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. With the arrival of Covid-19, and the cost of societal and personal struggles that have resulted from a global pandemic, now seems like 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 is chillingly relatable to our current times. The Departure and the ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic both have left their mark, fueling the fires of uncertainty and unease, 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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