The Coincidental Critic

Exploring the art of storytelling.

Try to Enjoy Your Leftovers (SPOILERS)


Being a huge fan of “Lost,” I decided to check out “The Leftovers” since Damon Lindelof is one of the creators.

“The Leftovers” excelled as an artistic form.

The technical staff did a great job in creating an eerie atmosphere just by the way they used sound.  One poignant point was after the “disappearance” when we were just shown a black screen as we heard 911 calls.  That short scene gave me chills.  Another great example was during the protest at Hero Day.  Just the sounds of people fighting and dogs barking was spine tingling.

I also thought the cast and crew did a great job in creating the news footage that they would occasionally show in the background of a scene.  I had to keep reminding myself that the new anchors were actors and not the actual journalists we see today.  They did an excellent job in making the world of the show seem real.  It also was a great commentary on how our current society reacts to monumental events.

I appreciated that the story was focused on a family that is suffering from the “disappearance” without having lost any of their immediate family members to the “disappearance.”  This helped to illustrate that all were affected by this unexplainable phenomenon even if he/she didn’t lose someone.  I think this is a much better approach than having a family grieve over a lost member, and I’m curious to see were the show goes.

Now for the critiques…

What is the importance of the character of Meg?  As we watched the episode, we learned that all of the central characters were from the same family.  We saw the world from their point of view.  However, Deb didn’t seem to fit into that equation, and I wanted to know why she was important?  Is she actually a part of their family?  And if not, why were we watching her story along with the Garvey family’s?

Why now?  Why is the story being told at this time?  Is the third year anniversary the only reason?  I want to know what is so important with these characters at this moment.  I do not see where this show will be heading in the future, but if we are just meant to watch these characters suffer though their everyday lives, I question why this show was created in the first place.

“The Leftovers” is a TV show, yet I found it far from entertaining.  In fact, it was more depressing than anything.  I found myself feeling just as hopeless as the rest of the characters and questioned where the show was even going to go.  I felt that it lacked momentum and dragged me down with the rest of the characters.  Just because a show is trying to be deep, it can still have its lighter moments to bring a bit of hope to its viewers and characters.  At the core of it, TV is about entertainment, and yes, we should learn about human nature through this art form, but it shouldn’t be so heavy-handed.  If “The Leftovers” continues to have this dismal atmosphere throughout the series, I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep watching it.

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