23 July 2014 | robchat
this is top British style drama straight from the USA
I am from England and I just so happen to be visiting some friends in the USA where this show has just come out and is presently on episode 4.
I have just watched all four episodes and came to IMDb to see what people have to say about it. I am really surprised that the reviews are so negative by so many people!
This show will do really well in Britain (that's England, Scotland and Wales - the UK includes Northern Ireland too) because British drama is often gritty, solemn, and very very dark. And so is this show.
No one in 'The Leftovers' is happy. Everyone is mourning the loss of their loved ones in the aftermath of a a global event in which 2% of the world's population inexplicably disappeared. They are also dealing with the pain caused by the subsequent suffering of people around them, and its consequences.
This show has top notch acting by all concerned and is driven by the development of the characters, and the unfolding of events that now follow the rapture.
Nothing is explained in the beginning and the viewer is supposed to attempt to piece together what is going to unfold as the season goes on and the events slowly start to make sense to us.
It seems to me that here in the US, many people do not like thinking when watching the television. That might sound harsh, but it is truly beyond me how a show like this can get so many poor reviews when a show like 'Teen Wolf' (which I also saw for the first time a few days ago) is praised to the hilt.
The episode of 'Teen Wolf' I watched cut between 4 separate scenes like a Latin American soap opera that consisted of a guy pointing a gun at two Mexicans who were trying to get him to say some words out loud, and a lacrosse game with an angry werewolf and some very shocking acting.
'The Leftovers', on the other hand, is fantastic captivating storytelling; rather than a show whose purpose is to dumb down a nation, it requires people to use their brains and think about the darker side of the reality we actually live in today.
As a side note, the British actor Christopher Eccleston loves this kind of material. Check out the original British version of 'Cracker' or 'The Second Coming' (in which he plays the return of the son of God) to see what I mean. British cinema is no different. Christopher Eccleston stars in both 'Shallow Grave' and 'Jude' - two excellent dark and depressing films that show the depths of human suffering that the values of society perpetuate.
In episode 3 of 'The Leftovers', his character the priest attempts to save his church with an idea that seems to come from supernatural inspiration. The underlying question in the episode is whether or not he is on a path of good or evil in the way he chooses to do so.
'The Leftovers' is intelligent and it is thought-provoking. The writing is excellent, and the quality of this show, to my mind, is indisputable.
Nevertheless, I don't think that the content of this show is for everyone. Episode 3 in particular was so sinister that it was tough viewing. And not everyone wants to deliberately delve into a world of misery once a week. Just don't watch something like 'Teen Wolf' instead!