Monday, September 29, 2014

Currently Watching: The Leftovers

After watching the entire first season of this show, I must admit that I am clueless as to what it is entirely about. I get that the plot is to figure out why a significant percentage of the world's population disappeared suddenly, but after watching ten episodes, there is barely a hint towards a reason. It is beyond frustrating, but yet I've still watched every episode with the hope of finding out something. I see the potential brilliance in this show, so I have not given up on it.

The mystery as to what happened has a strong enough pull to keep an audience coming back for answers week after week. It's grim, gory at times and teeters on the cusp of suspense. The script is carefully written, as not to compromise whatever secret it is hiding between its lines.

The story centers around a small suburb in upstate New York, three years after the sudden mass exodus. Justin Theroux is the main character in this series. He becomes acting sheriff after his dad (Scott Glenn) seemed to have had a psychotic break during the exact moment of the reaping.

After each episode, I was left feeling uneasy. I don't know if that makes a show great or terrible, and I think that's why I watched every episode. What I do love about this show is that it investigates the different ways in which humanity deals with loss.

There is a chain smoking, non verbal, all white wearing cult that forms right afterwards. They are called the "GR," or the "Guilty Remnant." They recruit vulnerable victims who cannot get over the trauma of what happened. Some people are drawn to them, and willingly give up their lives to live a minimized shell of a version of their life sans their remaining relatives. There is also a creepy man that keeps a harem of under aged Asian girls (unbeknownst to the young ladies). He's not portrayed as a good character, but he has the ability to hug away people's pain so that they may go on living without the burden of guilt. I know. Weird. I don't get it either.

Because the people that were taken weren't of any particular demographic (at least not revealed yet), has me picking my brain as to what this show is really all about. Were these people actually taken? Or are the people that are still around actually the ones that were taken? I ask these questions because the co-producer of this series is David Lindelof. David co-created the series Lost. We all remember Lost. It was a wonderful show with so many twists and turns (Minus the final episode. What was that? Who does that?) that left you on the edge of your seat. The Leftovers definitely has its moments. The cinematography is memorable at times, and the acting across the board is patient and constantly intense. I think that it was the intention of the first season to keep the viewer guessing so that we can empathize with the characters frustration. We don't know what's going on, and neither do they. The leftovers keep you on the same page, and if you're into slow torture, then I recommend you find the time to watch this HBO series.

Link to the trailer:

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