From the mind behind the juggernaut ABC series LOST comes #HBO's The Leftovers, a phenomenal series that is criminally under-appreciated. Damon Lindelof co-created LOST, along with Jeffrey Lieber and JJ Abrams, and in 2012 announced he would develop his next series with HBO based on the Tom Perrotta novel entitled The Leftovers.
After two critically acclaimed seasons, the third and final season of The Leftovers will premiere on April 16, 2017. #TheLeftovers is one of those rare shows that become better as seasons progress; since there have only been two thus far, this is quite an accomplishment. There are virtually no wasted moments or filler episodes in this show. Every episode is a slow-burning sensation that eats at the very core of your soul.
Unfortunately, The Leftovers suffers a major issue: a lack of viewership. Lindelof once stated that he was "fighting for the life of this show" amidst rumors the series was canceled following its second season. With its final eight episodes set to premiere on April 16th, here are a few reasons why you should catch up with the previous 20 episodes of this incredible series.
What If 2% Of The World's Population Vanished?
The series has one of the most intriguing premises on television: what if 140 million people suddenly disappear with no explanation? How can life possibly go on after such a traumatic experience? The Leftovers is set three years after this "Sudden Departure," and focuses on the Garvey family and their acquaintances in the town of Mapleton, New York as they deal with the fallout of the Departure. The emotional toll of the Departure is traced from the moment it happens to the present-day state of the town.
Cult groups slowly begin to emerge as religious faith falters. The chain-smoking, white-garbed Guilty Remnant (GR) is the most notable group; its radical members take a vow of silence and communicate through written notes and occasional passive-aggressiveness. The dynamics between members of the GR, and the personal relationships they choose to sacrifice, offers insight into the outlook of someone who would willfully leave behind all they knew and loved for this organization.
The Stellar Cast
With a pivotal role as the Chief of Police spearheaded by a consistently terrific performance by #JustinTheroux, virtually everyone is cast perfectly in The Leftovers. Theroux's Kevin Garvey suffers from a vulnerability that he masks with anger in order to protect himself and the few he loves. He has his demons he must handle and because of the complexities of his character, the viewer finds themselves conflicted on how they feel about his character; a notion you may feel about every single character in this show.
The Garvey family includes the phenomenal #AmyBrenneman who portrays Kevin's estranged wife, Laurie. She is a member of the GR at the beginning of the series and suffers from her own respective demons throughout the series. Because of the revelations made with Laurie, the viewer tangles with the idea of whether the actions of her character are justified regardless of how insane (or illegal) it may be. Margaret Qualley (Jill) and Chris Zylka (Tommy) round up the Garvey clan and both offer a refreshing young person perspective on the Departure.
Liv Tyler, Christopher Eccleston and 2015's Critics' Choice winner for Best Actress, Carrie Coon, round up the main cast. These three embody their respective character to a tee and offers remarkable insight from other individuals whose experience of the Departure may have differed from the Garveys.
Max Richter's Impeccable Score
The music incorporated in The Leftovers is truly a character itself. There are occasional popular from artists ranging from Al Green to Major Lazer, and the instrumental composition from British composer Max Richter provides another layer of substance that heightens every sequence. The piano piece above is incorporated heavily throughout the series. Numerous variations of the piece are threaded into virtually every episode, helping keen viewers fully appreciate the intricacies of every aspect of The Leftovers.
In a 2014 interview with Indiewire, Richter offered some insight as to how he decided which instruments to utilize for the overall tone and feeling of the series:
"[Because] the show is really about the departure... I thought about what sort of instrumentation I’d be using. I went for instrumentation which is all about decay... So you have relatively few sustained tones and you have things which lead to decay, [with instruments like] pianos, harps, celesta—all those things which kind of turn to nothing in front of your eyes as you listen to them. "
SPOILERS FOR SEASON 1, EPISODE 6:
In the clip below, Nora meets the illustrious Holy Wayne (Paterson Joseph) in hopes of finding some way to appease the pain of her Departure loss. Richter's strings steadily begin when Wayne realizes the enormity of Nora's loss and how it affected her well being. Hope is her weakness. As Wayne continues so does the composition and the end result is a marveling sequence from the first season.
Critics Are Raving About Season 3
A few lucky TV critics were given the opportunity to watch the season before the rest of us plebs. Here are just a few examples of what they are saying and the overwhelming positivity only makes the bleakness of the series all the more beautiful.
"The new season of “The Leftovers” is spectacular, in every sense of that word. In upcoming weekly recaps, my Variety colleagues and I will attempt to delve into all the ways in which this deeply conventional show throws convention out the window, sets it on fire, rebuilds it and then throws a dance party next it, in ways that make the viewer cry and gape and glory in being alive."
"Season 3 consists of just eight episodes, but Lindelof and his team take full advantage of the compacted season—every episode really counts... and on top of the phenomenal performances, stellar narrative structure, and compelling/emotionally devastating writing, the show’s thematic relevance all but secures it a lauded place in TV history. Buckle up and grab the tissues, folks—this is one hell of a sendoff."
"The superb final season of The Leftovers takes us Down Under, to Australia. But as always, the show’s true focus is on the underworld — or the other side, or heaven, or whatever the characters choose the call the place that they believe contains their loved ones, seven years after a Rapture-like event disappeared hundreds of millions of people... I’ve moved past depression and into acceptance when it comes to this series, but I’m still going to miss it when it’s gone."
The Leftovers has been a consistently brilliant series for its two seasons, and will hopefully continue for its upcoming third season. If you're looking for an emotionally-heavy mature drama, make sure to check out The Leftovers before its Season 3 premiere on April 16th.
What are your hopes for the upcoming final season? Let me know in the comments below!