A Sprawling Look at “Lost”

Wired dissects Lost, as that sprawling island show comes to a close. 

The piece is as long and epic and tangly as the show has been for six seasons. 

No stone is left unturned, whether it’s a look at the fictional band Geronimo Jackson, an interview with physicist Sean Carroll, checking in with continuity czar Gregg Nations, in depth interviews with show-creators Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof, etc. 

Wired: I turned on the first episode of Lost thinking, OK, there’s an island, a plane crash, some pretty people, and J.J. Abrams. Six years later I’m addicted to a full-blown science fiction show. How the hell did that happen?

Carlton Cuse: At the beginning the secret was that the show didn’t announce itself as a genre show, so it could be about the characters. The audience got invested in the characters first and the mythology second. We were criticized for not having the characters talk about the mythology, and we were like, “That’s right, that’s our dirty little secret.” By not having the audience talk about the mythology, then people are engaged in: “Is Kate going to end up with Sawyer?” and “I’m really compelled by the complexities of Benjamin Linus.” Those are the things we wanted the audience to obsess about, not whether the Valenzetti equation had any relevance to the functioning of the island’s magical time travel properties.

Sean Carroll: The science fiction allowed you to raise the stakes gradually over a period of time. It would have been hard to have a six-year show about people marooned on an island without science fiction elements.

Damon Lindelof: Impossible.

Cuse: It would have been a very boring show in our estimation.

This is what I’ll be reading for the rest of the day.

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