Hello again, and goodbye forever

‘Twin Peaks,’ ‘The Leftovers’,’Broadchurch,’ ‘La La Land.’

May 4, 2017 09:00
3 minute read.
'The Leftovers'

'The Leftovers'. (photo credit: PR)

If you trace the roots of today’s golden age of quality television, you will go straight to David Lynch’s iconic 1990 drama series Twin Peaks. Every episode of the original series, an unclassifiable blend of noir, horror and snark, is now available on YES Binge and YES VOD, in advance of the release of the new Twin Peaks on May 22.

Lynch, the first director to decide that television offered opportunities for a different kind of storytelling — and wasn’t just slumming for moviemakers on the way down — will be at the helm again. Much of the original cast will also be back, including Madchen Amick, Dana Ashbrook, Sheryl Lee and Kyle MacLachlan.

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Based on the just-released trailer, it’s going to be weird, dark and scary.

Speaking of dark and scary, the third and final season of The Leftovers is off to a promising start, with Kevin (Justin Theroux) and Nora (Carrie Coon) heading off to Australia after Nora gets wind of either a miraculous opportunity or a vicious scam to see her departed children again. For those of you who aren’t watching it, the tragic and darkly comic series is about a world grappling with the sudden and inexplicable disappearance of two percent of the world’s population, an event called the Departure.

Nora is a woman who lost her entire nuclear family and works for the government, investigating scams that promise the return of loved ones, but she can’t ignore this proposal. Perhaps that’s because it comes from Mark Linn- Baker, one of the stars of the 1980s sitcom Perfect Strangers, who plays himself. The series uses him to illustrate the absurdity of the world The Leftovers portrays, where Linn-Baker’s three co-stars have disappeared, and he is jealous, even faking his own disappearance. Gary Busey is another departed celebrity whom fans pray will come back, even creating larger-than-life balloons of him.

Damon Lindelof, the creator of The Leftovers, recently headed the jury of the Series Mania competition, a prestigious television contest in France, which gave the top prize to the new Israeli series Your Honor, which airs on YES. The tense series, about a judge who becomes entangled in a web of deceit when he tries to cover up his son’s guilt in a hit-and- run accident, is suspenseful and well acted. Lindelof took a moment off from his Series Mania judging duties to send a message to Israeli TV viewers via social media, telling us that he hopes we enjoy the third season of The Leftovers, which is airing on HOT HBO and YES Oh.

I’ve seen all of Season Three of Broadchurch, the sublimely acted and written British crime drama, which was just released on HOT Xtra VOD, and it’s as brilliant and suspenseful as the first two.

Alec Hardy (David Tennant) and Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman), the continually sparring detectives, are back investigating the brutal sexual assault of Trish (Julie Hesmondhalgh, of Coronation Street), a mother in her 40s who is going through a divorce.

Trish is as interesting and fully rounded a character as all the others on the show. Most of the important people are back from the first two seasons, and some depth has been added to their stories.

In a recent interview I did with series creator Chis Chibnall, he said that much as he hated to bid farewell to these characters, he couldn’t keep the series going indefinitely. Since it is set in a small, close-knit town, it wouldn’t make sense if there were tons of crimes for the detectives to investigate.

The film La La Land was nominated for 14 Oscars and won six, including Best Actress (Emma Stone) and Best Director (Damien Chazelle), but not Best Picture as was infamously announced. The musical will start airing on YES and HOT VOD on May 9. I wasn’t a fan — I found the characters shallow and annoying, and the music and dancing underwhelming — but if you want to see what all the fuss was about, you’ll want to tune in. At least on television, you can just turn the channel if you get bored. The production design and cinematography are certainly nice.

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