Each week following episodes of the third and final season of The Leftovers, Sophie Gilbert and Spencer Kornhaber will discuss HBO’s drama about the aftermath of two percent of the world’s population suddenly vanishing.
Sophie Gilbert: Spencer, am I right in thinking that last week there were no opening credits for the show? No OG string-horror as frescoes get sucked up into the sky, no Iris DeMent cajoling us to just let the mystery be? Which only made it more disorienting in this week’s episode, “Don’t Be Ridiculous,” when the show opened to the jazzy tones of David Pomeranz’s “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Me Now,” which is also … the theme tune to the popular ’80s sitcom Perfect Strangers. It was jaunty. It was contagious. It made me want to grab an extra-large soda and ride on a rollercoaster with Patrick Duffy and Suzanne Somers. In another similarly idiosyncratic anomaly, the writing on the episode was credited to Tha Lonely Donkey Kong and Specialist Contagious, which seem to be names you might get out of a … Wu Tang Clan generator.
(I have no idea if Perfect Strangers was popular or not, it didn’t make it all the way to England and so I have never heard of Mark Linn-Baker outside of the context of The Leftovers, where, you might remember, he was depicted as having departed in Season 1 along with the three other regular cast members from the show. Then, in Season 2, he was revealed to have faked his departure and was located in Mexico eating tacos. Apparently this was because Mark Linn-Baker gave a really good audition for The Leftovers for another role but Damon Lindelof couldn’t cast him because he’d already departed him. Which I guess is why Jennifer Lopez and Pope Benedict have never popped up as guest stars.)