More than three years ago, 2% of the world’s population inexplicably vanished – 140 million people, gone in an instant. No country, no state, no city was spared, except for one small town in eastern Texas. Population: 9261. Departures: zero. This is the setting for a tale of two families: the Garveys, who have moved to this special place, and whose lives were forever changed by the Departure, and the Murphys, a local family that seems to have been spared from an event that shook the rest of the world. But even in the town of Miracle, you can’t escape your past. This “immersive, deeply satisfying drama” (Jen Chaney, Esquire) delivers profound mystery, heart-pounding action, stocking controversy and startling beauty in all 10 gripping Season Two episodes.
The Leftovers came and went in a timely manner. It’s only been a couple of months since I reviewed the first season (REVIEW) and now I’m reviewing the second season. After having reviewed the first season and giving it a recommendation was excited to tackle on this complete season, because I really did want to know where the show was going.
To say that the second season of Leftovers is anything but jarring would be an understatement. The opening credits have changed in tone and are now presented with folks having fun out as opposed to the first season’s church mural style, which had tons of supernatural overtones. Season two does not – it has an almost satirical edge to it – and that’s just the opening credit sequences.
After the events ending season 1 Kevin Garvey (Justin Theroux) and company set out to find a new place to call home. They end up in a town with zero “Departures.” Word spreads about the “miracle” and everyone that is able makes it a go of finding refuge and safety there. It’s also become a tourist destination as lots of the townsfolk have set up a marketplace to sell trinkets and “miracle water” to folks that can pay.
Certain characters have secrets as does several of the key members of the cast. Kevin is running from his not-so-distant-past and that same past can’t be outrun. This complicates things; because when Kevin has an outburst it’s not necessarily a private one. The show still plays with an abstract formula in that it doesn’t want to show us anything but tells everything until it doesn’t. There’s a terrific completely silent scene involving a prehistoric “dawn of man” scene that runs several minutes long that feels like something out of 2001: A Space Odyssey before we’re returned to the present world. What was that scene all about? I can only speculate.
The Leftovers Season 2 feels less supernatural and more religious in tone – since we do get more instances and references to biblical lore than traditional boogeyman or that Satan banishing everyone to hell or whatever. The tone differs from season one to season two. There is one episode that has to be the coolest one that I have seen in a long while that involves Kevin and the great lengths that he has to go through in order to keep his sanity. I must have had a silly grin throughout the entire episode.
In any event I will say that The Leftovers: The Complete Second Season offers a bit of the same from the first season but introduces more characters and moves slowly towards a final explanation. I did read that there’s a third season in the horizon and that will be arriving in late August sometime, so you have a long time to catch up. My initial rating for season 2 is a guarded one, because it is progressing at a slow pace – the show is not for everyone especially those that are not patience at this point.
A Matter of Geography
No Room at the Inn
A Most Powerful Adversary
I Live Here Now
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Clarity/Detail: The Blu-ray set looks great and I only spotted a few instances of contrast boosting and figured that it was used for stylistic purposes – the same with the occasional lens flare.
Depth: There are many scenes throughout the show and that are reproduced amazingly for the high definition format. You can easily forget that you’re watching a television show, because you can get sucked right into the world presented.
Black Levels: Black levels are nice and natural and do suffer instances of crush or compression.
Color Reproduction: The color palette shifts depending on the story. One moment it will be nice and colorful, the next will be drab and muted.
Flesh Tones: Everyone looked nice and natural. Not too sickly and not too tan – depending on the characters.
Noise/Artifacts: The Blu-ray set was noise and artifacts-free.
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish
Dynamics: The lossless surround sound track on this Blu-ray set is near reference. Everything from the dialogue driven scenes to the action packed ones (yes, there is action!) is reproduced amazingly. It does take a small tumble in the subwoofer department and you can read more of that in the LFE portion of this review section.
Low Frequency Extension: This one was peculiar, because even with certain scenes involving typical action, violence, and music, the LFE channel only woke up during scenes that involved earthquakes and tremblers. It was so odd.
Surround Sound Presentation: The surround sound channels never muddle up and handle the ambience perfectly.
Dialogue Reproduction: Dialogue levels are outstanding – everyone can be heard without problems.
Here’s an odd omission. The Leftovers: Season 2 is a barebones Blu-ray set. Season 1 was fully loaded but they skimped out completely on this Blu-ray set. Whether it was to keep a certain level of mystery to the show is anyone’s guess – or there wasn’t enough money in the budget for it – I do not know. A Digital HD UltraViolet Copy is included. Yay.
- Digital HD UltraViolet Copy
The Leftovers: The Complete Second Season carries on pretty much like the first season. You have to be patient. The opening episodes are somewhat jarring but get better as you go along. The Blu-ray set features some great video and audio specifications but the absolute lack of special features is just downright confusing. The Leftovers: Season 2 is still recommended.