At Dr. Loser we’re dedicated to watching all the cool TV shows this new fall season, while those of you who think you have “better things to do” can feel free to come here the next day and keep yourselves updated with what’s really important.
This week we’re looking at last weekend’s new season premiere of The Leftovers!
Why You Should Watch The Leftovers: Even I asked myself this question. There is football on instead, or Homeland, The Affair, Last Man on Earth, The Simpsons. Lots to watch on Sunday nights, so why would anyone want to go back to a convoluted, depressing show about some small town having an existential crisis following the disappearance of 2% of earth’s population, an event that happened off camera five years before the series starts.
Add to the fact that it’s written and produced by Damon Lindelof, one of the driving forces behind Lost. Ugh, right? A show with a major mystery at its core and this jerk at the helm. What he did with that Lost was like slowly put vanilla icing on top of a cake that already was covered in chocolate icing, and kept pointing at the caramel icing waiting in the wings to make you really curious about how this damn deliciously impossible looking cake was going to taste. And then when it was finished, he looked you in the eyes and tossed it in a flaming dumpster and cried about how you don’t care enough about the feelings of the chef who baked it. Who would be a big enough loser to watch another high concept mystery produced by this guy? Well, that’s why you come to the biggest losers around at Dr. Loser, isn’t it?
What happened this week that you need to know about: They started with a sequence that can really only be compared to stuff like the beginning of Tree of Life, the creation story in Aronofsky’s Noah, or the ape’s sequence in 2001 – A Space Odyssey. A grand metaphoric cave-woman tale of brith and death, earthquakes, ominous birds, eating eggs raw and devilish snake bites (boobs too… I mean, if you’re the kind of person who looks for things like that when cave people are involved).
Then there is the ongoing mini-subplot about Mark Linn Baker, the former star of 80s sitcom Perfect Strangers. In the first season he was briefly listed as being one of the people who’d disappeared and now in this episode is again briefly shown as having strangely faked his disappearance and is living in Mexico.
This season takes place in a brand new city in Texas where seemingly no one disappeared, and starring an entirely new family led by a fireman father who burns down houses and an epileptic teenage daughter who, for some reason, is show in a non-sequitur scene running naked through a forest.
The son from the family sells water from a nearby lake to tourists who visit this miracle town, and also brings home cooked meals to a shaggy, bearded homeless guy living on top of a scaffold in the town square.
And then in the end they go and bring back that original family form the first season, led by Justin Theroux, the man who most famously married Jennifer Aniston but should really be remembered for starring in Inland Empire, co-writing Iron Man 2, and playing the big bad guy in Charlie’s Angles – Full Throttle.
So, is this just going to be another case of gross misdirection, like that fantastic opening scene at the beginning of the second season of Lost that actually turned out to be the harbinger of the show’s muddled ruin? Have they doubled down on the mystery because they have no explanation for the mysteries of the first season? I guess we’re going to have to wait and see… and then call us losers (again) when it all goes wrong.