Quotes / The Chris Carter Effect

"That means for four years we could have been nothing but pawns in a game! That it was lies from the beginning!"
Fox Mulder, The X-Files

"ABC announced this week that it has renewed Lost for a fourth season. Said the show's writers, "Oh, crap.""
Amy Poehler during the Weekend Update, Saturday Night Live

"Mysteries that are stretched interminably to fill time are not magically made more mysterious."

The greatest entertainer is the greatest swindler!

"A story thatís made entirely of hooks simply begins to sting; thereís never any fish to cook."
Phil Sandifer on (you guessed it) Lost

"What's amazing is how automatically an audience will follow the creator's lead, asking the questions they assume the creator wants them to. Because of this strange phenomenon, authors must be careful not to lead the audience into dead ends, or raise questions he isn't prepared to give an answer for. Managing the curiosity of the reader is probably the most important task of (modern) fiction. 'Loose ends' that are completely besides the point to the author can easily become obsessed over by fans who demand closure. They feel entitled to know!

Most of the time this is seen as a golden opportunity to make sequels, constantly promising answers while leaving more loose ends dangling for next time... it's downright foolish to underestimate the curiosity of a fanbase, and dangerous to neglect it once it's been provoked."

"When 52 came out, it was supposed to bridge the gap in DCís 'One Year Later' gimmick, in which, after Infinite Crisis, all of DCís books jumped ahead a year, and there was a mystery created about what had taken place in that gap. At the time, I actually thought this was an exciting notion. You open the new Batman, and Harvey Bollock is back, and Harvey Dent is Gothamís protector, and youíre wondering, Ooh, how on earth did that happen? Structurally, itís a clever idea for a mystery. Then, these things were supposed to unfold within the storyline of 52, with, one would hope, exciting and surprising answers."

52 proceeded to answer none of those questions."

"I could never fully appreciate the Galen character as much as others seem to. We never find anything out about the technomages, what they want or how they can do what they do. This is by design, of course, but it's a little frustrating to know that Galen only now reveals that he can see at least thirty years into the future, never mind how... Peter Woodward is also effective as Galen, but it's amusing to watch him speak with Straczynski in the DVD's special features, as even he says he knows nothing about his own character's background, desires, or drives. Woodward is basically relying only on his natural charisma and sheer guesswork. If you ask me, it's inexcusable for a director to leave an actor hung out to dry like that. How is an actor supposed to do a good job if he has no clue who he's trying to portray?"
Noah Antwiler on Babylon 5: The Lost Tales

"I literally crumpled on the sofaÖ Worse than having to sit through some televisual excrement is that crushing feeling of disappointment that we werenít actually heading anywhere important. False promises leading to damp squib of a conclusion."
Doc Oho on Star Trek: Voyager, "Endgame"

"It was Henry James (not Henry James Olsen, but how felicitous is that?) who said 'What is character but the determination of incident? What is incident but the illustration of character?' In other words, strong story-telling results from the inter-relation — indeed, the oneness — of the characters and the situations in which they find themselves... Suspension of disbelief in the 'Veritas' storyline, for instance (compelling though that narrative was), required that we fail to notice that the Luthor coat of arms seen in the mansion's stained glass had always been, prior to this, just a big 'L,' not an L and a V. We get three whole seasons with 'Jimmy' Olsen only to have him killed and explained away as the older brother of the 'real' Jimmy Olsen... We get confrontation scenes with Toyman in 'Prophecy' and with Lex in the finale, both of which seem to suggest that the matter of Superman's secret identity is a bit of a moot point to the villains, only to have this reversed with a preposterous and (we have to imagine) selective mind wipe because we all know Lex never knew Clark Kent prior to the arrival of Superman.

The instances of this are too numerous to get fully into here... The point is, you can get lost on
Smallville's stretched-thin surface, but as often as not it takes little more than a downward glance to see the bottom, at depths so shallow it seems the surface is all there really is."
Marc Pritchard on Smallville

"Whatever. I've learned my lesson. I've grown up. I'm less naive. I now know how television writing works. Get the cliffhanger image, work backward from there, don't worry about the resolution. Resolution doesn't sell ads. Once Lost is over there's no more ads to sell".

"The second episode [of Alcatraz] ended with what can only be described as the typical supposedly mind-fuck Lost-type twist - and I would've been more excited about that if Lost ever managed to actually explain/clear up its shit in a satisfying way."