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[Warning: The next incorporates spoilers for the Season 1 finale of Watchmen, “See How They Fly.” Learn at your individual danger!]
Should you’re already clamoring for extra Watchmen after that wonderful first season got here to an finish on Sunday evening, we have got some dangerous information. Damon Lindelof has indicated that a second season of Watchmen is just not imminent, despite the fact that there’s loads of fan curiosity in seeing what occurs subsequent now that Angela Abar (Regina King) has presumably absorbed Dr. Manhattan’s essence with that egg. Lindelof is not ruling out a Season 2 altogether, however the showrunner says he merely does not have an thought value pursuing for it (but). Nonetheless, there’s one factor you’ll be able to watch proper now that may adequately fill the void you feel: The Leftovers.
Lindelof’s different high-concept adaptation for HBO was simply as dizzying and superb as Watchmen, albeit for very totally different causes. A tackle Tom Perotta’s ebook of the identical title, The Leftovers was set in a world the place 2% of the worldwide inhabitants had disappeared directly, and there was no clear rhyme or motive as to why it occurred. The purpose of The Leftovers was to not decide what truly occurred to these thousands and thousands of people that vanished, however to look at the determined factions and cults of character that might come up within the wake of such a horrible quandary. The end result was a gorgeous present that dared to discover the infinite and nonetheless, because the Season 2 theme track put it, “let the thriller be.”
Like Watchmen, The Leftovers is the story of a worldwide phenomenon advised by means of the lens of some distinctive characters. The Leftovers does not have masked vigilantes — or make the identical scathing statements on the perniciousness of racism in America that made Watchmen so highly effective — however the sequence does nonetheless have so much in frequent with Watchmen in relation to Lindelof’s signature present stylings.
Simply as Watchmen asks viewers for persistence because it builds a thriller that weaves collectively scattered journeys by means of time and house, The Leftovers expects its viewers to play passenger and revel in a experience that begins in a single place (each bodily and emotionally) and ends someplace utterly totally different. It takes time for The Leftovers to get the place it is going — with just a few exhilarating and otherworldly stops alongside the best way — however audiences can belief that it does get there. Each reveals are deliberate with each plot level and eccentricity, and so they construct to grand payoffs ultimately.
Watchmen and The Leftovers additionally share a refusal to stick to conventional hero tropes. Watchmen each humanizes its crime-fighters and interrogates their motives. The sequence asks whether or not the world is actually higher off with a choose few wielding such a big share of energy — and in that case, who’s worthy? The present presents even its most sympathetic characters with the sort of conflicts that make their standing as “good guys” more and more nebulous.
The identical will be stated of The Leftovers, which consistently calls into query the righteousness and rightness of its central characters and pairs no matter ethical strengths they could have proper alongside their blemishes. There is a household man and firefighter who burns down the homes of his enemies and a priest who will get blood on his palms. With out spoiling something, the third season of The Leftovers delves into the idea of the messiah advanced with a captivating stage of cynicism.
Justin Theroux, The Leftovers
Watchmen and The Leftovers can even share, at instances, a deeply dreadful environment. In each sequence, the entire world is only one misstep away from full self-destruction, and the individuals who consider they’re meant to cease that destruction are sometimes imbalanced, unreliable, and as scared as anybody else. In Watchmen Episode 5, the younger Wade Tillman (performed by Philip Labes in flashback and Tim Blake Nelson within the current) walks among the many carnage from the enormous squid assault and screams, “What occurred?” His state of utter confusion and hopeless amid the chaos may have simply match into one in every of The Leftovers’ foundational moments within the aftermath of the Sudden Departure. Should you can look previous the smattering of sea creatures, the second gives a preview of the prevailing temper of The Leftovers’ first season. That may not sound very enjoyable, and it is typically not. Like Watchmen, The Leftovers will be intense and disorienting.
On the identical time, although, each sequence earn fairly just a few laughs alongside the best way. With Watchmen, the humor is available in throwaway gags like Laurie’s (Jean Sensible) large blue dildo and Lube Man. On The Leftovers, flights of fancy come within the type of a deadpan investigation into the kidnapping of an area nativity’s child Jesus, a spirited Wu Tang-tracked trampoline session, and even a lion-themed intercourse boat. There’s an magnificence to the randomness of the subplots in each Watchmen and The Leftovers. Extra importantly, these moments of outlandishness assist to chop by means of the denseness of the fabric.
The Leftovers ran for 3 seasons on HBO and was a essential favourite, even when it was hardly ever an awards season contender. The sequence additionally impressed some intense fan devotion — viewers campaigning for a 3rd season gathered at HBO’s HQ within the all-white costumes of the Responsible Remnant, a cult that arose in response to the Departure. Nonetheless, viewership of The Leftovers was anemic at greatest throughout its run, so chances are high good that there are a variety of Watchmen followers who’ve but to expertise The Leftovers.
Following the controversy round Lindelof’s Misplaced’s finale, which many followers noticed as infuriating and incomplete, audiences might have been hesitant about how Lindelof would deal with wrapping up his subsequent dramas. Nonetheless, like Watchmen, The Leftovers has a technique to its insanity proper as much as the final scene. New viewers can go in assured that the ending won’t depart them hanging. On the identical time, The Leftovers nonetheless permits for — and even encourages — viewers to decide on what they consider, whereas offering ample help for a number of interpretations.
Put merely, should you favored what you noticed with Watchmen, it is basically a extra concentrated model of The Leftovers with a superhero bent. And if I nonetheless have not offered you on The Leftovers with this drumbeat simply but, properly, take into account this: The present additionally boasts one other exhilarating efficiency by the one and solely Regina King. So as soon as you’ve got made your peace with the truth that Watchmen Season 2 may not ever come, queue up The Leftovers to get pleasure from one other of Lindelof’s surreal small-screen experiences — or, should you’ve already seen it, simply watch it once more.
Watchmen and The Leftovers are each out there on HBO.
(Disclosure: TV Information is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.)
Carrie Coon and Justin Theroux, The Leftovers