No, I'm not talking about last night's meat loaf. HBO has premiered a new series called "The Leftovers." Fascinated by the previews, I recorded it and watched it this morning.
It's an eerie premise. One day the world was normal then everything changed. Focused on a small town in upstate NY, it begins with the day it all went wrong. A young mother is in a laundromat with a crying infant in his car seat. She's multi-tasking doing laundry and talking constantly on her cellphone. She finally gets the baby strapped in the car's backseat and gets in the car shutting the door, still yakking on the phone, and trying to shush her screaming little boy. All of a sudden, he is silent. Surprised she looks over the seat and discovers he has disappeared. She panics when she cannot find him anywhere. There are other people calling for their loved ones who vanished with her baby. It crescendos into wailing, screaming, and the sounds of cars that lost their drivers crashing into each other.
In the next scene it's three years later. We meet the police chief, his daughter, and his son. There are lots of people who vanished on The Day. In the media there are arguments between the religious and the non-believers as to whether it was the Rapture or not. Two percent of the world's population has disappeared.
There is a strange cult of watchers who do not speak, constantly smoke cigarettes, dress all in white, and stand around as reminders of all the people who are gone. In the beginning episode, they come to the remembrance day that commemorates the event some three years earlier. Their silent presence and hand-made signs stir the crowd to violence and a melee ensues.
The police chief sees his wife among the demonstrators. She left him and their two children to join the bizarre cult. I don't know why smoking is a prerequisite to belong, but apparently it is. The members walk around with lit cigarettes always hanging out of their mouths, even a meals. Pleasant atmosphere, no doubt...
There is interesting symbolism that has yet to be explained and may never be, who knows. An elk appears to the police chief in his dreams and in reality. To some Native Americans, an elk (wapiti) is a spirit guide or power animal. I don't know what the connection is in this story, but there is a definite metaphysical aspect to the animal and his appearance in the story.
On that note, I have to tell you I downloaded the book this afternoon to my Kindle. I want to figure out what's going on in this enigmatic series. I found the pilot episode both compelling and repulsive at times. This bears further watching (further recording and watching later, that is...)I may review the book later, so look for more info.
My big news for the month of July is that my novel will be available in the next few weeks. You can bet I'll keep you posted on that.
Take care and mind the heat...I don't know about where you are, but it's hot as blazes here and the ac is working overtime. My poor shih tzus need to be clipped. Until their appointment in two days, they'll be panting like a salacious old man and woman. Hang in there, guys...