As some of you may know, the season 6 premiere of LOST was last night. I am a huge fan of the show, and have been since the first season. The island, the flashbacks, the Others— yes, yes, yes!
Immediately after a new episode airs, I call my friend Monika so that we can painstakingly go over everything that just happened, try to make some sense of it, make connections to previous episodes, previous seasons, and sometimes, sometimes, we take a little trip over to Lostpedia.com. Ya know, as a reference.
I think my favorite thing about LOST is how it plays with time. Whoa, does it play with time! It’s wild, it makes my brain hurt, I love it. So much.
My fascination with “time play” certainly carries over into theatre. Three of my favorite plays— Arcadia, Three Tall Women, and Our Town— chronologically speaking, are really depressing. In all of those stories, with time, loved ones are lost, memories fade, relationships end, lives end.
The great thing about storytelling, though, is that it doesn’t have to be chronological. Hurray! If time is the potentially tragic force acting upon us, by its ceaseless going, its inability to stop, its clouding of truth, then perhaps the best way to find joy (or at least, contentment) is to mess with it. Go back into it, cut it up, pause it, and then examine the story with a fresh perspective.
That’s what Arcadia, Three Tall Women, and Our Town do. That’s what LOST does. And that’s why I find all of them so fascinating and magical.
In theatre and addictive television shows, time is on our side.
Oh yes it is.