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The Leftovers


We all wander aimlessly through the world of channels; searching for something more than a quick fix to our ever growing boredom. Settling becomes an option in the summer as each network offers their own “summer reading”. To watch or not to watch, is the question that hangs over our burdensome shoulders but our desire to be enraptured by a story or character remains the same. For one hour a week, we are all united into something greater than our individual selves. We are given the opportunity to leave our own problems on the couch and to jump into a story that will leave us fuller than before turning on the tube or emptier than the day after the Lost finale.


My favorite shows are done for the year and my time of mourning has ended. My standards for summer network television are lower than those of the women on Mistresses. I don’t expect much but something to carry me through to the Fall, that’s all I ask. Placing myself under a dome of denial, thinking that any summer television would gain my attention, let alone my respect. As with everything else in the hot season, networks are just trying to give us a mental and emotional break from the tedious analyzing we do during the year.

My husband and I watch Game of Thrones. Every week, before the episode, there was a trailer for a new HBO show called The Leftovers. It’s enticing preview revealed several social vulnerabilities that are exposed after 2% of the world’s population has mysteriously disappeared. “It’s the apocalypse!” We all think to ourselves as we are mentally planning to tune in every Sunday night. At this rate, we don’t care if it’s actually the Bermuda triangle making everyone disappear. There are people wearing all white, holding controversial signs and we need to know about it. We need something to be pissed about but also sickly dependent upon.

I have watched the first 2 episodes and of course, there are questions. Questions I’m not sure that will be answered but even if that’s so, we all have been trained to create our own conclusions anyway. It doesn’t seem that the reason for the disappearance is due to the world ending in any form. Or that God decided to take His chosen ones, since it is made clear that some of the people who disappeared are “not good people”. Curious. Very curious. The setting is 3 years after the disappearance, or what the locals call “Heroes Day”. We are mercilessly pulled into baggage of characters we know nothing about except that Heroes Day ruined a lot of lives. There are dream sequences and faster than The Flash flash backs. Only 2 episodes in and I already have a mental sequencing wall, draped with images and words that will hopefully lead me to Carcosa a.k.a answers to Heroes Day.

Numb teenagers recklessly offering their bodies up to the gods of sexual pleasure and mischievious escapades, cults with an Asian persuasion, demon dogs, and a battered police chief who just wants his family back together also are included in the 1 hour time slot. We don’t know who to trust or where to turn. ┬áThe tension between certain characters makes surrendering myself to hours of cutting down a tree with hands full of blisters seem more appealing. This world that is left after Heroes Day is an open wound of emotional horrors and we aren’t sure if we want it to be cleaned and sewn up or left open to fester and decay. I feel like one of the disappeared, on the outside looking in, begging for emotional break through that will never come.

Like any show, I try to stick it out for the first season. Letting a show catch its grip can be very rewarding in the end. If the show’s purpose is to make the audience feel real, raw emotion then the mission is accomplished. But I have a feeling it’s going much further than that. Will this show be a surprising, new creation that needs a little time to warm up? Or will it mold in the fridge for far too long and what’s left is nothing close to how it started?

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