Postmodernism in US Television Show Lost

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Postmodernism can be defined as a rejection of the idea that there are certain unequivocal truths or grand narratives (such as capitalism, faith or science) and as a belief that there are multiple ways of understanding anything, whether it be it culture, philosophy, art, literature, films, etc, or even television... Television reflects the mass-produced society we live in and certain shows exhibit many of the archetypes of postmodernism that have become prevalent in other art forms. Postmodernism can be useful for understanding contemporary television it can help us to relate to the ever-changing world we live in. Television shows like ABC’s Lost (ABC, 2004-2010) dabble in matters of intertextuality, questioning of grand narratives and, amongst others, a manipulation of time through use of flashbacks, flash-forwards and, uniquely to Lost, the flash-sideways. The television show Lost displays many of the key traits found in postmodernism works. The show follows the lives of survivors of a plane crash on a mysterious island somewhere in the south pacific. There, they must negotiate an unknown monster, an unpredictable group of prior occupants, strange, other worldly inhabitants, polar bears and each other, as they attempt to survive and attract rescue. In this basic synopsis of show it is clear that the show incorporates a large degree of generic hybridity, from the show’s outset it has exhibited elements of science-fiction, mystery, drama and the action-adventure genre. This is even prevalent in the show’s advertising, the varying genres that show exhibits can be found in an early trailer for the show’s first season that originally aired on Channel 4 in 2005, directed by surrealist artist David LaChapelle. The trailer features th... ... middle of paper ... ...tives through questioning of absolute truths such as established fact (science) and faith, intertextuality through a mass of references, manipulation of time through a non-linear narrative and generic hybridity through the show’s complex layers. Works Cited • Barthes, R (1977). Image Music Text. 14th ed. London: Fontana Press. p.146. • McCarthy, E. (2008). 15 Questions for Lost Bosses Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse—and 40 Revealing Answers!. Available: http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/digital/4260693. Last accessed 8th April 2014. • Nelson, R. (2009). Modernism and Postmodernism in Television Drama. In: Creeber, G Televisions: An Introduction to Studying Televsion. 2nd ed. London: British Film Institute . p.90. • Obara, C. (2014). LOST Paleyfest Reunion Panel 2014. Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7D6-y7Dtby4. Last accessed 6th April 2014.

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