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The Leftovers in the Media


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So there are more reviews out there.

 

Time:

 

http://time.com/2923387/review-leftovers-hbo-damon-lindelof/

 

 

This show is, and I do not mean this as an insult, probably the least overtly commercial drama HBO has made since the post-Sopranos days of John from Cincinnati, whose big hook was also What It All Means. (Even Luck had horse racing and Treme had jazz.)

 

Hollywood Reporter:

 

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/hbos-leftovers-tv-review-714910

 

But getting the balance right in The Leftovers will be the key to its success. I felt less enamored with scattered hints that something bigger and possibly paranormal was in play, and more intrigued with normal human reactions to an epically complex event. If Lindelof and Perrotta can somehow strike a balance of the human, emotional fallout while also delving into an explanation of the oddities involved in "the sudden departure," then The Leftovers could be one of the more riveting new series. And it would be nice for the series to be recognized for such an achievement, rather than being a show people watch to see if Lindelof can rectify Lost.
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I watched the first two episodes and I really don't get the show.

I get that the Rapture is suppose to have happened and everyone is so bummed out about

all the people that have left.  What I don't get is that "All the people that have left" is only 2% of the population.

2% is not even scientificiy significant.   I graduated from HS with a class of 500 people.  If we lost 2% of the graduating class, that would only

be 10 people missing.   I am not sure that would even be noticed.

That just seems like a very small number of people to disappear and cause the world to fall  into apathy and chaos.

 

And don't get me started on the fact that 2% seems like a very low number of people to be "Saved" and vanish in the Rapture..

Just seems like an unsteady foundation on which to base a series.  Just one guys opinion.

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2% is statistically significant for sure.  And also if one of those 10 people from your graduating class were the most important person in your life then obviously it would be devastating.  

 

Not to defend the show, really, which I think is stupid.  But it worked in the book.

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What show are they watching?

 

I'm mystified. Truly. 

 

I guess HBO doesn't have the same demands as other networks, but within the context of HBO shows, this is far far subpar. And I'm not "Game of Thrones is the best show evar either." 

 

I don't this is even a decent cable summer show. Halt and Catch Fire was better than this, and that show wasn't *that* good. 

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I think the fact that True Blood, Newsroom, and Boardwalk Empire are all ending this year had more to do with this show getting renewed than anything else. To be fair though while the ratings aren't great, they aren't exactly horrible either.

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I guess HBO doesn't have the same demands as other networks, but within the context of HBO shows, this is far far subpar

Not only is the writing terrible, but the cinematography on this show is equally awful considering it's on HBO. There is nothing about this show (besides the cursing and nudity) that would be out of place in a low-budget Lifetime movie. I will finish out hate-watching this season but won't be watching again.

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I wouldn't go that far! The summer shows I'm watching are Masters of Sex, Falling Skies, Halt and Catch Fire, Tyrant, the Bridge, and Outlander. In terms of production values, yes, I think Leftovers is the bottom of the list. And Falling Skies is a crappy show to be sure. At the least they're both the same. 

 

This show should be at the level of Tyrant and the Bridge at the least. It should be up there with MOS and Outlander since they're all on pay channels and presumably have a bigger budget. Not that I expect sweeping landscapes and all that. But it's fair to expect close to movie quality from these shows. 

 

We're making a lot of comparisons to Lost, but even that was shot well, the sets were very cool and like part of the story. This is like, hey we found a spot in the woods, put the fridge over there. Like they took about 10 minutes to location scout. I suppose that the off-putting look might have been deliberate, but then you look at something like the slo-mo arresting of Crazy Dad and it looks stupid. 

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The Deadline quote above is truncated. From http://screencrush.com/the-leftovers-season-2-renewal-renewed-2015/ (emphasis added):

We are thrilled to bring back ‘The Leftovers’ for a second season with the exceptional talents of Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta. It has been truly exciting to see the overwhelming response to their provocative and original storytelling. We look forward to continuing the journey as the show delves deeper into the lives of those who remain.

"The Leftovers" is about those who remain—not why the others left.

There's an "All Episodes Talk" topic for those who aren't posting media links.

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The Leftovers isn't really a show about how 2 percent of the world's population disappeared, or about living through grief. It's not about post-traumatic stress disorder, or even the mysteries at the center of its conceit, really. No, The Leftovers is a show about depression. And it might be the best show on that topic in television history.

 

 

So much this! And this is exactly why I don't care about the 'whys' and 'hows' of the show. It's like Rygel once said in Farscape, "what does it matter how they did it? It's done." That's how I approach this show, the story isn't the disappearances, it's those left behind. Hence the name of the show. It's about seeing how those people cope, and how they've been scarred by what happened, in different ways.

 

In the ninth episode of its first season, The Leftovers finally depicts the moment that gives the show its title, when 2 percent of the world's population simply vanished in the blink of an eye. Kids at a school science fair stand in a circle, building a circuit to power a light. The camera holds on the smiling face of Tommy Garvey (Chris Zylka), clearly having a great time. The light glows subtly on his face, highlighting his smile.

 

And then it goes out, something we only see as shadows suddenly cross his face. His expression darkens, too, the smile drifting toward confusion. One of the children in the circle has been taken, breaking the circuit, and no one will ever find out what happened to them.

Some might criticize this sequence for not directly depicting the moment of departure. Some might suggest the show is looking away from its central horror, the unanswerable that drives all of the characters endlessly. But in baldly metaphorical terms, The Leftovers is depicting that central horror. It's showing light turning to dark in an instant, people who thought they knew their universe being rocked.

 

I really like this interpretation. It's a show about loss, so why focus on those who have been lost, rather than those who have lost? Which is why I hope the departed never, ever show up, after being off on some mysterious island or in comas or something. They're gone, that's it. There's the bleakness, for you. There is no hope of getting them back, so how do you deal with that?

 

I also agree that the show is not too bleak, because it's managed to instill in me a desire to see some of the characters actually get better, and find some happiness. If it was too bleak, I don't think I'd care about any of them enough to want that. Yes, I've been frustrated that Kevin and Jill don't ever talk to each other, when it seems like more communication could really help their relationship, but as this article points out, they're probably sharing that frustration, but just can't bring themselves to do it.

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Rolling Stone had a nice recap of the finale.

 

I particularly liked this bit, which will hopefully explain to some people that it wasn't significant that Nora found a baby, but that she found something:

 

This, then, is the message of The Leftovers, revealed in the final minute of the final episode of the season. Pain, loss, grief, failure, shame: these things are real, and the damage they do is lasting and debilitating. There is no God capable of communicating to us, giving us a reason to endure. There's no particularly compelling reason to do so at all, for many of us. But some of us get lucky — first to stumble across someone or something worth caring about, and second to have the strength left to do the caring. Those lucky few can turn that connection into a reason to go on. The choice is up to them.

 

Also, here's a pretty good article on Carrie C***, and I have to agree with one review that said it was hard to watch the scene where she finds her family, because I find it hard to even look at that screenshot. So much pain.

Edited by Danny Franks
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There's been talk of tropes in the S01.E10: The Prodigal Son Returns thread:

  • Childless Nora finds a motherless child—and voila! New family!
  • The perfectly rectangle hole that Matt and Kevin dug for Patty's body
  • Kevin's midlife crisis
  • Christine's role as a womb with a protector

 

But the TV Tropes Leftovers page has at least 66 more, including:

Badass Grandpa: The elder Garvey is a muscular old man and a former police chief. He's still considered very dangerous at his age and even beats up a younger police officer.

 

Beard of Sorrow: Kevin, who is suffering from a broken family, always has about a week's worth of Perma Stubble in spite of being a police officer. He apparently gets away with it because he's the Chief.

 

Big Screwed-Up Family: Garvey's father is crazy, his wife is in a cult, his son is off the grid with another cult, and he's raising his Bratty Teenage Daughter alone.

 

Offscreen Villain Dark Matter: The Guilty Remnant devotes all its resources to their goal of reminding people of the Great Departure, yet are somehow able to bankroll their nationwide operations with little to no trouble.

 

Shoo Out the Clowns: The Frost twins, often used to provide some comic relief, are absent from the last few episodes. Aimee, too, after a fight with Jill.

 

Wild Teen Party: Jill attends a wild teen party in the pilot featuring pounding club music, flashing colored lights, drinking, drugs, casual sex and even self-mutilation.

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Tropes appear in every show on television. I'm sure most could be analysed and found to contain dozens. For me, tropes aren't really a problem because something only becomes used enough to be a trope if it works. If it didn't, people wouldn't include it in their writing. It's all about execution, and I think The Leftovers generally did a very good job with the writing and the implementation of tropes and clichés.

 

I mean, just look at the TV Tropes site, it has thousands of supposed tropes. So find me a piece of popular writing that doesn't contain any, and I'll be amazed. I mean, jesus, excluding a comedy character from an episode is a trope? I'll bet, 'man walks down a street and then talks to someone' is a trope too.

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Childless Nora finds a motherless child—and voila! New family!

Christine's role as a womb with a protector

 

Some tropes can be handwaved, like Midlife Crisis. That's a legit theme for a show to explore. Maybe not handwaved, but not an indication of a shitty show. Same thing with the beard. Stuff about the GR is legit criticisms because they were essential to the narrative but next to nothing about them was shown/known. Small details can be provided along the way in a deft manner. 

 

These, however, are important because they diminish the female characters. Nora taking up and leaving was a fine way to end her character development. But, no, she found the babeh and now Her Life Has Meaning.

 

Christine was literally nothing but a womb. She even disappeared at the end!

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That was Christine's whole point. Wayne said so himself. The show highlighted that fact, from the start.

 

As for Nora, one of the articles I posted made the point that the nature of the thing Nora found was unimportant to her. What was important was that she found something worth living for. However, the other point is that Jill, the girl searching for a mother after her own was such a disappointment, gets to see an unabashed, unashamed moment of maternal love from a woman to a child she has just met. 

 

It ties directly into the idea that Kevin's wish was to have his family back, but maybe he's getting a new version of what he had (or could have had) before.

 

There was no diminishing of anyone, that I saw. And I kind of hate the idea that portraying a woman as a potential mother is perceived as anti-feminist or 'weak'. Is it weak to be a mother? I think this show highlighted the strength needed to be a parent, whether through Kevin struggling with it all season, through Laurie just abandoning her children or Nora, losing her children and being unable to deal with it.

Edited by Danny Franks
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[H]ere's a pretty good article on Carrie C***, and I have to agree with one review that said it was hard to watch the scene where she finds her family, because I find it hard to even look at that screenshot. So much pain.

 

That article is pretty good, and Marlow Stern coined a name for Christine's baby—Lil Wayne!

Between her moment of peace at the table and finding the baby, which we’ll call Lil Wayne, it seems like Holy Wayne’s hug actually did have healing powers when it came to Nora.

 

Yeah, Lil Wayne! I think that’s going to be a very popular joke. [Laughs] I think I have to turn that question back on you, and the viewers of the show. That’s what good art does—it provokes you to ask questions like that.

 

Some viewers seem downright angry that this show doesn't spell every little thing out, but I, for one, enjoy the ambiguity.

 

And given the turn this thread has taken, I must quote this:

[T]he great thing about the character of Nora Durst is that she, unlike so many female characters on film and television, isn’t just there to service the men’s storylines and prop them up and propel them forward.

(Bolded because it's from a question, not a response by Carrie C***. But it's also emphasis-worthy.)

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And another really good article

 

As someone who is an avowed atheist, with little interest in the contents of the Bible, this one really shone a light for me on the Book of Job, and how the parallels can be drawn with both the character of Kevin Garvey, and the show as a whole.

 

On one level, we see all of Kevin's suffering, and don't understand the reasons for it any more than he does (as many of you pointed out, but I didn't really pick up). Is he crazy? Is he being tested? Is this all some cosmic, divine joke? Doesn't matter. It happened because it happened. And then on another level, the 'whys' don't matter to the show as a whole. It's not about 'why', and there is no answer to the question. You just have to deal with what comes, as best you can.

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"The Leftovers: Why It’s Cool to Love HBO’s Uncool Show" (Vanity Fair):

  • The premise of the show is just cool. …
  • Justin Theroux plays a sympathetic everyman (with ridiculous abs) surrounded on all sides by spiraling, malevolent insanity. …
  • Carrie C*** plays a bad-ass worth rooting for. …

 

Listen, I could list a few dozen things wrong with The Leftovers. Breaking Bad or The Sopranos it ain’t. It’s arguably not even as good as The Knick, whose seeping blood stain is slowly drawing new eyeballs to HBO’s sometimes slutty sister, Cinemax. But I like enough of the people in fictional Mapleton, New York, and I’m intrigued enough by their predicament, to stick around.

 

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The Australian's review of Episode 1 has an interesting tidbit, but then again it misspells the author's name:

The show’s premise is obviously suggestive of rapture theology, the belief that a period of tribulation will occur before the return of Jesus. Perrott says that while he isn’t religious, he found himself thinking about the rapture not as a theological concept but as a powerful metaphor for getting older, for living with loss and mystery.

 

A metaphor for getting older? Kevin's mid-life crisis started more than three years ago, and Kevin Sr. has been put out to pasture. What else? Is Nora experiencing empty nest syndrome?

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The pilot was nominated for a Writers Guild Award in the "long form adapted" category. The other nominees are Houdini, Klondike, The Normal Heart, and Olive Kitteridge.

“Pilot” (The Leftovers), Teleplay by Damon Lindelof & Tom Perrotta, Based on the book by Tom Perrotta; HBO

Edited by editorgrrl
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This casting call for The Leftovers indicates they will start filming in Austin Texas on April 27. It advertises for babies of color, so I guess they are continuing the Holy Wayne story--or at least the story of his progeny.

 

I hope not. That was the plot I was least interested in.

Edited by xaxat
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(edited)

Well I'm in - filming on Tuesday.  Should I put how they want me to dress in the spoiler thread?

 

Just check that would not be breaking any confidentiality thing.  We wouldn't want you to get in trouble on our account.  And I suppose if the way they want you to dress might reveal something, then it should be in the spoiler thread.  So exciting!

 

Edited because grammar is important to me

Edited by WearyTraveler
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Ha!  I just got home after 12 long hours.  They're very insistent on confidentiality, no pictures on the set, and I can't mention what we filmed.  :(  Also the casting call says "No smoking on set" which I thought was funny.

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Ha!  I just got home after 12 long hours.  They're very insistent on confidentiality, no pictures on the set, and I can't mention what we filmed.  :(  Also the casting call says "No smoking on set" which I thought was funny.

Was it at least worth it to you?

Maybe keep a journal for later when it's okay to share?

Back in the 90s a Roswell (I think?) extra did that. It was cool to get the insights even after the show had aired.

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Ha!  I just got home after 12 long hours.  They're very insistent on confidentiality, no pictures on the set, and I can't mention what we filmed.  :(  Also the casting call says "No smoking on set" which I thought was funny.

 

haha I always thought it must be horrendous to shoot all those indoors scenes with the GR chain smoking! Let alone that they had to shoot every scene many times.

I guess they don't give them real cigarettes?

Do we know when season 2 is gonna start airing? I'm really looking forward to it. Having Justin Theroux brooding on my screen equals a good day no matter what.

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Do we know when season 2 is gonna start airing? I'm really looking forward to it. Having Justin Theroux brooding on my screen equals a good day no matter what.

 

From May 22: Damon Lindelof Explains How 'The Wire' Season 2 Inspired 'The Leftovers' Second Season Shakeup

There's no exact launch date for the new season of "The Leftovers," but filming is underway, and [executive producer Damon] Lindelof says it should arrive this fall.
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October 4 return date: https://pmctvline2.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/fallcalendar2015r10.jpg

After being somewhat(?!) disappointed by season 2 of True Detective, I hope this isn't the same.

While The Leftovers doesn't have an entirely new cast, they are going to a new location.

On the hopeful side, everything is better with Regina King:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3955000/fullcredits?ref_=tt_cl_sm#cast

Season 2 trailer:

https://youtube.com/watch?v=z003JWfXpiY

Edited by shapeshifter
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After being somewhat(?!) disappointed by season 2 of True Detective, I hope this isn't the same.

While The Leftovers doesn't have an entirely new cast, they are going to a new location.

I think season one used up most of the book, so a reboot could be interesting. I was wondering how they'd explain the move from upstate New York to Texas. From the trailer, it looks like Rev. Matt was the catalyst.

Speaking of True Detective, they should cast James Frain.

Edited by editorgrrl
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