I Love Television
Who Got Hoovered?
Once again, I have a bone to pick with the Bible. (Surrrrpriiiiiise!) Look, I don't mind if the Bible makes crap up (and if people want to believe that crap, then that's totally their business)—but words have meanings, ya know? And the Bible just can't steal a word and then say it means something totally different. The word I'm talking about? "Rapture."
Now, there are two perfectly good definitions of "rapture" already: "a feeling of intense pleasure or joy" (like you get whenever you rub my bottom), and Blondie's second single off their 1980 album Autoamerican, in which the singer kind of horribly raps. But then the BIBLE comes along and says, "You know, I'm just gonna steal this word, and make it mean something completely different, which I can do, because I'm the BIBLE (and since people already believe all the donkey plop inside, what's a little more donkey plop?)."
The Bible defines rapture as "the transporting of believers to heaven at the Second Coming of Christ." In other words, Jesus returns to earth following his centuries-long vacation (nice job if you can get it), and all the holier-than-you Christians get beamed up to a big Club Med resort in the clouds, leaving the rest of us down here on earth to, in their words, "suck it."
I'm fine with staying down here and sucking it. In fact, I'd much rather suck it than be in heaven with those pervy youth ministers from Vacation Bible School. What I'm NOT fine with is the Bible kidnapping "rapture" when there's already a word that better describes it: "HOOVERING."
Originally derived from the Latin term for "vacuum cleaner," "hoovering" has been used for decades in the cocaine-snorting and oral-sex businesses—but also perfectly encapsulates what the Bible's "rapture" is all about. Here it is in a sentence: "Christian Tanya finally agreed to have sex with me, but then The Hoovering happened, and she got hoovered into heaven, goddamnit."
Works a lot better. Make a note of it, "Bible."
Anyway, this is all to say there's an interesting new show debuting this week on HBO called The Leftovers (Sun June 29, 10 pm)—which is NOT about the majority of the contents of my refrigerator, but a dramatic interpretation of what would happen if "The Rapture"... sorry... "THE HOOVERING" were real!
Developed by Lost cocreator Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta (who wrote the original novel), The Leftovers revolves around small-town cop Kevin Garvey (Justin Theroux) who's still shaken up by an event three years earlier when 2 percent of the world's entire population were suddenly "hoovered" away (including—inexplicably—Gary Busey and Jennifer Lopez!!). Random family members are suddenly missing, and there's no good explanation... though there is a ton of guilt involved, and crazy societal reactions including cults and violence.
The Leftovers isn't exactly a laugh riot—in fact, it lacks the occasional comic relief you enjoyed and needed in Lindelof's Lost... but it does look very intriguing, and if you're interested in how a society reacts to a world-altering unexplained phenomenon, then you'll want to hoover The Leftovers up. (Sounds better than "rapturing it up," right?)
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 25
10:00 NBC TAXI BROOKLYN
Debut! A tough lady cop teams up with an illegal cabbie to solve crimes—which is just ADORABLE.
10:00 FXX WILFRED
Season premiere! The show about a crazy person and a talking dog returns—and this week they go camping!
THURSDAY, JUNE 26
9:00 SUN RECTIFY
Daniel remains in an induced coma, and… tell ya what. When he wakes up, wake me up.
10:30 IFC COMEDY BANG! BANG!
Special guest Tony Hawk offers the gang some good advice. (Let me guess: “Don’t try to skateboard like me.”)
FRIDAY, JUNE 27
9:45 DIS GIRL MEETS WORLD
Debut! The spin-off of Boy Meets World, except Cory and Topanga are the parents! SQUEEEEE!!!
SATURDAY, JUNE 28
10:00 TLC BUYING NAKED
Debut! A real-estate broker sells properties to nudists. (I don’t need to see naked people that bad.)
SUNDAY, JUNE 29
9:00 SHO NURSE JACKIE
Season finale! Jackie is forced to take a drug test. I’d like drug tests better if they let me test the drugs.
10:00 HBO THE LEFTOVERS
Debut! The world wakes up to find that some of their friends and family have been hoovered. Not in a good way.
MONDAY, JUNE 30
9:00 FOX 24: LIVE ANOTHER DAY
Just when Jack thinks things can’t worse, they get super-duper worse.
10:00 CBS UNDER THE DOME
Season premiere! Let’s check in to see if the town is still under the dome… yep! Still under the dome!
TUESDAY, JULY 1
10:00 COM DRUNK HISTORY
Season premiere! The hilarious “drunken retelling of historical events” show returns!
10:30 COM NATHAN FOR YOU
Season premiere! Comedian Nathan Fielder helps make unsuccessful businesses successful! (Wait… scratch that, and reverse it.)
Rapturous tweets, every day. @WmSteveHumphrey