Now Showing: Lost

In the established theme of time, few shows have so extensively and epically explored this than the hit drama Lost. Beginning in 2004, it documented the trials and tribulations of a diverse group of people whose plane crashes on an island but while beginning as an intense Gilligan’s Island it quickly manifested into a mysterious, supernatural extravaganza where smoke monsters, polar bears, time travel, a scientific organization and society of armed “others” etc all pepper what is just a simple journey to go home.

Like the Robert Hassan “Network Time” article explains, time is a construct and it’s the way in which we organize our lives and determines the rhythm in which we move and act. On the island however, without clocks or any reference to time the survivors experience the condition of being “released from the domination of the clock” and acquiring the very primitive concept of time that suits their predicaments like how long it takes for them to dig a hole or walk from one place to another; like a character on the show so aptly states “Time doesn’t matter on a damn island”.

This idea is explored in a post from this Lost-themed blog that can be seen here; http://ncjl.wordpress.com/current-theories/the-others-stuck-in-time/

It is put forth there that those who are more in tune with the island (the mysterious “Others”) and the bizarre sense of timelessness are therefore the most deeply entrenched in that and that is why they do not travel into the future when Ben turns the magic wheel and moves the whole island into the future. I agree with his implication that time is not physical and despite the instance of physical time travel, it isn’t enough to alter the minds of those who have formulated their own concrete view of time and it supersedes anything else.

Even those of us who aren’t stranded on islands adopt similar ways of telling the time; thinking in terms of how long it’ll take this video to load, how long it’ll take the tram to get to a stop or for me to finish this sandwich. It’s a rather self-centered view of time but of much greater immediacy to ourselves as opposed to taking stock of every second or minute or (in the case of the tram) hour an activity takes to finish. We construct time as we see fit and even in spite of what a clock tries to tell us, like the Others we don’t allow the perceptions of others to alter our personal mindset of time and like the other island inhabitants we frequently judge time in accordance with our personal needs and activities.

So just like time doesn’t matter on a damn island, if we’re not looking at the clock and forming just makeshift ideas of time based on what we’re doing; does time really matter to us? In any case we can now see Lost is a show that truly offers more to ponder than just it’s baffling content and more to be impressed with than it’s high quality: it truly is an effective reference point and exploration of the idea of time which ties very much into our study of how we view and construct time in this day and age.

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By The Television Code Posted in U.S Shows

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