Thursday, October 17, 2013

I got quoted in the LA Times article on Damon Lindelof!

Yesterday, Twitter was all aflutter that Lost creator Damon Lindelof abruptly shut down his twitter account.  Over the past several years, Lindelof had been the target of a lot of angry fans who were dissatisfied with the finale of Lost, and to a lesser extent, his work on Prometheus.  Though he often made self-deprecating jokes about letting the fans down, there was always the sense that some of the jabs hurt him.

The incredibly satisfying finale of Breaking Bad opened the floodgates again.  If you followed Damon on Twitter, you saw him retweet dozens of messages he got that night, most of them carrying the sentiment of "See? That's how you end a show!  I'm still mad about Lost three years later!"  Lindelof later wrote about how the Breaking Bad finale helped him reach some semblance of closure with his own feelings about Lost's ending.  You can read that piece here.

(I have no dog in this Lost fight, by the way.  I stopped watching midway through the third season.  From what I've seen of Lindelof, he seems like a pretty likeable dude, so I don't have any beef with him personally either.  I think he takes a lot of undeserved shit, actually.)

So when Lindelof shut down his twitter with the message "After much thought and deliberation, I've decided t-,"I saw an opportunity to have a little fun.  Channeling the tone of Lindelof's haters, I tweeted, "THAT'S how @DamonLindelof ends his run on Twitter? Gotta say, I'm underwhelmed and angry. I bet he didn't have that planned from the start."

And it, um, ended up being quoted in the LA Times.

I hope the ironic tone comes across in print and somewhat divorced from its original context.  It's incredibly cool to be quoted in the paper, but I really hope no one gets the impression that I'm a legit "hater."


  1. Tried to watch Lost, gave up after a couple episodes. Lindelof has always struck me as being one of those freakishly lucky Hollywood people. Key word "luck." His version of Prometheus just emphasized that. Is he a bad guy? I'm sure he isn't. Has he been incredibly lucky? I believe so.

    Now, having said that I don't think people who weren't satisfied with however Lost ended ought to be stalking him just to whine about how bad they think it was. Get over it.

    1. What annoys me about him as a writer is that--while I don't think he's a bad per se--he strikes me as a writer who mistakenly believes he has grand ambitions because he doesn't actually know what grand ambition in a writer consists in.

      From Prometheus, for example, he I think he thinks that asking "the big questions" is what makes a thought-provoking and interesting story. And that just isn't true. You don't even need to be particularly bright or interesting to ask "the big questions." Take the biggest numbskull in a community that seems like it should adopt "Dueling Banjos" as its anthem and get him stoned. He'll start asking questions about the nature of existence.

      Rather, what makes for an interesting story is exploring a certain aspect of one or more of the big questions in a novel and dramatically interesting way. He doesn't seem to get that.

  2. Cool to be quoted by the L.A. Times, Bitter. Good to be known by those in the newspaper business. See, Bitter, people do like. Hope you're not no bitter now.

    Concerning Damon Lildeloff and the "hater" issue. That "hater" stuff is RIDICULOUS! This is America. It's called freedom of speeh. AND by his chosen profession Damon Lindeloff has put himself directly in a position to be second guessed. We should all be so luck to even get a shot at working with an all-star pro like Ridley Scott. Want less negative press? Write a more safisfying story! NOT that I can grill Damon too hard. I mean its easy to make mistakes, but what's so fustrating is that someone else in Damon's circle of trust could help Damon to make a better product, as sometimes as writers you need people with good taste that can tell you when you're off base.

    1. The "hater" thing refers to the over-the-top nature of the Lindelof dislike, which to me, crosses into the ridiculous. For many, it seems to go beyond a negative reaction to the material and straight into personal attacks on the man himself. It's one thing to still be disappointed in the LOST finale three years after the fact - it's quite another to take the time to tweet directly at the guy and tell him how it should have been done and that the new hotness Vince Gilligan knows how to treat his audience right.

      There are certainly some writers who have never written anything I've liked. Hell, there are a few who's works have made me actively angry at the material. And I'm certain even Roger Ebert was known to unload on a movie or two in his time, perhaps getting a little personal in the heat of the moment.

      In the heat of the moment. LOST was three years ago. If you're still calling Damon an asshole for that, there's only one asshole in that conversation and it ain't him.

      As far as Prometheus, I'm stunned by how many people are willing to give Ridley Scott a free pass and blame everything they hated on Lindelof. Ridley made the movie he wanted to make. Period. It's not as if he hasn't made missteps before.

      But then, I also think that if PROMETHEUS was credited to "Joe Schmoe" there'd be a lot fewer pitchforks out for the writer. I'm not saying people would necessarily like it more, but they wouldn't be fixated on attacking the writer like he's the ex-girlfriend who dumped them.

    2. Damon Lindelof has often been promoted as the second coming, even after incoherent stuff like 'Lost' and 'Prometheus,' so his abilities are fair game for examination and criticism.

    3. Fair game for examination and criticism, yes. The haters are doing something else entirely.

    4. @ Jonathon Hardesty. Don't most of the comments regarding the quality of Lindelof's work fall into the "examination and criticism" category?

      I could understand your point if people were claiming he had an ugly dog, or he hated Jews, or whatever, but so far all I've seen is people passing judgment on his writing.

      Even if you don't agree with those opinions they are still valid. Not everyone thinks Lindelof is a good writer, or at least not as good as he apparently thinks he is.

  3. Wow, Bitter, thanks for giving my comment so much thought with a nice responce like that. I don't like playing the blame game when a movie underperforms. But I LOVE Ridley Scott and have no problem coming to his defense, because I really want him to continue working. He did so much right with "Prometheus". His eye for the visual is AMAZING. Remember how "Prometheus" openened? Gliding with a flying sauser over a primative landscape. THAT is brillant. I'm mean could you not want to work with someone who could make a creative choice like that?

    But crafting the story is the screenwriter's job, and if your plot points don't work, or underwhelm as was the case with "Prometheus", SOMEONE should be able to handicap that, point it out, so that changes can be made. THAT'S the real failure of "Prometheus" in my opinion. "Prometheus" didn't underwhelm at the box office because Ridley Scott failed. No, his tallent was on display in this movie. He returned the sci-fi horror genre with a vengence, he just didn't have the script to back his vision up.
    Ulitmiate failures: those who read the script and didn't correct the plot points that ultimately doomed the film. As a writer you're not always going to be able to see what's wrong with your story you need people with good instincts entrenched and at work in the studio, who can read your work, and provide feedback which illiminates things like: Shaw's abortion, Fifield's return as a monster, all that screentime given to Peter Weyland. Had the story focused more on the Engineers, and why they were doing what they were doing... much more interesting story. It's like the creators of Prometheus assumed they'd be given a sequel before this movie was ever released.

  4. Oh, you mean people who don't understand how movies are made are commenting on how movies are made? Hold on, lemme get my gun so I can shoot myself in the face.

  5. Lindelof desperately attempts to ride the Breaking Bad wave.

    Maybe he thinks Vince Gilligan will notice, and offer him a writing gig.

  6. Umm, LOST was a good series and there wasn't anything wrong with the finale. Me thinks a lot of amateur wannabe writers out there have their panties in a bunch.

  7. Many on Twitter spend far more time judging what others have created while they create nothing of their own. That's not to say one must be an A-list screenwriter to sling critical arrows, but unless a little constructive or humorous tone is added to a critique, it is just "hate." Lazy, petty hate. A writer absorbs, and no matter how thick a skin, that shit will find cracks if said artist exposes themselves to it for long enough. It's precisely the reason why Vince Gilligan has said he avoids online comments like the plague. Though the feedback on his work has been overwhelmingly positive, he knows himself: that he would focus on those one or two brutal, negative things.

    Bitter's reply regarding Ridley Scott's role in Prometheus's shortcomings is spot on. He spoke of those story details as far back as the ALIEN dvd commentary.