I’ll Always Have Room for The Leftovers

By: Tory  |  Published: November 25th, 2015   |  Category: Tory Shulman News


You know the feeling. When you get itchy and cold and you don’t know why. Everything starts to annoy you and you’ve developed a nail biting habit that eats through gel. You, my friend, are in binging withdrawl and I am here to help.

Maybe you’ve seen all the faves. Even the deep faves. “Narcos Smarcos!” you say with a sigh. “I need something new, something witty, something dry.” And suddenly you’re Dr Seuss.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you: “The Leftovers” season 2.

If you’ve watched or tried to watch “The Leftovers” season 1 — I feel for you. I admit it had a great hook. What does the world look like when 2 percent of the population or 146 million people suddenly vanish into thin air? Practically speaking, how do people left handle the loss, the confusion, the lack of any closure? Ok, so far so good. And it was good. But the show got muddy and messy and so bogged down in melodrama and self-importance that it almost got swamp ass. (Did you see what I did there? Bogged–Swamp Ass. #yes) So much so that I knew exactly how many times to hit fast-forward on my remote control to perfectly skip the opening credits filled with gothic figures morphing into screaming demons. Ugh.
But season 2 is so different and so wildly more entertaining. The melodrama is replaced with a heightened sense of cheeriness and it’s this oddly, upbeat tone that leads to ultimately a more creepy show. And the buoyant opening is now one of my favorites of all time with a theme song I constantly sing in the shower.
Justin Theroux and Carrie Coon take in Lily, the baby left on their doorstep and move to a new house in a new location. Welcome to Miracle, Texas–a town famous for not losing a single person during the departure. Miracle is dappled in optimism and happiness –blooming with oak trees and friendly neighbors including the Murphys who live next door played by Kevin Carroll and Regina King. Sidenote: I have loved Regina King since Jerry Maguire but she soars in this role. To be honest, for you to believe some of the things that are happening to be even remotely possible you need actors that will absolutely ground you in reality and she is at the top of that game.  In fact, that goes for the entire cast. Theroux and Coon couldn’t seem more real and Ann Dowd as the ghost of Patti Levin is so gritty, she’ll give you road rash.
At the heart of this season is whether or not Miracle, Texas is, in fact, miraculous. Or is it all just a publicity stunt aimed at the bus load of tourists that pour in in everyday?  This singular question cleaves the town in two and only becomes more complicated when the wholesome Murphy daughter and her two friends suddenly depart into thin air.
I don’t want to give too much away but suffice it to say things get “weird” but in that “good weird” type of way. It’s old school Lindeloff at his very best and if you loved “Lost” you will love this Season. (Actually, there are an abundance of similarities between the two shows–enough for there to be forums on the subject but I enjoy my sanity too much to go jumping into that rabbit hole.)  If you like smart and bold cinematic choices you will love this season. If you like raw and earthy acting mixed with psychologically thrilling plot points you will love this eason.
So go on and heal thy binging jitters. There’s nothing better than some good old Leftovers.