Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof are two men who are definitely feeling the pressure when it comes to formulating the ends to television shows. They have 48 episodes to go before they close the book on LOST forever. Even though the end is three years away, LOST fans are already debating how the show should end; conclusively, or open ended. The debate, as you probably guessed, is far from over. In the end, of course, we’ll be left with whatever the LOST producers decide, and if the ending follows suit with the rest of the show it will be something that none of us will expect. (Unless we read those nasty spoilers.)
When the New York Times approached various television writers to comment on the controversial sudden ending of The Sopranos, Lindelof and Cuse were two writer/producers prominently featured, and for good reason. If anybody has the importance of series closure on their minds, it’s these two.
For LOST fans, an ending like The Sopranos’ would be a nightmare come true. The characters sit, talking, and mid-sentence, with Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” playing in the background, the show cuts to a black screen. Some fans praised the reality of the move, the statement that there is good, bad, and ambiguity, and there is no end to these things, at least as long as humankind exists; a poetic punch line to the series’ subtext, which was often lost up until that fateful black screen allowed its messages to shine bright. There are many other interpretations to the ending, and this is no doubt what The Sopranos’ creators had in mind when they concocted the enigmatic close, a legacy of speculation guaranteed to keep people talking about The Sopranos well into the next generation.
Of the ending, Lindelof was the most satisfied of the two, stating simply “I’ve seen every episode of the series. I thought the ending was letter-perfect.” Lindelof had nothing to say about how this high profile ending impacted his own thought process where LOST was concerned, but Carlton Cuse was struck by the weight of the responsibility they faced saying “There was immediate blowback for me, a sense of fear ran through my veins, thinking that we are going to be in this position, we know the end is coming in 48 short episodes.”
The end of LOST may be coming in 48 short episodes, but LOST fans have a long wait ahead of them since the episodes will be cut into three partial season blocks, the final episode airing in 2010.
Lindelof did end the article with a bit of philosophical waxing understandable, presumably, only by the co-creators of television mega hits. “If you feel that everybody is going to hate it anyway, no matter what you do, there’s a certain liberation in writing it.”
– Jon Lachonis, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image © 2007 ABC)
(Source New York Times)