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"
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"
The second episode of season 3, “Don’t Be Ridiculous” is what the creators of the show call a “Nora episode,” since she will be our main POV (point of view) throughout the episode. This is one of those Leftover episodes (very much like the whole first season) that dwell on the desperation of the characters confronting what seems like a cruel and meaningless universe. Nora has lost her children and her husband during the Sudden Departure, and just when she was rebuilding her life with Kevin and Lily (the daughter of Holy Wayne and Christine), Christine decided to take her back. The episode feels like a punch in the stomach, but it is also a moving exploration of what it is to live with nothing to live for. Nora is like the Biblical Job without the faith, shit just keeps happening to her, and she is getting to the point where she can’t take it anymore. If you think this sounds grim, the episode does have a funny plot that includes Mark Linn-Baker from the 80s sitcom Perfect Strangers as himself. We also get a glimpse of Kevin Sr. in Australia and what I think might be the Four Horse(wo)men of the Apocalypse!Read more "”Don’t Be Ridiculous” The Leftovers Season 3 Episode 2 Recap"
Welcome to this recap of the first episode of the third and last season of HBO’s The Leftovers. The episode offers a bit of everything: a prologue that contextualizes the main theme of the season (waiting for the end of the world), it reboots itself in terms of some of the characters and the main […]Read more "The Book of Kevin: The Leftovers Season 3 Episode 1 Recap"
As you may have heard, we live in the era of Peak TV, which basically means there are so many good shows out there in so many different platforms that it has become increasingly stressful to figure out what to watch. Since this is a blog that focuses on religion in popular culture, here is a […]Read more "Religion on TV: a list for 2017"
Since in this blog I have been discussing some of the TV Shows in which religion or religious issues play a big role, I decided to create a list of some of the most interesting shows right now on network TV, cable, and streaming services that deal with this topic. The list is not exhaustive, and […]Read more "Religion on TV: A List"