Hi everyone! I want to dedicate my first posts to my current favorite tv show. I’m talking about The Leftovers, written by Damon Lindelof, who also wrote and directed LOST with Cartlon Cuse, and based on the novel of the same name by Tom Perrotta.
In case you don’t know, here is a small recap of the plot: on October 14th, 140 million people simultaneously vanished, 2% of the world’s population is gone forever, and people just can’t understand why.
As we can assume from the title, The Leftovers, the show is not about people who disappeared, but about those who stayed, people who didn’t disappear, and how they deal with this ambiguous loss. Some of them witnessed the Sudden Departure (this is how the authors refer to what happened), others lost their kids, lovers, friends and saw them disappear just in front of their eyes.
What the authors are tying to make the audience understand, is that The Leftovers isn’t meant to be the classic supernatural show in which you have to stop and try to understand WHAT happened to the departed, or HOW something so astonishing and different could have happened. The thing you have to focus your attention on, is WHY they vanished and how someone like you or like me would deal with such a crazy situation, a situation so absurd that nobody, not even the most faithful man on earth, can understand o try to make sense of it. Whatever happened happened, and nobody can change it. The Departed aren’t coming back, not ever. What you have to ask yourself watching this show, is how would you react if your husband and children suddenly melt in the air just before your eyes in a moment that seamed quite normal. Or else while you’re quarreling or while you’re shouting at them for something stupid. Would you try to blame someone? Would you try to sick comfort in religion or in some sham who claims he knows what happened? The most devout would think about the Rapture, as described in the Bible, wondering why they weren’t chosen themselves by God. But in any case, even the most devout and pious people, would be left with a huge emptiness inside, them same emptiness that comes when something happens that you have no answers for.
“My father would never shoot a dog”
“Unless Dudley here was one of the ones that went nuts on the 14th. I heard there’s a whole pack of them that lives out in the woods behind the state hospital.”
“That’s urban-legend bullshit. I mean, i know lots of people with dogs, and none of them ran away.”
“No, no, no, not all of them did, just the ones that witnessed it, you know, who were actually there when someone went.. Poof! Dogs are just animals, man. They’re not like us, trying to reason it all out, make sense of shit that makes no sense. They see something like that, and they just snap. All bets are off right there. No more chasing sticks, no more licking your own balls. They just go primal, man. Same thing’s gonna happen to us. It’s just taking longer.”
This dialogue reveals the pain and the sense of bewilderment of the ones who were not present when the Sudden Departure occurred, but has all the same to deal with the main consequence of that event: living in a world with completely different laws, a world where you could lose anybody at anytime. A world where you have necessarily to hold on to something, be it religion or your personal belief, desperately trying to avoid to end up like those dogs.
Like LOST, The Leftovers offers as well so much food for thought to cinema and tv show’s lovers. If you love to dig deep into stories and analyze the single scenes looking for unseen details, this is the right show for you!
The first time you watch the series your attention is mainly focused on the story and characters, but when you rewatch it you find out that there’s so much you didn’t see the first time.
My following posts will be about the little secrets and hidden meanings of the show, which only a few particularly careful watchers have noticed and that give the whole story new meanings and points of view.
I guess you’ve got the point: i strongly recommend to watch this show, with hidden hints everywhere, with accurate historical, religious and philosophical background and with a wonderful and magic soundtrack composed by Max Richter.
- Justin Theroux as Kevin Garvey, Jr., Mapleton’s Chief of Police and a father of two, who is trying to maintain some semblance of normality in this new world. The breakup of his family puts more and more of a strain on him.
- Amy Brenneman as Laurie Garvey, Kevin’s wife, and Tom and Jill’s mother, who left her entire life behind to join a mysterious cult called the Guilty Remnant.
- Christopher Eccleston as Matt Jamison, a former reverend and current editor of a self-published tabloid that outs sinners. He struggles with his inability to accept that he, a good Christian, was not taken in the Sudden Departure while many sinners were.
- Liv Tyler as Megan “Meg” Abbott, a woman about to get married when she becomes the target of the Guilty Remnant.
- Chris Zylka as Tommy Garvey, Laurie’s son (whom Kevin has raised as his own), who has recently dropped out of college and taken refuge with a mysterious guru called “Holy Wayne”.
- Margaret Qualley as Jill Garvey, Kevin’s teenage daughter, a straight-A student who has a difficult relationship with her father.
- Carrie Coon as Nora Durst, a wife and mother who lost her husband, son, and daughter in the Sudden Departure. She is Matt’s sister.
- Ann Dowd as Patti Levin, the leader of the local chapter of the Guilty Remnant. (seasons 1–2)
The cast also includes Emily Meade, Michael Gaston, Max and Charlie Carver, Janel Moloney and Scott Glenn.