After HBO’s Watchmen swept the Emmys on Sunday night, showrunner Damon Lindelof sat down with Variety to talk about the groundbreaking limited series and how his experience on that show compared to the last time he scored big at the Emmys with another hit: ABC’s Lost.
For starters, going into the Emmys with Watchmen sounds like it was a lot more enjoyable. When the first season of Lost won, Lindelof had little time to savor the surprising moment (The show was not a favorite to win.) because he was knee-deep in making new episodes for season two due to the show’s frantic production schedule. With Watchmen, the series was already wrapped, and Lindelof has been steadfast on not returning for another season.
However, the whole experience of working on Watchmen and sweeping the Emmys has Lindelof reflecting on Lost, and he shared that his biggest regret is giving into the idea that the finale didn’t stick the landing. Via Variety:
“I didn’t invent the narrative that the finale was empirically bad, but I amplified it,” he says. “The fact that people feel the need to say to me, ‘Hey, I actually kind of liked the way that it ended.’ Or the expectation some people have that ‘I have to know going in that the ending is going to be disappointing.’ The fact that I told people what to think about ‘Lost’ is a big regret that I have.”
In recent months, Lindelof has spoken more positively about the controversial ending to Lost. While he admits that show went overboard with stacking mysteries that would never be fully solved, he’s still very proud of the “flash-sideways” that the writers were able to pull off in the final season. The narrative trick involved writing backwards for the last three seasons after getting the all-clear from ABC to end the series, which was no easy feat. The network wanted Lost to air for years to come, but fortunately, Lindelof and the other creators were able to convince ABC to give the show a cohesive ending, rather than run the characters’ journey into the ground.