It doesn’t matter if they’ve seen lost a bunch of times since its premiere or have only heard about the show from the comments of others over the past few years, it’s probably clear by now that although lost It started out as a great series and its ending was far from stellar.
Of course, there is much pondering and conjecture to be made as to why the conclusion of lost it worked. However, from the creative team of the series and in particular its co-creator, Damon Lindelof, has a clear diagnosis: the series lasted much longer than it should.
During a recent conversation with the Vulture’s “Into It” podcastLindelof recalled that although his idea was to end the series after a few cycles, ABC dreamed of making all possible seasons.
“At the time Lost started, the main criticism of the pilot was ‘How are you going to keep this?’ There’s this big cinematic plane crash, and then you start introducing 14 main talking characters, all of whom we’re going to follow. And on top of that, they’re not leaving the island they’re on any time soon. The show is called Lost, so they have to keep it that way. Are you going to run into the Gilligan’s Island problem where the audience starts to get frustrated?” Lindeloff commented. “And my response to that was always like, ‘You’re right. So let’s design a finite beginning, middle, and end.’”
“(But) ABC just didn’t want to be in that conversation. At the time they renewed the show, they said, ‘Do 13 of these and let’s see how it goes.’ It was such a huge ratings hit that it was instantly clear to me that all talk of ending the show would end.” he added. “I said, ‘Hey guys, we can’t go on like this forever,’ and that’s when ABC said, ‘Oh, we were thinking about 10-plus seasons.’ The commitment ended up being six, but I personally wish I could have done it in four.”
At this point we can only speculate as to what would have changed with four seasons of lost, but Lindelof feels that ending things before it’s too late shouldn’t just be something that applies to that series. In fact, in addition to valuing that the Harry Potter saga would end independently of the prequels that exist now, the creator acknowledged that, for example, he would like to see fewer Marvel movies.
“If you do a couple of big Marvel movies, the instinct is: We need to do more Marvel movies, and we need to expand this. And I have this kind of feeling inside of: Wow I wish they would do less because it would make each one that came out a little more special. But I see them all.” Lindelof admitted.
lost It spanned six seasons that aired between 2004 and 2010.