Sand going through an hourglass

TVO Original series ‘FASTER! Humanity’s Quest to Save Time’ questions the cost of time-saving inventions

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Saving time is an obsessive pursuit for people around the world. Airing weekly on Thursdays at 9 pm ET on TVO and streaming anytime on TVO.orgYouTube and TVO streaming services like Roku and Apple TV, the TVO Original series FASTER! Humanity’s Quest to Save Time stops to consider the impact of our most popular time-saving inventions. Do they actually cost more than they save?

FASTER! is an eye-opening look at one of our primary obsessions as humans,” says John Ferri, VP of Programming and Content at TVO. “So much of our world is driven by the belief that we can squeeze more out of daily life through ingenuity. This series examines the reality of those efforts and will spark new ways of thinking about how we approach our daily lives.”

Each episode of FASTER! Humanity’s Quest to Save Time focuses on specific inventions and concepts that have been widely adopted around the world, from elevators and highways to microwaves and dishwashers. 

“We forget how precious time is, and so we invent things that lead us to believe we’re saving time or even creating more of it,” says series creator and executive producer Nicolas Boucher. “We’re extremely proud that DBcom Media and TVO have partnered up once again to deliver this amazing series, which exposes the time-save/time-fail paradox through the technologies we take for granted in our everyday lives.”

The series blends interviews with experts and dynamic visual graphics that reveal refreshing insights about each time-saving invention. TVO Original FASTER! Humanity’s Quest to Save Time not only considers whether our most popular innovations actually save time, but also the impacts they have on our world. The sealable plastic container, for example, changed the way we shop for food, how we cook and where we eat meals. But did it also contribute to an expectation of hyper-productivity?

Watch weekly episodes of the eight-part TVO Original series FASTER! Humanity’s Quest to Save Time on Thursdays at 9 pm ET on TVO, and anytime on TVO.orgYouTube and TVO streaming services. Access the latest on TVO documentary news and insights by signing up for the forthcoming TVO Docs newsletter at

Watch all eight episodes:

  1. The Elevator. They’re the backbone of the modern city and they’ve literally shaped the world around us. But have you ever thought about whether elevators are actually saving us time?
  2. The Highway. Modern highway systems have turbocharged the global economy, transformed the world’s landscape and revolutionized the way people all over the world think about time.
  3. The Shopping Mall. Shopping malls have changed the way we shop and the way we think about shopping. And, for better or worse, they’ve changed the way we think about time.
  4. The Plastic Container. The sealable plastic container has changed the way we shop for food, the way we cook, and how and where we eat. And it’s changed the way we think about our time.
  5. The Microwave. The microwave is part of the technological food nexus, along with ready-made meals and instant everythings. But does its time-saving value come at a cost?
  6. The Disposable Cup. The disposable cup lets us stay on the move. But does multitasking really save us any time in the long run? Is our desire to do more actually costing us time?
  7. The Barcode. The barcode could be considered the fingerprint of highspeed capitalism. Everything it touches suddenly moves faster. But does this convenience come at a cost?
  8. The Dishwasher. In millions of homes around the world today, doing the dishes means loading the dishwasher. But when it comes to time, how do they stack up against handwashing?