HBO has had so many hit series that, by now, I think that they have a set checklist that they abide by:
- At least one big-name star
- Lots of questions that are never answered until season 5
This checklist was not spared on last night’s premiere of The Leftovers, particularly numbers 1 and 3. Some of the big names last night included Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman and Liv Tyler, and some of the questions that went unanswered were: all of them!
Like I said before, The Leftovers depicts modern life three years after a Rapture-like phenomenon, which caused the instantaneous and simultaneous disappearance of two percent of the world’s population. Even after three years, the world is no closer to producing any answers for the bizarre occurrence. In a very smart move, the writers of the show included a religious versus scientific showdown in the quest for answers, but only as a background feature. This is smart because it makes the viewers fully aware that this argument does exist, without it taking up any valuable time of the personal storylines of the main characters of the show.
The Leftovers presents an old Biblical “prophecy” in a contemporary frame, and thus offers a really unique situation for its viewers. There is a myriad of questions that the pilot episode presented, obviously a deliberate action of the writers in an attempt to keep us watching – oldest trick in the book, but no less effective. Of course, the most obvious question remains: what really did happen to all the vanished people, referred to as “heroes” on the show? However, I’m interested to learn about several other aspects of the show, including an odd cult in which none of the members speak, yet who relentlessly study and then follow specific individuals in the community. One of the members happens to be Kevin Garvey’s (Theroux) wife, Laurie (Brenneman), who was only revealed to be a member towards the very end of the episode, despite having implied all throughout that she’d been one of the “heroes”. A mysterious and secret organisation deep within the desert is also a curiosity, made all the more curious by the fact that Kevin’s son, Tom (Chris Zylka), is an employee. Who are they? And why does their leader/prophet/psychic/whoever seem to have such a supernatural ability to make anyone in his presence suddenly feel happy and enlightened?
I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I’m hooked on this show just yet, but I’m definitely intrigued enough to keep watching. The Leftovers airs Sunday nights at 10 pm on HBO.