Compelling with an aura of mystery. That is all that needs to be said about this well-done new television series. It is based on a 2011 novel written by series co-creator Tom Perrotta of the same name. Those behind the scenes have had plenty of success on the small and big screens in the form of executive producers Peter Berg and Sarah Aubrey of Friday Night Lights fame and Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof. You get plenty of acting talent in the form of Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman, Christopher Ecclestone and Liv Tyler. Though it came in under the radar and fans did not flock to it, the series was one of the stronger ones for HBO in 2014.
The story revolves around the fact that out of the blue two percent of the planet’s human population disappears without explanation or reason. Those left behind struggle with the how, when and why of it all. Some try to figure out why while others just try to move on like nothing happened. Subjects like loss, futility and abandonment are investigated.
Each episode of which there are ten in the first season, maybe except for the disappointing final one, is fulfilling as it is well-written. It requires concentration with all the unexplained and mysterious stuff going on so not a series you can watch while dozing on the couch and keep up with. Though this is good stuff it most certainly isn’t for everyone as it is slow moving and quite grim. The last episode does leave it open for another season, so here’s hoping HBO does not back out of a projected second season.
▪ Pilot Audio Commentary
▪ Making The Leftovers
▪ I Remember: A Season One Conversation with Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta
▪ Secrets of the Guilty Remnant
▪ Beyond the Book: A Look Ahead at Season 2
▪ Finale Audio Commentary