By: ROBERT RISTANEO
The Leftovers is a show that seems to polarize anyone who watches it. Some critics had it as their best show of last year and some did not even put it in their top 10.
Alan Sepinwall of Hitfix.com describes the show:
“Many will hate it. But there will be viewers in whom it strikes a chord so deeply that they will feel themselves overwhelmed by it in the best possible way: not like they’re drowning in the misery, but like it’s teaching them a new way to breathe.”
Robert Lloyd of the Los Angeles Times had a different take.
“Though it is expertly made, with evident commitment and passion and art behind and before the camera, I also found it on the whole frustrating and unsatisfying. … It feels that only half a story, the grim part, is being told.”
Many people, whether they liked it or not, were surprised it did not receive any Emmy nominations. I go back and forth on whether this is something worth watching or recommending to people.
For a quick backstory, this is a show that takes place in a post rapture world where a large population disappeared. Last season was in New York, this season is in Texas with a bigger cast but the same people from the first.
I watched last season like most people, trying to figure out what happened, yet this question was never answered. Show runner Damon Lindelof has already said this is a show about how the people deal with the disappearance and not how they disappeared. Watching this like a typical character drama as opposed to a mystery will make you enjoy it a lot more.
The acting on the show is phenomenal and may be the best part of the series. The performances by Justin Theroux, Carrie Coon, and Regina King are amazing and if the show were to receive any Emmy nominations, it would have to be for the acting of these three. However, the use of Biblical imagery and philosophical metaphors is very heavy-handed and can be a big turn off at times.
Harvard Divinity School grad, Reza Aslan, broke down some of these. According to Aslan, Jarden (the name of the town) translates over to garden. The main story-line revolves around a girl named Eve. Obviously a Garden of Eden reference as Aslan points out. In this town, nobody disappeared and it has been nicknamed Miracle. Episode one, when we find out about this town, is titled Axis Mundi which, after some wikipedia research, is a term used to describe a part of the Earth that connects with Heaven. Is this telling us why nobody disappeared or just something to throw the viewers off.
The show almost has a Lost feel to it and I never really liked Lost as a show but understood why it was so popular. The general sadness of the story can be depressing and every other scene has a much deeper meaning which is trope that can get old fast. We need a couple more episodes to know how good this show will be but it is off to a great start through the first two.
The show airs at 9 p.m., Sunday nights on HBO. You’ll love it or hate it.