Saturday, 12 December 2009
Recommended: Lost Time Life
The premise of this show is simple. At the point of death, the action is frozen, and the person about to die has a certain amount of time to finish up whatever unfinished business he or she has, before returning to the scene to die.
Oh, and their actions are regulated by a referee and two linesmen and the fourth official who carries the board displaying the time remaining, while the whole thing is commentated on by two (unseen) sports commentators.
Despite the bizarre premise, it makes perfect sense once it gets going and before long you’ve stopped wondering about the technicalities of stopping time in a localised area and started cheering the hero on as they race against the clock to say their last goodbyes or fulfil final wishes.
The show is full of comedy and pathos. Obviously it’s very sad by the end of every show, and it’s not afraid to pull punches, emotionally speaking, with lingering last looks, weepy music and cruel fate reminding us that life is but a fleeting thing and if we don’t say or do the things we really want, tomorrow may be too late. But despite the sentimentality, its naturalistic portrayal of a surreal situation means this is perhaps my favourite of all Japanese dramas I’ve seen to date.