Your potential excitement about HBO’s upcoming The Leftovers will largely depend on two thing: 1) have you read and enjoyed the 2012 Tom Perrotta novel of the same name, and 2) how did you feel about the end of Lost? The reasoning behind that first one is self-evident, but the second? That’s because the guy running the show on The Leftovers is Damon Lindelof, co-creator of Lost and favored punching bag for every bitter fan of the supernatural island drama.
I’m of the camp that has mixed feelings about Lost, and more specifically on the way it ended. But that being said, I’m still quite excited to see The Leftovers. The concept — three years ago, two percent of the world’s population vanished, and there is still no explanation — is intriguing, and the promos, including these two new ones, definitely have my attention. As for the Lindelof element? I think it would have been impossible for him not to have learned some lessons from Lost after all the time he’s spent raking over coals. I’d like to see what the guy brings to the table with all that knowledge. (And I’m trying my best to forget about his script for Prometheus.)
While the protagonist of The Leftovers is ostensibly small-town police chief Kevin Garvey (Justin Theroux), the show will also focus on a cross-section of diverse people who are living in the new reality where a massive mystery hangs over them, with no signs of being solved anytime soon. Two percent may not sound like a lot of people, but can you imagine being in the shoes of the so-called “leftovers?” To have family members just gone, you haven’t the foggiest idea where to even begin speculating about what happened, and you know you probably never will? What it the Rapture? Aliens? Widespread spontaneous combustion? Who the hell knows? That maddening lack of closure would be enough to drive anyone crazy, and the promos for The Leftovers definitely suggest that many of those left behind are not in good mental shape.
This next promo plays up the mystery angle that is Lindelof’s bread-and-butter, what with the creepy cult members, and confirms that this show will be more than just people sitting around in bars feeling sorry for themselves. Even a quiet apocalypse tends to get a little bit apocalyptic now and then.
The Leftovers will premiere Sunday, June 29 at 10/9c on HBO. And hey, if this isn’t your speed, you can always wait for the Nic Cage Left Behind movie…