TrekToday: WHY LINDELOF CHOSE THE LEFTOVERS

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by JWPlatt, Jan 9, 2014.

  1. JWPlatt

    JWPlatt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    http://www.trektoday.com/content/2014/01/why-lindelof-chose-the-leftovers/

    In the above article, to which I commented with the text below, Lindelof says:

    Yeah, Lindelof's favorite form of story writing: No closure; no answers to the questions asked (Lost, Prometheus). It's no surprise since he can't answer his way out of a paper bag, or even to save his life. This just gives him an excuse, like codependency. The author working with Lindelof could be considered an enabler to further erode any hope for Lindelof. Same old, same old.

    I no longer give these types of series my viewership because of their poor record of network stupidity involving scheduling, ratings metrics, and demographics, poor chance of survival, and making it up as they go along. For me to watch it, Lindelof would have to agree up front to provide an outline of the entire run of the series, documenting the story and character arcs, plus provide the screenplay AND THE ANSWERS to the final episode of the series - all that in a "story trust" to be locked away in something like an escrow account to be opened to all fans if the series does not survive its full run. J. Michael Straczynski is the only writer I know of who could have fulfilled that kind of promise - with Babylon 5.
     
  2. Starbreaker

    Starbreaker Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Television doesn't work like that. Look at Babylon 5's outline vs what actually happened. Things change. You can't get always get the actors, sets, writers, and directors you want every single episode.
     
  3. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

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    Boy, some people take their TV programs really fucking seriously.
     
  4. T'Bonz

    T'Bonz Romulan Curmudgeon Administrator

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    ^
    Knock it off. I'm still pissed at you from your TOS thread. Quit with stuff like that.
     
  5. Coloratura

    Coloratura Snuggle Princess Premium Member

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    I get how you feel, but there's no way for a TV show to do everything they planned at the outset. Things change, casts change, budgets change. It can't be helped.
     
  6. JWPlatt

    JWPlatt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Understandable. I'd certainly allow for that. And Straczynski built in his own escape hatches, as discussed in the commentaries. It would be in the outline. It was on his note cards.

    To BillJ who seems to enjoy stalking my posts with his one-liners, it's not TV I take seriously, it's my time. I am unwilling to invest my time in a series anymore unless they provide a story trust so that I know the networks, the producers, and the writers are willing to take my time seriously. It's worthwhile when I know I can finish the story. I wouldn't buy and read a half-written book.

    Flash Forward was the last series I ever gave a chance without such a deal. I haven't watched live TV since and I doubt I ever will. Big Bang Theory, for example, is a 20 minute show with 10 minutes of commercials. Outrageous! So I wait out the year and buy the DVDs at the end of the season. I buy the DVDs of serials after I know the series has finished and after I know HOW WELL the series has ended.

    Waiting until the entire series has run its course and is out on DVD is a form of "story trust." You just have to be patient (i.e., VERY patient for 5 to 7 years). If it ends prematurely, or poorly like Lost, it's damaged goods. I won't be buying it, ever. If it ended prematurely but was given a chance to have a decent finale and the writers did a good job, I'll buy it. If the final episode does something stupid like saying it was all someone's dream, I won't buy the series because the ending has just disrespected years of viewer investment. St. Elsewhere was like that. Wonderful series. Terrible ending. Won't buy it.

    By the way, I should also add that if a series is canceled, it's very likely that it never got the chance to have all those cast, story and budget problems that a longer, successful series would endure. The story trust would at least represent their intentions, and we'd have our answers. If the series runs to its conclusion or gets a good finale, the story trust, which by now might be largely obsolete as you say, is inherently unnecessary.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2014
  7. Sophronisba

    Sophronisba Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    I don't understand why the ending is the most important thing, though. If a show goes on for several seasons and you're enjoying the journey, does a bad ending really mean that the time you spent watching wasn't worthwhile?

    Take Battlestar Galactica, for example. I loved that series up until the last handful of episodes. I hated, hated, hated the finale. But I still think it was a great show, and I would still recommend it to people (with the proviso that it doesn't end well). Ron Moore just didn't stick the landing. I don't think the time I spent watching it was wasted, because there were several episodes that I loved.
     
  8. JWPlatt

    JWPlatt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Battlestar Galactica is a good example. So is Voyager. I have the full set of DVDs for both. I actually did wait for Battlestar Galactica to end its run before buying the DVDs and watching the entire series. The endings of both series were a disappointment to many fans, myself included, and I knew of BSG's disappointment, but the series ran to completion and ended "well enough." It's not a black and white decision, just more or less how badly it ends from my person perspective. But in Voyager's case, I'm just too much of a Trekkie to not buy the DVDs even if the entire series ended up being the imagination of an autistic boy staring into a Christmas snow globe. The only problem with Voyager is they should have taken the time to tie up character arcs on Earth. So I wouldn't call it a bad ending. They got home in an exciting and adventurous way. What they did was good as far as it went. Their story ended much too abruptly and abbreviated, but still worth the purchase of the series. BSG's ending simply didn't give fans what they wanted. I believe in listening to and considering the fans when making story decisions. Some people don't.
     
  9. FPAlpha

    FPAlpha Vice Admiral Admiral

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    And then there's Enterprise where.. well, you know! ;)
     
  10. the G-man

    the G-man Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Why? Because he's figured out from prior experiences that he doesn't care for Lindelof's writing and won't watch any more shows he creates? Seems reasonable to me.
     

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