This is a post from my old blog, written in 2008. I'm posting it again because I recently saw a play in which somebody had clearly gone to great efforts to rationalize a very unsatisfying story ending in a highly intellectual way, and it didn't make the story ending any less unsatisfying, nor any less essentially lazy. Also, some months after I posted this, I read an interview with one of the Lost writers, in which he parroted the New York Times article almost word-for-word--you could practically see the thought process: "Thank God! Someone's come up with a plausible-sounding excuse!"
Here's the post:
And there's all this philosophical rigmarole about how the show rejects the very notion of resolution. So the incoherence isn't really incoherence: the show is sooo deep it goes beyond coherence; it's coherent on a level that you and I and everyone else who has ever watched it cannot possibly grasp, just like real life! Oh, please. Sometimes you'll hear this kind of thing trotted out when something has a really unsatisfying ending--real life doesn't tie up neatly, so why should fiction?
Let me let you in on a little secret: It's hard to write something coherent. It's also hard to create a really satisfying ending. Whenever anyone starts telling you that real life BLAH BLAH BLAH, what they are really saying is, This is hard, and I am lazy. The writers of Lost cash equally large paychecks whether the show makes any sense or not--why should they do it the hard way?