Lindelof & Cuse Watch "Sopranos"

The New York Times posted this article about the controversial Soprano series finale, in terms of managing audience expectation vs. staying true to the story and style of the overall series. Lindelof & Cuse are both quoted in the article, and it is definitely an interesting read given where Lost is heading:

For the producers of “Lost,” who have declared an official finale in three more seasons, the conclusion of “The Sopranos” carried special weight. “There was immediate blowback for me,” said Carlton Cuse, Mr. Lindelof’s creative partner on the show. “A sense of fear ran through my veins, thinking that we are going to be in this position,” he said, adding, “we know the end is coming in 48 short episodes.”

If you watch the Sopranos, you know that the series finished with the fate of Tony Soprano very much open to interpretation. If Lost were to end in a similar fashion, with some significant questions still looming, what would your thoughts be?

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14 Responses to Lindelof & Cuse Watch "Sopranos"

  1. Luke says:

    I would be disappointed. I have been saying this throughout the whole season – Lost needs a resolution.

    What most of Lost viewers want is answers. We want to see all the little things come together at the end into a cohesive story. We want the series to finish in a sudden flash of epiphany. We want to be like:

    “Oh, so this is what it was all about! This explains everything!”

    Lost has been building this tightly woven mystery that had viewers scratching their heads, and trying to figure out what it all means. If the series ended like Sopranos did, I personally would feel cheated. It would seem as if the writers never had any answers. That they were just making stuff up as they went, and adding confusing symbols and subplots to add the illusion of depth. But I don’t want it to be that way. I want to believe that there is a plan, and there is an ending.

    Let’s put it this way. We didn’t expect Sopranos to end this way. But if lost ended like this, it would be completely predictable – because this is precisely the suspense device the writers have been using in the past 3 years. Open ended cliff-hangers and unanswered questions are what Lost viewers eat for breakfast.

    We would all just sigh, and say – hey, it figures. What else did you expect.

    I really, really hope that they will opt for a real ending rather than a classic Andy Kaufman move of fooling the whole nation into thinking that their cable went out. :P

  2. Hammer says:

    It would be huge mistake if they left Lost open ended like that. For one, the producers claimed back in S1 that it was complete story and that they wanted to have an end date so they could complete the story.

    What happened to the Soprano’s fans is crap. Invest 10 years in show…then they cop out and let viewers interprete it there own way? You have to finish the story, black or white…he’s either dead or alive…no gray.

    Don’t do that to us D & C!!!

  3. I agree with Luke… I want (and fully expect that we’ll be given) resolution. I don’t think it would go against the grain of the way things have been unfolding to bring the story to a satisfying conclusion. Does that mean that every single thread must be tied up? No. But it does mean that the main plot elements and character arcs must be brought to a close.

    Despite the cliffhangers we’re regularly treated to, I’d be shocked if the series doesn’t give us a satisfying conclusion. Shocked and angry, that is.

  4. Ben J says:

    I’m ok with the idea that Lost could end with questions unanswered and I agree with you, Luke, viewers want answers, but I disagree that everything has to be cleared up, tied together, and resolved.

    Leaving things unanswered fits with the style and theme of the show. For example, The Lost Experience is canon to the Lost story but if you don’t know anything about it you are still questioning what the Numbers are (though another answer is certainly still possible).

    Also, I believe it was in a podcast that Damon and Carlton said it would be wrong to assume there is one single answer unifying everything about the island that instead there are layers of cause and effect that make up the island and it’s questions.

  5. JSJosh says:

    I think that a lot of people still don’t realize a lot of the answers the hardcore fans have figured out – for example, everything we know about the polar bears is only implied in the show and confirmed by the producers. No one on the show has yet said, “The polar bears were a Dharma experiment that went wrong.” I think that if all of the answers had been at least implied in this way by the end of the show, I would be okay with a cliffhanger that leaves the fate of the characters or even the love triangle open-ended, as long as it was done well.

  6. Rob says:

    I didn’t mind the way that the Soprano’s ended. I am very bothered by the fact that other shows might follow this altruistic path and leave gaping holes at the conclusion of the story. It seems lazy and unfair.

    If lost chooses this sort of open ended finale, they’ll not only have a lot of upset fans but I know I’ll certainly boycot any future shows either of them write for fear that they might do it again.

  7. Lesley says:

    TPTB have always said there is a beginning and an end and the middle is the hard part. I trust they will live up to that commitment and give us an ending that resolves the major issues and mysteries. Little nuances that have cropped up here and there during the progression of the story I do not worry too much about because that is the beauty of serial storytelling, but I do expect a satisfying end to the tale in the same manner that I expect of any great novel.

  8. Jay says:

    I’d rather Lost end unresolved than have what follows become an arm-flailing answer chase. I’m rarely impressed with resolute answers, but perhaps i’m a rare breed of fan.

    Having said that it’s funny how there doesn’t seem to be much middle ground amongst a portion of the fanbase. Either they have one ecumenical resolution, or they “copped out” and took the “lazy” way out. That’s it, already predetermined to hate anything that cant break through the blinders.

    I think it would be unfortunate if the show ended as one unholy Deus Ex was eagerly crapped out as some suggest. Way to castrate 6 seasons of storytelling by having only a single episode be relevant! How is everything wrapped up nice and neat in a T.O.E. not “lazy” and “unfair”? Very one dimensional as it would suggest that the mythology trumped the thematic and character developments were sidebar. Everybody loses.

    No, the end needs something powerful, lasting, and to do that it needs to be multi-faceted. Able to be seen from manifold angles without simply kowtowing to the hapless Answer Gestapo.

    It’s a friggin’ tv show, but it’s one that matters more to the contemplative fan who’s willing to reevalutate their own position than it does to the grandstanding, demanding answer-chaser. I’m suprised that the show is still on the air if those that require their answers to be shallow and transparent comprise most of the fanbase. So i say please the former and take your lumps from the latter. At that point who cares what people will “think”, don’t compromise the vision by making it blandly palatable. If they can’t map out the careful steps that led up to the irresolute cliff then it’s their loss. Man too many metaphors here :)

  9. poopypants says:

    This is very simple and I will put it to the producers of Lost like this… When it comes to ending shows,We the viewers want TARANTINO NOT KUBRICK

  10. Hammer says:

    I better clarify my view…I would hope that the story ends with us knowing this history of the island(where or when it is), why so many of these people were closely related and what the hell Smokey is…I don’t need every little mystery revealed, but they better not fade to black and let a couple million people go ahead and say that it’s purgatory. :)

  11. Jay says:

    While I enjoyed the Sopranos ending, it simply wouldn’t fit Lost. The Sopranos was more like a mob reality show and we watched for the whackings, the politics, and for Tony’s reflections on his miserable, stinkin’ life. And y’know what, at the end of the show his miserable stinkin’ life continued – we just weren’t allowed to watch anymore.

    Lost is a story with a beginning and an end. To deprive us of the end would cause riots within the zombified masses (hmmmm… maybe that’s how they’ll fit in the zombie season).

    Of course, C&C pretty much don’t plan to end it that way regardless – they’ve said that they know what the ending was going to be and that it would be a bit sad but (what they hoped would be) satisfying – I’m paraphrasing here, I don’t remember the article. But they have repeatedly said they know where they’re going and they’ll give us a ride.

  12. Lesley says:

    Jay you really said it so well. I hope in the end we all know the island’s story and how everyone involved fits into that puzzle. I don’t think any of us hard core fans have been disappointed yet. I expect TPTB will continue to answer questions as they move the story along and that there will always be some issues that are merely hints of what might be. Frankly, I love the show for all those little bits and and pieces. Hell, isn’t that what brings us all to places like this to hash everything out each week? I am confident we will be happy with the conclusion as it evolves.

  13. lost chicka says:

    i’ve never watched the sopranos (pretty sad, huh?) but if lost ended the way the sopranos ended, with just a black screen i would be screaming. if i watch the show every wednesday night it better pay off!

    i would really like an ending that answered the big questions (like who’s adam & eve, what the heck smokey is, & the island’s history). I would love it if all the puzzle pieces fit together tho.

  14. mikec says:

    i think lost will end in that way because the sopranos ending isnt as up for interpretation as you all think, tony soprano died, early in the season him and bobby baccalla spoke of what happens when u get whacked and they said you dont hear nothing or feel anything it just goes black, thats how it ends no explanation just black, lost will end just like that, thats why we watch it and pay attention to the little things yeah they’ll probably wrap up most the mysteries but it ll end in a way that will be difficult to understand but can be understood with careful watching.

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