It is overwhelming to think about all the minutes wasted mindlessly scrolling through streaming service after streaming service. As people get quarantined left and right, it’s absolutely vital that people stop wasting all that time and make the most of their time isolated with nothing but a phone and a TV.
The answer lies on HBO MAX, being none other than the series “The Leftovers” from 2014. I had only ever heard chatter about it from my parents years ago, yet what appeared before me ended up being the best content I’ve ever consumed on the silver screen. To every existentialist right now, this is the perfect show for you. In such melancholy times, it’s easy to begin to question personal themes of identity and purpose as every day is uncertain. This show seeks to shine a light on such issues in a global disaster similar to COVID-19.
The show takes place three years after a global disaster known as The Sudden Departure, in which roughly 2% (over 150,000,000 people) suddenly vanish into thin air without a trace. Some say it was the coming of The Rapture, a biblical event in which God ascends all of his true believers to heaven, while some work relentlessly to uncover its scientific origin. Nonetheless, the survivors struggle to rebuild amidst the constant grief.
The protagonist, Kevin Garvey, is the police chief in a small town outside of New York. The show follows his struggle to keep the peace within his community as well as his own mind. The plotlines intertwine to show the challenge of maintaining faith in times of the unknown, and the residual effects that grief and loss can have on the human psyche.
Creator Damon Lindelof received mass critical and commercial success with the series over its 3 season arc, with some reviews calling it “The Greatest Television Series of All-Time” on IMDB. From a production perspective, the show is masterfully acted, shot, lit and written.
The show has a way of sticking with you in a profound way. The grief of the characters becomes your own grief. After every episode, I wanted to call my family and tell them how much I loved them – because, in reality, anything can happen at any moment.
The show does not shy away from answering the big questions of life, and it does so with masterful execution. I sincerely hope that everyone reading can relate to this as much as I did.