Episode 51: The Leftovers, Season One

In the first of a three part series breaking down the meticulously crafted and thought provoking HBO series The Leftovers, hosts Chris Thompson and Michael Shields seek to interpret one of the most penetrating television shows of all time. The Leftovers is the supernatural mystery drama created by Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta, based on Perrotta’s novel of the same name. The series begins three years after the “Sudden Departure,” a global event that resulted in 2% of the world’s population disappearing. In season one, police chief Kevin Garvey (Justin Theroux), his family, grieving widow Nora Durst (Carrie Coon) and her brother, reverend Matt Jamison (Christopher Eccleston), are the focal points who struggle to adjust to life after the Departure. Uniquely, on lockdown in the age of Covid-19 is an apropos time to re-examine the weighty themes present in The Leftovers. The mysterious worldwide event that acts as the foundation of the series now fashions itself chillingly relatable, as the Departure and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic both afflict swarms globally, and leave all remaining uncertain and on a planet where nothing will ever be the same. The unique circumstances of the Departure become a compelling vehicle for commentary on dealing with loss in The Leftovers, and so, too, in this episode, where the various ways in which humans grieve, existential loneliness, and global catastrophic uncertainty are explored, among many other facets of the increasingly captivating series.


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