In the vast landscape of television, certain shows challenge our perceptions, push boundaries, and leave a lasting impression on viewers. One such series that demands contemplation is The Leftovers. A thought-provoking and emotionally charged drama, it presents a haunting portrayal of a world grappling with inexplicable loss. But the question remains: Is The Leftovers truly worth watching?
In this article, we will delve into the myriad reasons why The Leftovers has earned a reputation as a compelling and thought-provoking series. We will explore its thematic richness, its exceptional performances, and the risks it takes in its narrative execution. By providing an overview of the show’s strengths and potential considerations, we aim to guide you in determining whether The Leftovers is a journey worth embarking on.
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About The Leftovers
The Leftovers is an American magical drama TV show aired on HBO from June 29, 2014, to June 4, 2017. Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta made it. Based on Perrotta’s 2011 novel of the same name, the series starts three years after the “Sudden Departure,” a global event in which 2% of the world’s people disappeared.
Here are some of the reasons that you must watch HBO’s The Leftovers
1. A Great Ending
To be as ambiguous as possible and not give anything away, the ending alone is worth watching this show. It doesn’t matter if you won’t watch a show past its last few episodes or if you care more about the journey than the end because The Leftovers gets both right. The Leftovers has only 28 episodes over three seasons, making it feel short and tight and letting the writers focus on what’s most important.
The story ends with a deep catharsis and a focus on the characters, which shows care and respect for the people you have been watching for so long. Every frame shows a love for this world and the people who live in it, which makes every last scene and sequence more important.
The Leftovers takes you on a journey with broken people and asks if they can ever be fixed. The ending is satisfying in almost every way that matters. It’s as close to a perfect finish as the show could have requested, and you won’t be sorry you watched it.
2. POV Episodes
Point-of-view (POV) shows are some of the best on the show. They are a trademark of Lindelof’s that came to be known because of his work on Lost. We can focus on one character in a POV episode instead of the bigger plot.
Usually, this character has their own story. Episodes are a great way to learn more about a character and see different parts of them. They never feel unnecessary or like fluff, and they all move each character’s story forward in some way.
Some examples will be when Reverend Matt tries to find enough money to keep his church open when Nora has to go to a conference and struggles with her own identity, or when Kevin Garvey Sr. travels the Australian outback looking for a special kind of song he thinks will help stop Armageddon…
The last one makes more sense when you know what came before it. The POV episodes are great ways to show off the writing and cast skills. They bring together everything that makes The Leftovers such a great show.
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3. Carrie Coon
Even though we talked a lot about the cast, Carrie Coon gets her spot on this list. Coon is a powerhouse performer at the heart of The Leftovers’ best and most powerful performances. His performance is, without question, the best lead role in a TV show ever.
Coon plays Nora Durst, who lost not only her husband but also her two young children in the Sudden Departure. With this kind of background, Nora has the saddest roots of any character on the show, and the show spends a lot of time on her struggles to let herself live now that her family is gone.
Coon only has one scene in the pilot episode, and for most of the first season, he is mostly just a side character. When episode six is all about Nora showing how talented Coon is, this will no longer be the case. After that, she moves into the role of the main lady naturally and takes over the rest of the show.
Coon gives a performance that is honest and sincere. One scene will break your heart, and the next will make you cheer. Her unmatched sass and aggressiveness make her scary, but her tendency to be weak makes her easy to like. Nora is written wonderfully, but Carrie Coon gives the best performance of her life.
4. The Unbelievable Cast
Even though the roles are great, they wouldn’t be nearly as good if great actors didn’t play them. Kevin Garvey, played by Justin Theroux, is a troubled and angry police chief trying to keep his family together after the Sudden Departure. A fantastic group of actors leads him. Theroux is a great starring man with a wide range of skills.
Amy Brenneman plays his ex-wife Laurie, who left her family to join the Guilty Remnant. At times, Laurie’s storyline on the show is unfortunate. Christopher Eccleston and Liv Tyler also do the best work of their careers. Eccleston plays a priest who will do anything to keep his faith in God, and Tyler is a woman who is easily influenced and uses all her wild energy to join the Guilty Remnant.
Also, it’s worth mentioning that Regina King, who won an Oscar, did some of her best work here before working with Lindelof again on Watchmen. From Kevin Carroll to Scott Glenn to Lindsay Duncan, no one makes a mistake, and the show is one of the best you will ever see.
Lastly, Ann Dowd, known for her great work on The Handmaid’s Tale, gets credit for her deliciously sneaky role as the head of the Guilty Remnant. Dowd’s character may have the most interesting story arc of the show, and she is great the whole time.
5. Smart Supernatural
In this case, it would be best to say less. The Leftovers is mostly a serious look at what happens after something that isn’t real. But sometimes, the show can switch gears and try more strange ways of telling stories. The supernatural is used in a way that makes it hard to tell if what we’re seeing is real or just in the minds of the people who see it.
It’s hard to say much more, but the show talks about the dead and what happens after they die in many ways. With The Leftovers, something that has been done many times before is done in a new and creative way. Realists won’t be turned off, and fans of more fantastical parts will be happy. There is a reason why the show International Assassin is so well-known and thought to be one of the best hours of TV ever made. It would be wrong to say more.
6. Every season is new
It would help if you didn’t worry that a show as serious as this has nowhere to go after the first season. Lindelof cleverly shakes up the Garvey family each season by adding new problems and characters. This makes each season of the show feel different and unique. The first season takes place in a town in New York that the Guilty Remnant wants to destroy. The second season takes place in a town in Texas that was saved by the Sudden Departure.
The third season moves again, this time to Australia. Each move feels natural and makes sense in the story, so don’t worry that this will become a trick. The show never gets old because new ideas and situations keep you from getting bored. The focus is always on the Garveys and how they deal with new and interesting situations, which is easy to do because the locations change quickly.
7. Writing that makes you feel a lot
When Lindelof has set up the world and the people, he does what he does best: he puts them through hard times so he can see how they change. This isn’t as simple as killing someone or doing something violent. The problems Lindelof gives his characters are compelling and are meant to make you feel something deep inside.
Depression is a big part of the show and affects every character. Instead of having people cry and mope around in every episode, the sadness is shown through clear themes that will touch even the hardest of hearts. Max Richter’s moving and all-encompassing score doesn’t have anything to do with the writing, but it goes well with the smartly written sadness on the screen and is worth praising.
You might not always feel great after watching The Leftovers, but you will feel something. Every character’s choice and reason for making it makes sense, and the show’s humanity comes from how it’s written.
8. Genius Premise
Tom Perrotta is one of the main creative forces behind the show, along with Damon Lindelof. However, Perrotta has an advantage because he built this world. Based on his book of the same name, The Leftovers is about the people left behind when 2% of the world’s population disappears without a trace after a strange event called the Sudden Departure.
We follow the Garvey family four years later as they keep trying to figure out their new life. We can see that faith has been hit hard by the number of empty churches, but we can also see that cult-like groups, like the Guilty Remnant, are on the rise.
The Remnant are incredibly well-made bad guys who are easy to hate because they are pacifists who don’t talk and only wear white, but they still want to be “living reminders” that make people who are just trying to move on sad all the time.
The world-building is amazing because the show looks at how communities and rules would change after something so terrible. The Leftovers is well-made enough to feel like our world, but it’s also different enough to enjoy for what it is: a story. As we spend more time with the characters as they move through this new world, the show starts to show what it wants to be about.
It’s essential to fight against the idea that life is useless, but it’s also important to remember that meaning is what we give it and that we can give each other purpose. The Leftovers works so well because it doesn’t focus on the flood. Instead, it looks at the Ark and the people still on it, watching the sky for a sign of something new. All around us is water, but look at us; we’re lucky. We’re on a boat.
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