The premise of HBO’s drama series “The Leftovers” is that two percent of the world’s population (140 million people) have vanished into thin air in what is known on the show as the “Sudden Departure.” It focuses on the residents of fictional Mapleton, New York as they deal with the inexplicable and heartbreaking loss of their loved ones on that Earth-shattering day.
The first few episodes of season one, which aired in the summer of 2014, were characterized by critics as too dark and depressing. However, it rallied and proved to be a profoundly moving examination of loss and grief unlike anything else on TV. Indeed, “The Leftovers” garnered bids at the 2015 Critics Choice TV Awards for Carrie Coon and Christopher Eccleston. However, when last year’s Emmy nominations were announced, the show was completely overlooked.
Emmy winning co-creator and show-runner Damon Lindelof (“Lost”) implemented a few key changes for season two, which unspooled last fall. He lightened the show’s tone and brought on some new names, including Emmy winner Regina King (“American Crime”). And the action moved from New York to the fictional “Miracle” town of Jarden, Texas, which had been spared from the Sudden Departure. The shift in tone and setting worked wonders . The sophomore season merited an 80 score at MetaCritic and 87% at Rotten Tomatoes. And Coon won Best Drama Actress at the Critics’ Choice Awards in January.
HBO renewed the series for a third and final season to be shot in Australia this fall. Lindelof teased the move to Oz when chatting with us last month. He admits to being “immensely grateful for the opportunity to try something that looks and feels different from the preceding seasons and we absolutely cannot wait to bring our story to its conclusion down under.”
Below: Watch interviews with Lindelof and cast members by clicking on each link.
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