Lost Writers Know You Only Watch The Show For Its Well-Drawn Humanity

Lost returns this week. This has been a good season, right you guys? Season 3 was a fart, but season 4 is going good. What is the [redacted for spoilers]? How did [redacted for spoilers] get the [redacted for spoilers]? When will [redacted for spoilers] figure out that [redacted for spoilers] is really [redacted for spoilers]? And [redacted for spoilers]?

The Onion A.V. Club has an interview today with the show’s head writer, Damon Lindelof, and show-runner, Carlton Cuse. They talk about where the show is heading, and how when they write a good episode all of their friends call them and tell them “good episode.” It doesn’t do very much to assuage the general fear that a million threads will be left hanging when the series wraps up in 2010. I call this “The Curse of Libby.” Do you remember that one episode when Hurley was going crazy and there was a flashback scene where it turned out that Libby was in the psych ward with him? And then a few episodes later she was OLD SPOILER ALERT TIME TO CATCH UP GUYS shot? Obviously, that will never be explained, like so many other threads. Thus the curse.

Lindelof and Cuse do talk about their fans, though.

Onion AV Club: Do you pay a significant amount of attention to fan response and critical response? Does it affect how you proceed?

Carlton Cuse: Well, you know, we do, but in sort of a filtered manner. We don’t really get on the boards and read all those comments. It just feels like people who are writing on the boards tend to be more focused on the mythology, and for us, we’re making a character show. The thing that we spend the most time on are the character dynamics of a given episode, and what we’re learning about these people. The mythology is sort of the frosting on the cake. But that’s what everybody talks about, and what we’re asked most about.

Damon Lindelof: And we find that the boards can be really toxic. Nobody goes on the boards to say: “Wow! That was awesome!” Traditionally, they go on the boards to nitpick and say, “Oh, I don’t understand how Michael could have gotten off the island, gotten back to New York, parked Walt, then got indoctrinated by Friendly all in a month.” Well, I don’t understand how [on 24] there was a coup in the Oval Office, Jack’s daughter got abducted, and there was a nuclear attack in Van Nuys, and it’s not even lunchtime yet. But it’s television. The reality of it is, if you go on the boards and people are saying, “I saw that coming,” or “This is lame,” or “I can’t believe they’re doing this again…” Having been one of those people myself, I know better, and try to avoid it. [Laughs.]

Whoa, NO 24 SPOILERS, Damon Lindelof. How many shows are you trying to ruin in one interview? But you hear that, fanboys? They know about message boards! Success! I do think someone should probably tell Carlton Cuse that the only reason people watch his “character show” is because of the mythology, and if he is confused by that he might be happier working for Two And A Half Men.