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Monday, June 30, 2014

The Leftovers, Episode One: The Metaphor

Posted By on Mon, Jun 30, 2014 at 10:00 AM

click to enlarge FLICKR
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This new HBO show about The Rapture is a huge metaphor. It's a metaphor for the AIDS crisis, for 9-11, for Sandy Hook. Anything where large groups of people disappeared en masse, seemingly overnight.

Ultimately thought it's about the existential human condition (yeah, I'm-a go there); we are all plunked down here and have no idea why we exist or why we one day cease to exist. Yet we get up every day and don't really think about it... until someone leaves us.

I'm calling the premise The Rapture, but the show doesn't really explain why, on October 14 of one year, two percent of the world disappeared. Everyone has their own theories or is passing judgment on those who remain. In a smallish American town, a mysterious cult full of people who smoke cigarettes plagues some of those left behind, though we aren't really told why they smoke or why they wear all white and don't speak.

click to enlarge Justin Theroux - WIKIPEDIA
  • Wikipedia
  • Justin Theroux

The police chief, played by Justin Theroux, is an angsty mess, his two kids are spiraling downward, and at the end of the show we realize that their mom wasn't "raptured," she's in the cult. Things will be unfolding with each episode. It's all strange enough to keep me interested, but in the hands of less capable actors it will be a tedious, bleak slog. Instead, it's just bleak. And I love it.

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About The Author

Katy St. Clair


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