Are you a Muslim if you eat bacon? What about if you drink alcohol? Do you need to pray five times a day? Can you pick and choose in order to create your own identity as a Muslim? And what does it even mean to be a Muslim (or a Christian, or a Hindu)? How […]Read more "Eating Bacon and Being a Muslim in Aziz Ansari’s Master of None"
Last week, HBO aired the finale of The Leftovers. For three seasons, the show, examined the social, psychological, and spiritual effects of an event, called the Sudden Departure, in which 2% of the world’s population simply vanished without any explanation. The series was an exploration of loss and grief, but also of the role that religion […]Read more "The Leftovers Finale: An Interview with Damon Lindelof"
On Sunday, HBO aired the series finale of The Leftovers. The show, created by Damon Lindelof and based on Tom Perrotta’s 2011 novel of the same name, examined the social, psychological, and spiritual effects of an event, called the Sudden Departure, in which 2% of the world’s population simply vanished without any explanation. The finale […]Read more "The Leftovers Finale: A Conversation with Reza Aslan"
Welcome to our weekly recap of the third and final season of the Leftovers. If we began the season with the Book of Kevin, we ended with the Book of Nora, making clear that, even though the series presented itself as a grand metaphysical mystery, it also was, at its heart, a love story. Do Kevin and Nora end up together? Do we find out what caused the Sudden Departure? Do we figure out what the hell was up with that National Geographic magazine? As HBO wisely warned us in its description of the episode “Nothing is answered. Everything is answered. And then it ends.”Read more "The Leftovers Season 3 Episode 8 Recap: The Book of Nora"
Welcome to our weekly recap of the third and final season of the Leftovers. The end is almost near (only one episode left!) and tonight’s episode offered some important answers to many of our questions. The episode, like International Assassin in season 2, took place mostly in “the other world.” Kevin dies (again) and becomes once more an international assassin, although his mission this time is to stop the end of the world. Does he succeed? Does Kevin really have an identical twin? What’s up with that romance novel? What is the Fisher Protocol? And what does it all mean?!?!?!? If this is not enough, the episode includes some old beloved (well, not really loved) characters, and a pretty funny joke about Justin Theroux’s penis.Read more "The Leftovers Season 3 Episode 7 Recap: The Most Powerful Man in the World (and His Identical Twin Brother)"
Welcome to our weekly recap of the third and final season of the Leftovers. In The Myth of Sisyphus, the French existentialist Albert Camus argued that “there is only one really serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide. Deciding whether or not life is worth living is to answer the fundamental question in philosophy. All […]Read more "The Leftovers Season 3 Episode 6 Recap: “Certified”"
This really was a Matt, Matt, Matt episode. Matt, John, Michael, and Laurie travel to Australia to try to bring Kevin back to Jarden before the 7th anniversary of the Sudden Departure in order to stop the end of the world. In their journey, they accidentally end up traveling in the Love Boat (or the Biblical, Sodom and Gomorrah version of it), we meet Frazier the Lion, and the always so righteous Matt (or is he self-righteous?), finally completes his Biblical Job-like journey, filled with suffering and sacrifice, by meeting God (or is he?) and confronting him about the reason for it all. The episode also includes references to Daniel 6:22, we hear Jewish prayers such as the Avinu Malekeinu and the Ashrei, and Carl Gustav Jung’s Answer to Job may help us understand that final scene. The title of the episode is also an homage to the 1963 comedy directed by Stanley Kramer “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.”Read more "The Leftovers Season 3 Episode 5 Recap: “It’s a Matt, Matt, Matt, Matt World”"
Welcome to our review of the fourth episode of the third and final season of The Leftovers, “G’Day Melbourne.” The episode is, overall, an exploration of the, sometimes, thin line between faith and delusion. We also witness the end of a central relationship (the world is not the only thing ending!), an old character returns (or does she?), Nora continues her personal investigation of the LADR scientists, and I will also discuss the reference to a National Geographic magazine that keeps popping up throughout the show, and that has sent many of The Leftovers fans down the rabbit hole of interpretationRead more "The Leftovers Recap Season 3 Episode 4: “G’Day Melbourne:”"
Welcome to our recap of the third episode of the final season of The Leftovers, “Crazy Whitefella Thinking.” This was a Kevin Sr. POV (point of view) episode that finally takes us to Australia, where the rest of the season will take place. In this episode Kevin Sr. is convinced that he is the Messiah (not his son!), […]Read more "“Crazy Whitefella Thinking:” The Leftovers Recap Season 3 Episode 3"
“Would you believe that all the gods that people have ever imagined are still with us today? And that there are new gods out there, gods of computers and telephones and whatever, and that they all seem to think there isn’t room for them all in the world. And that some kind of war is kind […]Read more "One Nation Under Many Gods: Myth, Religion, and Neil Gaiman’s Search for the American Soul"