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DivisionPost
Jun 28, 2006

Nobody likes you.
Everybody hates you.
You're gonna lose.

Smile, you fuck.




The Leftovers comes to us from Damon Lindelof (LOST), Tom Perrotta (author of Little Children, Election, and the book this is based on), and Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights). It picks up three years after a Rapture-like event known as "The Sudden Departure," wherein 2% of the world's population disappeared without warning or fanfare. There's no rhyme or reason to who left: Christians, Jews, Muslims, members of the Ba'lal Faith. Men, women, children. Saints, sinners -- it's like whoever or whatever took them just threw darts at the Earth while blindfolded and took whoever got caught.

The series picks up three years after The Departure. The world is still functioning. But science and the conventional organized religions have thrown their hands up in defeat, and a sense of nihilism has gripped the planet. The story zeroes in on the New York suburb of Mapleton, as its remaining inhabitants try to deal with the fact that they don't know what the gently caress happened.

Reviews for four of the first five episodes have been, uh, positive. Let's get Our Lord And Savior, Patron Saint of TV Criticism Alan Sepinwall out of the way first:

Alan Sepinwall posted:

What divine madness could have possibly compelled Damon Lindelof to involve himself with "The Leftovers"?

Why would the co-creator and longtime showrunner of "Lost," who endured so much public abuse from some corners because of that series' finale, decide that his next TV project would be a complicated story marked by despair, spirituality and a complete lack of answers to a sweeping cosmic mystery — in other words, three of the things "Lost" fans tended to hate the most?...Maybe it's masochism. Lindelof finally quit Twitter last fall (appropriately, on the date of the show's mysterious Departure), after spending three years flagellating himself in response to the tweets of "Lost" finale haters, and perhaps he needed another source of pain and discomfort....Or maybe he was drawn to "The Leftovers" — a show that in many ways feels even more deserving of the title "Lost" than that one about the island filled with polar bears, pirate ships and ranch dressing — because he saw in Pertotta's book the chance to do something truly special...Maybe he saw the opportunity in "The Leftovers" to make something great. Because he sure as hell has.

Okay, strong words, but how do we assure the people who think Sepinwall is overrated and too easy to please? Strap on your skates, Todd, you're going in!

Todd VanDerWerff posted:

Based on the novel by Tom Perrotta (who shares a co-creator credit with Lindelof and co-writes a couple of episodes), The Leftovers is some of the most desolate, despairing television on air. It’s also frequently brilliant, using the central hook of Perrotta’s book not as a pivot into genre fiction but as a pivot into something like a modern version of medieval mystery plays. But instead of God at the center of the story, there’s uncertainty, a Schrödinger’s cat the characters would desperately like to observe, if only they could force the box to open and provide them with answers.

[...]

The Leftovers is still young enough to have some growing pains...the show can occasionally seem too in love with being grim just for being grim...But on the whole, it’s elegiac, ingenious television, unlike anything else on the air. It has elements of mystery, like Lost, and it has elements of satire, like Perrotta’s novels, but it’s also its own thing, a weird art film and character piece that also features large packs of feral dogs running wild. It’s a show where the flashbacks—another Lost standby—only come in tiny, seconds-long spurts of pain, because the past may be somewhere characters long to return to, but it’s also a completely different country, a before only made real by the shadow it casts on the wall.

Looking good, looking real good. James Poniewozik, anything to add?

James Poniewozik posted:

The first two episodes feel unsettled, aimless and seasick -- Peter Berg’s trademark jumpy-cam direction contributes to that -- jumping around its ensemble to paint a vast mural of sadness...There are striking moments: a flock of balloon doves being released in tribute, Kevin coming upon a pack of pet dogs gone feral (a possible sign of where human society is heading)...But it all seems a bit logy and unreal, as if, like the Remnant with their white garb and silence, The Leftovers made its suffering too generic and surrendered its voice.

Then comes the fantastic third episode, which follows Mapleton pastor Matt Jamison (Christopher Eccleston) through a crisis of faith, all through a story as neatly and twistily crafted as a Twilight Zone episode. The fifth (episode four was not ready at press time) pulls back a bit to go inside the Remnant—led by a quietly riveting Ann Dowd—and examine the reverberations of a brutal crime through Mapleton. And suddenly The Leftovers’ blur distills into focus. The show does have a distinct voice, once you learn to hear it, at once ethereal and hyperrealistic, a combination echoed in the show’s visual language, in which even hallucination sequences are shot in harsh handheld video. It’s one of the truest TV evocations I can recall of the waking-dream feel of actual mourning.

Interesting. Maybe to close this out we should hear from somebody who's a little more trepidatious. Josef Adalian, what say you?

quote:

Throughout the first few episodes, fleeting shots communicate the magnitude of the shock with which the species is still grappling. Some are quietly effective...Others feel as though Lindelof, Perrotta, and co-producer Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights), who has helmed the first two episodes in his now-familiar bobbing-and-weaving camera style (the show’s action is covered rather than being thoughtfully directed) are forcing moments that might have been more devastating if handled lightly...

Such scenes might have worked had The Leftovers embraced the black-comedy elements that sometimes bubble up (a TV newscast airs a list of missing celebrities that includes Gary Busey and Shaquille O’Neal), or if it had given up on serious philosophical statements and instead exploited the pulp potential suggested by Paterson Joseph’s ferociously hammy performance as Holy Wayne...Though I haven’t read Perrotta’s novel, I’m told there’s a point to all the misery, perhaps even a hint of hope...If that’s where we’re headed, though, it’s going to be a long, dark road, and I’m concerned there won’t be enough compensatory aesthetic virtues to offset the agony...But I’d be lying if I said The Leftovers didn’t fascinate me. The totality of the suffering feels new. The scale of it overwhelms, so much so that nitpicking the dialogue, the performances, or the filmmaking seems petty.

The consensus seems to be "This show is bleak and horrible and many people will not want to hang with it, but it's a hell of a show and demands a few episodes of your attention." Okay, I'm game.

As stated in the thread title, The Leftovers premieres this Sunday, June 29 at 10 PM ET. While you wait, Sepinwall had a chat with Lindelof and Perrotta about the show. The whole thing is worth reading, and there's a particularly good bit about how they're approaching the overriding mythology of the show. Short answer, as stated by Lindelof himelf: "If you were frustrated [with LOST], don't watch The Leftovers."

DivisionPost fucked around with this message at 15:23 on Jun 26, 2014

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zoux
Apr 28, 2006



AV Club, the only reputable source for TV opinions anywhere in the world, gives the first four episodes an 'A'.

suddenlyissoon
Feb 17, 2002

Don't be sad that I am gone.


I'm beyond excited for this show. With the AV Club & Sepinwall both singing praises my hype level has increased 10 fold.

Annakie
Apr 20, 2005

"It's pretty bad, isn't it? I know it's pretty bad. Ever since I can remember..."


So excited for this show. I've actually tried to avoid learning about it as much as possible because it looks exactly like something I'd love and I want to go in unspoiled.

Webbeh
Dec 13, 2003

IF THIS IS A 'LOST' THREAD I'M PROBABLY WHINING ABOUT
STABBEY THE MEANY


This is gonna be good.

Ausmund
Jan 24, 2007

THUNDERDOME LOSER

quote:

What divine madness could have possibly compelled Damon Lindelof to involve himself with "The Leftovers"?

Why would the co-creator and longtime showrunner of "Lost," who endured so much public abuse from some corners because of that series' finale, decide that his next TV project would be a complicated story marked by despair, spirituality and a complete lack of answers to a sweeping cosmic mystery — in other words, three of the things "Lost" fans tended to hate the most?...Maybe it's masochism.

quote:

"If you were frustrated [with LOST], don't watch The Leftovers."

Although I didn't care for Prometheus(but I should give it a rewatch sometime) this is why I will always respect Lindelof and despise the Breaking Bad finale. He doesn't worry about satisfying fans and would rather focus on larger complex main ideas that he finds interesting, which to me made the Lost finale so great. If people aren't thoughtful or mature enough to appreciate it, so be it.

I just recently heard about this show and am very excited for it. Never seen Friday Night Lights though. I saw an interview with Lindelof and he described this show as a "love child between Friday Night Lights and Lost".

Shimrra Jamaane
Aug 9, 2007

Obscure to all except those well-versed in Yuuzhan Vong lore.


Total shot in the dark: the twist is that the 2% are actually the ones really still on Earth and everyone else got beamed away to purgatory. Now give me money major network executives.

I AM GRANDO
Aug 20, 2006



I can't wait for him to do a pretty good job making the show, but then blow years of good will when his thin-skinned narcissism makes him attack all the viewers for the next five years because some people were rude to him about the ending.

Last Chance
Dec 31, 2004



Jack Gladney posted:

I can't wait for him to do a pretty good job making the show, but then blow years of good will when his thin-skinned narcissism makes him attack all the viewers for the next five years because some people were rude to him about the ending.

I really hope this thread is full of tired, rehashed posts like these!

Sober
Nov 19, 2011

First touch: Life.
Second touch: Dead again. Forever.

Shimrra Jamaane posted:

Total shot in the dark: the twist is that the 2% are actually the ones really still on Earth and everyone else got beamed away to purgatory. Now give me money major network executives.
Well the show starts 3 years after the event, I think, so it would be pretty obvious if it was 140 million people missing or only 140 million people present.

I AM GRANDO
Aug 20, 2006



Last Chance posted:

I really hope this thread is full of tired, rehashed posts like these!

It was fresh to me. I do wonder if he's been tempered and matured by public humiliation (not that there was anything really that wrong with lost). Promising artists often make much more interesting art after getting their egos burned away. Maybe he will just not do smug weekly podcasts any more.

Shimrra Jamaane
Aug 9, 2007

Obscure to all except those well-versed in Yuuzhan Vong lore.


Sober posted:

Well the show starts 3 years after the event, I think, so it would be pretty obvious if it was 140 million people missing or only 140 million people present.

No Im saying that this world is purgatory and somewhere off screen is the real world with just 2% of the population.

DivisionPost
Jun 28, 2006

Nobody likes you.
Everybody hates you.
You're gonna lose.

Smile, you fuck.


Oh my God ALREADY IT'S HAPPENING

Sober
Nov 19, 2011

First touch: Life.
Second touch: Dead again. Forever.

DivisionPost posted:

Oh my God ALREADY IT'S HAPPENING

The Something Awful Forums > The Finer Arts > The TV IV > THE LEFTOVERS: We've found our new True Detective thread

Brock Samson
May 13, 2003

I let you know me, see me. I gave you a rare gift, but you didn't want it.



DivisionPost posted:

Oh my God ALREADY IT'S HAPPENING

WE HAVE TO GO BACK to good tv

Rarity
Oct 21, 2010

i fucking love scoops


DivisionPost posted:

Oh my God ALREADY IT'S HAPPENING

You have to learn to let go, DivisionPost.

If we don't post together, we're going to die alone.

geeves
Sep 16, 2004



I'm looking forward to this. Count me in as one of the fans of how LOST ended. I hope Lindeloff moves on from his "daddy issue" writing style (LOST and Prometheus).

Having read the first half of the book (it's meh and I think the show can and will out perform it), Eccelson as the priest is exactly who I saw him as (and is my favorite character so far), so I'm looking forward to his performance.

Escobarbarian
Jun 18, 2004




Grimey Drawer

Jack Gladney posted:

I can't wait for him to do a pretty good job making the show, but then blow years of good will when his thin-skinned narcissism makes him attack all the viewers for the next five years because some people were rude to him about the ending.

I'd be mad too if I were him. You gotta remember that the general public is under the impression that the ending of LOST revealed that everyone actually was dead all along, and that's where most of the anger comes from.

And that's the final LOST-related post I'm making in this thread. Roll on Sunday night!

Rarity
Oct 21, 2010

i fucking love scoops


Bown posted:

I'd be mad too if I were him. You gotta remember that the general public is under the impression that the ending of LOST revealed that everyone actually was dead all along, and that's where most of the anger comes from.

I thought Lost was mostly dumb and ridiculous and even I know that's not what the show meant

Tomahawk
Aug 12, 2003

HE KNOWS


Count me in. This would probably be complete garbage on a network like ABC or FOX but on HBO this show really has potential to shine.

bryn987
May 30, 2014


Been waiting for this but gently caress Lindelof in the face

Winkie01
Nov 28, 2004


First Lady, now this dog. gently caress you HBO

DivisionPost
Jun 28, 2006

Nobody likes you.
Everybody hates you.
You're gonna lose.

Smile, you fuck.


There's our FNL cameo!

SgtSteel91
Oct 21, 2010



As if this cult isn't creepy enough. They all have a vow of silence too?

Atheist Sunglasses
Jul 26, 2003

All the candy you want. Crotton crandy, crandy apple. I like to go on the best ride first. Name of roller croaster.



Ugh. Angsty teens. The show ruiner

A bunch of 30 year old actors playing 16 year olds playing spin the bottle. Right

Atheist Sunglasses fucked around with this message at 02:38 on Jun 30, 2014

J33uk
Oct 23, 2005


Atheist Sunglasses posted:

Ugh. Angsty teens. The show ruiner

Yeah I can respect the overall quality of the show, it's not really hooking me yet but god the extreme teen party thing is played out.

Edit: Oh god the single tear. Really?

Death By The Blues
Oct 30, 2011


Ya this is very Lindelof so far, which isn't a good thing.

Jeep
Feb 20, 2013


"There's a dead dog in your trunk."

Jesus was that ever a weird couple of cuts.

Vanderdeath
Oct 1, 2005

I will confess,
I love this cultured hell that tests my youth.





So far, the most interesting thing about this pilot has been Eccleston's American accent.

Winkie01
Nov 28, 2004


Vanderdeath posted:

So far, the most interesting thing about this pilot has been Eccleston's American accent.

Yeah, this has been boring as poo poo so far.

Candy Dawn
Aug 7, 2007

Ponsuke-san!!

Ugh it's so boring.

Acquilae
May 15, 2013



Winkie01 posted:

Yeah, this has been boring as poo poo so far.

Candy Dawn posted:

Ugh it's so boring.
I don't think there's anything could happen in the final scene to save us from this boredom.

Also, that statue is weird.

Death By The Blues
Oct 30, 2011


It's so disconnected in terms of style, music, and script. Each scene seems distant from the last.

Winkie01
Nov 28, 2004


I am praying for some white walkers

J33uk
Oct 23, 2005


Slow motion chaos and piano music! This is some very loving elaborate parody of a SERIOUS HBO SHOW right?

nopants
May 29, 2004


No, not Busey.

Vanderdeath
Oct 1, 2005

I will confess,
I love this cultured hell that tests my youth.





gently caress. Busey, Bourdain and Shaq? What's left on this world to even live for?

SgtSteel91
Oct 21, 2010



Gary Busey got raptured too? That was kinda funny

njbeachbum
Apr 14, 2005



Death By The Blues posted:

It's so disconnected in terms of style, music, and script. Each scene seems distant from the last.

I agree but I think the disjointed nature of the scenes gives it a real feel of "what in the living gently caress" which I think is what everyone is/would be feeling. I like it.

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Death By The Blues
Oct 30, 2011


O
K

I wonder if this is supposed to be a metaphor.

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