More TV quickies:
The Leftovers. OK, it’s been three episodes now, I better say something about it. The premise is intriguing (the world, two years after 2% of human population disappeared, Rapture-like). There is a good mixture of talent associated with the project, both behind the camera (Damon Lindelof of Lost, Tom Perrotta who wrote the novel on which it’s based, Peter Berg and Sarah Aubrey of Friday Night Lights) and on screen (Justin Theroux, along with many TV-recognizable names like Amy Brenneman, Christopher Eccleston, and Michael Gaston … not to mention Liv Tyler). Thus far, it is an uncompromising series … it’s not easy to like, it’s not clear they care if you like it, and if you wonder if they’ll ever explain what the hell is going on, remember Damon Lindelof worked on Lost. The third episode even took a stylistic change from the first two, which is pretty early for such shenanigans. I’ll stick with “intriguing” for now.
Masters of Sex. Season Two begins, and it’s at least as good as it was before. Masters and Johnson continue to turn themselves into human pretzels as they try to convince each other they are not in love, just fucking for science. Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan make the characters believable. And I hear Sarah Silverman is going to show up at some point.
The Strain. Fairly loony horror thriller, like The Leftovers if the creators actually wanted to entertain their audience. It’s got Guillermo del Toro behind it (along with Chuck Hogan), and that’s pedigree enough for me. The cast is most semi-known “that guys”, although there’s a hobbit running around, too. (Who knew that Sean Astin was 43 years old? Heck, his mom Patty Duke is 67!) You don’t have to wait forever to figure out what The Strain is about … it’s about creepy, scary stuff, and who cares if it makes no sense.
Meanwhile, the latest edition of 24 concluded this week. It was more of the same … the only reason it wasn’t tired old news is that we’d had a break of a few years, and there were only 12 episodes instead of 24. Jack Bauer was still Jack Bauer, the main bad guy changed several times, many many people died, Jack saved the day. There was some fun casting … not only did we get the return of Chloe O’Brian, but there was Lady Stark from Game of Thrones, Chris Partlow from The Wire, and Yvonne Strahovski as Jane Bauer. Nothing new, but we checked in every week. Grade for 24: Live Another Day: B.
Still to come at some point: I actually read some books.