Having just marathoned through six seasons of Lost in nine days, I’ve begun noticing odd behavior quirks. Though I’m not typically a fan of self-diagnosing psychological neuroses, I have what can best be described as “Lost Paranoia.” When you spend days at a time with nothing much besides that volcano of a show spewing conspiracy theories and plot twists, you start to get a little schizophrenic. I completely lost track of time in the “real world,” forgetting what day of the week it was and forgetting whether events happened yesterday or the day before. Considering most of Lost is told in flashbacks and out-0f-time sequences, my own sense of the linear world was disintegrating.
It got even worse during the few times I left my apartment in the last week. I started to see things and people. Recurrent themes from a TV show were actually recurring in my own life…or so I thought. I started seeing characters from the show wandering around the streets. A bald man sitting across the table from me became Locke and warranted a double-take before my rational mind took over. I started seeing the familiar numbers everywhere (4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42). Every mundane object or action in my life seemed to be imbued with hidden meaning. Though I wouldn’t say I was really in danger of losing my touch with reality, my mind was constantly racing, searching for answers and clues to common threads.
Now that I’ve finished the show and had a few hours to recuperate, I believe I’ll make a full recovery. I’ve made my peace with the show’s constant plot twists, jerking the audience around like the passengers on Flight 815. I am almost absolutely certain that I would not have been able to stand the anticipation waiting weeks or months between episodes. I still think watching all of Lost all at once is the best way to experience it. Just note the danger in coming too close to total immersion.