Man…jury duty definitely took a bite out of me today. Getting up at 5:45 this morning was straight outta my high school days, when I used to do that every day Monday through Friday. That’s crazy for me to think about now, given that it’s been a struggle to get me regularly out of bed at 8:45 😛
But, up I was, buttcrack of dawn. And it was light out, which is just crazy town. The swing between summer days and winter days has become more and more pronounced for me somehow over the years. And, don’t get it twisted, I’m a huge fan of how much light we get in the summer, and definitely a huge NOT fan of the winter times, especially down here in SoCal, where it literally gets darker a good half hour to 45 minutes earlier than it does up in my native Northern Cali.
I almost didn’t get up at 5:45 this morning. I’d set my alarm for 5:45 P.M., like a freaking idiot. I’ve done that too many times, let me tell you. But…by the grace of all that is holy and science, my internal clock woke me up 4 minutes early. How crazy is that shit??? I’d definitely gone to sleep with it firmly in my mind that I was swinging myself out of bed on time. I’d mapped out how long it was going to take me to get where I needed to be, and there was no room for mucking about. It was the Red Line before 6:37 or bust. As it was, I made it to the 6:27 train, and I was standing maybe 15 people or so back from the front of the line at the courthouse by 6:50. Twenty minutes later, that line was all the way down the block and turning the corner.
No one got called today, so I was able to actually get a decent amount of work done. Knocked out 6 pages of my novel in, like, 45 minutes, and then I worked on the pilot for an hour or so. It was awesome. When I got there, I was so tired and out of it, I really didn’t think I was going to follow through with doing anything. But, I perked up after some food, and dove in.
I also watched the pilot episode of “The Leftovers” and I have to say…it’s exactly what I thought it would be. I *do* think that Damon Lindeloff is a better suited kind of writer for television, as opposed to his movie writing which invariably makes me want to destroy my television/movie theater. The acting, the writing, the set-up…it was all fine. And, reading about the book was very interesting because I didn’t realize it was from the same writer as Election and Little Children. So, there’s definitely some narrative pedigree behind this one along with HBO’s rep for pulling off good shit. But…
BUT…I’m just not into the concept. For reals. It’s exactly what I thought it was going to be, which is this pitch: what if the rapture happened tomorrow? But, our story’s not *about* the rapture, it’s about all the people left behind trying to deal with it!
Boooorrrriiiinnnngggggg…I’m sorry, it’s boring to me. There’s no adventure. No knowledge to uncover. Just a bunch of unhappy people examining grief and faith, and “what’s it all mean?” It’s just not my kind of show.
And, the pilot really kind of bore that out for me, as did reading the synopsis of the book. NOTHING HAPPENS. All of this doom and dire predictions about the anniversary, the healing guru all “It’s time to do work!”…and we’re supposed to feel like the payoff is a bunch of townsfolk trying to beat up the religious cult? Lame! Limited! Not exciting to me…and BEEN DONE BEFORE.
How many freaking “hell in a handbasket” shows do we have to put up with at one time? This is The Walking Dead without the zombies…and not even that extreme, because let’s be real: if 2% of the world’s population disappeared, there’s no fucking way we’d go all Children of Men and act like the world was over, screaming “there’s no point!” and throwing ourselves off of buildings (yes, both those are in the pilot). That just strikes me as a complete, convenient-for-the-sake-of-plot, overreaction. In the book, no more people disappear, because I get it, it’s not the POINT of the story, where they went or why, it’s all about the grief left behind. But you know what? The world, then, is going to move on just like it would if 120,000,000 people died in a war (half that died in WWII)…it’s not an apocalyptic event, is it? Would it freak people out? For sure. Would there be parades and group mourning? Undoubtedly. But, change the world as much as causing people to give up on life? Shit like that happens. It’s not a “fuck it, might as well kill myself” kind of occurrence. I’m just not buying it…especially as a narrative premise.
Now, I don’t know where they’re going with the show, and I also didn’t read the book, which could be far more reasonable in tone and with a more personal lens than Lindeloff seems to giving the reaction to “October 14th”…but I just had a hard time with the central core of this show, plausibly, or entertainment-value-wise. I can totally see the book being an interesting read, centering around one family, putting a microscope to such a widespread event. THAT’S entirely plausible. A family falling apart because of their individual loss is completely reasonable. But the global news reports and injected sense of “the world is over” that was infused into this pilot was just stupid. I mean, they’re really counting off the missing tallies country-by-country THREE YEARS after the event happened? If you want to play that kind of global apocalypse card, you need a more dramatic premise like Cuaron’s.
That’s all the vitriol I have for tonight 😛 We’ll see you tomorrow.