The Leftovers of Laughter

I’m a big fan of the HBO’s show The Leftovers.  A couple nights ago pulled up the penultimate episode to watch with my wife. (A main character becomes the president in it—it felt relevant). But it’s the antepenultimate, or third to last episode that’s my favorite.  

I ended up googling the episode yesterday. Looking for reviews or insights—that sort of thing. I found this from Damon Lindelof talking about writing the scripts for The Leftovers: Anything that evoked laughter in the writers’ room became fair game for actual stories.

This struck me. The Leftovers can be a serious show. It tells stories of the lives of people who survive a “Rapture” like event. It never occurred to me that laughter might be part of the writing process.   

As a singer-songwriter, I’ve heard lots of writers say that they know they’re on the right track when they cry in the process of writing a song. Songwriters don’t talk about laughing at something being a good sign—but it makes sense that it could be, it’s simply a different emotional well.

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