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The Premiere of HBO’s The Leftovers: What’s Not to Like…?

The Premiere of HBO’s The Leftovers: What’s Not to Like…?

The
Leftovers
jumps deep into a mass of angst gurgling inside nearly everyone ‘left’
untouched after what may have been The Rapture swept the planet and 2% of the world’s
population disappeared without a trace. If not tormented, people are in denial,
if not in denial, they’re in a cult. There are personal hells-a-plenty to go
round.

Now… three years after “The Sudden Departure,”
government officials proclaim that it’s time to stop grieving… that everyone is
ready to “feel better.”  Naturally, the
date of the occurrence, October 14 is set aside as “Heroes Day.”

In the small town of Mapleton, New
York, this means a parade down Main Street, complete with speeches by the mayor,
bereavers-of-note, and a reading of the names of the departed.

All to the good except for the small
but growing contingent of a sectarian-like group, the Guilty Remnant or GR who
silently hike around town, chain smoking cigarettes and stalking the surviving family members of those who have vanished. They don’t really do much of anything
except show up everywhere, paint the town white and stare—a lot.

An air of combativeness inhabits their
quietude, however, as if they are judging folks who are striving to return to some
degree of normalcy. They find fault without actively appearing to do so and yet
appear hurt and confused when antagonistic members of the community become
physically aggressive with them.

In this clip, Chief of Police Kevin
Garvey (Justin Theroux) attempts to warn Mayor Lucy Warburton (Amanda Warren) about
the dangers of the upcoming celebration. 
Wonder if she’ll heed his advice?    

Bestselling author (Election, Little Children) Tom Perrotta scripted
the pilot, based on his novel, with series co-creator Damon Lindelof.  Perrotta says the book “became an examination
of collective grief, and I realized I was writing about a search for meaning in
the wake of a terrible mystery. What would an authentic contemporary American
religious upheaval look like?”

Episodes One to Three—The Wrap
Up:  What’s not intriguing about a light shone
on a Rapturesque event in a way that questions everything we’ve ever thought
that event would be? Religious and ideological concepts are stretched, pulled
apart and reconnected without, dare I say, any disrespect.

There are no slackers in the ensemble
to be sure: Amy Brenneman, Christopher Eccleston and Liv Tyler, among others,
join Theroux and Warren.

In a summer that’s threatening to
boil over with dark material, HBO’s The
Leftovers
certainly isn’t the darkest; I only wish I felt a bit of hope for
someone about something in the town of Mapleton. Right now, there is nothing
save despair and more despair. Still, with numerous characters and ghost subplots
galore, maybe a tiny light will seep into one of the story-lines. There’s still
time.

The
Leftovers
debuts Sunday, June 29 — 10:00-11:15pm, Eastern and Pacific. There are
ten episodes.

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