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The Leftovers, Season 1, Episode 4, “B.J. and the A.C.”
Airs Sundays at 10pm Est on HBO
Starting off positively—and it’s a big one—no new mysteries were introduced this episode! At least, nothing of the paranormal, never-going-to-be-answered-adequately nature. What we get instead is a couple of contained stories with our lead characters, some swallowed reveals that are appreciated nonetheless, and a whole lot of metaphor. It was still an extreme hodgepodge and smacking of the strained efforts of a show trying to figure out what it is and how to simply tell its story, but at least it’s not like last week’s complete non-sequitur. We are building (some) relationships. We are attempting to focus and head somewhere.
Where that place is is still a mystery and seems so out of reach, but »
Ending an acclaimed television series is no easy task. Showrunners can be vilified (Damon Lindelof), deified (Vince Gilligan), or somewhere in between (Joss Whedon). A series finale can generate controversy for years -- like that ending of "The Sopranos."
So, Kurt Sutter has his work cut out for him as "Sons of Anarchy" winds down after seven seasons on FX. And he isn't totally sure what he plans to do. At the Television Critics Association press tour, he admitted that the end "could all change."
"I've always had a sense of where I wanted it to go, and I come in each season with a blueprint with the big arcs and mile markers. And I've learned over seven seasons the looser I grip that idea the better the seasons are," he told reporters.
"This season isn't any different. I came in with how I wanted the season to end ... but things change. »
- Kelly Woo
As soon as the snow arrived in Mapleton a few episodes back, I had a sneaking suspicion that The Leftovers was heading for a Damon Lindelof Christmas Special, and just the concept of that made me laugh a little. This week’s installment, titled “B.J. And The A.C.” (presumably just because “Baby Jesus And The Antichrist” wouldn’t have flown, even on HBO), is that episode, but not how you might think. Sure, it’s set around the holidays, but this episode of The Leftovers is ruthlessly cutting in its treatment of the holiday spirit and of religion as a whole.
Like last week’s “Two Boats and a Helicopter,” it deals with the nature of faith and the postulates people draw up in an attempt to make meaning out of the meaningless, order out of chaos. Unlike last week, however, “B.J. And The A.C.” is a more well-rounded episode, »
- Isaac Feldberg
Recently, HBO released the new,official synopsis/spoilers for their upcoming "The Leftovers" episode 5 of season 1. The episode is entitled, "Gladys," and it sounds like things will get pretty dramatic and interesting as Laurie's resolve gets heavily tested over a hate crime, Kevin turns down an outside offer to get rid of the town's issues, and more. In the new, 5th episode press release: Laurie’s resolve will get put to the test in the wake of a brutal hate crime. After his latest initiatives to maintain the peace in Mapleton fall short, Kevin will turn down an outside offer to rid the town of its problems. Matt is going to bring his pulpit to the street. Meg will take on a new role. The episode was written by Damon Lindelof & Tom Perrotta, and it was directed by Mimi Leder. Episode 5 is set to air on Sunday night, July 27th at 10pm on HBO. »
The Leftovers, Season 1, Episode 3, “Two Planes and a Helicopter”
Directed by Keith Gordon
Airs Sundays at 10pm Est on HBO
What is The Leftovers? A mystery wrapped in an enigma, sure, but what else is on the show’s mind, and most importantly, what does it have to offer as a new series? Now that we have three episodes, we should begin to suss out the themes and make a guess of whether we as an audience want to stick with it, if it’s a show that speaks to us, or is making a worthy statement. What’s odd, though, is that there are too many different shows to work through here to figure out if that’s coming. Further, usually if this happens in a show, it happens with different story lines and characters, but in Mapleton that’s not even the case. »
Unless you are a Dr. Who fan — in which you'd immediately recognize him as the ninth version of the time-traveling doctor — Christopher Eccleston is one of those character actors who usually prompts a "where have I seen him before?" reaction. It might have been as the flatmate whose greed drives him insane in Danny Boyle's Shallow Grave (1994) or as the powermad military man fighting off the infected in 28 Days Later... (2002). He may be familiar to you as a metaphorically ghostly presence in The Others (2001) or a literal invisible man from the NBC show Heroes. »
The Leftovers opened this week with Mapleton’s Reverend Matt (Christoper Eccleston) delivering a sermon to a congregation of roughly 10 people. He tells the story of a little boy who was diagnosed with cancer – presumably him – who went on to beat it. He then mentions a young girl now in a coma from a swinging accident, and asks that they pray for her to get well like the little boy. As he’s wrapping up, a man in a bandana charges up the center aisle, delivers him a beating and stuffs a flier of Amber Johnson emblazoned with “She Sold Drugs” into his mouth.
The Leftovers Recap
At the hospital, Kevin (Justin Theroux) visits the Matt and tries to encourage him to stop posting fliers of people who were taken whose past deeds would ostensibly make them ineligible to be brought to heaven in a rapture. The minister insists people need to know the truth, »
Somebody's calling Reverend Matt Jamison. It's a woman, asking for some kind of supply he promises to pick up on his way home. It's our first indication that he has a life beyond his quixotic quest to reveal that the victims of the Sudden Departure weren't the secular saints they've been painted to be. Eventually we learn he has a wife, name of Mary. Hmm…he must be neglecting his marriage. That explains why he's so reluctant to tell people how's she's doing, right?
But when Matt finally arrives home, »
With just two episodes so far, Damon Lindelof’s “The Leftovers” has already laid out a strong handful of mysteries, the central one being what exactly happened on October 14th that caused 2% of the world’s population to vanish. But as Lindelof has been stressing since even before the show first aired, that instigating event is not the hook of the series. “If that’s why you’re watching the show, don’t watch the show,” Lindelof recently said. And as I’ve emphasized over the past two recaps, “The Leftovers” is about the characters and consequences, and no better is this exemplified than in this week’s “Two Boats And A Helicopter,” which rewardingly breaks the format. In their early review assessment, Av Club called this episode “stunning” adding that it “works almost as a very short feature film” and while I wouldn't go quite so far with the »
- Kevin Jagernauth
A review of tonight's "The Leftovers" coming up just as soon as I think I know what happened to your face... "Why do you persist?" -Mary What a bizarre, marvelous, freaky, abrupt left turn is "Two Boats and a Helicopter."(*) After two big, sprawling ensemble pieces to open the series and give us a sense of the Departure's impact on the larger world, this one essentially turns into a solo piece about Reverend Matt — or, rather, into a duet between Matt and the cruel, capricious cosmic force that's brought so much uncertainty into the world, and misery into Matt's life. Kevin and Laurie appear briefly (Laurie, interestingly, watching her husband and daughter's house while they sleep), and we also discover that Matt and Nora Durst are siblings, but the great bulk of this is just Christopher Eccleston running around, chasing signs and wonders sent from a deity whose behavior suggests »
- Alan Sepinwall
In the first five minutes of The Leftovers, Justin Theroux’s character jogs along the road when he spots a dog in the middle of the street and stops running to kneel down and pet the friendly pup. Aw, we say, what a sweet moment. Then, within seconds, boom: Someone shoots the dog dead. Thanks, HBO.
TV shows love killing dogs: There’s that Leftovers dog-murder that turns into a dog mass murder at the pilot’s end, there’s Frank Underwood strangling a hurt dog to its death in the House of Cards pilot, there’s Family Guy’s Brian. »
- Ariana Bacle
Jack Shephard was originally supposed to be played by Michael Keaton, and he was going to die in Lost’s pilot episode. After his death, the first to be killed by the smoke monster (that honor ended up going to the plane’s pilot, played by Greg Grunberg), Kate would take over as the leader and primary protagonist. This would have been surprising because it would buck conventions, killing off the heroic white male leader so that the female could take over.
J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof quickly changed their minds about Jack’s death, Keaton backed off so that Matthew Fox could become the character we all know, and the rest is history. Kate became just another supporting character in the show’s massive ensemble. The first thing we see in the actual pilot episode is Jack’s eye, and from that point on we stay mostly with him. »
- Jake Pitre
Toronto, On. With "Lost" (and "The Adventures of Brisco County Jr," if you like) front and center on his resume, Carlton Cuse knows a thing or two relating to fanboys, but that's actually how he originally came to Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan's "The Strain" series. "Almost two years ago, I was approached by Wme and asked whether I actually knew this property, 'The Strain' trilogy," Cuse recalls, sitting with a small roundtable of reporters on the Toronto set of "The Strain," which premieres on FX on July 13. "In fact, I had read the first book just as a fanboy, just because I was intrigued by it and loved Guillermo's stuff. I actually had a little bit of a relationship with Chuck Hogan. We had talked at one point about doing something else together. I really loved the book. So Wme said, 'Hey, would you consider meeting with Guillermo? »
- Daniel Fienberg
San Diego Comic-Con has released the full schedule of events for Friday, July 25, following the Thursday schedule that was released yesterday. You can clickHere to view the lineup in its entirety, which includes numerous comic book panels and events, but we have pulled out all of the movie, DVD and TV-related panels for your convenience.
Friday, July 25
Good mornin'! What's better than a panel of one Cartoon Network Comedy? Two cartoon network comedies! That's right fans, prepare yourself for double the comedy, double the fun and double the friends with Uncle Grandpa and Clarence! Join the always-entertaining cast and crew for a behind-the-scenes look at two of the newest hit shows on Cartoon Network. It's woooooorth it. Appearing from Uncle Grandpa are creator Peter Browngardt (Uncle Grandpa), Kevin Michael Richardson (Mr. Gus), and Eric Bauza (Belly Bag). Appearing from »
The Leftovers, Season 1, Episode 2, “Penguin One, Us Zero”
Directed by Peter Berg
Airs Sundays at 10pm Est on HBO
While the pilot was almost pure set up, and in this mostly disappointing second episode we have a further muddling of that set-up, what has at least become clearer now is that despite its literary origins, The Leftovers is definitely shaping up to be, for better or worse, Lost’s direct successor.
There are no extended flashbacks (although there are flashbacks), no smoke monster, no strangers in an isolated setting, but the structure of a supernatural mystery, and tiny character advancements while interacting sideways with that mystery, is still intact. Also, in a way, people in The Leftovers—neighbors, whole families—have become strangers to each other, even if they weren’t before. Characters like Laurie and Tom have taken on new personae in this brave new, »
As if TV viewers needed more reasons to back away from HBO’s The Leftovers…
After two somewhat disappointing installments, the freshman dystopian drama hasn’t given viewers any indication that an answer to what caused the Sudden Departure, an event in which 2% of the world’s population inexplicably vanished, is coming soon. And when you consider that one of the two showrunners is Lost creator Damon Lindelof, that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Regardless, Lindelof and fellow showrunner Tom Perrotta (whose novel The Leftovers served as the series’ source material) probably aren’t helping the series gain fans by admitting that answers to the biggest questions on the show may never come at all.
During an interview with Vulture, Perrotta talked about changing certain aspects of his novel to give The Leftovers a shot at a green light over at HBO. To give one, protagonist Kevin »
- Isaac Feldberg
Damon Lindelof and author Tom Perrotta (whose book serves as the source material) are behind this supernatural drama, one in which a mysterious, Rapture-like event has made 2% of the world's population disappear. And the show's central question isn't necessarily what happened, but as we've noted in our recaps, how it affects the characters three years on. And Lindelof has some advice to those perhaps waiting for the big answer. “If that’s why you’re watching the show, don’t watch the show,” he told Vulture. Fair enough. And Lindelof and Perrotta certainly had to do a little bit of battling to see their show get greenlit, with HBO rejecting their first draft of the pilot. “It wasn’t propulsive,” said HBO president of programming Michael Lombardo. “It retained too much of its meditative quality.” So to that end, the lead character played Justin Theroux, who as Perrotta notes was "maybe a little too nice, »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Even though the pilot episode of The Leftovers was co-written by Tom Perrotta, the author of the 2011 novel the HBO series is based on, it departed from the source material in a few ways — most prominently, the transformation of our hero, Kevin Garvey (Justin Theroux), from small-town mayor to grizzled police chief. Perrotta didn’t write the second episode, but he had plenty of say in the writer’s room as showrunner Damon Lindelof and his team set about taking the show farther and farther away from his book. Vulture spoke with Perrotta about several serious divergences we noticed in last night’s episode, and he generously broke it all down for us — what’s changed, how, and why, and what The Karate Kid has to do with it.As the episode opens, Holy Wayne’s compound is stormed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, Explosives, and Cults, and »
- Boris Kachka
Stop Wasting Your Breath. When the Guilty Remnant, the cult (or movement, or whatever) at the center of The Leftovers, tried to troll the good people of Mapleton out of their Heroes Day complacency, that was the message etched across its members' signs. Sure, the venue was inappropriate, and the method a little too protest-theater for its own good. But it's advice The Leftovers itself would do well to heed.
Summer Cable Smackdown: Our Complete 2014 Watch List
After a haunting, subtle series premiere, tonight's episode – called "Penguin One, Us Zero »
Last week’s premiere of The Leftovers left me a little uncertain about whether the series would be able to hold my attention for long. After all, there’s a difference between being miserable and being profound – and the pilot episode, though intriguing, didn’t convince me that showrunner Damon Lindelof and his writing staff have been able to delineate the boundaries between the two. “Penguin One, Us Zero” is a slow, slack hour (certainly not the episode to win over those fans hesitant after last week), and if it’s setting the tone for what The Leftovers is going to be week after week, I’m not sure I’m a fan. There’s too much dreariness and overwrought piano music in place of genuine emotion and character development, and the mysteries Lindelof has put out there could very easily last longer than my patience can stand.
This week, »
- Isaac Feldberg
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