As a writer, Damon Lindelof tends to divide audiences, as evidenced by the very mixed reactions to his Prometheus script, the Lost series finale, and/or his and Tom Perotta's HBO show The Leftovers. Audiences seem to either love or hate his work.
There was quite a bit of hype going into Leftovers' first season for that reason, but it seemed like the buzz on the show died down rather quickly - until only a dedicated few were still tuning in every week. Season one burned through basically all of Perotta's source material (a novel of the same name), but season two will be moving its setting and switching out quite a few cast members - serving as a potential entry point, for new viewers.
TVLine is reporting that The Leftovers will be moving from the fictional town of Mapleton, New York to somewhere in Texas. Production will take place in Austin, but it's not clear yet if the show will take place there or within some fictional Texan city. The latter is certainly a feasible option for Leftovers - one that fellow HBO series True Detective appears to be using for its own second season (set primarily in a fictional California town) - like how season one took place in the fictional city of Mapleton, New York.
The series will also be losing about half of its cast from the first season, although leads Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman, Chris Zylka, Margaret Qualley, Christopher Eccleston, and Carrie Coon are expected to return. TVLine's reports also states that an African-American family will be introduced in the second season (to help fill up some of the vacancies) and casting for the roles is already underway, before filming begins next month.
Not much is known about this new season - something that makes it all the more difficult to predict whether or not The Leftovers continuing on past its own source material is a good idea. Perotta's involvement as executive producer is comforting, but considering the tonal tightrope the series walked in its first season - continuing on without anything for the show to base its story off is a worrisome thought.
Leftovers ended up being easily the bleakest series on TV last year - and while it continues to have a dedicated group of fans, it turned a lot of viewers off within its first few episodes. Its unusual story, characters, and mood doesn't necessarily make it an easy sell for the average TV viewer. Still, this new season of The Leftovers may be a significant creative revamp from what's come before - for better or worse.
The Leftovers season two will be airing on HBO later this year.
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