|Instead of taking 2% of the population, they should've taken all of Justin Theroux's shirts.|
Did I not like the show because it wasn't Lost 2.0? I mean, HBO hasn't been shy about advertising the fact that Damon Lindelof, one of Lost's co-creators, was one-half of the team creating The Leftovers. That's quite a pedigree. Even more so for me, since I am a huge fan of Lost. Here's how much of a fan: when I heard that a friend of mine had watched Lost from beginning to end on Netflix, multiple times actually, I was jealous and decided immediately to do this myself. It took me about a month. Sometimes, I'd watch more than one episode in a day. Lost is one of those perfect shows that grabs the audience from the very first episode and makes us anxious to see more. Obviously, opening with a plane crashing on a beach is an eye-catcher. And with The Leftovers, the creators might have thought that they had another eye-catching opening scene by showing a mother losing her baby to the rapture (which may not be the rapture, since there's no real proof that it was the rapture besides 2% of the world's population disappearing, and not all of those that disappeared were the greatest people, I mean, they took Gary Busey & someone who hit their kids for goodness sake), but they panned away when the baby actually disappeared. We didn't get to see a single person disappear with our very own eyes. How could they not show this??
But this woman now without a baby is not one of the main characters in the show. Instead, the show focuses on Kevin Garvey (Justin Theroux) and his family. Kevin is the chief of police of the small town of Mapleton and if I had to guess, the crime rate has at least doubled since the disappearances. None of Kevin's family disappeared a year ago, but his family was psychically and physically destroyed just the same.
Sounds interesting, right? On paper it does. In the trailer, it does. But in real life, when you're watching it, it's a little bit like torture. Like maybe you were having a really good weekend, but then Sunday night comes around and that new show by the creator of Lost comes on and how exciting and now I've watched it and wow, now I'm wondering why I bother doing anything anymore ever. My husband likes to say that Radiohead's album The Bends is beautifully crafted music that makes you want to kill yourself, even if you weren't depressed before you started listening to it. Maybe The Leftovers is the television equivalent of The Bends, except, without the beautifully crafted part.
I think I understand the problem with the show. If it was the rapture, then that means that the ones left behind have to have major flaws, right? Yes. Of course they do. But that doesn't mean they're all bad, does it? To the writers of this show, it almost seems like they decided that all the characters do have to be centrally bad. But what they didn't do was make them bad in a way that makes these characters interesting. Like making them all versions of Walter White, Don Draper or most of the characters on Game of Thrones. Instead of making their characters obviously bad, they made them Purgatory level bad, which left them all bland and generally uninteresting.
Except when Justin Theroux has his shirt off. But that was only the one brief time in two episodes.