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Nerdist Writers Panel #1 – A fascinating insight into writing for television

I was listening to TWiT this week, feeling strangely nostalgic while stumbling home, reminiscing on all the hours of laughs and knowledge it has given me, and an introduction to podcasts in general. I’d listened to the LOST podcast religiously for years of course, but TWiT got me listening to so much more, making commutes not a complete waste of time in the process. When I stumbled across the page for this Nerdist podcast via /r/television, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, and had never even visited the site before, but knowing I’d hear Damon Lindelof talking LOST again for at least a small part of proceedings was enough, and 100 minutes later, I feel like writing a pilot!

The Nerdist Writers Panel series is an informal chat moderated by Ben Blacker (co-creator of The Thrilling Adventure Hour, writer on CW’s Supernatural) with professional writers about the process and business of writing. Covering TV, film, comic books, music, novels, and any other kind of writing about which you’d care to hear. Proceeds from the series benefit 826LA, the national non-profit tutoring program. Recorded live at Nerdist Industries at Meltdown Comics in Los Angeles. 

Episode one features: Damon Lindelof (Lost); Jane Espenson (Buffy; Battlestar Galactica; Torchwood); Erin Levy (Mad Men); Drew Z. Greenberg (Buffy; Warehouse 13).

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Fringe season 3. Rediscovering that LOST feeling [spoilers, duh]

Nine days from now will be the one year anniversary of LOST ending. I wrote about how that void will never be filled, and how there will never be another show as great as LOST, for OH SO MANY reasons, but today, just temporarily, a little bit of Amber in the form of the Fringe season 3 finale filled that void.

I tweeted about it the instant it finished, I rewatched that ending, had about ten tabs open, started looking at the Fringe subreddit, read an out-there, theorising post by Doc Jensen, and well, it felt like LOST all over again!

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LOST season 6 epilogue – New Man in Charge

The 12 minute epilogue to season 6, outlining Hurley’s and Ben’s time on The Island. @marawlings’ link broke halfway through, so I found this version, complete with Italian subtitles, downloaded it and re-uploaded it in the hope that it doesn’t get taken down as quickly as it would on Youtube *fingers crossed*

Watch for:

  • Ben and Hurley
  • Food drops
  • Hurley Bird
  • Polar bears
  • Room 23
  • Waaaaaaaalt

I expected more, but, at least we saw ol’ Bug Eyes one more time. Long live LOST.

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I’m a serialized drama kinda guy

It’s been a while [save those two weekends a few months ago where @drumonastick and I consumed ~80 LOST episodes] since I’ve had a decent day of TV watching, but after completely ruining my weekend with the World Cup, alcohol and not sleeping in my own bed, I sat slouched in anticipation of some new TV blood. 

And now, a summary of said “new” blood. Yes, I say “new”, because two of the three shows are old, but I haven’t had the chance to get into ’em.

Community – Started very poorly, and the main dude and dudette are for the most part, terribly yawnworthy, but Ken Jeong, Chevy Chase and Danny Pudi are becoming increasingly funnier, with the Mexican Halloween episode taking the show to a new level. One thing I particularly like about Community is the fine job it does with its race-based humour

Modern Family – Only two episodes in, but I’m already in love with most of the characters, and some fine zingers already!

Rubicon – This is a new conspiracy thriller on AMC [the fine folks that bring us Mad Men and Breaking Bad], and only the pilot is out as of now, but can count me in for the ride

All of this of course has nothing to do with the real point of this post, but I thought I’d tell you a little about my weekend, and well, I’m not sure where this is going anymore, but let me try and reset the focus to this fantastic discussion by Noel and Scott of The AV Club, on how the culture of TV and TV-watching has changed. It was filled with paragraphs of glorious sentiment that I vehemently agree and disagree with, so I’m just going to pull some of that out.

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LOST – The End [spoilers, duh]

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LOST began with the black credits fading into Jack Shephard’s right eye opening, while he lay there in the bamboo field, and it ended with Jack Shephard’s right eye closing, lying in that same bamboo field, fading into those same black credits. Why not just call the show ‘Full Circle’ or ‘Mirrors’? I’ve watched the last 30 seconds several times now, and the finale twice, and the whole series twice, and I’m satisfied with the end.

I’ve slowly come to a realisation over the years that The Island and the mythology that came along with it was just a backdrop for a show about people, and that more than came through in the finale. Sure I want answers, and I feel I’ve got more than enough of them, but for the diehards that watched LOST until the very end hoping that every answer would be presented in a box, nicely tied with a ribbon, I’m sorry, you probably didn’t get what you wanted out of the finale.

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LOST – What They Died For [spoilers, duh]

Thoughts:

  • Ok, wtf is up with the neck bleeding? And why is it slowly getting worse, from the minor scratch in episode 1? This is obviously the connection to the Flash Sideways, but what exactly is happening? We’ve only seen it on Jack, and I’m writing this after watching the whole episode, so I might as well assume that it’s directly related to Jack becoming The Candidate. What’s going to happen to him as a result of becoming The Candidate in the Flash Sideways though?
  • Why was Jacob in kid form? Was there ANY reason why that needed to happen? Surely the writers still didn’t think it was a mystery to anyone, so, what gives? Seemed completely unnecessary to me, considering Hugo is pretty much looking for Jacob every second anyway.
  • So it was Widmore that rigged the explosives on the plane. How did MiB know to pick up a wrist watch and use it as a timer? o_O
  • Oh, Richard, you’ve only been on The Island a couple of hundred years, what else did you expect to happen except get tossed aside? Maybe MiB knew Richard was a lost cause, but since they showed no body, he’s probably still alive
  • “He’s hiding in my closet”
  • “We insist; even if we have to kidnap you!” Lovin’ this dark humoured mirrored dialogue!
  • Speaking of completely unnecessary, Zoe. Good. Lord. She didn’t die quick enough. They could have at least got someone hot to play her.
  • No gripes with Widmore dying. He was an asshole, even if Jacob brought him here. Good for you, Benjamin! Michael Emerson got his groove back this episode
  • Jacob made MiB the way he is. He knows that he’ll die, and that someone needs to take his place, hence the candidates. Why were these particular people picked? Because they’re like Jacob. They were alone, looking for something they couldn’t find in their current lives/existence. They needed The Island as much as It [he] needed them. That’s it, that’s the explanation for the names on the wall, the candidates, that’s it. I’m fine with that really. This season has pretty much hinted at all these things anyway.
  • “I thought that guy had a God complex before” Amen, Sawyer.
  • Why was Kate’s name crossed off? Because she became a mother. She found her calling/purpose; fair enough
  • How can the new candidate kill MiB, if Jacob can’t?
  • Where’s Desmond? It was just Sayid that helped him out of the well, wasn’t it?
  • They’re going to a concert, outstanding! Any chance of a Michael Giacchino guest appearance?
  • Desmond is a “last resort…a failsafe” because he can destroy The Island? How exactly? If Widmore and co. were setting up something at all the pockets of energy, surely that plan has failed now since they’re all dead? Is he going to blow up the Frozen Donkey Wheel?
  • MiB keeps talking about “leaving” The Island, but it almost seems like he’s resigned to the fact that the only way he’s going to get his wish is if he leaves The Island through death

Bring on Monday, bring on the surprises, bring on the tears, and hopefully, bring on a quasi-satisfying conclusion, because you better believe this thing is ending, dammit!

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LOST – Across The Sea [spoilers, duh]

Can you say “mythology overload”? Then, add one, multiply it by infinity and square it. Good. Lord.

Thoughts:

  • Jacob and MiB are Twins!
  • Allison Janney as Jacob and MiB’s “mother”? Inspired casting. She was amazing, and ever so creepy at first.
  • So that kid MiB saw in the jungle WAS a young Jacob
  • “They come, they fight, they destroy, they corrupt, and it always ends the same” This was Janney’s reasoning for killing those that came to The Island. This would imply that she WOULDN’T want others coming to The Island, and she made that clear to Jacob and MiB, so why is Jacob bringing people to The Island? Purely to find a successor? Isn’t he jeopardising The Island by giving MiB the chance to leave? Not like he can die or anything.
  • “Because a little bit of this same light is inside of every Man, but they always wan’t more…and if the light goes out here, it goes out everywhere” So what is this “light”? “Goodness”? Jacob? The Guardian, whoever that may be? We’ve heard the other side of this story already,with the wine/cork analogy, which was all about “The Darkness” [MiB] being contained within The Island, and if that gets out, it spreads
  • everywhere
  • “One day, you can make up your own game, and everyone else will have to follow the rules” He sure did take that to heart
  • MiB created the Frozen Donkey Wheel! Although it wasn’t so frozen back in the day
  • “It’s a wheel. We’re going to attach that wheel to a system, a system that channels the water and the light, and then I’m going to turn it, and when I do, I’ll finally be able to leave this place” Why can’t MiB turn it in present day? Obviously someone finished building The Wheel, no doubt due to him, so why not use it? Why did he have to get Locke to turn it? Is it because he isn’t inhabiting a real body?
  • “life, death, rebirth, it’s the source, the heart of the island…promise me you won’t go down there…it’d be worse than dying Jacob, much worse” Does that mean MiB is bound to The Island?
  • What was in that cup? MiB’s blood? Janney’s blood? Water from that pool in The Temple?
  • Who woulda thunk that Backgammon scene in season 1 between Locke and Walt would be replayed over and over in so many different ways? Jacob and MiB were playing Senet apparently , an old Egyptian board game, possibly the oldest board game in the world. The name means “game of passing”
  • Where did Janney come from? That I don’t think we’ll ever find out, due to the whole, “you’ll only find out what mysteries are important to the characters on the show” I think I’ve come to accept this
  • SHE caused that massacre at MiB’s camp?! o_O
  • *sound of knife into flesh* *jumps from chair*
  • ADAM AND EVE = MiB and his mother! NO ONE would’ve picked that!
  • And so Smokey was born, via Jacob of all people. What happened when MiB was thrown in there? Did the “light” get corrupted and turn into “darkness”?
  • Damon and Carlton made it unequivocally clear last week that MiB was the evil one, but you can’t say MiB was wrong with his “my mother was a terrible person” line a few eps ago
  • I just asked a lot of questions…

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