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 Post subject: The Leftovers
PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:25 am 
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Anybody else find the pilot of The Leftovers just kind of meh? It all feels like a lot of stuff we've seen before -- big mysterious event affects small community, complications ensue. Shaping up to smell like a big waste of talent with Ann Dowd, Liv Tyler and Justin Theroux among others, all of whom seem wanting for interesting things to do. Not to mention that the writers have somehow weirdly decided that, when it comes to drama,
[Reveal] Spoiler:
two cults are definitely better than one.


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 Post subject: Re: TV of 2014
PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 10:07 pm 
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Critics who've seen a couple additional episodes have been raving, so I'm optimistic.


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 Post subject: Re: TV of 2014
PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 12:39 pm 
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It's going to need to dramatically improve upon the book for it to amount to much.


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 Post subject: Re: TV of 2014
PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:47 am 
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I liked the existential crisis established in the pilot of THE LEFTOVERS which, of course, is simply the way humans cope with loss in real life (the memorial service and the way the missing are referred to as "heroes" worked quite well). However, the second episode dashed whatever good will I had for the series by jettisoning anything recognizably "real" in favor of setting up one bland mystery after another: "the dogs aren't ours anymore", "she's important, protect her", "she's got a really big gun in her purse, let's follow her". By the time we got to the Scott Glenn scene, I was ready to change the channel.

Oh, and I found that overwrought title sequence animation to be particularly grating.


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 Post subject: Re: TV of 2014
PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2014 1:52 pm 
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Roger Ryan wrote:
Oh, and I found that overwrought title sequence animation to be particularly grating.

Agreed on that aspect. That sequence is truly blunt. I would have preferred something far more tranquil.

I actually really enjoyed the scene between Glenn and Theroux. I thought it was the strongest scene so far within the show's brief run. I also thought the plot involving the teenagers was a lot more realistic (other than that weird time-shift between "missing 1st period" and then somehow it turning into the evening) than the first episode's material for the younger generation. Last night's episode was far more engaging while I was watching, but somehow I was a little bit disappointed in the delivery afterwards.

I'm still hesitant to get too involved in the show because of the involvement of Lindelof, even if he has a blueprint based on someone else's work. Hopefully the focus remains on the characters and they don't even attempt to explain what happened, but I worry that if they continue for a 2nd season, Lindelof will get too anxious to provide explanations for everything.

I guess I remain mostly ambivalent.


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 Post subject: Re: TV of 2014
PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2014 1:59 pm 
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Andre Jurieu wrote:
I'm still hesitant to get too involved in the show because of the involvement of Lindelof, even if he has a blueprint based on someone else's work. Hopefully the focus remains on the characters and they don't even attempt to explain what happened, but I worry that if they continue for a 2nd season, Lindelof will get too anxious to provide explanations for everything.

He has flat out stated in interviews that the mystery of the disappearance will never be explained in the series, mostly to assuage the fears of burned Lost fans, presumably


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 Post subject: Re: TV of 2014
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 4:45 am 
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Andre Jurieu wrote:
I'm still hesitant to get too involved in the show because of the involvement of Lindelof, even if he has a blueprint based on someone else's work.
Indeed. His name was pretty much a signal for me to hit the eject button when I saw the first ads.


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 Post subject: Re: TV of 2014
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 7:53 am 
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Andre Jurieu wrote:
...I actually really enjoyed the scene between Glenn and Theroux. I thought it was the strongest scene so far within the show's brief run...

I thought it was going along splendidly until...
[Reveal] Spoiler:
...Glenn started arguing with an imaginary friend! That has to be the oldest nuthouse gag in the book: seemingly rational character earns audience respect until he blows it by yelling at unseen persecutor. A tired choice.


I did think the third episode was an improvement by following the actions of one character throughout (solid direction by Keith Gordon as well). However, the rather drab, serious tone of this show only emphasizes how ridiculous the plot machinations are. I'm fine with the "departure" mystery not being solved; the whole point of the story is that this event is beyond comprehension. But I'm none too confident that the behavior of any of the "leftovers" can be plausibly explained in a dramatically satisfying manner.


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 Post subject: Re: TV of 2014
PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 12:27 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2012 4:19 pm
Roger Ryan wrote:
I did think the third episode was an improvement by following the actions of one character throughout (solid direction by Keith Gordon as well). However, the rather drab, serious tone of this show only emphasizes how ridiculous the plot machinations are. I'm fine with the "departure" mystery not being solved; the whole point of the story is that this event is beyond comprehension. But I'm none too confident that the behavior of any of the "leftovers" can be plausibly explained in a dramatically satisfying manner.

This, ultimately, is my biggest problem with the show too: the over the top, melodramatic, super-serious tone of it all. Even the score by Max Richter, a composer I normally like, contributes to this, as well as simply bizarre character and plot developments.

Even though it rarely dealt with Justin Theroux's character, who is probably the most interesting so far, the third episode was definitely an improvement, due to the fact that it dealt with a character whose predicament the audience was actually able to sympathize with, understand, and feel some level of interest towards. Though the episode shoots itself in the foot by having one contrived tragedy happen after another to this character, to the point that it does indeed become rather ridiculous.


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 Post subject: Re: The Leftovers
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 7:28 pm 
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HBO is relocating the setting and letting most of the supporting cast go


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 Post subject: Re: The Leftovers
PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2015 3:38 pm 
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Binge-watched this one last week. I can't say nothing bothered me too much (except a few things already touched upon here, which in the long run of things, may have been red herrings anyway). It could have use a bit more levity in place of the aforementioned melodramatic elements, and much more of the real-world perspective on something that tragic (the best episode, "Guest" did exactly that).

[Reveal] Spoiler:
A little mystified as to why the change of location for S2. I hope we at least get some semblance of what happened to the town, as it seemed to fall to utter chaos by the end.


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 Post subject: Re: The Leftovers
PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 4:38 pm 
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Season 2 tease


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 Post subject: Re: The Leftovers
PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2015 11:19 am 
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Renewed for a third and final season


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 Post subject: Re: The Leftovers
PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2015 6:30 am 
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Just finished season 2. Interesting and occasionally great, but I preferred the more thematically focused first season which I thought was misunderstood and underrated. It feels that by season 2 critics had came on board because while many dismissed The Leftovers season one at the start as too depressing and solemn, by the end all the pieces had fallen into place and it became clear that this was a truly great piece of TV. This was the rare genre show which was character driven rather than focused on plot machinations and it played the long game.

Season two ladled on the Twin Peaks style weirdness a bit too much and it didn't significantly develop the themes of the show. The Inception style episode in the beyond/imagination was entertaining enough, but a missteps. So was he inclusion of a ghost, however ambiguous. Characters started to behave inconsistently to service the plot. For all the style and formal experimentation, this became more of a conventional genre show, moving towards something like Lost, rigging the plot with more mysteries to be solved (or not).


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 Post subject: Re: The Leftovers
PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2015 11:48 am 
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Lost Highway wrote:
...This was the rare genre show which was character driven rather than focused on plot machinations and it played the long game...

I wish I felt this way about the first season, but your assessment of Season 2 is how I feel about the whole of The Leftovers. The show is consistent is how it always just misses delving into the more poignant ruminations on loss to flip the switch on something more bombastic...
[Reveal] Spoiler:
As a man who refuses to embrace mysticism in the face of the unexplained, the character of John should be a worthy protagonist to follow. However, his existential crisis is apparently not enough to hang the drama on so he inexplicably attempts to kill everyone he disagrees with.

After being continually frustrated by the trajectory of Season 2, I actually appreciated the change of tone afforded by the "Kevin Visits The Afterlife" episode, but did we really need this character to die twice and be resurrected both times over the course of three episodes? Also, given that the theme of the show is not knowing why loved ones are taken away or where they've gone, why provide a pat representation of the afterlife at all? Shouldn't Lindelof and Perrotta "let the mystery be" as the exquisite Iris DeMent song goes?

The sublime achievement of Season 2 is the beautiful marriage of that DeMent song with the imagery of vanished people from family snaphots during the opening credits. That alone is more effective than anything found in the ten episodes themselves.


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 Post subject: Re: The Leftovers
PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 11:40 pm 
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Fantastic interview with Lindelof by Andy Greenwald for his new podcast.


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 Post subject: Re: The Leftovers
PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2016 10:39 pm 
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Quote:
The sublime achievement of Season 2 is the beautiful marriage of that DeMent song with the imagery of vanished people from family snaphots during the opening credits. That alone is more effective than anything found in the ten episodes themselves.


couldn't agree more. well said...


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 Post subject: Re: The Leftovers
PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 8:33 am 
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The final season is underway and, three episodes in, retains the scattershot approach of the previous seasons. I was pleased that last night's episode was entirely devoted to Scott Glenn's character who really shined throughout. It also tipped it's hat to Roeg's Walkabout by casting David Gulpilil in a pivotal role and, rather blatantly, having a scene where a character arrives in the Australian outback in a black Volkswagen and proceeds to douse himself and the car in gasoline!


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 Post subject: Re: The Leftovers
PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 9:07 pm 
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Sunday's episode was a thing of beauty, down to the final emotional shot.


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 Post subject: Re: The Leftovers
PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 9:37 pm 

Joined: Sat Jun 27, 2009 5:27 pm
A wonderful job by Daniel Sackheim, who also directed this week's episode of Better Call Saul.


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 Post subject: Re: The Leftovers
PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 2:25 pm 
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Bonkers episode last night. I've probably never felt as sympathetic to someone as zealous as Matt, but Eccleston manages to do it and yet stand that character's ground as far as his faith.


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 Post subject: Re: The Leftovers
PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 6:45 pm 
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In regard to this third and final season (especially with these character-centric episodes), it's hard not come off as hyperbolic in one's praise. The scripts and the direction (and especially the acting) have been so top-notch, it shows what can happen when a series is allowed space to configure it's own narrative send-off (the lighter moments of this season have been both unexpected and satisfying).

I find it pretty remarkable that, with only only three episodes remaining, I still have absolutely no idea where it's heading or how it's going to wrap-up. And yet, I am confident that it will continue the brilliance exhibited in this season all the way to its conclusion

Yep. I really love this show.


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 Post subject: Re: The Leftovers
PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 9:16 am 
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This weeks episode was one of, or perhaps the finest episode of the entire series. The tension was off the charts on the chartered ferry.


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 Post subject: Re: The Leftovers
PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 11:41 am 
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Directed by Nicole Kassell, who also directed last season's Matt-centric episode, "No Room at the Inn". She's also responsible for some of the best episodes of The Americans and one of the only impressive episodes - at least in terms of style (maybe not content) - of Vinyl. Seems she's really drawn to episodes that highlight a central character's devotion to an ideal or their utterly myopic perspective.


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 Post subject: Re: The Leftovers
PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 8:33 am 
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I've been pretty critical of this series since the beginning, but the past three episodes have been exceptionally good with Sunday's entry (Matt on the ferry) a true delight. The rich potential of the show's seemingly inherent subject matter (faith/belief versus self-determination in light of a supernatural occurrence) is finally being explored in an exciting way this season. I found the whole "Guilty Remnant" plot that dominated the whole of the first season and the first-half of the second to be antithetical to the true strengths of the show's concept and outright nonsense, like the "dogs are becoming people" musings, cropped up far too often. It's unusual for a series to find its footing so close to it's end, but better late than never.


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