HBO’s ‘The Leftovers’ Teaser Focuses On The Living Reminders

Published 1 year ago by

ABC’s Resurrection asks how we might react if our deceased or missing loved ones suddenly, spontaneously came back to us; HBO’s The Leftovers take that question and flips it around. What if the people we cared about, or simply the people that we know and interact with on a daily basis, just vanished off the face of the Earth, leaving no hint, no trace, of where they went? What kind of impact does a mass-disappearance have on a society at large, and also to the individuals that make up its backbone?

The above teaser sets up the foundation of the premium network’s latest ambitious endeavor: 2% of the planet’s population, roughly one hundred and forty million souls in total, suddenly and unceremoniously blink out of existence. It’s a global Rapture of sorts, maybe Biblical, maybe not – the show comes to us from Damon Lindelof, of Lost, Prometheus, and Star Trek Into Darkness notoriety, so you can pretty safely bet that the nature of this mysterious exodus will be of huge consequence to both the series’ overarching narrative and its cast of characters.

That cast, by the way, includes quite a few recognizable names, including Justin Theroux, Ann Dowd (Gimme Shelter, Compliance), Christopher Eccleston (Thor: The Dark World), and Liv Tyler (The Lord of the Rings trilogy); they’re joined by Amy Brenneman and Amanda Warren, and the pilot also has the added benefit of being directed by Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights, Lone Survivor). Not too shabby a troupe, though HBO never has much trouble gathering talent for their small-screen enterprises.

Each actor will play a member of an unnamed suburban community, and depict how its remaining inhabitants deal with the world-changing event that makes up The Leftovers‘ basic conceit. While the trailer itself doesn’t get much into specifics, it does suggest a bit of cult activity (at least if we make assumptions about the numerous people wearing matching white outfits), and, unsurprisingly, a great deal of grief. One can only wonder if the show will also deal with issues of resentment, too, as these people all ponder why they were ultimately left behind.

The Leftovers Theroux HBOs The Leftovers Teaser Focuses On The Living Reminders

Of course, Lindelof may be the most important player here; his involvement, more than anyone else’s, will determine the shape of The Leftovers‘ story and the direction taken by its plot. Will more emphasis be placed on discovering the truth behind the Rapture, as well as it source? Or will that riddle be left unsolved, leaving us only to see how our principal and supporting characters cope with their losses and move on with their lives?

We’ll find out in just a couple of months, and since The Leftovers already has a full series order, we can at least expect to get some answers without fear of cancellation.


The Leftovers premieres on HBO on June 15th, 2014.

Follow Andy Crump on Twitter @agracru
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  1. Damon Lindelof writing and Peter Berg directing. Any guesses on how this will turn out?

  2. Lindelof’s involvement turns me off to this whole project. I’m not about to commit another couple of years to a show that he has ANYTHING to do with, especially not one that has some vast central mystery to it. Don’t mean to be a downer, but Prometheus killed me and the ending of Lost drove a stake through my heart. Never again

  3. I’m with both of you. But I’m still willing to give Lindelof the credit of learning from his mistakes (plus, the third time’s either the charm or his ruin – at least in my eyes).

    What bothers me even more is the source material. I was so psyched to delve into a unique post-apocalyptic scenario dominated by the struggle to maintain, or rather regain, a semblance of normalcy.

    But the fact that all supernatural mystery was ruled out completely in favor of following insipid characters on their mundane journey to trivial bliss was a huge let-down for me. Most of the narrative could have been constructed against the backdrop of just about any setting.

    So to me it seems as though the author employed the ruse of an original and intriguing premise to reel in a bunch of avid readers with a knack for the supernatural/extraordinary. In all sincerty: I want my money back.

    But my disappointment could be mitigated by the the willingness of the TV show writers to stray from the source material considerably in order not to bore the book’s readers out of their skulls and to flesh out the premise further.

  4. I loved the book but Damon Lindelof having control over this series scares me. He hasn’t been all that great and is very overrated, IMO. I loved Lost but we all having to admit that the last couple of seasons of Lost went down in quality. Prometheus, although has some amazing visuals, had a weak script/plot/storyline and towards the end it felt like a bad joke. Cowboys vs Aliens was okay but nothing special. World War Z with those running zombies…need I say more?
    So when it was announced I was going to give him another shot but the more things that come out of this series the less I am interested in watching. I mean, rule out the supernatural mystery in favor for a characters journey? Did Lindelof not read the source material? Very disappointing

  5. So, I’ve read the book for this and while I don’t mind Lindelof doing this, I actually would prefer to see this as a film.
    The reason why is mostly because of the tone the trailer presents. While I know that this is just a teaser, it feels like the show is going for more of a Lost vibe as opposed of a dark comedy vibe.

    I hope they retain that part of the book.

  6. Thanos finally collected the infinity stones and made the infinity gauntlet, and with a snap of his fingers, half the people of the galaxy went missing.