Leftovers s3

I also think it’s nice to have a week to reflect on an episode.

Yeah. Also, my hope is … And I think that it’s obviously also to ask given what the media culture is and how much excellent television there is, and just when I get totally overwhelmed by the shows that are going to be on in the spring. Between American Gods premiering, and Twin Peaks coming back, and the new season of Fargo starting, it just feels like it’s an embarrassment of excellent shows.

But I do hope that maybe some of the people who binged The Leftovers when we sent out all seven will revisit some of the episodes or re-experience them, because I do think that they’re packed pretty tight. It’s not that people miss things the first time around, but once you are free of the anxiety of “What’s going to happen next?” you’re just experiencing the show and letting the show sink in, or at the very least joining the conversation of “How is someone who doesn’t have episode two to put in immediately after the premiere going to be processing some of the events that happened in episode 1?” You kind of know what it’s al leading to, but the rest of the audience doesn’t. I think that could potentially be an interesting experience.

The show deals with some heavy themes, symbolism, religion, and surrealism, but not in a way that ever feels pretentious. Is that ever a concern, something you have to stay conscious of?

You totally have to be conscious of it, and I’m a very pretentious person, and a lot of the writers are pretentious. I don’t think pretentious is necessary a bad thing, but it can be a bad thing if you are not comfortable enough to say “I am pretentious.” That’s when it gets dangerous.

Another show that I love is Mad Men, and it could be incredibly, off-puttingly pretentious through a certain lens, but then suddenly someone’s foot would get run over by a lawnmower, and you’d be like, “Okay, Matt Weiner gets it.” I kind of feel like the shows takes itself both incredibly seriously, but it knows that it’s taking itself incredibly seriously, and that is creating a level of comfort in watching it. I don’t feel like the show is talking down to me. I feel like the show is making me want to evolve.

So you have to cut your pretention. You can’t drink the vodka straight. It needs a little bit of ginger ale and a cherry.

When The Leftovers started, did you know you wanted to one day focus more on Kevin’s relationship with his father?

I saw Scott Glenn last night at the premiere, and he reminded me, we had a Skype call because Kevin Senior gets introduced at the end of the second episode of the show, and he basically has this one big scene. When I talked to Scott I said, “We’re not going to see this guy a lot in season one. We’ll probably see him again in episode six, where we have an idea for how he escapes the mental institution. Then we’re going to do a flashback episode where we see what everybody was like before the departure, and we’ll need you for that. But it’s not a gargantuan part, and I want to be upfront about that with you. But I will say that I think that this guy once he flies the coop, he’s going to go on some kind of walkabout.” Walkabout was the word that I used with him. He reminded me that I said that to him, and obviously, that was an episode of Lost that was highly remembered and Lost started in Australia. John Locke on this walkabout.

So I believed Scott that I used that word, but I don’t think that I meant it literally. But he was like, “But lo and behold, we ended up in the outback.” I had always communicated to him that Kevin Senior was going to be the part of the show that basically flirted with the mystical. He really just kind of tore into that idea, and so by the time he came back in season two and told Kevin that he was going to Australia … We shot that crazy scene where for [episode] “International Assassin” where he’s in a hotel room covered in face paint, and saying that he’s in Perth, and that he’s under the influence of a hallucinogen.

By that point, I think that we were pretty hopeful that if there was a third season of the show, that the adventures of Kevin Senior in the outback was going to be an episode that we were pretty excited about writing.

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Check back Friday for part two of our interview with Damon Lindelof. 

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