Thursday, 10 December 2015
After doubting himself for leaving Dr Who because the only roles he got were bad guys in the like of GI Joe and Thor, Christopher Eccleston made it back to do TV work for a show called The Leftovers.
A wonderful yet quite depressing show. The premise is that 140 million people just vanished. No apparent reason for it, drivers vanished while driving to werk, people walking their dogs just went poof! Babies in car seats and even in the womb vanished too.
Saints, sinners, old, young, healthy and disabled just vanished. Justin Theroux (Mr Jennifer Aniston) plays the male lead of Kevin Garvey the Chief of Police for a small New York State town, he was shagging his mistress when she vanished from under him while his wife was having an ultrasound for her baby which also vanished ... yes, the show starts off that fucked up.
No one knows what to make of the disappearances but of course some in the US decide it has to be God. Cults are formed including the Guilty Remnant which has decided it was punishment for how they treated those that went. They felt resentful in life, took them for granted or didn't pay them any attention so maybe they deserved it.
You don't appreciate what you have until it's gone kinda thing.
In the same vein as Lost since it shares a creator of that show there are odd bits that hint towards a supernatural intelligence behind things like a stag that appears at odd times only to get into a house and trash it just to add to everyone's stress levels and birds that come to life after 3 days if you bury them in the special woods.
The story seems to be one of loss, guilt and acceptance .... maybe, who knows? It's fun watching the characters go through what they are dealing with.
The first season was all in New York State and introduced the Garvey family and those around them, all these various characters thinking that it's all about them only to find out they don't have a clue. It's as if they were being stalked by karma.
As well as a cult that goes out of its way to upset the families of those left behind there are insurance claims to file for anyone missing family, to make sure that they did depart and aren't hiding in Mexico like an aging TV star was found to be.
I'm not a big Christopher Eccleston fan, his character is a pastor whose wife was made paralyzed and left in a vegetative state during a car accident when the people vanished. He smiles and rants and insists every thing is ok but his life is falling apart, why were sinners taken while he a good Christian was left behind? ..... his character won me over and not because of his cock or his dodgy American accent.
That one episode had two intact cocks in it .... yay for not mutilating male babies!
The second season has Christopher Eccleston's character Matt Jamison move to a town in Texas that didn't have a single departure and they are claiming it to be a miracle town. His sister (who is now with Kevin Garvey) moved there too for a fresh start but there is some strange shit going on there as well.
Jamison said that on his first night there his wife Mary woke up for 3 hours and they spoke, laughed and made love before they fell asleep then she was a veggie again. He wheels his wife Mary to all the church services, empties her bag, brushes her teeth all the time becoming more and more frustrated that she won't wake up again and that no one believes him that it even happened.
He follows the crowd and joins a smug church that insists they must be special because they were spared the departures but while he says the words he doesn't really fit in there.
When it turns out that Mary is pregnant people ask how she could have possibly had given her consent for sex. He has to decide to either tell the truth or admit to having taken advantage of his veggie wife who couldn't have kids before the accident.
Matt Jamison gets knocked off his high horse of the fake moral highground that pretend Christians have to become a more humble and better Christian than he is ..... it's like there is a plan for them all to hit rock bottom once or twice before becoming stronger and better.
There are other new characters are in season two, all with equally fucked up story lines.
Kevin Garvey can be described as Lost's Jack with roid rage and while he wasn't very likeable in season one he wanted to be better so I liked him for that. His final wake up call comes from singing karaoke (there's more to it than just that) and seeing him going through annoyance at having to sing to when the words start to hit him is pretty amazing, this guy can act.
Like I said the show is depressing at times but it's compelling to watch as it deals with fear and uncertainty with normal people with faults trying to make sense out of a life that doesn't make sense.
If people just vanished out of your life would you then just give up on forming attachments? The departing is a dramatic tool to show us that people do just leave but if you give up and live in fear of that then you aren't living.