Leftovers: Season 1
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Leftovers, The: The Complete First Season (DVD)
From Damon Lindelof, co-creator of the hit series Lost, this one-hour drama focuses on a suburban town whose preconceptions are shattered in the wake of a global event dubbed “The Departure” (which may or may not have been the Biblical “rapture”), in which some people were taken and others left behind. Based on the bestselling 2011 novel by Tom Perrotta, the series focuses on denizens of the fictional town of Mapleton, three years after the fateful October 14 day when 140 million people – 2% of the world’s population – disappeared without a trace. Seen primarily through the eyes of beleaguered police chief Kevin Garvey (Justin Theroux – Mulholland Drive) and his family, the series shows how ordinary people react to inexplicable events that can unite or divide families and communities, revealing how the strain of an unprecedented calamity can turn people’s faith into cynicism, paranoia, madness, or cult-like fanaticism.]]>
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My sister recommended The Leftovers to me. After the second or third episode I confessed to her I didn’t like any of these people. They acted crazy and I said I didn’t know if I cared to see more of their lives. She reminded me they had all been traumatized and their craziness was their response to trauma.
That thought held my interest and slowly I began to get involved in their search to make some sense of what had happened to them. At first I was most puzzled by Laurie because she seemed like she had lost nothing and had one of most extreme reactions. Later her loss is revealed.
I so much liked Nora as she struggled to believe she had come to terms with her loss even as it became more obvious that was not the case. And Kevin who wound up discovering his bizarre gift to enter the world of the dead.
I began to realize that our lives are not that different. We all struggle to make sense of a perplexing world. Many of us – maybe most of us – are traumatized by life at some point. The Guilty Remnant is not that different from Westboro Baptist Church that pickets against homosexuality at military funerals. Nora’s struggle is not unlike the aftermath some people experience after a family member commits suicide.
To some degree we all feel that we were left in a place that never makes complete sense, that confounds us, disappoints us and leaves us lost. Maybe the only hedge against an uncertain world is companionship and it’s fragile at best.
I began the last episode with such hope for Kevin and Nora. They had persevered on a cobbled-together faith that did little more than protect them from the chaos that stalked them relentlessly. After going though so much, it seemed their remaining lives would have been so empty apart and alone.
As they each told their stories, tears streamed down my – tears of empathy for their suffering and sorry. When Kevin held out his hard and Nora placed hers in his, I felt at peace.