Damon Lindelof’s Big ‘Lost’ Regret Is Acknowledging the Fans Who Hated the Series Finale

Damon Lindelof is riding a career high following the 2020 Emmy Awards, where his acclaimed HBO drama “Watchmen” took home an industry-leading 11 trophies, including the prize for Outstanding Limited Series. The success of “Watchmen” has Lindelof thinking about his other Emmy sensation, the Outstanding Drama Series-winning first season of “Lost,” and how he now harbors regrets over acknowledging the negativity that erupted over the divisive “Lost” series finale. In a new interview with Variety, Lindelof says he added to the backlash against “Lost” by openly sharing his dissappointment that fans hated the series’ ending.

“I didn’t invent the narrative that the finale was empirically bad, but I amplified it,” Lindelof said. “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.”

Lindelof has defended the “Lost’ series finale in the past, proclaiming in a 2013 essay for THR to mark the “Breaking Bad” finale that he would no longer be trying to change fans’ minds. If they hated the “Lost” finale, let them hate the “Lost” finale.

“I’d like to make a pact, you and me,” Lindelof wrote at the time. “And here’s your part: You acknowledge that I know how you feel about the ending of ‘Lost.’ I got it. I heard you. I will think about your dissatisfaction always and forever…And here’s my part: I will finally stop talking about it. I’m not doing this because I feel entitled or above it — I’m doing it because I accept that I will not change hearts nor minds. I will not convince you they weren’t dead the whole time, nor resent you for believing they were despite my infinite declarations otherwise.”

In his post-Emmys interview with Variety this week, Lindelof also added that he regrets proclaiming after “Lost” that he would never rework with the same actors. Looking back at it, Lindelof calls the declaration “stupid.” For “Watchmen,” the creator reteamed with his “Leftovers” actress Regina King, whose performance won her the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series. Lindelof admits he wants to continue working with King in the future, as he does with “Leftovers” stars Carrie Coon and Justin Theroux.

“I believe because of our experience together on ‘The Leftovers,’ he trusted I would approach Angela Abar with the same care he and the writing team took while crafting ‘Watchmen,’” King told Variety. “The trust was mutual. When reciprocity is at the core of a partnership, the respect and friendship can last a lifetime. Damon is that partner.”

Head over to Variety’s website to read Lindelof’s Emmys cover story in its entirety.

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