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“Don’t Watch The Show” For Big Reveal About Mystery Rapture In 'The Leftovers' Says Damon Lindelof

by Kevin Jagernauth
July 7, 2014 4:14 PM
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Damon Lindelof and author Tom Perrotta (whose book serves as the source material) are behind this supernatural drama, one in which a mysterious, Rapture-like event has made 2% of the world's population disappear. And the show's central question isn't necessarily what happened, but as we've noted in our recaps, how it affects the characters three years on. And Lindelof has some advice to those perhaps waiting for the big answer.

“If that’s why you’re watching the show, don’t watch the show,” he told Vulture. Fair enough. And Lindelof and Perrotta certainly had to do a little bit of battling to see their show get greenlit, with HBO rejecting their first draft of the pilot.

“It wasn’t propulsive,” said HBO president of programming Michael Lombardo. “It retained too much of its meditative quality.” So to that end, the lead character played Justin Theroux, who as Perrotta notes was "maybe a little too nice, a little bit too marginal,” got beefed up to something a bit more complicated.

The network mentioned “the word anti-hero, which Tom and I resiste," Lindelof recalls. "They said, ‘The anti-hero is the new hero. He has to be flawed.’ ” And frankly, HBO was right. Kevin Garvey is infinitely more interesting as a character who might be able to handle everything around him, and it helps zero in on the tone of loss and grief the show explores.

But what do you think? Do you need a big reveal about The Sudden Departure, or is Lindelof and Co. correct to keep the focus on the characters? Let us know below.

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  • Doug | July 12, 2014 11:23 PMReply

    They should have made the story about how 10% of the people lost their jobs and another 10% lost their homes and how these people were struggling to find shopping carts and plastic garbage bags while asking themselves what happenned.

    Now thats a plot with mystery and suspense to which a lot of us could relate. Please contact me HBO, Im sure i could do better than the clowns who wrote this shit and im sure i would be willing to expect less compensation.

  • Julie | July 11, 2014 11:14 PMReply

    Love HBO.. But this is a dog... When I have to keep rewinding
    because I'm falling asleep, only to rewind and find that I've missed
    nothing... I feel like I'm being served leftovers and somehow missed
    the main course....

  • Rosana | July 8, 2014 12:55 PMReply

    I watched the first two episodes, but it's just so unbelievable that I can't even wrap my head arround it. (spoiler) Why would a mother abandon her family and hot husband to smoke cigarettes and wear an unflattering track suit? Will that ever be discussed or are we just supposed to accept it with no answers, the way we are supposed to accept that the rapture happened, with no answers as to why? Develop a story. Develop a character. Put in some effort and please don't bore me to death (those were BORING episodes. Good lord).

  • Washington | July 8, 2014 4:03 AMReply

    If Lindelof wants to keep making shows about the characters and not the mysteries he should learn to write shows where the mystery isn't 100 x more interesting than any of the cardboard cartoon characters

  • DC | July 8, 2014 10:48 AM


  • JIM T. | July 7, 2014 9:16 PMReply

    Thanks for the heads up -- I'm enjoying NOT watching this particular show. If the writers can't be assed to do their job, I can't be assed to tune in.
    Thankfully HBO has GOT and True Det., so I'm still a subscriber.
    Fingers X'd this one gets the boot.

  • Rory | July 7, 2014 6:44 PMReply

    I would never expect any big reveals from these people. They floundered around with Lost for years, promising reveals and it never made sense, even after the final episode and myriad explanations by bloggers.

    These guys aren't about the "reveal." They think if they make the characters interesting enough, people will watch, they aren't about plot. I watched the first episode and was bored stiff. Some good actors, some not, but no one was engaging enough for me. I'm skipping this and the last season of True Blood, which turned into a joke long ago. HBO better have something else in the wings, cause Leftovers sucks.

  • Slen | July 7, 2014 6:18 PMReply

    It's not that I need answers, it's the I want something compelling. The family we follow aren't even affected by the actual "Rapture".
    And 2% almost feels like nothing.

  • YAstinker | July 7, 2014 6:13 PMReply

    you have waisted enough of my time, Lindelof.

  • Rod | July 7, 2014 5:12 PMReply

    i already don't. guess i'll continue not watching, suits me fine.

  • immature | July 7, 2014 5:02 PMReply

    no. oif the answers arent interesting, dont bother.

  • Sab | July 7, 2014 4:33 PMReply

    Keep it interesting I'd stick doesn't always provide answers either and I'm okay with this...just keep it interesting. Good example of this: TWIN PEAKS.

  • Jesse | July 7, 2014 4:27 PMReply

    I need God damn answers, Lindelof.

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