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Lost in Time?

Lost in Time?

Lost Fan Engagement with Temporal Play

Chapter:
(p.297) 21 Lost in Time?
Source:
Time in Television Narrative
Author(s):
Lucy Bennett
Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781617032936.003.0022

Lost is credited with jumpstarting the narrative trend of experimental temporality. The series used experiments with time as an important part of its structure, employing flashforwards, flashbacks, flashsideways, time travel, and multiple plot threads to create quite a novel narrative development. By focusing on a specific example of the flashforward employed in season three, this chapter examines how online fans of the show engage with, and respond to, the use of these devices surrounding narrative time and the rationale that underlies their participation in the program as a puzzle to be solved. It considers how these fans “read” and try to make sense of the show’s use of temporal play in terms of their placement as viewers following characters in past, present, and alternate timelines, often simultaneously. Exploring discussions by members of the largest online community for Lost fans, www.lost-forum.com, the chapter illuminates the responses of fans initiated by the startling temporal narrative device and explains how some struggled with its inclusion.

Keywords:   television shows, television programs, temporality, time, online fans, online community, temporal narrative

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