Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Lost in the Writers’ Room

The television show Lost has -- through the course of several seasons -- gone from promising, to mangled and confusing, to just plain ridiculous. Sometime around the end of the first season I started calling the show “Lost in the Writers’ Room.” If the show’s writers ever drew a map of the story at the outset -- based on the evidence I doubt there was any such advanced planning -- I picture that map up on the wall in the writers’ room, and the writers are blindfolded and given pins, as if in playing out a demented game of pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey. Each week, whatever plot points the writers stick pins into is what they have to write about for the next episode in this misshapen donkey of a tale.

The Gashlycrumb Losties
Many will know Edward Gorey, especially his not-at-all-for-kids send-up of a children’s alphabet book, Gashlycrumb Tinies: "A is for Amy who fell down the stairs. B is for Basil assaulted by bears. C is for Clara who wasted away. D is for Desmond thrown out of a sleigh." Every line accompanied by a macabre, Victorian-era illustration of each child’s mishap. (Gashlycrumb Tinies at Amazon.)

Jason Henninger at Tor.com brings us a wonderful crossover, The Gashlycrumb Losties: “A is for Arzt who was blown up sky high, B is for Boone who bled out through his thigh, C is for Charlie, courageously drowned, D is for Danielle, left dead on the ground …” It finds humor in the outrageous body-count of the show, and its stunning disregard for story continuity (“Q is for Questions left dead in the plot”). Read the whole poem at Tor.com.

Oh, by the way, I can’t wait to watch the upcoming final episode. My expectation is that it will be embarrassingly, hilariously bad.

Related post: Lost: A Look Back


  1. About the final episode, wherein all the loose ends are tied up (or not), TMZ waggishly observed that fans finally learned what happened to the last six years of their lives: LOST.

  2. The wags at TMZ have got it right, I think. My disappointment rises from the unfulfilled promise of the early episodes, before characters that viewers might have wanted to care about were undermined by the incoherence of the plot.