DarkUFO - Lost

All week long, Vulture has been taking a look at all aspects of fandom from the fans' perspectives. But what is it like on the other side of the equation? Celebrities have long been accustomed to dealing with passionate and devoted fans, but recently, in the TV world, the intense accolades and passion for a show are often just as much — if not more — directed at the once-anonymous showrunner. Nowhere was this more evident than with Lost: Its intensely loyal viewers felt like they were on a first-name basis with the head writers, crediting the increasingly high-profile Carlton (Cuse) and Damon (Lindelof) for every twist and trajectory that defined the fans' love of the show — and sniping at them for everything that made them angry. Josef Adalian got in touch with Cuse — who was a relatively anonymous career TV writer before Lost — and asked him to relive his surreal six-season ride with the show, in which he dealt with flash mobs, Internet flamers, and women flashing their Lost tattoos in private places.

There’s been a cultural change in television in the last few years. TV showrunners have become known entities to people who watch television in the way that movie directors have been known to filmgoers for a long time. When I started out as a writer and producer in television, I never had the slightest expectation that fame would be part of the job. There was a little bit of fandom that came from co-creating, writing, and producing my first series, 1993’s cult favorite The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. We were getting about 500 letters a week. They would show up in boxes, but they were addressed to the actors, or the show, or the “producers,” unnamed. It was vastly different from what would happen with Lost.

When Lost started, we were just trying to make a TV show that we’d watch, that we thought was cool. We truly had no idea people would become so engaged by it. By the end of the first season, Damon Lindelof and I had suddenly become the named, responsible parties for the show. I first noticed that something was different when a fan group that organized around a website called TheFuselage.com held a fund-raiser party at the Hollywood Renaissance Hotel, and they invited some of the actors and writers to attend. The fans that showed up were mostly interested in meeting each other, but some of them were actually very interested in meeting Damon and me. And that was really kind of shocking: Suddenly there were fans wanting to have their picture taken with us. I never expected that somebody would want to have his picture taken with a showrunner.

When we didn’t reveal what was in the hatch at the end of the finale of season one, I think a lot of people were both engaged but also frustrated. And I started noticing in the online discussions over that summer that it wasn’t just Lost that they were referring to but also Damon and me as the proprietors of Lost: “Those motherfuckers Lindelof and Cuse are leaving us hanging for four months!” There was a certain backlash to the fact that we ended the first season on this agonizing cliffhanger, and people blamed us personally. I’d created and been the showrunner for a few different series and never had this experience. Being a showrunner meant writing and producing a television show, period, but with Lost, suddenly it became part of the job to promote and be the face of the brand. In a weird way, the story was as much the star as any of the actors, so people wanted to hear from us. They wanted some kind of connection with the two guys who were telling the story.

Source: Full Artile @ vulture

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