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Lost Co-Creator Says It’s Okay To Hate Lost

If Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows wasn’t a magical experience for Lost co-creator and co-showrunner Damon Lindelof, at least it was an eye-opening one.

The Daily Beast has an open letter from Lindelof filled with his thoughts on why he hated the film adaptation of Deathly Hallows. Among those reasons is the decision to split the adaptation into two portions, as Lindelof argues that Order of the Phoenix had a higher page count and managed just fine as one movie. But regardless of his contempt towards the latest Harry Potter adaptation, Lindelof said he’s still a fan of the franchise — and now that he’s suffered disappointment as a fan, he feels that he can relate to those who hated the way that Lost ended.

Lindelof begins his editorial by describing what it’s like to be the co-creator of Lost, saying:

The most awesome part about being one of the primary storytellers of a popular television show is hearing how much its most loyal fans hate it.

Oh. Wait. It’s actually not awesome. It hurts like hell.

I know—boo hoo for me. That’s the price of doing business, isn’t it? If I’m asking you to invest your time and attention in a story I’m telling, it’s your right to tell me that you hate that story.

You just don’t get to call yourself a “fan.”

At least that is what I had always believed.

Lindelof said that this belief was thoroughly shaken by the fact that despite his disappointing Deathly Hallows experience, he still considers himself a huge fan of the series — a realization that has him apologizing to the legions of fans that didn’t support Lost’s controversial ending earlier this year.

I still love Harry Potter. Deeply and profoundly. I will read these books to my son when he’s old enough not to be terrified of the dementors. And I will absolutely be crammed into my Gryffindor shirt, the very first in line to see Deathly Hallows, Part 2, which is guaranteed to make me cry at the end just as the book did.

My point is that I’m still a fan. A huge fan. Huge.

And so I sincerely and genuinely apologize to all those whom I have stripped of their Lost fandom just for complaining about the stuff you didn’t like. It doesn’t make you any less a fan. In fact…

It just makes you honest.

I respect that. And I’m genuinely sorry for ever feeling otherwise.

A bit rambling at times, Lindelof’s essay remains refreshing in that it’s his lengthiest and most candid response to the fans that criticized the ending of Lost, culminating in the conclusion that it’s okay to hate the way the show was finished and still consider yourself a fan. It’s interesting to hear such a declaration from a guy like Lindelof on a show like Lost, especially given the fact that many fans did feel burned by the show’s “final twist” and overall lack of resolution.

What do you think of Lindelof’s comments on fandom: can you passionately hate the way a story turned out and still consider yourself a fan of the story? Have Lindelof’s words somehow validated your own feelings towards the legacy and conclusion of Lost, or do you not need a creator to tell you how you’re supposed to feel about their material? Taking that one step further, do you think Lindelof’s realization is a genuine one, or is he simply licking his wounds in public after the considerable backlash towards the way Lost wrapped up? Go ahead and weigh in for yourself in yon comments section.

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Comments

  • hatchadams

    So he would’ve rather just had one last Potter movie instead of two and he calls himself a fan. Ps. Lost was a boring, boring show.

  • MadMikeyD

    I didn’t really watch “Lost” and am not a huge fan of Harry Potter (but my teenager is). However, yes you can hate part of the story and still be a fan of the story. “Quantum Leap” is my all-time favorite TV show and I have expressed my displeasure for the end of the final episode from the moment it first aired.

  • http://twitter.com/DavidUzumeri David Uzumeri

    Oh great, I’m really relieved that now I have Damon Lindelof’s permission to have an opinion about his show. That’s a huge weight off my shoulders. I really wasn’t able to sleep at night.

  • http://twitter.com/DavidUzumeri David Uzumeri

    Honestly, the main problem here is just that the concept of “fandom” is tiring, since it implies blind devotion to a story, of all things. I’m tired of fans, I’m more interested in readers and viewers. Play to your audience, not just your “fans.”

  • nik

    I understand why folks didn’t like the ending of Lost. It sucks having a 6 yr show wrap up with a completly satisfying and explained ending. Oh, wait, actually I don’t understand.

  • Alemander

    Thanks Damon. I do hate everything after the 3rd season of Lost. Like you and your feelings for Deathly Hallows being strung out into movies, I wish they had condensed the Final Season of Lost into the one episode that was actually needed to tell the sorry ending. Instead, I got to sit through a whole lot of characters walking to and fro on the island and nothing ever happening.

  • Trey

    One good example of being a fan of something that has gone down hill (or experience massive ups and downs) are comics. Take any long running character and there is guaranteed at least two years worth of crappy comics (if not more). The issue is that in the end it’s based on opinions. Fans are rabid creatures that can be easily burned. These characters walk a sacred path and anytime they venture off the path a fan gets pissed. Does that mean they’re not a fan? Hell no. If anything it means they’re even more of a fan for sticking through the rough patches. After all personally I don’t understand how anyone can be a fan of Spider-Man after the terrible choices Marvel has made continuously over the past few years. But that separates me from a real fan. I look at it and say it’s terrible and jump. A real fan knows it’s terrible and will still cling to it to their dying breath.

  • http://twitter.com/Luis_E_Escobar Luis Escobar

    First, I liked the way LOST ended.

    I think you can call yourself a fan and not like something about what you’re a fan off. One of the reasons you feel bad about something you like is exactly because YOU LIKE IT SO MUCH and you feel that particular thing didn’t match the quality the you expected from the product.

  • Lvmays

    He’s a dipshit. “…oh, your not fans if you didn’t like it.” That’s like something someone in high school would say. But, honestly, I always thought “Lost” strugged to be profound and now I know that it was. The writers were the ones who were lost the whole time.

  • Bclewis6593

    I liked the first two and a half seasons of Lost but it just started to meander and made no sense as to where the writers were going with it. And I felt that the writers didn’t know either. And that they were making things up as they went along. At that point I bailed on the show.

  • ATK

    Really. Ok, I read the whole real article at the daily beast and I gotta say he’s bitching for bitching sake. If you want to complain about Harry Potter Movies lets talk about the butchering of The Goblet of Fire. But to knock the film for being what it is, which is a pretty close adaptation of the first half of the book, then I gotta say you’ve got nothing. I was disappointed they did not show the resolution between Dudley and Harry but other than that it’s just nitpicking. But if you read the book and knew about the split then what the hell did you expect Damon.

    This was character development and exposition about the desperation of the characters in a rapidly changing world and their ability to survive, which was the first half of the book. This leaves the last movie for the break in at Gringots and the Battle of Hogwarts, which yes, means all the action is in the next movie. But as a fan you should have known this.

    Honestly the continued press you keep pumping out only seems to be attempts to salvage your carrier and/or get fans on your side since you disappointed so many of them with the lost finale. I liked lost and the finale, I accept it for what it was and that it wasn’t my project so I didn’t control where it went. However as far as properties of yours that failed to deliver lets talk about the 2 year wait for the Ult Wolverine vs Hulk comic and how that brilliant set up led to one of the dullest comics in years. The sad part was you had time to fix it or realize it wasn’t up to par and redo it, instead you worked on lost and neglected this property and cranked out a disappointing conclusion to a fantastic premise.

  • Joseph

    I really don’t think that was his point

  • Joseph

    That’s great that it was a faithful interpretation of the first half of the book. But his point was, as a movie it’s boring. And I agree with him. There have already been six movies with these characters, how much more character development do we need? If all the climactic action is going to be in the next one, great, I can’t wait until Part Two comes out, and maybe watching both parts as one movie would be a different experience. But that doesn’t make the experience of sitting through Part One on its own any better.

  • KC

    After the fiasco which was the LOST finale/season 6/series as a whole, does Lindelof have to right to professionally criticize ANYTHING? LOL. Damon, after making an absolute mockery of your own work, I think your “critic” card has been revoked. Also, JK Rowling did a helluva lot better job in both the mythology AND character resolution departments than you did in the conclusion of your series, so I really doubt that the film adaptation of Deathly Hallows could be nearly as disappointing as the LOST finale was.

    My advice to you, since you can’t seem to resist complaining about how not everyone loved your finale: I leave you with a quote which you’ve obnoxiously thrown back in fans’ (or according to you ex-fans who are now fans again – thanks for un-exiling us) faces: “Let go. Move on.”