But now it’s very much expected in the fan communities that writers have to listen to them – “You are answerable to me, Kring.”Working on both my column for tomorrow's paper and my blog post for tomorrow night. I'm psyched. Can you tell that I'm psyched?
“And it’s not just the fans, it’s the critics who carry water to the fans. And I think the best critics are fans. That is to say, they approach their job as a fan. That doesn’t mean they like it or dislike [a particular show], but they’re fans of television.
“So you were at last year’s [‘Lost’ session at the critic’s press tour - more on that here] in January – I felt like it was a Senate hearing. When Alan Sepinwall started firing up on us, I literally expected the [TV] graphic of ‘Sepinwall, Newark, R’ [like you’d see in a congressional hearing]. It was unbelievable.”
I was the one [sarcastically] suggesting a flashback of Jin’s high school reunion.
[laughs] “That was a good one.”
But you don’t understand – the thing about that session, everybody said that was a really good session. People cared. The critics in the room were really engaged. That’s not always the case.
“I know. Sepinwall is great. He’s just a pain in my [butt].” [laughs]
(Update: Someone in the comments asked if I had a link to my blog entry from that particular session in January. I can't find it right now, so after the jump I'm going to reproduce two passages from that session's transcript where I asked the sorts of questions that Damon was no doubt referring to.)
QUESTION: Question for the producers and I guess maybe for Matthew. I'm wondering why whenever Jack is placed in a position where he can ask things of The Others, he always asks such terrible questions? I mean asking Juliet what she and Ben talked about doesn't seem that useful either to him or to us.And
DAMON LINDELOF: Since Matthew is not responsible for what Jack says, he has to unfortunately in some cases execute our best version of it. As writers, the questions that the characters are asking on the show is always a slippery slope. We find ourselves saying, "We'd be asking much better questions, too." Unfortunately, if Jack asked the questions that we wanted him to, The Others would answer none of them. So you would just have him asking a string of questions with Michael sort of looking back at him stoically, which probably would not be that interesting to watch. He asks the questions that at least he has an opportunity of getting an answer out of them.
QUESTION: If I could follow on what you just said about the reasons why Jack and Kate and Sawyer were all taken to the island, do you feel like you've explained -- obviously, Jack was there to do surgery on Ben, but why did they have to take Kate and Sawyer?
CARLTON CUSE: Ben took Kate and Sawyer because that was part of the manipulation that he felt was going to be necessary in order to convince Jack to do the surgery. He couldn't force Jack to do the surgery without creating what he felt was a situation in which he would be able to manipulate Jack into sort of agreeing willfully to do the surgery.
QUESTION: Is there a reason he couldn't have, way back when, before The Others started killing people, just wandered on over and said, "Hey, welcome to the island. I hear you're a spinal surgeon. I've got a tumor. Could you help a brother out?" Why does it have to be that convoluted?
DAMON LINDELOF: Well, I suppose there's certainly -- you know, there's certainly a point to be made for that version. But I would argue -- no offense to your writing skills -- that that version is considerably less intriguing for a mystery show. You know, the reality is, you know, if, when Kate was first stitching up Jack, you know, she's like, "Who are you?" he's like, "I'm a spinal surgeon. I've got some hardcore father issues. I don't think I'm going to be a good leader," and she's like, "You've got father issues? I blew up my fucking stepdad," you know -- then it would have been like, "Why even do the show?" because everything's right there.