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What Went Wrong with HBO's 'The Leftovers'?

by Anne Thompson
June 30, 2014 7:30 PM
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Justin Theroux in 'The Leftovers'
Justin Theroux in 'The Leftovers'

HBO has a remarkable success rate, if you think about it, from "Boardwalk Empire," "The Newsroom," "True Detective" and "True Blood" to "Game of Thrones." All these series mix TV and film creative elements with strong characters, a fair dose of sex and the good old uber-violence. So what went wrong with HBO's latest series from "Lost" creator Damon Lindelof, which debuted to mixed reviews (here's Variety's Brian Lowry) and ratings Sunday night? It had all of those things. (HBO is making the first show available until Sunday July 6 on Yahoo.)

First, the advance TV spots looked grim. Two per cent of the world's population vanishes in an instant, as poof! the baby vanishes from the rear car seat. Per the well-reviewed Tom Perrotta novel, how does everyone cope? Three years later, the story focuses on one struggling family, as single dad police chief (unbelievably played by too-tattooed and stylish Justin Theroux) and his misbehaving teenage daughter deal with the loss of his wife. His son works for one how-to-adapt guru, while a white-garbed, silent, cigarette-smoking cult confronts the survivors in its own way. Lindelof is trying to snag us with wanting to solve the various mysteries, but fails to engage us with these troubled characters. I was often confounded by their behavior. Why would a group of teens voluntarily bury a stranger's dead dog? (Here's Lindelof talking to THR.)

And early buzz on the Twittersphere was dour--as was reaction to Sunday's pilot, including "confused," "bleak" and "heavy stuff." And as I watched the show I could see why. I really don't feel compelled to watch the rest of this resolutely downbeat series. Executive produced by showrunner Lindelof and adapted by him and Perrotta with co-exec producers Ron Yerxa and Albert Berger, who produced Perrotta's "Little Children," these gifted folks seem to have lost their way. Subsequent episodes may, of course, improve. But isn't it the job of the first one to seduce us into wanting more?

So on Sunday night, partly due to a soft debut for its lead-in, the latest season of "True Blood" with 3.1 million viewers (is vampire fatigue setting in?), “The Leftovers” premiered to just 1.8 million eyeballs for its initial telecast, far below the network’s previous touted dramas. For comparison: last January HBO’s “True Detective” lured 2.33 million viewers, in June 2012 “The Newsroom” 2.14 million, and in June 2011, “Game of Thrones” 2.22 million.

The question is: how many viewers will tune back after sampling this dour first episode? And will HBO renew the show? Cancelations are rare--race track drama "Luck" comes to mind (three horses dying on set provided an excuse). Even the low-rated "Carnivale" limped along for several seasons, as did David Simon's success d'estimes "The Wire" and "Treme."


  • chad bowers | September 2, 2014 4:12 PMReply

    This show is not the show you think it is. If you do not find joy in the realism captured here it is only because you have not viewed it from the correct frame of mind. This show does not hold your hand instead it just drops you in the deep water. It requires the viewer to think deeply about what would really happen to governments, people, family relationships after such an event. I almost did not bother with this show because I had assumed that it was related to the ludicrous Christian book series. It is not.

  • Connie | August 29, 2014 9:13 PMReply

    This show is not worth watching for another season. Its depressing, violent, and cannot capture my attention to sit through an entire episode. Why did they renew this?

  • James | August 26, 2014 2:30 PMReply

    If a show confuses critics, it's off to a great start. At this point, I think being a critic is the last stop before brain death.

  • Eric | August 25, 2014 10:36 PMReply

    Love this show each episode get's better. Very smart well written series. Seems more like a movie then television which HBO series are known for. I think it might be one of those shows that get's more popular the second season. It's hard to watch for some but that's why I appreciate it. It's not easy to write and act out a show where everyone is miserable. It's still enjoyable and exciting to watch I like the character's and the cinematography is wonderful.

  • MG | August 23, 2014 10:16 AMReply

    I wont watch the Leftovers anymore because I watched John From Cincinnati and everything about this "experience" reminds me of that. Its nowhere near the same show but its the same HBO parlor trick of selling an adult soap opera. The Leftovers has no real conclusions or answers so its all about the relationships right? Thats exactly what soap operas do!!! Oh but this time there are production values, crazy dogs and cigarette smoking cults so that makes it art. Just kidding.

    On a serious note though, back to the John from Cincinnati comparison. People's reactions midway through the one JFC season are mirrored perfectly here......."i don't understand it" or ..."its all about the nuances in performance and the journey not the resolution. "

    Well I hope you like the journey cause all we got in the end of John From Cincinnati was a steaming pile of sh*t. Have fun!

  • WhiteWhine | August 19, 2014 12:43 AMReply

    Wow! Thought I was alone in "just not getting" (or even want to) this ambiguous leftover stew. After the 2nd episode of Leftovers, I started mocking it online. I watch it when I can catch it, because I'm PAYING for HBO. Probs: Can't identify with any character. No good guys, no heroes, no anti-heroes, no bad guys, just all the people who always irritated the sh*t out of me my whole life all in one little town. It's kinda how I felt after the 1st season of "Newsroom", good idea that became a bad soap. Another one bites the dust.

  • melanie | August 18, 2014 1:01 AMReply

    This show is AWESOME> JT is shockingly intense while he struggles as a broken father and husband. His desperation to reach his wife and children is gut wrenching. Bravo to Mr. Theroux for a fabulous bit of acting. He made me forget he dates Jennifer Aniston :)

    My only fear, is that all these mysterious and questions will never be answered. How awful if we ever know anything about why, what, who. Are the voices real? Is someone pulling the strings? HBO generally does not condone all these questions left up in the air, it is deep and focused and drive, and they know what hooks people and what keeps them coming back for more, hope this is the case.

  • Buddy | August 17, 2014 2:20 PMReply

    This is a GREAT show... for making mediocre shows look great, by comparison. Even with the lack of good TV at the moment, the horribleness of this story is evident, and magnified by the knowledge that there is never a CONCLUSION! You can be snobbish and say it's unsophisticated to ask as much from any story, but the necessary elements of a great story will always remain. Although I will say, the acting is very well done and the show definitely makes me want to see those ugly cigarette smoking hags get punched in the face, and does provide some satisfaction in that area. I may continue watching this dismal show just to see that cult leader get it. I guess I'll just have to go with my own conclusion likely involving aliens.

  • ste | August 16, 2014 3:41 PMReply

    So far I am loving this show. Maybe its not for everyone but to me at least its got interesting characters, premise and great acting. Possibly people are still pissed off a Lindlof for Lost which at I am but its a good show and Lost was too. I have read the book and it doesnt give you any answers to why the rapture happened. Maybe knowing that you wont get an answer for that might make it better to watch, allow you to focus on the other good points.

  • KYLE | August 16, 2014 1:57 PMReply

    I don't think anyone really understands what is going on asking the ultimate "why" is pointless...just like the "why" everyone disappeared, with each faction claiming their own answers such as the religious reasons to the nihilistic reasons with different characters of the show. The whole cult represents the pointlessness of asking "why"....That is why they do not speak and smoke cigarettes as to resemble asking "why" is just a waste of breath. I think it is speaking to something bigger here, where century after century people need countless reasons for things and reassurance in order to feel comfortable, such as what life means, when in reality no definite answer will ever come about. It's all a waste of breath. I think the people who must have answers are meant to fall off. Just enjoy it and stop asking questions.

  • Samm | August 15, 2014 10:14 PMReply

    I like the unusual. But I managed to sit through the first 2 episodes of The Leftovers and just felt bleak. After three years I wouldn't expect a simmering frustration. We're simply too self-absorbed for that. I'd expect a renaissance of religion of all kinds, and a fatalistic, hedonistic attitude for others. What I wouldn't expect was such an emphasis on dog-killing. Haven't seen the expected surge of people rescuing pets whose owners disappeared. They're everywhere, but apparently not in this town? Killing dogs is a cheap emotional trick. Also, it might be nice if one didn't have to watch TV with reading glasses. The cult which writes all communication is frustrating for those who can't read at distance. They don't always have characters communicate in such a way that the viewer understands what was written. After two shows, I had to step away. On one hand I don't like to leave a story partially told. On the other hand, I have no desire to see it through as is. I would have loved to know what would have happened in another season of Carnivale.

  • sue | August 15, 2014 12:15 AMReply

    The show is following the book most of the time. It was a great book. I enjoy enjoy the additions to the show. Each episode is disturbing on some ways but also fascinating in others. I look forward to each week.

  • Sid | August 14, 2014 8:45 PMReply

    Remember the self harm game spin the cellphone? Watching this show is somewhat like burning your forearm with a red hot fork.

  • Jeff | August 13, 2014 6:32 AMReply

    I like the show. It helps me with my own sense of depression. It's just entertainment folks. Lighten up.

  • Ron | August 11, 2014 11:07 PMReply

    IT'S A TRAP: Don't be fooled everybody. This show will dance on the edge of easy issues that any healthy human would be intrigued by. The rapture. The departed. The religious cults. The weirdly behaving dogs. The strained father/son relationship. The dreams. The Lolita relationship between the protagonist and his daughter's friend. The protagonist's love interest.

    Nothing will ever be resolved. You will NEVER get a definitive answer. Some people call it sophistication to just dance around a provocative topic and then let the audience fill in their own gaps (Lindelof actually said that's his technique.) This is not sophistication; its a cop-out and its cowardly.

    Get some courage and actually create a story with a real punchline... a real story; a real conflict. An empty room actually looks smaller than a room beautifully filled with the right mix of plants, lighting, furniture, paintings and accessories. In the same way this show is small and empty.

    The acting is well done. Great realistic teenagers.
    The characters are compelling; great story beginnigs
    The premise is fantastic.

    But know this, they will all just disappear like a supernatural monster made of smoke on a mysterious island.

    To say that the people who do NOT like The leftovers are stupid or not sophisticated is just like saying, "You're not smart/sophisticated enough to see the emperor's new clothes." Mark my words, every episode will dangle a new or existing mystery and in the end you will have nothing definitive. The final resolution(s) will be:

    1. Well "you know what happened"... wink wink nudge nudge.
    2. It was all just a dream... or was it?
    3. The ending was purposely left open so you could figure it out.
    4. Its a metaphor.
    5. You the audience are the departed/leftovers.

    We are all watching and intrigued... because we want a good story.. Humans have wanted that since our origin. But just because we are watching a show to see if it will have a good ending does NOT make it a good show; it makes us human.

  • Kyana | August 11, 2014 12:15 AMReply

    I waited a long time seeing the trailers for this. Just watched the opening episode, and I search for answers went to the gurus that you all are to find out wtf is going on. Ahh I see even by 7 th episode is still meh of a show. But wait, I really wonder if it turns a brilliant turn somewhere and then everyone will be jumping all over it and it will rise. At least I'm a positive thinker and always look for the silver lining. I hope this has one. I'll keep perusing sites to see how the season ends, then watch it, if it ever becomes the big hit that it really could be. But until now I like gratification quickly, so I have better things to do, than to wait to see. Even american horror was better than this. So thanks and I'm glad that I'm not the only one who feels cheated, at lest it's was only an hour though, it would be too grueling for other episodes. It could have made so many cool twists in the plot though. Gosh sorry if you like it, and I consider myself diverse in taste for the eclectic not the run of your mill stories either. Now off to puff a cigarette

  • killerMike | August 8, 2014 9:47 AMReply

    Wow I see a lot of dumb MF's on here who need instant gratification or just can't think. I no longer wonder why the US is in the toilet, it's because of idiots who don't like things because they don't understand it. You people should be fed to a meat grinder.

  • jim | August 11, 2014 11:34 AM

    Hey killermike

    Great comment. I totally agree. I wish more people were completely devoid of any logical thought like you and me. I also snap and make comments that have no cogent relation to the topic at hand and spin off into a tangent that resembles something Charles Manson would say.
    I guess I'll go take my lithium now.

  • Clickitysplit | August 11, 2014 12:23 AM

    Your grammar is atrocious. Eat me.

  • BlackDahlia | August 11, 2014 12:20 AM

    Dahling every time you come you like that instant gratification. Is it with your mother too? So what's wrong with gratification. I'd like to put your meat in a grinder and you are one of those that we sit in shit in the US.!
    Straighten up boy or I'll whip your ass chained to a tree.

  • Alex | August 7, 2014 9:47 AMReply

    Nothing? What a lazy blanket review.

  • Terry Fraser | August 6, 2014 11:41 AMReply

    Interesting premise, horrible execution. The depths of despair felt by people so many years after the event is ridiculous, and the even more ridiculous reaction lf the GR makes a mockery of people that actually lose loved ones and learn to continue their lives with dignity after a matter of months. Life is for the living and anyone that has suffered a loss realizes how unrealistic the reaction to this is. I watch it because it's different and interesting, as opposed to all the "same old, same old" but it's a shame that this show doesn't reach it's potential.

  • Todd | August 25, 2014 9:42 PM

    I think you kind of gloriously miss the point, Terry. People that lose loved ones usually know what happened. In this show, no one knows what happened. What the show is exploring is the slow and certain unraveling of social sanity after a mass, inexplicable, and unexplainable phenomenon. Think of those people that lose loved ones but aren't really sure that they're actually dead - those people are often very haunted, usually until the rest of their lives or until they finally find out what actually happened. Take that and multiply it by an event that affected the entire world. I think the social unraveling and despair are completely believable.

  • Alicia Batista | August 6, 2014 10:42 AMReply

    I think so far this show is remarkable, I'm hooked, I love it. Anyone who claims that the Leftovers is "not attention grabbing" or "has no plot" or thinks that this series "sucks" is either small minded and cannot grasp its complexity, or has been made so uncomfortable by the content that they can do nothing else but slander. Watch again people and pay close attention because the Leftovers is brilliant.

  • Stephanie | August 6, 2014 6:49 AMReply

    I feel like the trailer for this show tricked me. The first 10 minutes of the show was exciting, getting me prepared for what I thought was going to be a attention grabbing series. Nope, by the 2nd episode, I still have no clue what's going on, the most exciting thing to happen thus far is the random deer and one of the GR getting the grits beat out of her. There is nothing for me to say "Oh i can't wait to see if "X" happens in the next episode" because the weird and random stories never lead anywhere. Too many unanswered questions, too many random plots, not a smidge of a clue about anything. It's almost as if they figure the way to keep peoples attention is to fake them out into thinking the plot is going somewhere when its not. The GR, the chain smoking, the dog killing, the guru with what looks like statutory"yellow fever", the annoying teen daughter trope, the wanna be hero whose actually a pedo's unknowing sidekick, and now, whatever agency is going around wiping out the supposed cult. The only reason I even watch the show is when there isn't anything else on and to see if anything is ever getting explained. I doubt there will be a season 2. What will it be about? Oh suddenly the GR only eat peanutbutter sandwiches and they only do it while wearing clown noses. COME the F on.

  • KillerMike | August 8, 2014 9:50 AM

    You are a stupid Cee You Next Tuesday and should shut up and stick something down your throat. Oh and I hate your stupid name because my Ex wife has it lmao

  • Stephanie | August 6, 2014 6:53 AM

    BTW, Im watching it online. I don't want to count towards the ratings and damn us all by accidentally helping towards another season.

  • amanda | August 5, 2014 10:11 PMReply

    I think the problem with this show is there is no plot...where is this story going? The premise of the show is decent... Another major problem is that by episode 6, we should have some answers.

    We should be finding out more about Guilty Remnant, why the mother joined them, and maybe even have some people pursuing WHY the people were raptured. I will keep watching...but I don't think it's going anywhere and I predict we won't know anything new by the end of this season!

  • Ronald | August 9, 2014 12:46 PM

    I agree! Interesting enough to hold your attention but frustrating given no answers!!

  • Carrie | August 5, 2014 9:39 PMReply

    I hope this show isn't replacing True Blood because it sucks. And not in a good way. It's very boring and hard to keep my attention. Stopped watching after third episode.

  • Michelle | August 5, 2014 3:37 AMReply

    So I have just watched 30 mins of episode 6 and got so board I turned it off and decided to leave it at that. I always believe in giving new shows a fair crack at the whip and if it shows no promise by episode 6 then it is not worth anyone's time. Don't bother with this please it is a total waste of time, I wish i could have my time back. I should have known this was by the creator of Lost. Poor story, lack of character connection and no answers but more questions. The confusing style worked for a few seasons of Lost but really is not going to trick us again.

  • Warren | August 4, 2014 1:35 PMReply

    This show sucks. Period.

  • Warren | August 4, 2014 1:34 PMReply

    This show sucks. Period.

  • Milana | August 4, 2014 9:20 AMReply

    Am I the only one who likes that show?

  • Draden | August 12, 2014 10:46 PM

    I like it too ... I think there's a lot of potential IF there are eventually answers to some questions (Like why the mom joined the cult and who is Grandpa talking to?) Having just discovered that one of the dudes in charge had something to do with Lost, I'm kinda wanting to not get that attached. I stopped watching that show 3 seasons in and I'm glad I did. The acting is good, I've seen enough each episode to want to see more ... so it's a win in my world!

  • Chris | August 5, 2014 11:40 AM

    You're not the only one. My wife and I think it's amazing. I have no idea what's wrong with us haha

  • Chuck | August 4, 2014 1:28 AMReply

    Last week was my last time for viewing "The Leftovers". I usually like this type of show, but I found this one so frustrating. What the hell is it with those white garbed, silent, smokers? I've had enough, poo on you HBO. Far too many 'good' shows to watch rather than waste my viewing time on this one. There is a lot of negativity about this show on the net. For the most part, I agree with those I have read. By the way, after spending a lot of viewing time with the show 'Lost' and then it got stupid near the end with a terrible ending, what can you expect since the same writer is the guilty one for 'The Leftovers', I love HBO but they goofed on this one.

  • Keith Hayes | August 3, 2014 10:48 PMReply

    Horrible episode tonight. Done with the show. Huge disappointment.

  • susan | August 2, 2014 11:01 PMReply

    I lost interest as I find the show to moving to slowly. I know no more in episode 5 than in episode 1.

  • Mike | August 2, 2014 12:52 AMReply

    Huge disappointment. The premise sounded so interesting but it has turned out to just be a huge mess. I do not like anyone in the show. There is no one to care about and most of it does not make sense. I am on episode 4 and I cannot take it anymore. Cancel it, who cares. Does anyone like this show?

  • C-dawg | August 11, 2014 9:47 PM

    I completely agree, I only watched one episode and by the end I couldn't care less if any of the characters lived or died. I sort of felt for the daughter, but that was about it and not enough to watch another episode. I found the GR and the mother story to be boring and contrived.

    Anyone talking about it's brilliant, go watch Firefly, now THAT'S a brilliant show, or Community and try to catch all the meta references. This show will be lucky to make it to season 2.

  • Elmo | August 5, 2014 12:42 PM

    I hear you Mike. I thought this was going to be a good series. I guess you cant do a rapture without the Devil showing up on occasion and I haven't seen him yet.

  • Chiboy | July 29, 2014 1:13 PMReply

    I've recorded this show and watched 3 episodes in the hope that it is SO bad it's worth watching. Here are my answers to previous questions: The GR's smoke because the show is underwritten by Philip Morris. Same goes for the guy who shoots dogs - he was written into the script by NRA donations. Does anyone expect decent writing and compelling narrative arcs from the co-creator of "Lost"? Worst of all is the bad acting led by Justin Theroux who must be having hemorrhoid issues on set. The only actor looking comfortable in a role is Carrie Coon (Nora), rising star of stage and screen (and real-life wife of playwright/actor Tracy Letts). If this series makes it into Season 2 we should boycott HBO (or smoke a cigarette in protest). The GR's should be airlifted next!

  • Red | July 29, 2014 11:58 AMReply

    I tried to watch true detective made it thru 2 episodes didn't like either detective ( I usually like matthew maccoughnah ) didn't understand what show was supposed be about, BUT leftovers is even worse why do GRs smoke & stopped talking ??? There really are cops out there with tattoos so that didn't bother me but what did he do that wife & son joined cults ?? 2nd episode was all about ex-reverend but why did he loose followers It at least tried to give a little background I thought maybe each episode was going to be about different "people"
    At least the writers told us that the 2% included bad people too
    I have read all of the left behind books and this show is NOTHING like that series

  • Foxtrot | July 29, 2014 6:28 AMReply

    I guess no one likes these "Leftovers".

  • Argent | July 29, 2014 6:25 AMReply

    Its not that these people are "enigmatic". Its that they are totally unrealistic. The premise, that part of the population just vanished, is fine....but the reaction to those that didn't (the Guilty Remnants) is to dress all in white, never speak afterwards, and just smoke all the time? Why would they do that? Why did the main protagonist's (police chief Theroux, who is not at all credible as a cop, and has an equally incompetent police force to boot) wife leave him and her kids to join this cult? What's the purpose? Why is his teenage daughter so angry at him, but not her? And why is her best friend always at her house, running around in her bra and panties (no wonder the guy's had dreams of her). If the GRs can just stand outside someone's home or business, what's stopping their relatives (like the chief's daughter) from storming the GR house, demanding their loved ones to come home? I could go on, but the show just doesn't make sense, and is not worth the effort.

  • Reed | July 28, 2014 10:51 PMReply

    Too pretentious to be fun, and too silly to be anything else. Story failure.

  • Marvin | July 28, 2014 7:16 PMReply

    One mystery is why is the main character so depressed? I understand that part of the population is missing, but none of them was his family. His daughter is an asshole too. This show is just annoying.

  • Clorissa | August 7, 2014 2:37 AM

    Well, his wife left him for a cult. His son is missing and not returning his calls and his daughter is a mess....

  • Michael | July 28, 2014 7:13 PMReply

    This show is terrible. Why are those crazy people constantly smoking? That's the only mystery of this show.

  • Laurinha | July 28, 2014 4:43 PMReply

    What went wrong? This show is super boring. I cannot keep my eyes open. And I am pretty sure it won't make any sense. ever.

  • Cory | July 28, 2014 3:37 AMReply

    What went wrong with The Leftovers? Somebody actually greenlighted the script, that's what went wrong. It's not even a train wreck: it's like watchin a bowl of oatmeal get cold.

  • VoltaireLeBeauceron | July 27, 2014 5:20 PMReply

    Utterly tedious. I don't care about a single character. I was transfixed by True Detective but had to force myself to finish watching the pilot, then googled to see if I was the only one who found it forgettable.

  • Joe | July 26, 2014 7:14 PMReply

    Justin Theroux and Jennifer Aniston's spawn will be great at SUCKING. Just like The Leftovers.

  • Snoop | July 25, 2014 9:49 PMReply

    I wached the first one high and could not wait for it to end.
    Music cues suck too....everything sucks,specially the characters....

  • Cory | July 28, 2014 3:39 AM

    ROFL thanks for answering my question. I actually asked my boyfriend "I wonder if this show is any good for people who smoke pot?"

  • Belinda | July 23, 2014 3:18 PMReply

    The worst show HBO has aired. I watched 3 episodes, each one more disappointing than the previous. Terrible storyline, and awful character development. I don't care what happens to any of them, probably why they were left behind to begin with.

  • Cory | July 28, 2014 3:41 AM

    You actually just made me spit out my iced tea laughin! rofl. so the key to goin to heaven......let's not be boring. lol

    .......I made it through the first three and the beginning ten minutes of the fourth episode and actually found myself looking at specs of dust on the shelf my tv's on. lol. and that was more interestin.

  • jm | July 22, 2014 12:59 PMReply

    I gave up on this show two weeks in.

  • Tim | July 22, 2014 9:46 AMReply

    Probably one of the worst HBO shows I've seen. Story is going nowhere. Liv Tyler is horrible.

  • Adam | July 21, 2014 9:10 PMReply

    Wow, this show is really bad. The people in white really ruin it.

  • kristina | July 21, 2014 8:28 PMReply

    I loved Carnivale. And there were only TWO seasons, not several.

  • Jen | July 21, 2014 6:40 PMReply

    I was really looking forward to this show. Bottom line: it's too depressing/boring. Nothing really ever happens. I don't care about the characters so the bizarre things that happen are...meh.

  • Don Herman | July 21, 2014 2:38 PMReply

    Bottom Line for me: I don't care why they disappeared. I wish more had disappeared. In fact, I wish ALL of them had disappeared.

  • JT | July 25, 2014 9:39 PM

    Hehehe excellent comment.

  • chris | July 21, 2014 10:32 AMReply

    the wire was one of the best shows on TV when it trying hard to get into the leftovers....if it wasnt for the hot single nurse i work with watching it i would have bailed after the 1st episode

  • Cory | July 28, 2014 3:43 AM

    DUDE: my first date with my ex-wife was we went out and watched "Damage." an hour in I leaned over and said 'THIS SUCKS' thank god I told her. we were both stayin to watch cuz we thought each other liked it.

  • Theresa | July 21, 2014 10:26 AMReply

    If there is ANY hope for this show they need to say where the people went or show someone actively trying to find out. Following around a cast of characters with no character will be the end of this show after this Season. Nothing over anyone's head here, the show is just horrible on its own merit.

  • Town crier | July 21, 2014 3:51 AMReply

    Dreary tale of yuppie idiots so self absorbed they can't work together or sacrifice their own self pitying regard to care about something higher. A cadre of sneering teens doesn't help, slouching around in designer teen-wear. Oh yeah, a plot would help. Thank the Lord they passed on Neil Gaiman because that hack would have sunk the network. The moral of the story is, beware of pretentious books without plots.

  • All Over Now | July 21, 2014 2:07 AMReply

    Damon Lindelof is soon becoming the next M. Night Shymalan.

  • Lindsay | July 21, 2014 1:35 AMReply

    I'm watching tonight's episode of The Leftovers and I think this will be my last.
    The storyline of this show has lost me. I can't seem to understand why they are paying such close attention to the daughter and her high schools friends. I definitely cannot stand the dreams Justin Theroux is having about his teenage daughters friend. Yet another show where high schools girls are having relationships with adult me (Californications). I don't want to watch anything displaying this type of relationship. It's just uncomfortable and doesn't make for good television......

  • Justsaying | July 20, 2014 11:37 PMReply

    I am a well educated, professional in supervision. Im highly intelligent and not easily confused. The Leftovers is hard to get into and await with baited breath for the next episode. Lost was fantastic. True Blood I hate seeing it end. Leftovers maybe try it again 20 years.

  • Cory | July 28, 2014 3:48 AM

    I actually ordered HBO JUST for True Blood.....I now use the hour after the show to do dishes (during the my dishwashing time lol) and found myself saying the same thing of "i'm an intelligent person.....what am I missing?" sometimes they just make pedantic crap. lol

    Oh and the episode I just saw: I live in Amarillo, Texas and not once has an English man with a beard wearing just a tshirt and no pants accosted me or my loved ones. LOL

    .....startin to wonder if the show itself....them getting peole to watch it is a huge exercise in performance art of "how many people can we get to watch crap befoe they realize it's crap." lol

  • dapperdan | July 25, 2014 2:44 AM

    I drive a Dodge Status!!!!

  • hilarious | July 21, 2014 8:30 PM

    You think you're intelligent, therefore, you are not. True Blood?

    And read the books? Ugh.

  • A.c. | July 21, 2014 2:08 PM

    If you like true blood than basically anything you say after that means nothing

  • chris | July 21, 2014 10:34 AM

    try the book....much better...

  • Deb | July 20, 2014 8:52 PMReply

    Never smoked a cigarette in my life. This show is so bad I actually wish I smoked! and my husband has lesions on his lungs from cancer that has spread to his lungs. And after watching the first 3 episodes I wish I could have my time back, with a pack of cigs in my hands. I now understand why the protesters smoke. Even they can't understand the show. they protest cause they're board

  • I normally don't comment on message boards | July 20, 2014 5:43 PMReply

    Oh god. You people are why Carnivale and Deadwood got slaughtered. Just keep watching and be adult enough to deal with "bleak, heavy stuff." The show has a lot of promise if ya don't like it fine go back to watching Duck Dynasty and let the rest of us enjoy it.

  • Lisa | July 28, 2014 4:33 PM

    Amen to that! Haters! Give it a chance! I like it so far but, if nothing else, Justin Theroux stars in it! Jen is a lucky girl :)

  • Cory | July 28, 2014 3:53 AM

    We're immature and watch Duck Dynasty because we dont' like a tv show? And never saw Carnivale, and thought Deadwood was brilliant.

    This show has a crap script. Period. I'm not even a Christian and watching gasoline poured on a baby Jesus and given a viking funeral for no reason.... it offended me that it was wasting my time.

  • Ryan | July 26, 2014 4:55 AM

    I watched Carnivale and Deadwood as they played each week and loved them. I couldn't wait for the next one. I loved them because they were really good. The characters were great, the story was interesting, and I was actually interested in what was going to happn.

    The Leftovers on the other hand is doesn't have any of those attributes. It's not that it's too heavy or bleak, it's just bad. When a show is just bad, it makes it tough to watch, then you throw heavy and bleak into the mix and it just makes it painful.

  • Jim | July 22, 2014 1:15 AM

    Yeah but Carnivale and Deadwood were good. The Leftovers is mediocre exposition so far at best.

  • Random Comment | July 18, 2014 8:00 PMReply

    I just silently hope it won't be some religious bullshit. Why would anyone join the GR sect after being stalked? TV show forgot that there're now laws against it.

  • Tom Riddle | July 17, 2014 12:12 PMReply

    I laugh at you all. HBO knows what they're doing, and they're well aware of their past mistakes. Do you even know how hard it is now for HBO to even consider your show? Of course you don't....because you all know everything right? Piss off you bloody idiots.

  • Cory | July 28, 2014 3:56 AM

    ...funny you should say that. :) I know deeply well how hard it is... but it's just a bad show. Sometimes ideas seem good on paper and don't work in reality, like Communism.

  • Narcissa Malfoy | July 27, 2014 11:26 PM

    ......Lord Voldemort? I didn't know you watched the show.

  • MJ | July 18, 2014 2:07 AM

    Well, if you're the kind of smug asshole that likes it, I'll pass, thanks.

  • Christy | July 16, 2014 6:38 PMReply

    I love the Leftovers! It is really entertaining!

  • jayn | July 20, 2014 10:45 PM

    I want to like it ... but I can't really get it (I get the general frame work .. but still these enigmatic characters are not that interesting or relatable). I'm watching the third episode. It's still a little intriguing and since everything is sucking on HBO thru Movie Channel tonight, I'll stick with it tonight. The sad thing is when a show like this isn't all that relatable and provocative, people like me forget to watch it .. and end up stumbling on it half an hour or so into the show.

  • corbunaes | July 16, 2014 1:49 PMReply

    i just hope it's aliens or something that makes sense, not this superstitious religious magic bullshit that lindeloff pulled on lost. oh wait it was "about the characters" all along.

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