The Leftovers

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Quentin, Jun 29, 2014.

  1. James_Kiang

    James_Kiang Screenwriter

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    One thing bothered me with this episode. The reverend goes to the GR and starts speaking to them about Gladys. Laurie then goes outside and starts blowing her whistle, basically saying they are under attack. She could not tolerate the minister, his message, or that it was not in line with the GR system. But that is exactly what they do!

    I've only watched the first episode and last night's. The show for various reasons doesn't do much to make me interested in closely following it. However, I do think people who are getting turned off because the mystery of what happened hasn't been/may not be revealed are missing the point. These characters - unlikeable as many of them may be - and what happens to them after the disappearance is the point of the show, not the hows and whys of that event. All IMHO of course.
     
  2. joshEH

    joshEH Producer

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    So who will lead Kabletown/NBC's Division of Microwave Oven Programming, Television - Scripted Reality, and Cult Activity now??

    LOL. I was hoping Preacher Matt would have gone all DMC Fuck You-No FUCK YOU on the whistling lady, busted out his own whistle, and blew it into his megaphone/speaker rig. They can dish it out, but sure as hell can't take it when people come right to their own front doorstep.

    That opening scene was just too brutal; had me wondering if it was actually deserved. No, GR are still dicks.

    When the wife was having her breakdown and Meg was speaking to the river, I had an oddly-specific flash of Geiss getting skull-crushed by the rocks -- it made me wonder if maybe the GR perpetrated the entire event themselves in order to paint their group as victims; to give them a card to play as they continue to harass the other people in the town.
     
  3. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    I thought that was one of the best portrayals of violence on television in a long time. In the last decade or so, television has gotten a lot more violent, but in a way that allows the audience to detach from the violence. The more violence we see, the more desensitized we become, and therefore the more violent the next violent scene has to be to have the desired effect.

    This wasn't the most brutal attack we've seen on television in recent years, but the way Mimi Leder shot it and the way the show played out the aftermath, there was no distance between the audience and the attack. Everything was shown from the victim's point of view, and the the perspective was unrelenting. We see Gladys take her licks until she can't any more, and then ultimately we see the violence strip from her the last thing she had to hold onto. The perpetrators make her speak, and then they kill her anyway.

    It was sickening and grotesque and horrible and one of the most responsible portrayals of violence I've seen on TV in a long, long time.

    At this point, the one thing the show could do to drive me off is corrupt Reverend Matt. He's not a perfect human being by any means, but he's essential to the show: he's the one saying, we're still alive, we're still human, and we need to be our best selves. The scene at the end was a slap in the face to Matt, but he still achieved an emotional reaction. In that moment, Laurie wasn't dead. He brought her back to life, even if only to spite him.

    One of HBO's big notes on this show was to make the chief more of an anti-hero. I wish they hadn't. I'm far more interested in the guy who's sitting on that bed telling his daughter her parents are getting a divorce than I am in the drunken dick who threatens the guy at the laundromat into giving him eight of other people's white shirts.
     
  4. joshEH

    joshEH Producer

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    Those were Kevin's shirts -- you get a brief flash of the police-patch on the front pocket as the guy throws the shirts at him.

    Did anyone catch the brand of Garvey's beer? Perhaps a Breaking Bad reference? Schraderbräu, Heisenbräu. (Or maybe I'm overthinking it.)

    Anyway, I find the show quite compelling. While I like the cult-stuff, I also kinda like watching Chief Garvey getting fucked with each week.
     
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  5. doug zdanivsky

    doug zdanivsky Supporting Actor

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    Agreed.. I'm probably not alone in having entertained thoughts about laying the boots to those annoying cult members, but that scene instantly stripped that delusion bare..
     
  6. Sean Bryan

    Sean Bryan Sean Bryan
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    Yep, like most characters in the show and most viewers, I despise the GR. I hate their chain smoking, mopey, stalker faces. I feel like if I were confronted with them I'd throttle them, and I don't even understand what they are really trying to prove. The first moment when they grabbed her I kind of felt like, "Yes, rough that a-hole up a bit", and then when it became what it became I wanted nothing more than for them to stop. It was horrific. I actually welled up at the sad brutality of that murder and her last moments. The whole episode had a strong feeling of ... despair, I think. And yeah, Rev Matt is definitely my favorite character.
     
  7. Quentin

    Quentin Cinematographer

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    I think it was like Heisenbraufrau Lite. LOL.

    Rev Matt is my favorite as well. I'm not a devoted religious person or anything...but, I do find him to be the strongest, most responsibly and faithfully portrayed version of a Christian on TV. I too hope he remains a solid rock.

    I hate the GR...but, I was fascinated at the brutal portrayal of violence to start the show, followed by some pretty intense reactions and emotions in the wake of the attack, to the AFTEC (LOL again! - Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco, Explosives, and Cults!) basically disposing of the bodies in the most de-humanizing way possible. Cults are a disease to them - something to be stomped out and given no more thought. I don't know if I wouldn't be on that side of things in a world like this...but, the portrayal in this episode was fascinating.

    I LIKE that the Chief is the guy hurting so bad and wanting to reach his daughter and also the drunken dick who scared the shit out of the dry cleaner. First, don't fucking dismiss me you PitA dry cleaner! Look for my shirts! Second, both of these moments scream HUMAN to me. This guy is flawed, but he is trying. What else can you do in a world gone mad?
     
  8. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    I also really liked that when they brought the chief to that place where he finally said "I love you" to his daughter, she said it back. There's a lot of anger and resentment in that relationship, but in that moment you see that she really doesn't blame her father for what's happened. In a world where all of the social bonds are shattering in these various ways, you cling to the threads that are holding tight.
     
  9. Josh Dial

    Josh Dial Cinematographer

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    The show is the saddest 1-hour of great television you'll watch in a week.
     
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  10. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    It's a real brand called Yuengling Lager. I think it's only available in the northeast part of the country and is very popular here.
     
  11. joshEH

    joshEH Producer

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    There is a pretty cool "conspiracy theory" out there that, post-Waco, there's a secret, much harsher government protocol now in place in order to deal with cults. And by "much harsher," I mean, "Make them dead before they get big."

    There's quite a bit going on in the background of this show. For example, what does it say about a government, post-Event, that adds the letter "C" to the acronym for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, Explosives, and Cults?

    What does it say about a world where Dog-Gunner and the ATFEC-agent casually discuss killing for the sake of convenience? The sheer number of dead cultists in the warehouse at the end, even if not all done in by BATFEC skulduggery, is large enough to make you wonder at the true state of the world.

    Granted, some critics will say that the questions raised don't seem to have answers, but I think that whole attitude is couched with some Lost-ending angst, perhaps.
     
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  12. Quentin

    Quentin Cinematographer

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    This is a world where tomorrow may never come. No one knows how/where/when or why the end may come, but it may be tomorrow and no one can explain the why of it.

    In a world where there may be no tomorrow, today becomes irrelevant. There are no consequences to your actions and no foundation to build upon. That's why we have kids playing bizarre spin the phone games where they fuck or choke each other - no consequences. It's why government institutions are eliminating whole groups - no consequences. When no one cares anymore, society teeters on collapse. And, this world is certainly there. The only people hanging on are doing so in very weird ways: the chief is pretty near breaking, his daughter is an emotional wreck, the preacher is holding desperately to his faith looking for a sign, the mayor is holding onto her love for an insane man, Nora has given up - all she does is attempt to fuck with things knowing they can't fuck with her back, and Dean is hunting dogs - the only tether to reality he has.

    And, the GR? They are a cult, led by some pretty radically crazy people who have (IMO) gone bye-bye. They steal pictures from people? They kill their own? (Dean says "how do we know they didn't do this to themselves?" and Rev Matt says "killing them doesn't matter - they already consider themselves dead." - and Laurie clearly has a panic attack when she flashes on the murder - the only way she can know about that moment is if she was there. I don't think this was coincidence or artistic flare. I believe she and the GR killed Gladys. Motive unknown.)
     
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  13. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    Beyond the realistic portrayal of violence, having her speak humanized a character who was basically a faceless 'villain' and that made it even tougher to watch.

    I just caught the last 15 minutes of the episode again at a friend's house and I totally missed the case of Heisenbrau the first time around. I thought you were talking about the beer he was drinking in the car and his house (which was the real beer I was talking about before). I'd say there's a pretty good chance that the Heisenbrau is a Breaking Bad reference.
     
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  14. doug zdanivsky

    doug zdanivsky Supporting Actor

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    !!!

    But no.. Couldn't be.. Could it?

    Wouldn't take a huge amount of imagination to visualize how she was killed..
     
  15. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    It's pretty clear that the ATFEC is operating under different marching orders than the real-life ATF. What happened at Holy Wayne's compound is a pretty clear indication of that, since the feds didn't even give Wayne and his groupies a chance to surrender.
     
  16. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Producer

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    I'm still watching, but it is a pretty frustrating show to watch since it seems to lack a tangible plot. I've enjoyed some of the performances (especially Eccleston) but without a framework and a sense of narrative it does seem kind of pointless, as if the producers of the show are their own version of the GR. It appears to be using the characters and situations to provide an allegorical examination of religion, specifically Christianity - but without the sort of coherence that might make for a more engaging television experience.

    Given the show's potential I'll probably stick with it for the season; but it isn't necessarily something I relish at this point.

    - Walter.
     
  17. joshEH

    joshEH Producer

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    I kept waiting for Nora to ask herself if she was Kevin Finnerty, or to get attacked by some Buddhists.

    These standalone eps are aces. A nice little piece of world-building. I think some of it was a tad outrageous; I love the idea of smarmy salesmen selling replica bodies to people who lost family members so that they can bury something for closure (and that fake commercial was great), but it seems like three years out, most of this should be wrapped up.

    Then again, folks seem to have a really tough time moving on, which seems to be the thematic through-line here, so whatever. I really enjoyed this one. Plus, a Tom Noonan sighting!

    (Also, the Slayer covering up the sound of gunfire was perfect -- I once heard about someone using that song to mask the sounds of masturbation back in the '80s. Heard...er...um...just heard about it.)
     
  18. joshEH

    joshEH Producer

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    Also-also:

    Someone else just pointed out that Lost's "spiritual" final episode was #121.
     
  19. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    It's the summer so it's a smaller pool but this is the best thing on TV right now. I just hope that it gets renewed.

    Well, who doesn't get turned on by Angel Of Death?
     
  20. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    Last night's episode should bag Carrie Coon an Emmy nomination next year. Is Holy Wayne still a nut if he's juju actually works?
     

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