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Never let it be said that The Leftovers doesn't do everything in its power to play against expectations. The HBO show almost always zigs when it should have zagged, like uprooting the entire show to a new location in Season 2 or never flat out explaining anything. This has made it one of the more divisive shows on television, but series co-creator Damon Lindelof isn't done blasting away television standards. No, he wants all of us to see more male nudity on TV, which he believes has a weird level of stigma surrounding it.
The audience still has a very odd reaction to seeing male genitalia. Yet when they see female genitalia or naked breasts, they're completely nonchalant about it. [So] I'm just the beginning of the vanguard, but I want to normalize male nudity on television.
Damon Lindelof told TVLine that he feels there's a disproportionate amount of full frontal male nudity on television. In the few spaces where nudity is allowed to be shown, it is more frequently a woman showcasing her body. What's more, people pretty much accept that as the norm and don't bat an eye when, say, Cersei Lannister is forced to walk naked through the street. Lindelof wants to throw that trend into the wind by introducing more penis' to the airwaves.
The Leftovers has certainly been doing its part to help the cause. The hit show has shown male nudity a number of times throughout its three seasons. Hell, one Season 3 episode opened with a long sequence of a sailor streaking through a submarine while launching nuclear missiles at a volcano because he thought a demon lived under it (hey, that's The Leftovers for you). Series lead Justin Theroux has also been naked plenty of times, though, he has never gone full frontal -- despite his penis being a mini-plot point in one recent episode.
As Damon Lindelof points out, HBO offers them a unique opportunity to do this, and he doesn't hesitate to take advantage of that.
There's an incredible disproportion between naked women and naked men on television, and if you're going to do a show on HBO, which is one of the few places where you can do full frontal nudity, there's no excuse not to show more dongs. I'm passionate about it."
You have to respect a man with a mission. Your opportunity to catch more male nudity on The Leftovers is dwindling quickly. The show airs its series finale tonight and while there's sure to be plenty of existentialism, weirdness, and controversy that makes the ending of Lost look like child's play...there may also be a penis or two.
The Leftovers airs its final episode tonight at 9 p.m. EST and airs on HBO.