You don’t know how much you miss something until it’s gone. I’m going through that right now. You see, Ramadan just started for me yesterday. I love food….almost to the point where I take it for granted. However, I’m always more appreciative of it during/after Ramadan because it’s not something that I access as much. I also felt that way about TV after Game of Thrones. The summer is usually a terrible time for TV and after Game of Thrones ended, we really ended a great run of television that we probably won’t see for awhile. From Breaking Bad’s 5th season to True Detective’s first season and ending with this past season of Game of Thrones, we’ve been awfully blessed by the TV gods. So after Tyrion went on a killing spree, I had a slight panic attack. What am I going to watch and recap? I went through Orange Is The New Black really quickly but it’s I don’t understand how I’d attack a recap for Netflix shows since they are built for binge watching. Then HBO decided to give me The Leftovers.
The idea that I just talked about is one of the themes on the series. The idea of you don’t what you got until it’s gone. It’s executive produced by Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrottta. The latter is the author whose novel is being adapted for the small screen. The former is the former co-creator and co-showrunner of Lost….which both gives me a feeling of anticipation and dread. However, the trailer looked pretty damn good so I decided to dive right in last night.
The basic premise of the show is simple: 2% of the population completely vanishes out of thin air without the slightest clue as to where they went and why. The government, scientists, and the church have no clue as to what happened. However, the first episode doesn’t delve into answering those questions at all. It attempts to flesh out the idea of how people deal with the loss of people that are important to them. During the first scene. you see a mother trying to handle a crying baby and carrying laundry to her car while also speaking to someone on the phone. You can tell she’s at her wit’s end and then poof. The crying stops and the baby is gone. Meanwhile, shit hits the fan all around the mother. Flash forward three years into the present and we meet our main character, Garvey. He’s out for his morning jog when he sees a dog in the middle of the street. When he tries to get close to it, the dog gets sniped by a dude in a pick up truck. Garvey is not happy about that one bit and I’m sure PETA is picketing outside HBO as we speak. We find out that he’s a police chief of the small town where he lives and the mayor of the town is declaring the day where everyone disappeared a holiday…complete with a statue and a parade! Seriously? A parade? Parades are for celebrating holidays….not in memorializing such a dreadful day. I’m pretty sure Japan doesn’t have a parade commemorating Hiroshima. Instead, they make Godzilla movies which are supposed to guilt trip Americans but we have since more or less appropriated it. Anyways, Garvey is not happy with this idea because of The Remnants.
The Guilty Remnants are a cultish group that wears all white instead of Nike Cortezes. They have taken a vow of silence and chain smoking cigarettes ever since the events of October 14th, 3 years ago. Also, Garvey’s wife is a part of this weird cult. We don’t know why yet because it seems like no one in her family has disappeared. In fact, the cult’s motivations are completely unclear at this point but one thing that is for certain: people in the town dislike them. They also like to stalk people and are really creepy.
We also meet the two children in the family and see how they are coping. The daughter, Jill, is maintaining that she isn’t bothered by what has transpired since 3 years ago but she seems to be a bit lippy and doing certain things even though she’s clearly not about that life. Like choking a dude while he’s masturbating. I’m not about that life either. But I mean like, isn’t that atypical of all teenagers though? Not the whole choking a dude while he’s masturbating but the whole smoking pot, copping an attitude with your ‘rents, and trying different things that are outside the norm. Obviously, she’s not cool with all these things but I’m going to need a little bit more than a tear in her eye and burying a dog that she found in her dad’s trunk before I feel like she’s genuinely been effected by what’s happened. The son, Tom, has dropped out of college and joined another weird and secret organization led by some intimidating guy named Wayne. Wayne seems like a psychopath that is about to be set loose on this story but I could be wrong…..mainly because we don’t know too much about his motivations either outside of the fact that his son disappeared during “the rapture” and he knows that some bad stuff about to happen.
Anyways, on the day of the “celebration”, the Guilty Remnants show their faces with hilarious signage and a brawl ensues. Naturally, Garvey and the police have to break it up but there’s an awesome part here where him and his wife are inches from each other but they don’t even give each other a knowing glance. Nada. Zilch. The episode ends with Garvey seeing a deer in the middle of the road, then watching a pack of dogs run by him and tearing the deer apart. The dog shooter comes back and tells Garvey that “they aren’t our dogs anymore” and then goes on a dog killing spree that would make Michael Vick jealous. Apparently, this is enough for Garvey to go full Vick too because he pulls out his handgun and starts shooting at the dogs.
So far, I don’t know too much but I’m sure the mystery of what happened will unfold slowly. Most television pilots are primarily introductions to the main characters so I can exhibit some patience. Knowing Lindelof, he’ll probably leave a trail of breadcrumbs that might mean nothing but once in awhile, that breadcrumb might be pretty damn cool. We’ll have to wait and see.
Twitters, Tumblrs, and Observations:
– I could care less about Liv Tyler’s character and arc so far. So far, she’s been the least interesting part of the show by far. If she’s not saving Hobbits, I don’t care.
– The list of celebrities that disappeared is Condoleeza Rice, Shaquille O’Neal, Jennifer Lopez, Bonnie Raitt, Salman Rushdie, Anthony Bourdain, Pope Benedict XVI, and Gary Busey. Gary Busey?!?! No one can tell me that Gary Busey was raptured. If he was, God made a mistake or something. There was a typo somewhere. This is clearly the work of aliens…..not God.
v– The scene where Jill makes pretend to hang herself in class and the guy who looks at her is disgusted is hilarious. I think I replayed that scene 7 times.