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I’m curious about HBO’s upcoming series The Leftovers. I’m interested in anything disturbing based around a mystery. That said, I’m also very cautious. Many reviews of the novel complained that there was no real explanation for why the people disappeared.
Pardon me, dear reader. I need to pause a moment to feed the trolls. Trolls, before you call me an idiot or an uncultured moron, let me say I understand that sometimes in a story, every question isn’t answered. I understand that’s the case in real life as well. However, there are stories that leave questions open and make you feel cheated and there are those that leave questions open and still leave you satisfied. The former far outnumber the latter. Okay, trolls fed, let’s move on.
The trailers for The Leftovers look cool. The premise is interesting, but whenever I see the words, “From a former writer of Lost,” my guard goes up.
So the trailers for The Leftovers look cool. The premise is interesting, but whenever I see the words, “From a former writer of Lost,” my guard goes up.
I can never forget the absolutely insane, bizarre, dare-I-say psychotic (I dared) level that some fans of Lost went to in deciphering the hidden messages and symbols while trying to understand why the island had such strange powers. They were rewarded with no answers. So of course, while I enjoyed the movie Prometheus (written by an ex-Lost guy) I was intrigued by its ancient aliens premise, I didn’t meditate on it too much. (As I said in my review here.)
Maybe it’s not fair to hold Lost against its writers, in the same manner it’s not fair that I am wary of Stephen King novels. In my teen years, I got burned by one too many of his tales that beautifully established wonder but then fizzled out by answering nothing. That’s why, in my opinion, the move The Mist was better than the story. I loved both, but the movie closed off questions more adequately.
So what other movies leaves questions open well? I personally vote for Cloverfield. You don’t get all the answers, but you get some. You can argue whether the movie sucked or not, or if the answers were lame, but you see the monster clearly, you learn enough to realize the monster was either an alien or woken by a meteorite crashing to earth. You follow the characters to their ends. You don’t get all the answers, but you get enough. I’d also vote the same for the Godzilla reboot. You don’t learn Godzilla’s entire history but you learn enough. There are others, but I’m not here to discuss specifics, just a general dislike of the difference between unanswered questions that satisfy and those that don’t.
HBO has done a superb job of translating Game of Thrones to the screen. In fact, I think it’s one of those rare cases where the video is better than the book. The books are insanely verbose and I don’t need to know for the fortieth time that a capon was eaten at a feast. The HBO version may lose some character detail, but it’s better than the books because it loses a dung heap of pointless details.
HBO is probably the top producer of shows and movies there is, I can only hope they provide the same treatment to The Leftovers. If not, I’ll disappear as a viewer. Lousy pun intended.