictures that I can remember. Ok for the Kindle.
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:04 AM   #15
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I know. Everyone has their own opinion of it obviously--some people absolutely loved it and some completely hated it. I'm in the second group. I wish I wasn't because until that last season, Lost was as good as TV gets for me. No other show made me that crazy with fandom.

But the last season put a damper on the whole experience. I don't believe the "it's all about the journey and the ending doesn't matter" school of thought, personally. If you don't like the way something ends up, no matter how great the rest of it was, that last experience is gonna be the one that resonates the most.

Doesn't mean it made the rest of the show crap or anything--it consistently had the best writing, most creative storytelling devices, and top-notch acting on TV. I learned some things as far as story crafting that I'm gonna use for as long as I'm writing, so it is what it is.

I'm gonna read through this though--I love reading about how things come to be. It's always crazy how far what we end up seeing is from what they start with at the inception of the idea.
Yeah, I had been planning to rewatch the whole thing and have a bunch of wonderful, "aha! So that's how that fit in" moments. After the final season and the finale, I'll never watch another Lost episode.
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Old 11-29-2012, 09:42 AM   #16
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I know. Everyone has their own opinion of it obviously--some people absolutely loved it and some completely hated it. I'm in the second group. I wish I wasn't because until that last season, Lost was as good as TV gets for me. No other show made me that crazy with fandom.
I agree with you.

Lost was about as "appointment TV" as you could get. It had the buzz. It prompted all the watercooler talk. Season breaks seemed so long. The eagerness to see how it all would be wrapped up, and the various "properties" of the island explained.

Suffice it to say it didn't really work out that way.
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Old 11-29-2012, 09:56 AM   #17
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I'm also in the camp that I didn't like the way it turned out, and that was mostly because of the handling of Jacob / Man in Black. Then ending...finale, was fine in context to the last season, and as I look back on it, I like it more and more (much like people hated the Seinfeld finale, but the more I watch in on reruns the more fun I think it was). That said, i felt that we got jerked around for 4 seasons on one story, which I loved, and then, we were set on a completely different course that seemed to have little to do with the other four years, and made those 4 years seem minor in comparison. Still, those first 4 years were about as good as TV gets.
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:24 PM   #18
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I'm also in the camp that I didn't like the way it turned out, and that was mostly because of the handling of Jacob / Man in Black. Then ending...finale, was fine in context to the last season, and as I look back on it, I like it more and more (much like people hated the Seinfeld finale, but the more I watch in on reruns the more fun I think it was). That said, i felt that we got jerked around for 4 seasons on one story, which I loved, and then, we were set on a completely different course that seemed to have little to do with the other four years, and made those 4 years seem minor in comparison. Still, those first 4 years were about as good as TV gets.
Didn't mind the LA as Purgatory reunion but the island story with Jacob/MIB stuff was totally contrary to the rules set up by the series creator as described in the article, q.v. the mysteries had to be "scientific" which includes speculative sci fi concepts.. The out of nowhere brother we'd never heard of for 5 seasons banished to a glowing cave emerging as a smoke monster is pure fantasy. Even Ronald Moore in his Jack Daniels fueled BSG plot holes got outdone by the LOST finale train wreck.
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Old 11-29-2012, 11:18 PM   #19
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I've always thought people need to let go of bitterness about the ending and realize they were never going to be satisfied. On that premise, you can take the ending for what it was, which was pretty beautiful.
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:07 AM   #20
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I thought it apparent by the second season that Lost wasn't ever going to make any sense, which is why I stopped watching it at that point. They were already piling riddles upon riddles upon riddles that couldn't possibly add up to anything even remotely plausible, except something tired and lame, like it was all a dream or some alternate universe or some other such nonsense. It's a shame because it could have been a great show if they had just had some more discipline with the storytelling.
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:25 AM   #21
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I thought it apparent by the second season that Lost wasn't ever going to make any sense, which is why I stopped watching it at that point. They were already piling riddles upon riddles upon riddles that couldn't possibly add up to anything even remotely plausible, except something tired and lame, like it was all a dream or some alternate universe or some other such nonsense. It's a shame because it could have been a great show if they had just had some more discipline with the storytelling.
It was a great show. I think if you read stuff like Sepinwall's piece, you may find that people too easily discount how hard it is to stage a show. Lost wasn't even supposed to make it to air, but instead it got a pilot. So they made the coolest pilot they could, figuring no one would ever watch. Except everyone watched, and now they had to make a show. 22 episodes of a show. And then when it was clear the show was going to continue, dozens and dozens and dozens more episodes, with no idea when the end would come.

That is an enormous amount of story to have to generate. It is inevitable that a show of this sort would go down some rabbit holes. Probably a lot of them. Don't get me wrong; I too wish any number of things had been explained better (or explained at all). But I can forgive the show for a number of those faults because there wasn't much the showrunners could do to prevent them, I don't think.
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:44 AM   #22
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Obviously your great isn't my great. I want a satisfying ending and for the story to make sense within the world it creates. As for the reasons why the show went off the rails, as a viewer I couldn't care less.
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:46 AM   #23
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I thought it apparent by the second season that Lost wasn't ever going to make any sense, which is why I stopped watching it at that point. They were already piling riddles upon riddles upon riddles that couldn't possibly add up to anything even remotely plausible, except something tired and lame, like it was all a dream or some alternate universe or some other such nonsense. It's a shame because it could have been a great show if they had just had some more discipline with the storytelling.
+1

I also stopped watching mid-second season, for a lot of the same reasons.

Good piece by Sepinwall about how the show began. Very interesting look at the TV machine.
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:38 AM   #24
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It was a great show. I think if you read stuff like Sepinwall's piece, you may find that people too easily discount how hard it is to stage a show. Lost wasn't even supposed to make it to air, but instead it got a pilot. So they made the coolest pilot they could, figuring no one would ever watch. Except everyone watched, and now they had to make a show. 22 episodes of a show. And then when it was clear the show was going to continue, dozens and dozens and dozens more episodes, with no idea when the end would come.

That is an enormous amount of story to have to generate. It is inevitable that a show of this sort would go down some rabbit holes. Probably a lot of them. Don't get me wrong; I too wish any number of things had been explained better (or explained at all). But I can forgive the show for a number of those faults because there wasn't much the showrunners could do to prevent them, I don't think.
The complaints posted here aren't focused on unexplained stuff or a few minor rabbit holes.

One more time the posters lament that the sudden right turn introduction of a new major focus (MIB & story) unrelated except barely tangentially to the past 5 seasons made those prior seasons plot developments completely irrelevant and replaced the speculative Sci-Fi fabric with pure fantasy, a major left turn.

The 1st 2+ seasons that folks bailed on had elements that could readily have been wrapped up with a coherent story line.
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:01 AM   #25
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I've always thought people need to let go of bitterness about the ending and realize they were never going to be satisfied. On that premise, you can take the ending for what it was, which was pretty beautiful.
I'm certainly not bitter, I just felt jerked around. The writers can write the show any way they like. They don't have to satisfy what I wanted. It just seemed they changed course from where I THOUGHT the story was heading. That said, even that last season, was better than most TV in that, if the whole series was about that, I would have been interested. I never cared much about having ALL the questions answered. I never expected that. My disappointment was more about story lines that, in the scheme of how the story wound up, were just inconsequential.

Even with that, I intend to watch the series all over again some day, if I ever catch up on everything else I have to watch I bet there are clues in the earlier seasons that I missed that would lead to where the story wound up and probably make the last season feel more satisfying to me.
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:06 AM   #26
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I thought it apparent by the second season that Lost wasn't ever going to make any sense, which is why I stopped watching it at that point. They were already piling riddles upon riddles upon riddles that couldn't possibly add up to anything even remotely plausible, except something tired and lame, like it was all a dream or some alternate universe or some other such nonsense. It's a shame because it could have been a great show if they had just had some more discipline with the storytelling.
To me, from the pilot on, you knew this wasn't going to be a show steeped in plausibility. I don't watch shows like this for that. This is not a crime drama, where you expect that the events that happened could REALLY happen. It was a survival story with Sci-Fi elements. For me, the characters were so good, and the story compelling enough that I just didn't care about plausibility. Time travel, people living 100s of years and so many other things that happens could never happen, and it just didn't matter. Think people reading HG Wells or Jules Verne in the late 19th Century thought many of those things could really happen? It's fantasy, and I'm fine with that.
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:12 AM   #27
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The complaints posted here aren't focused on unexplained stuff or a few minor rabbit holes.

One more time the posters lament that the sudden right turn introduction of a new major focus (MIB & story) unrelated except barely tangentially to the past 5 seasons made those prior seasons plot developments completely irrelevant and replaced the speculative Sci-Fi fabric with pure fantasy, a major left turn.

The 1st 2+ seasons that folks bailed on had elements that could readily have been wrapped up with a coherent story line.
Exactly.

The problem was, that Jacob, was probably viewed by most of us as a figment of Ben's imagination, used to give him power. Heck even most of The Others seemed to think this. The only clue we had that he was real was when Locke went to visit him and we heard "Help Me" . But of course that could have been anything. Then, the last season, he becomes THE key character of the whole series, and EVERYTHING that came before it, was kind of part of his chess game with MIB. I didn't like it, but perhaps, it requires that reviewing to see it makes more sense.
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Old 11-30-2012, 12:13 PM   #28
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Didn't mind the LA as Purgatory reunion but the island story with Jacob/MIB stuff was totally contrary to the rules set up by the series creator as described in the article, q.v. the mysteries had to be "scientific" which includes speculative sci fi concepts.. The out of nowhere brother we'd never heard of for 5 seasons banished to a glowing cave emerging as a smoke monster is pure fantasy. Even Ronald Moore in his Jack Daniels fueled BSG plot holes got outdone by the LOST finale train wreck.
I think those were the rules Abrams and Lindelof were under when they were writing the pilot and trying to get it on the air. The execs at ABC were afraid that wouldn't be interesting to the audience. Once the show aired and was a hit, they could do whatever they wanted, and they no longer had those constraints, because it was clear that's exactly what the audience wanted.
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Old 11-30-2012, 03:15 PM   #29
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I think those were the rules Abrams and Lindelof were under when they were writing the pilot and trying to get it on the air. The execs at ABC were afraid that wouldn't be interesting to the audience. Once the show aired and was a hit, they could do whatever they wanted, and they no longer had those constraints, because it was clear that's exactly what the audience wanted.
Disagree.

It was not until suddenly in the final season that they threw all those constraints overboard. Worst yet in a way that made years of the story irrelevant.

And when the LOST folks were interviewed they until the last season insisted that there was a coherent speculative science storyline and the journey would be relevant. They also stuck to the Sci-Fi grounded in speculative reality approach until the last season. They let their hubris fool them into thinking it was creativity.

The ending was FAR from "exactly what the audience wanted".
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Old 11-30-2012, 03:18 PM   #30
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Exactly.

The problem was, that Jacob, was probably viewed by most of us as a figment of Ben's imagination, used to give him power. Heck even most of The Others seemed to think this. The only clue we had that he was real was when Locke went to visit him and we heard "Help Me" . But of course that could have been anything. Then, the last season, he becomes THE key character of the whole series, and EVERYTHING that came before it, was kind of part of his chess game with MIB. I didn't like it, but perhaps, it requires that reviewing to see it makes more sense.
Agreed but worse than just Jacob we suddenly out of nowhere met his MIB brother who because of light from a magic cave turned into a smoke monster. Hardly a decent explanation for the island's "security device". Unicorn dust would have been better.
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