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The Leftovers


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#1 of 146 OFFLINE   Quentin

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Posted June 29 2014 - 07:59 PM

I can honestly say I've never seen anything quite like this new series.

 

A spectacular pilot directed by Peter Berg.  I can't imagine what society would be like after something so inexplicable, but boy does this show seem to capture the feelings.  I was confused and moved by the episode.

 

I have no idea what's going on with these two cults - Wayne's cult of personality, and the white wearing, no talking weirdos.

 

I will say I thought the Chief's family had lost their mother, so to find that she had joined the cult was a real twist.  I'm not sure I want the answers to any questions raised here...but, one thing's for certain: I'll be watching.



#2 of 146 OFFLINE   classicmovieguy

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Posted June 29 2014 - 08:03 PM

For a minute I thought you were talking about the old-school 80's Disney Channel film starring Cindy Williams and John Denver ;)

 

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#3 of 146 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted June 30 2014 - 10:15 AM

Episode 1 is up for free. I missed the first 20 minutes last night (I have it DVRed tho) and the second half is quite compelling. I just hope the religion vs. science stuff is handled in a cool way. The Pope vs. Gary Busey indeed!

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#4 of 146 OFFLINE   joshEH

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Posted June 30 2014 - 05:00 PM

I thought it was pretty good. I'm probably in for the duration.

 

What's up with Peter Berg and his little cameos, huh? "Hey everybody, it's me, Peter Berg! *I* made this!"

 

Justin Theroux is a good actor. However, the part where he was staring at himself in the mirror, doing the trademarked "Justin Theroux"-look of one eyebrow cocked, eyes bugging out with twitchy energy, and center peak of hair ever-pointing forward as if trying to escape his forehead, I started cracking up.

 

I skimmed a few reviews of the book; apparently the main family being in despair even though they didn't directly lose anyone to the Rapture is part of the point? We'll see if they manage to convey that down the line.

 

(The iPhone game was hilarious. "So, you gonna choke me, or what??")


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#5 of 146 OFFLINE   Scott Hanson

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Posted July 01 2014 - 06:19 AM

I'm not sure how I felt about the pilot.  Some of it was good.  Some not so much.  Definitely had a "Stephen King" feel to it.  Unfortunately it also had kind of a "networky" feel to it and I had to constantly remind myself it was HBO.

 

I'm in it at least for the next few, but I didn't like the weird white-wearing mute-except-when-we-accept-a-new-member cult.  I'm willing to see where that goes but I thought the story was more interesting without them.



#6 of 146 OFFLINE   Quentin

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Posted July 01 2014 - 08:11 AM

 

I skimmed a few reviews of the book; apparently the main family being in despair even though they didn't directly lose anyone to the Rapture is part of the point? We'll see if they manage to convey that down the line.

 

Hmmmm...interesting.  What would that point be, exactly?  Something generally about being thankful for what we have and/or taking for granted what is right in front of us?  As long as the show doesn't try to slap us in the face with any messages or themes like this, I'll be fine.  I'd rather just watch a show that is interested in the emotional fallout of a cataclysm like this and how it changes people and society.  Don't tell me how I can learn a lesson from it.



#7 of 146 OFFLINE   joshEH

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Posted July 01 2014 - 01:27 PM

I don't know what exactly we're considering spoilers for this show, but I'll black it out, since it gets at broad strokes of how the show will go. In interviews, Perotta and Lindelof...

 

Spoiler
 

This feels like the right kind of project for Lindelof. I know he fancies himself a high-minded sci-fi guy, but that's where Lost consistently stumbled.

 

The major story-beats are already mapped out for him, and the central mystery here doesn't seem to beg for a resolution the way Lost's did, so this gives him an opportunity to play to his strengths...which to me (at least from Lost) are character-arcs and relationships.

 

The Leftovers seems to be presenting a scenario in which people must accept that there are no answers, and that they must now move on with their lives from here. Way more excited about this one than I thought I would be.


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#8 of 146 OFFLINE   todd s

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Posted July 04 2014 - 05:26 PM

I have not seen the pilot. But, I know they said 2% of the planet disappeared. While that is still a lot of people. In the micro view..it doesn't seem like a lot. 2 out of 100.

On a side note...I don't think I can get into a show that doesn't explain what happened. I know it's about the results of the rapture...not the cause. But, it would still bother me. Similar to the show "Resurrection" where no explanation was given as to their return.
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#9 of 146 ONLINE   Adam Lenhardt

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Posted July 05 2014 - 10:02 AM

I have not seen the pilot. But, I know they said 2% of the planet disappeared. While that is still a lot of people. In the micro view..it doesn't seem like a lot. 2 out of 100.

It's still well over 143 million people. That being said, I think it's part of the design of the show: substantial enough that just about everyone left would know somebody who vanished, but not so substantial that society collapses and you're telling an out and out post-apocalyptic story.

#10 of 146 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted July 05 2014 - 07:04 PM

Not only post apocalyptic but also right in the wheelhouse of science versus religion as a key drama driver.

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#11 of 146 ONLINE   Adam Lenhardt

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Posted July 06 2014 - 05:59 PM

Thanks for linking to the pilot, Sam. Just watched it.

I'm not a huge fan of Peter Berg generally; Lone Survivor was probably the only thing he'd directed before this that I completely enjoyed. I liked the atmosphere he created for this pilot, though; the sense that this massive loss is still hanging in the air, so that you're talking about it even when you're not talking about it.

Until the twins from "Teen Wolf" were introduced, I didn't think there were any cheerful people left in this world. Certainly father and daughter in the Garvey family carry the brooding quotient to certain extremes. And of course, mother and son in the Garvey family are even more damaged, in their ways.

Justin Theroux is like Kyle Chandler, only a few years younger and a few notches more crazed. Margaret Qualley inherited her mother's beauty, and pairs it with a Thora Birch angsty/emotionally clamped down performance. Amy Brenneman is terrific in a dream role for an actress, one with no dialogue to fall back on. Her performance when her husband came knocking captured a character who obviously still has deep reserves of feeling for her husband, but who is never the less not swayed from her current path. I thought Chris Zylka was the worst actor on "The Secret Circle", not exactly a show remembered for its stellar acting, but I was pleasantly surprised by his performance here. Tom is outwardly much sunnier than his sister, but there a deep reserve of pain just below the surface.

When the crazy preacher turned around at the Heroes Day I was shocked to see it was the Ninth Doctor. Given his work on "The Second Coming", Christopher Eccleston's appearance here seemed particularly appropriate.

I liked that the daughter's best friend recognized that the police chief was trying his best, and let him know it. This being HBO, I hope nothing happens between the two of them.

When Michael Gaston appears on the screen, you automatically expect his character to be an asshole. So the reveal of his true intentions was a nice twist.

Holy Wayne is one creepy dude. I enjoyed the moments of normality in Ann Dowd's performance as the local leader of the Guilty Remnant.
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#12 of 146 OFFLINE   Quentin

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Posted July 07 2014 - 08:39 AM

Episode 2 seems to be a "moving pieces" episode - pushing things a little further toward...well, we don't know what.

 

I continue to really enjoy the Chief and his daughter as the two most interesting characters, but Amy Brenneman as the wife/mom of the Garvey family is a close second.

 

This week's look at her life in the GR and how they slowly groom the new recruits was really interesting.  I'm still not sure what their intentions are.  Maybe THEY don't even fully understand.  But, the approach with Meg certainly seemed to work.  Meg doesn't want to "feel this way anymore", and she seems to have unburdened herself to a certain degree by the end of the episode.  Maybe the GR works on a certain therapeutic level?

 

It certainly seems to be a more organic path to healing as opposed to the 'magic' of Wayne's healing hugs.  Not surprising to find that he's a cult leader who is also a kinky pedophile and manipulative murderer.  But, this storyline still hasn't captured my interest much.

 

I'm way more interested in the Chief - is the dog killer a real person?  I guess he is - his daughter saw him, and the bagels really DID get caught.  Still, our local Chief has a lot to deal with...



#13 of 146 OFFLINE   Greg Kettell

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Posted July 07 2014 - 09:17 AM

 

I'm way more interested in the Chief - is the dog killer a real person?  I guess he is - his daughter saw him, and the bagels really DID get caught.  Still, our local Chief has a lot to deal with...

 

 

Same here - this (and how it ties in with his father) is definitely the most compelling storyline to me.



#14 of 146 OFFLINE   Quentin

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Posted July 07 2014 - 09:46 AM

Same here - this (and how it ties in with his father) is definitely the most compelling storyline to me.

 

The one thing I think the show is really missing is someone he knows and trusts that he can play off of.  Theroux is doing a great job, but it's all internalized performance.  I wish he had at least SOME time to talk to a friend and externalize.  His dad doesn't count.  Michael Gaston's character may end up being that person.  I hope so, because I think he's a great actor!



#15 of 146 OFFLINE   joshEH

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Posted July 07 2014 - 02:56 PM

It certainly seems to be a more organic path to healing as opposed to the 'magic' of Wayne's healing hugs.  Not surprising to find that he's a cult leader who is also a kinky pedophile and manipulative murderer.  But, this storyline still hasn't captured my interest much.

 

 

I wonder if kissing a dead body is magical? Or if Wain is just psychotic. It makes you think every dude who says, "Let's hug it out" is crazy.

 

"Hey, can I kiss you?"

"Over my dead body!"

"Heehee....OK."


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#16 of 146 OFFLINE   Quentin

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Posted July 07 2014 - 03:02 PM

I wonder if kissing a dead body is magical? Or if Wain is just psychotic. It makes you think every dude who says, "Let's hug it out" is crazy.

 

"Hey, can I kiss you?"

"Over my dead body!"

"Heehee....OK."

 

Add freaky Brit accent...



#17 of 146 ONLINE   Adam Lenhardt

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Posted July 07 2014 - 06:33 PM

I continue to really enjoy the Chief and his daughter as the two most interesting characters, but Amy Brenneman as the wife/mom of the Garvey family is a close second.

I like that the show put her in a role where sharing became necessary. Earlier in the episode, the show had posed the question: Does Laurie still consider the police chief her husband? And scrawled in blue pen on a notepad, we get an answer: Yes, she does. But whatever her feelings for her family, however clear or mixed they may be, the effect that the Sudden Departure had on her outweighs those feelings.
 

Not surprising to find that he's a cult leader who is also a kinky pedophile and manipulative murderer.  But, this storyline still hasn't captured my interest much.

The interesting thing is that the show suggests those things, but also suggests that he may be the real deal. Certainly Tom believes that he's the real deal. But at the same time, Tom isn't willing to make use of Holy Wayne's peculiar talents. On some level, he has a deep need to remain himself.
 

I'm way more interested in the Chief - is the dog killer a real person?  I guess he is - his daughter saw him, and the bagels really DID get caught.  Still, our local Chief has a lot to deal with...

Did the daughter really seem him though? Jill and her friend walk right past him without acknowledging him. Only once the police chief directs her to, does Jill take the beer from him. The police chief and the Mystery Man have their conversation, and then Jill comes out and asks who was at the door.

If this is a Fight Club scenario, the police chief could have given Jill the beer himself. Jill and her friend are in the kitchen and hear the police chief talking at the front door. They assume someone must be there, and then Jill asks who it was.
 

The one thing I think the show is really missing is someone he knows and trusts that he can play off of.  Theroux is doing a great job, but it's all internalized performance.  I wish he had at least SOME time to talk to a friend and externalize.

This show is all about internalized performances. Margaret Qualley's performance as the daughter Jill might be the most internalized of all of them. But certainly, everybody we've met so far is keeping it in.

The other interesting thing to me was that the father's schizophrenic hallucinations knew about the Mystery Man. And the father's advice to his son wasn't to trust the voices in his head, but to be wary of them and heed their advice on the down-low.

The show has done a good job of walking the line with the multiple possibly supernatural occurrences. There is one indisputable occurrence beyond human understanding -- the rapture itself -- but everything else is open to multiple interpretations. I hope the show continues to walk that line going forward. I like the idea that other supernatural things could be going on, but that there could also be more mundane explanations.
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#18 of 146 OFFLINE   TonyD

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Posted July 07 2014 - 07:29 PM

Not sure how I feel on the show after one.

I like the concept but if it's going to Be cult Vs cult I won't be interested in that.
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#19 of 146 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted July 07 2014 - 08:39 PM

Good news! No more Peter Berg cameos! (tho they never bothered me)

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#20 of 146 OFFLINE   MarkMel

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Posted July 08 2014 - 05:06 AM

Does anyone know if this is supposed to be a one season and done show? Or, are they supposed to stretch the book out over several seasons?


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