Archive for the ‘The Leftovers’ Category

How many?

How many?

The last month and a half has been a particularly busy one for me, and as a result, I’ve fallen behind in my reviews of all the shows I’ve been covering, save for The Walking Dead. This happens about three times a year (the nature of teaching at a semester-based college – is there any other kind?), and while I’ve usually been able to catch up, some semesters take longer than others (in fact, as I was going through my notes this morning, I realized that I haven’t actually written up a review for one episode of Game of Thrones from last season – talk about overdue!). The good news (for me) is that I’ve been mostly keeping up on the viewing – it’s just the actual writing that needs to be done.

Just a few notes to help me catch up...

Just a few notes to help me catch up…

Over the next month or so, I’m going to be doing my best to catch up on my reviews, one show at a time, until I’m back up-to-date on all counts. This will mean that there will be “new” reviews being posted that are actually of old shows. You’re welcome to read them, but I understand if you don’t – they’re there more or less because I want to have complete seasons posted for when, eventually, I begin to archive posts on this blog.

So please bear with me for a bit longer – I will be catching up on all the shows I review. I’ll be beginning with Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which is having a strong second season so far; doing Z Nation next, which is a show I love to hate; following that with Forever which, while not as strong as Agents, is still a fun little procedural with a twist; moving on to Gotham, which has been getting progressively better as it grows; and finishing off with old reviews from the summer that I simply never got to (for The Leftovers and The Last Ship). I’ve also been taking notes on Constantine, as I had high hopes for it – unfortunately, it’s never quite lived up to those hopes, and looks as though it might be cancelled shortly – I may or may not get to those notes last.

And as always: thanks for reading!

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This is just a quick note to let anyone who is looking for these reviews know that they’ll be up in the next two days – I’m in the midst of mid-term essay grading, and work must needs come first! Come back later tonight or Tuesday (or apparently Thursday or Friday…) for my take on this weekend’s episodes.

The Leftovers Splash

Episode: 102
Airdate: July 6, 2014
Directed by: Peter Berg
Showrunner: Damon Lindelof
Written by: Damon Lindelof (creator), Tom Perrotta (creator)

Last week’s premiere episode of The Leftovers introduced us to several different storylines, following people in and from the fictional small town of Mapleton, New York. There were a lot of characters, a lot of stories, and while this meant that things were at times a little disjointed, the upside for the show seems quite high. Lindelof and Perrotta set up several mysteries that will likely be full ten-episode arcs, as well as giving the audience some smaller-scale arcs in order to give some sense of resolution, even in the first episode. Taking a look at the Promo videos released by HBO this week, it appears that we’re going to see some further development from characters already become familiar, and a few that we’ve only had glimpses of so far. Click through for the promo videos and my thoughts on what we have coming up.

<<Spoiler Warning: This Sneak Peek of The Leftovers Season 1, Episode 2 “Penguin One, Us Zero” includes promotional material from HBO, and will speculate on future events.>>

The Leftovers Splash

Episode: 101
Airdate: June 29, 2014
Directed by: Peter Berg
Showrunner: Damon Lindelof
Written by: Tom Perrotta (based on the novel by), Damon Lindelof (written for television by), Tom Perrotta (written for television by)

It was with a fair degree of anticipation that I sat down tonight to watch the premiere episode of The Leftovers. Despite a name that sounds a lot like my mother’s meatloaf (love ya mom!), the fact that this is Damon Lindelof’s return to television is kind of a big deal – I’d give the show a chance even if he named it Lost. In some sense, this show is really a companion for his first show – on that one, we dealt with those that were lost – here, we follow those that are left behind. Different perspectives, different stories. And overall, a decent opening to HBO’s new summer series.

<<Spoiler Alert: This review of The Leftovers Season 1, Episode 1 “Pilot” will include minor spoilers and plot points. Warning for language.>>

The Leftovers Series Poster

At A Glance:

Title: The Leftovers
Premiere: June 29, 2014
Channel: HBO 10PM EST/PST, 9PM CST
Production Company: Warner Bros. Television
Showrunner: Damon Lindelof
Executive Producers: Damon Lindelof, Tom Perrota, Ron Yerxa, Albert Berger, Peter Berg, Mimi Leder (co-executive producer – 4 episodes), Sarah Aubrey (2 episodes)
Producers: Nan Bernstein Freed (4 episodes), John Blair (co-producer – 4 episodes)
Writers: Tom Perrota (based on the novel by), Tom Perrota (written for television by), Damon Lindelof (written for television by), Curtis Gwinn (written for television by, 1 episode), Jacqueline Hoyt (written for television by, 1 episode), Kath Lingenfelter (written for television by, 1 episode), Carlito Rodriguez (written for television by, 1 episode)
Starring: Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman, Christopher Eccleston, Liv Tyler, Michael Gaston

The Leftovers is a new series premiering on HBO this coming Sunday, June 29th. It’s premise will be familiar to people who have read Tim Lahaye and Jerry B. Jenkins’s Left Behind series, or seen the movies made from it. Then again, the story should be familiar to anyone who attended Sunday School when they were growing up. In a nutshell, it’s about the biblical Rapture, the sudden uplifting of the chosen to heaven preceding the seven year reign of the Antichrist on Earth, leading up to Judgement Day. One day, two percent of the world’s population suddenly disappears. There is no explanation (beyond the mystical), no understanding – they’re simply there, and then they’re gone. The Leftovers deals with the fallout of this event for those that are left behind. Dealing with loss and grief is hard enough when you know what happened to your loved ones; how do we react when everyone’s lost someone, and no one knows why?