'The Leftovers: The Complete First Season'
(Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman, Christopher Eccleston, Chris Zylka, et al / 2-Disc Blu ray + Digital HD / NR / 2015 / Warner Bros.)
Overview: 'The Leftovers' revolves around mysterious disappearances, world-wide, and specifically follows a group of people who are left behind in the suburban community of Mapleton. They must begin to rebuild their lives after the loss of more than 100 people.
Blu ray Verdict: In truth, I love these kinds of show, so I knew going in that even though there were only ten (10) episodes in this first season, that a mighty fine one-day binge watch event was going to have to take place! And it most certainly did. 'The Leftovers,' as a show, has a good concept. What if a significant amount of people suddenly vanish? What kind of possibilities could cause this? How does it change the world?
However, this is NOT a Sci-Fi show ... not even a mystery drama ... just straight up drama about some random individuals. The is as far away from the great 'Lost' that anything ever could be also, just in case you were wondering. There are not, and never will be, any answers or insight into the disappearance. Not any additional footage or examples about the disappearance beyond the pilot.
OK, well, here is the gist: a bunch of people disappear, but don't think too much about how that happened, now watch the lives of some certain ordinary people go up and down years later. Unlike 'Lost' there is no balance between the main characters and the central mystery, and no sense of how the character's fate, past/present lives, and the central mystery are intertwined.
If there was some sort of unraveling mystery surrounding the circumstances of the disappearance, this show would be much better. Maybe follow someone trying to find the truth, and encountering ever more interesting and perplexing mysteries and conspiracies. Mix it up every now and then with some others things or circumstances that are not possible in the normal world.
But this show just focuses on society, and the lives of just a few people. And so sadly, as I headed into the seventh episode, it struck me that 'The Leftovers' contained people / characters that are just downright boring and uninteresting. There is no sense of connection with the characters. You don't really sympathize with any, outright hate any, or really understand the perspective of any of them. Any connection you might have had with the characters might well have even disappeared after the pilot - never to return again; if that's your observation, so to speak.
In closing, yes, I still liked 'The Leftovers' as a TV concept, but I didn't love it. And that's a huge difference to live with. So, I am deeply saddened to have to report that, having binge watched the entire first season now, that anyone who sticks with this show to the bitter end is going to be hopelessly led up the garden path chasing the proverbial wild goose ... until all they are left with is the purposelessness of the emotional wringer they have been put through trying to make sense of the senseless; along with some goose feathers and a hollow egg or two! Sorry. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.77:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Commentary on the Pilot and Finale Episodes
Making The Leftovers
I Remember: A Season One Conversation with Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta
Living Reminders: The Guilty Remnant
Beyond the Book: Season 2
Own it on Blu-ray Digital HD October 6th, 2015!