Monday, July 7, 2014

So, what do I think of The Leftovers?

Glad you asked   :-)

We're two episodes into the highly promoted series and my finger is hovering over the guide button on my remote. I'm this close to saying this show isn't worth watching.

You probably already know, but here's the premise -- on Oct 14th three years ago, 2% of the world's population simply disappeared without a trace. The show focuses on the remaining people (the leftovers) in a fictional town in New York state.

I know we're never going to know what happened to those who disappeared, the show is clearly about the aftermath, but to what end? I'm getting the feeling that this is going to be one of those shows that offers all questions and no answers. A televised Rorshach test, where we, the viewers are given these abstract scenes and are expected to fill in important lessons and insights on our own. One of those deals where we see the writer/creator in an interview and he's stroking his chin thoughtfully and offering as how he is simply leading us to the possibility of some greater insight into ourselves or the world around us and he's leaving it up to us to make the leap and discover something magnificent in the progress.

Yeah, whatever. This is what I like to term as "literary legerdemain" or even better "literary laziness." The writer wants to make some profound statement about the world around us or life or whatever but can't come up with one on his/her own, so he sets up some open ended scenario and says we're supposed to make the leap that he/she cannot. And if we don't . . . well that's on us for some reason.

Like I said -- whatever.

I don't mind extended plot lines. I don't mind complex themes or storylines, but I need some answers along the way. Keep bludgeoning me with endless questions, and I'm tuning out, dude. And that's on you.

And while I'm at it, let me gripe about an overused plot device. The opening of the second episode has some sort of BATF-type guy talking to a subordinate about this mysterious Wayne character. The BATF guy is a douche. Know how we know that? He's eating an apple while talking to the other agent. Big, noisy crunchy bites, and chewing while he's talking. How many times have we seen this in movies or on television shows? Apples, or spaghetti, or anything drippy and messy. Who conducts meetings like that in the real world? It could have been worse I suppose. They could have had a picture of George Bush hanging on the wall behind him, or Sarah Palin or something. It is Hollywood after all.

And one more thing I thought of while watching the finale of Penny Dreadful -- where would movie and television be if Brian Singer hadn't shot that coffee cup dropping to the floor and shattering in slow motion in The Usual Suspects? Isn't that one of the most overused visuals in the business?

just sayin'

And to end things on a high note, here's Paris Hilton on the set of her new music video . . . wait, . . . what?

paris hilton music video
paris hilton music video
paris hilton music video

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