TEXT OF COMMENTARY
KAI RYSSDAL: Lost in all of the television coverage of the midterm election is this: Besides politicians, November is a pretty important month for television types, too. The November ratings sweeps are among us. That means your favorite show might feature some buzz-worthy television stunts all in the name of grabbing more viewers and higher advertising rates.
Television producers and writers do tend to save their best stuff for sweeps, including commentator and co-creator of “Lost,” Damon Lindelof.
DAMON LINDELOF: I can’t believe that “Lost” is actually finished. Over six seasons we wrote and produced 121 episodes and here is a spoiler alert if you still haven’t seen the series finale: We managed to kill every single character. Sorry.
Anyway, during the course of those 6 years my life was committed to the telling of a single story. Writing and producing a TV show is a massive commitment and one must make significant sacrifices to help that show achieve its true potential. In many ways it’s a lot like being a monk, except with less sex.
Now, however, I get to do all the wonderful things that I denied myself, while my colleagues who didn’t manage to cancel their own shows must play Sisyphus. And of course I quietly judge how well they are rolling their respective boulders from the sanctity of my living room. And here is the thing about boulder rolling: It’s a lot more fun to watch than it is to do. And let’s be honest, is it fun to watch? It does, however, make me fondly reminisce about my time in the trenches. And by fondly reminisce I mean wake up in the middle of the night, screaming.
Normally around this time of the year, an average day would be spent working on five episodes of “Lost” simultaneously, we would be blue-skying the story for one, writing the script of another, rewriting the script that we had rushed through previously, shooting the one we just rewritten and editing the one we just shot. During this process I like to spend my down time curled up in the fetal position, crying.
Things would sometimes get so bad I’d fantasize about ways to destroy the show and alienate the viewers. Like having the castaways discovering a huge donkey wheel in the middle of the island that had the capability to transport them back in time. Oh wait, we actually did that.
Anyway, life has gotten much better now. November sweeps don’t matter, no more fake scripts to keep the mystery secret, no more fans ridiculing me on the Internet for wasting six years of their lives and betraying their trust. OK, that last one is still sort of happening a little, but I’m OK with it. I really, really am.
The bright side is that in all my free time I have gotten to do all the things I’ve put off, like hunting the most dangerous game, man himself. And yes, I even curl up in the fetal position and cry just for old times sake.
RYSSDAL: Damon Lindelof is the co-creator of “Lost.” He’s also the writer/producer of the new Star Trek movie, too.
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