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Darlton Jump into the LOST Spoilers Debate with Guns Drawn

By docarzt,

  Filed under: Lost News
  Comments: 28

Wow.  Darlton, tell us how you really feel.  LOST’s dynamic duo have hit out on no-uncertain-terms about how they feel about spoilers, and as you can imagine it’s not a dialogue dripping with appreciation.  Before you spoiler-junkies jump in with your knives and forks, though, let’s put this in perspective.

First of all, yes Darlton bash the spoiler sites – but why shouldn’t they?  Their goal is to create a grand mystery and to craft their stories with carefully planned misdirections to give the viewer the ultimate shock.  Of course they hate spoilers.  It makes that aspect of their job impossible.  And when you think about it, if that is their end goal – yes, spoilers do ruin the show.  There is just no argument against that.  At the end of the day, of course, it is a matter of personal choice.

But what about the fact that fan sites are promoting the show? The idea that spoilers promote the show is ridiculous.  What fan sites do is provide a platform for discussion, and nothing more.  There would be no fan sites without the show.  LOST is the source of our traffic, therefore we offer nothing to the show.  ABC can reach more people in one day with their publicity schema than any LOST fansite can in a year, and at that they can target people who have not watched the show.  We all watch the show already.  ABC doesn’t care about selling to us, we’ve already bought the product.  That may be an afront to some of our egos out here in fansite land, but it is a fact.  What we do here in the fan scene is for our fellow fans, in terms of marketing we are nothing but redunadancy.  Sure, we may excite the fans – but excited or not, we’re still fans.

The other side to this is… wow, I just can’t believe they went there.  There are some hard working individuals in the scene, and regardless of their stance on this debate I don’t consider any of them as cashing in on easy money when it comes to spoilers.  It just isn’t that easy.  There are definitely merits to everything Darlton has to say about the topic, but it is so wide sweeping that it risks offending even casual fans. I find myself, being someone who tries to refrain from publishing major spoilers, wondering if I am catagorized as a LOST ‘Mercenary’ for utilizing the occasional nugget of info to promote this site?

The comments were reported by, and were made at the ABC Press Tour last week.

damon_carlton_dharmabooth1Do spoilers wreck the show?

Simple answer: Yes.

Many people know how to keep a secret, Lindelof said, but some bloggers are genetically predisposed to giving everything away.

“We would greatly appreciate it,” Lindelof said, “if you’re live blogging or talking in any way about the episode you’ve just seen, if you could just tease your readers and not spoil what’s coming.”

Lindelof and Cuse are opposed to spoiler sites on principle.

It’s no skin off their nose, Cuse said – Lost’s ratings aren’t affected one way or another – but, in the end, it’s the fans who pay. Even if they don’t realize it at the time.

Cuse cited one example.

“People who went to spoiler sites learned that the end of the third season was a flash-forward,” he said. “Fine. The thing is, when those people eventually saw that episode, I think they were cheated out of the voyage of discovery. Knowing how it ended wrecked it for them.

“Look, we’re not naive about this. Our fate is largely in other people’s hands – we know that. We always ask that people-in-the-know respect the journey that the fans undergo in watching the show, though. The fact that you don’t know what’s going to happen next when you watch a Lost episode is a big part of what we try to do, as storytellers and entertainers. We try our hardest to fill each show with unexpected turns in the road. Some of these websites are completely mercenary. They’re just using Lost spoilers to make money for themselves. It’s hard to have any respect for that.

“There are always going to be some people who think they absolutely have to know what’s going to happen before it happens, but we honestly believe that most people don’t.”



    • Josh

      What’s the point of having cake if your not going to eat it?

      • Mister


  • professorstotch

    I think the difference between this site, and other sites out there, is the content that’s published. While spoilers are posted here, they’re never anything groundbreaking and show-wrecking for anyone. Usually “spoilers” posted here are along the lines of “So-and-so MIGHT appear in this episode!” I can’t recall a single time on this site where I’ve seen anything that totally and uterly ruins the context of an episode. Whereas, with some sites, if you accidentally click the wrong spot, you’ve just gone and ruined the entire season for yourself.

  • Lottery Ticket

    Some of these websites are completely mercenary[Keamy}. They’re just using Lost spoilers to make money for themselves{Miles}. It’s hard to have any respect for that.

    “There are always going to be some people who think they absolutely have to know what’s going to happen before it happens{Ben}, but we honestly believe that most people don’t.{you all everybody}”

    • Angel

      LOL now i got a new term. dude went Keamy. thanks!

  • The Mythbuster

    That is funny. I love spoilers gimmie more!

    If it were not for the spoilers I never would have started watchin’ this show.

    If a day would come when there where no more spoilers I would lose interest and stop watching.

    Ahhhh Spoilers! Keep em coming!

    • Mister

      How are you interested in spoilers, but not in the actual show? The written spoilers are also in the actual show, along with visuals.

  • TRoss

    “Many people know how to keep a secret, Lindelof said, but some bloggers are genetically predisposed to giving everything away.

    “We would greatly appreciate it,” Lindelof said, “if you’re live blogging or talking in any way about the episode you’ve just seen, if you could just tease your readers and not spoil what’s coming.”

    That doesn’t sound like you, Doc. You don’t “give everything away” and you for the most part just tease your readers about what’s coming.

    I have to disagree with you though on spoilers, Doc. Spoilers do promote the show. Though it ruins the surprise and the excitement you’d feel watching it on the show for the first time, a good spoiler still makes people say, “I have to tune in to see that!” Much like the promos at the end of the show, it gets people excited about watching the show itself. It was actually a promo for Confidence Man that made me tune in the next week and really get hooked on the show.

    Full disclosure spoilers on the other hand, do much more than whet the appetite. They give away the twist, but that doesn’t stop people from watching, it only lessens their pleasure on viewing (though they enjoyed hours of speculation after reading the spoiler itself). They’re going to watch to clarify what they read, to see how the actors play it, to see it in context. The only person who’s suffered is the person who spoiled themselves, and they don’t seem to mind. It’s not like losing their job and family over their spoiler habit. And they keep tuning in.

    It’s a different story though when someone purposely spoils someone else. And that’s the risk you take having any spoilers out at all. It’d be impossible for some not to leak out to non-spoiler sections sadly. In this case, the person who suffers is the person who tried to remain unspoiled. That’s your real case against spoilers, not that their existence on websites doesn’t promote the show.

    In addition, websites might not hit as many people as a 30 second spot on ABC, but a website keeps the excitement going 365, 24/7. You can pop on a Lost board any time of day, any day of the year, and find people to chat with about the show. And they do a better job of keeping the show’s momentum going than a 30 second spot ever could, especially on a nine month hiatus. And spoilers are a big part of that.

    I’m torn on spoilers myself. I know I enjoy the show more when I don’t read them, but I also know it’s hell waiting nine months to see the show with nothing to discuss. One thing I do believe though is that sites like this, for better or worse, DO promote the show.

  • cutterxxiii

    They’re completely on the money. $$

    Did you make any money off that book you wrote, Doc? Without LOST there would be no book.

    I don’t personally read spoilers. I persoanlly enjoy this site. But I have to say…face it, man. Your work is completely based on someone else’s creativity. Without that show, there’d be no docarzt website, no docarzt book, nothing.

    I’m happy they inspired you, but the ultimateb respect is due to the source of whare all that inspiration came from.

    “The other side to this is… wow, I just can’t believe they went there. There are some hard working individuals in the scene…”

    Yeah, how dare they. I needed a good laugh today. Thanks man! 🙂

    • docarzt

      Wow cutter… it’s as if you read my opinion, made it your own, then forgot it was my opinion to begin with. 😉 I’m completely humble about the show being the well where the water is drawn from. I guess you skipped the first two paragraphs? But what about the fact that fan sites are promoting the show? The idea that spoilers promote the show is ridiculous. What fan sites do is provide a platform for discussion, and nothing more. There would be no fan sites without the show. LOST is the source of our traffic, therefore we offer nothing to the show. Sound familiar?

      • cutterxxiii

        Sure it’s familiar. But then you went on to say what I quoted. And that’s what I take issue with.

        If you were *completely* humble about what well the water comes out of, you wouldn’t have felt the need to express “the other side to this.”

        But you did. And…I mean, the blue bar at the top of my browser says “Lost News, Lost Spoilers” when I come to your site. I don’t blame you for getting defensive. 😉

        But look on the bright side. At least they said “mercenary” instead or “parasite”!

        All that said…once again, I like your site, Doc. But I also hate spoilers, and I hate the inevitable backlash every time the prodcuers express how much they hate them as well. It’s not a new thing.

        • cutterxxiii

          Last thing…

          “The idea that spoilers promote the show is ridiculous.”

          True. But spoilers promote your site. I doubt any Lost-related site could compete with the others if it didn’t provide spoilers somewhere. Even if they’re “hidden,” or “only by choice,” you gotta have the spoilers.

          Anyway. After all that I also would like to say sorry…I don’t mean to rake you over the coals, Doc. Somebody peed in my Cheerios today or something.

          • docarzt

            I agree with that. The spoilers I publish are a necessary evil, but I try to do it in a way that is complimentary to the show. Tease an aspect of a reveal without giving away the meat… it is the heavy handed sites that have evoked these comments from Darlton.

        • docarzt

          You miss the point of the paragraph though. My concern is that the criticism is too wide-sweeping. I explicitly agree with them in the very paragraph you are referring to:

          “…There are definitely merits to everything Darlton has to say about the topic, but it is so wide sweeping that it risks offending even casual fans…”

          What I am getting at is that the fans and supporters of those sites may be offended by the venom. That’s all. If you have been visiting for any time at all, you know that my position on spoilers is that they need to be tempered into good teases…

    • TRoss

      Damon and Carlton didn’t mention being against books at all. In fact, I’m sure they’re flattered someone would take the time to write an entire book dedicated to their show. And a book doesn’t write itself, Doc had to put a fair share of his own creativity in it as well.

      What the producers seem to be really unhappy with is the sites that posting spoilers solely for the sake of making money, and that they have no scruples when it comes to divulging entire synopsis of episodes instead of teasing them with a few minor spoilers, like a promo would (though TPTB have complained before that at times ABC promos have given too much away).

  • 23G

    Aren’t these the same guys who have recently provided the first 3 or so episodes for the “press”…? Unless the “press” are under a gag order and sworn to confidentiality under the episode airs, I don’t get what the big deal is.

    While I can understand that there are certain sites out there which pretty much give you scene by scene what is going to happen – this site doesn’t. And it is my choice to read the “spoilers” or not (here) – and even then they are just glimpses into what is on tap for our viewing pleasure – kind of like an appetizer – not the full main course.

    • docarzt

      Cool 23g, that’s what I go for. You’re right! I think, if anything, what qualifies as “the press” has become so loose of a classification over the years that too many amateurs have invaded the ranks. A lot of what is happening this season is bad decision making on the behalf of marketing. On the other hand, what choice do they have? I think the screeners are out there to compensate for budget slashing. Probably if the game had continued, sunset on the beach had taken place, and the $$ spent on traditional advertising, you probably would not have seen the screeners out there.

      • Hipster Doofus

        Wait…there are screeners out? Boy, that really tells you how completely I have blocked myself off from all of that. And I’m somebody who downloads basically everything I watch, because when I’m at college, I don’t have a TV. I even have a Rapidshare premium account.

  • wophers

    Doc there is no way they mean you. And whilst I’m not going to start naming names – I agree with Darlton about the way some sites give out spoilers. I am the first to admit I have no will power so whenever I come across a detailed summary of an episode I can’t stop myself from reading it. But as soon as I have I wished I hadn’t. I like spoilers to tease not tell me exactly what happens and ruin any surprises. That’s why I like this site – I’ve never felt an episode has been ruined for me where it has elsewhere.

  • Hipster Doofus

    I’ve gotta say, I agree with them 100%. I have basically cut myself off from spoilers, and by extension, DarkUFO, since last season. I hated how he released the ruiners for the season 4 finale, especially because the A-HOLE who wrote the ruiners was so negative about the episode. You, docarzt, pledged not to post ruiners or big spoilers, and I appreciate that, and I only use your site for LOST info because I know I won’t be ruined by going here. I basically spoiled the entirety of Season 3 and season 4 for myself, and I can’t wait to watch a season like I watched seasons 1 and 2.

    That doesn’t mean that DarkUFO isn’t hardworking, I think his site is great. I used to go there every single day and was one of the MOST active members in the comments there, before there was a forum or anything. I contributed directly to his Find815 site, which got even more traffic than the actual There’s just something about the fact that he posted ruiners before they were released anywhere else that, well, ruined his site for me.

    Also, I can’t believe that Lostfan108 managed to scoop the finale last year after the insanity that came from him doing so the year before. I really hope they stopped him.

  • dharmalchemist

    Here here, this site is less spoilerish than the promos they release, and far less than any other major Lost site.

  • the_professor

    I’m pretty sure they don’t mean this site, Doc, and I think your concern about the “venom” might be a little too, well, overly concerned. I know I’m on the fringe of all this, and I don’t personally know the people who create and maintain the blogs, but to me there seems a pretty clear divide between those who manage the spoilers considerately (like you) and those who go too far (DarkUFO being the example offered, and I agree).

    I also think there’s this myth around the idea of some intrinsic value of being “hard-working.” It matters much more what you are working for and how you go about it. Charles Widmore is pretty hard-working, I imagine.

  • uberchef

    Don’t blame the guys for having some manner of artistic integrity!

    Does anyone read the last chapters of a book before reading from the beginning? I’ve got to agree…just settle back and enjoy the ride for what it’s worth. Or, if you just simply need to know, don’t spoil it for all the other people.

  • LostTvFan

    I learned my lesson with the full spill of the S3 finale and never again. I agree with this: Do spoilers wreck the show? Simple answer: Yes. That said, I wouldn’t be half as excited as I am for S5 without the promos, sneak peeks, teasers and light spoilers we have gotten. Let’s remember the on line fanbase is probably less than 10% of Lost’s audience, but we are the hardcore viewers. I love being teased, getting a line of dialog here and then, hints, bits and pieces. Still I don’t want the entree, just an occasional h’orderve that doesn’t spoil the meal when it is finally served!

    • ForgivenTheWarlord

      I agree 100%. I learned my lesson back with Buffy spoilers… I like teases, but I hate those spoilers that detail either just the important parts or the “entire episode”. Invariably the people writing the show are far better writers than those writing the “precaps” so I’ve found them to be just the worst possible manner in which to find out what happens in the episode.

  • aprilshowers

    You’re hardly mercenary, Doc. Your site hits the right mix. It keeps the fans interested, especially over the hellacious breaks, but isn’t in your face. I did the same as other here and got completely spoiled for S3 and I’ll never do it again. But on the flip side, my attention span isn’t as long as it used to be and without a tidbit here and there.. meh, who knows. I, for one, appreciate the way your run your ship.

  • Crazy Bearded Jack

    I’m against spoilers. With a show as great as LOST, there are so many moments that have literally taken my breath away. I wouldn’t trade those for the world. In fact, I fondly remember watching, for the first time, some of my favorite scenes. The Season 2 premiere and season 3 finale are two of my favorites. Spoilers would have ruined them for me.

    Damon made a great analogy once – Reading a spoiler is like turning to the last page of the book. Sure, you’ll know what’s going to happen, but you’ll miss out on the entertaining, thought-provoking, emotional journey that gets you there. That journey is what makes LOST so graet.