I’ll say this for Damon Lindelof, the guy behind much of “Lost” and who wrote the screenplay for Prometheus: He creates fascinating stories and compelling characters, and it’s only because we get so invested in them that we feel burned when he doesn’t stick the landing. But, of all the television and film writers in Hollywood, there are few as good natured and funny as Damon Lindelof. (Honestly, he should take a stab at comedy). Follow him on Twitter long enough, and all the resentment you might have built up toward him will melt away. Hell, to me, he washed away a lifetime of sins for inspiring this Twitter exchange a few months ago.
That is to say, I think he’s a smart, challenging writer, and I think that in both Prometheus and “Lost,” he ran up against obstacles too great for any mere mortal: It’s impossible to explain the mysteries of life and the universe in a satisfying manner. It cannot be done, and no television writer as ever managed it. Lindelof’s biggest fault is that he takes on ideas too big to tackle, and then people hate him when he fails to explain them.
His next project, however, wades into the same territory, and I’m sure he’ll squeeze a great few seasons out of it before he biffs the ending. He’ll be exploring The Rapture for HBO. He’s co-writing The Leftovers with one of my favorite novelists, Tom Perrotta (Election, Little Children, The Abstinence Teacher), based on Perotta’s novel, The Leftovers.
The Leftovers, produced by HBO in association with WBTV, takes place after the Rapture happens but not quite like it’s supposed to. It is the story of the people who didn’t make the cut … and a world that will never be the same.
So, basically, a post-apocalyptic story in which he’ll eventually have to explain why certain people were taken and certain were left behind. At least he’ll have Perotta’s footprint with which to work, but I have no doubt that he’ll take the blame when he once again fails to explain the meaning of life in a way that pleases his audience. Damnit, Lindelof: Before you end the next series, do some research, have a sit-down with The Almighty Creator, and get some answers that will satisfy us.