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

Television
by Anne Thompson
June 30, 2014 7:30 PM
170 Comments
  • |
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."

170 Comments

  • 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.

  • 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 aired.....am 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.
    DONT LET BAD TV RUIN YOUR POTENTIAL RELATIONSHIP. rofl

  • 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 Leftovers....now 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.

  • Dave | July 16, 2014 3:19 AMReply

    I'm not sure that I like any of the characters.
    Also I there are too many small things that I notice that bother me.
    Most recent episode a person throws a rock from a moving car and nailed a guy in the head thrown with his right hand, then they reverse and he nails another guy in the dome with a lefty throw. Sureeee
    Another is when Meg slaps one of those people and she touches her face like she was hurt but on the wrong side.
    I could give more but u get the point. I pay extra for HBO so I expect them to have people more observant then me to catch this stuff before it goes one the air

  • Wori | July 15, 2014 9:56 PMReply

    I'm truly enjoying this series. It's subject matter is exactly up my alley since I am a student of religion and human nature. Yes, it's dark.. But that's exactly why I love it.

  • PAC | July 15, 2014 9:10 PMReply

    PS--gave it three episodes as proof of concept. But unfortunately...with each epi....got less engaging and more estranged.

  • pac | July 15, 2014 9:08 PMReply

    really bad show...I enjoy the leftovers from my fridge much more.

  • jay | July 25, 2014 9:43 PM

    Heheheh

  • Ian | July 15, 2014 8:38 PMReply

    Pure rubbish. Was actually shocked this was on HBO. It reminded me of a show from a few years back called Flash Forward. Hopefully this show has the same fate.

  • Swedgin | July 15, 2014 6:26 AMReply

    Man, I love reading comments about The Leftovers so far. It is like watching a group of primitive cavemen discovering fire for the first time, and being so confused by it that they continuously stick their fingers in the flame. Basically, every statement that is being made "It is boring" and "I don't get it" and "It is weird and confusing" tells me that this show is great and is for people that like to think about what they watch. That is all you need to know when looking for great TV, Do the generic craving masses "get it"? If they don't, You probably have something worth watching.

  • NOONE | July 30, 2014 5:31 AM

    @CORY Why is it that you can tell people not to "insult us" but every single time I see any comment on this show where someone argues its merits in any way, There are always the same people there every single week to try and make them feel like idiots for liking a show? I have seen people say nothing but something like "to each his own" and someone always tells them how dumb they are for liking this show. The bad thing about this article and many of these comments is that they are presented as some kind of fact, which as you know, When it comes to judging any form of film or television there is no "fact". There are opinions. It has plenty of good reviews so is every critic that likes this show stupid to? OR is it maybe that some people just like things that you don't like? I wonder.

  • Cory | July 28, 2014 4:02 AM

    PURE comical irony there, man. :)

    We just find it pedantic and to be an exercise in cerebral masturbation. It's a meditation, great for a book, but not a television show.

    But if insulting us and thinking we must somehow watch Dog and Beth or something because we "don't get it" then you my friend are the smug, holier than thou nihilistic "it must be good if it's on the tv!" person this show hopes to attract.

    Your comment was pure irony and awesome.

  • Larry | July 26, 2014 10:48 PM

    Also, The bad thing about the reception of this show so far is that all of the people saying they can't stand it and "hate" it continuously come back week after week to spew the same shit at everyone that is just trying to watch a damn TV show and discuss it. If you use the word "hate" then you shouldn't even be watching and subjecting yourself to it. If you don't like it, Don't watch. Let the people that enjoy it be. I hate The Walking Dead but I don't get uptight about it being successful and popular. I don't constantly comment on how bad it is. It is a TV show and TV is nothing but escapism. It makes people happy and who am I to rain on someones parade? I have no authority to speak on anything that someone else finds value in. I am not a paid critic and neither are the people posting comments here or elsewhere.

  • Larry | July 26, 2014 10:41 PM

    Agree. I love this person below. "The only people that would like this show are people that feel they are smarter than everyone" Yet, Everyone that hates this show downs everyone that enjoys it. The same person goes on into some nonsense based around the theory that his opinion of a show is the only one that holds merit. Good lord. Now I see why Carnivale is on sale for 9 bucks right now in the bargain bin at the Dollar General and Twin Peaks is never shown in reruns EVER.

  • Dave | July 16, 2014 3:29 AM

    Your logic is comical

  • Lionel Mandrake | July 16, 2014 1:34 AM

    The irony of this comment is precious to me.

    The show is nothing more than pseudo-intellectual nonsense. Yes, many of the people who hate it would probably hate it if it were actually a good, complex, intelligent show, but we can't test that theory with this show. To an intelligent person, this show is pretentious, vapid idiocy, in spades.

    The only kind of person who would like this show is the kind of person that likes to pretend they are smarter than everyone else. Such people exist en masse these days. And such people amuse me.

  • chick pea | July 15, 2014 6:04 PM

    it's not really weird in the sense of "i don't get it" more in the sense of "i'm not sure if i care about it"
    the whole people disapeared thing just isn't explored, it seems more like an excuse for cheap metaphors on society with all these stupid cults, typical american parades, american christians.. no future youth culture and all these other clichees, while some of the clichees are obvious, some are david-lynch-esqe dream metaphors. but rather easy to decipher.
    i m just not sure if i care...
    i m not sure if i like the main character or if hes too all american for my taste.(it s not like the theme of an all american symbol and what goes on behind the facade inside his mind isnt an already explored to death theme. (homeland, walking dead....(i dont like these shows)
    and i think the smoker cult is annoying, because i dont expect them to have any depth to them. why would people just accept that some people have the answer to the unexplicable... unless all characters are inherently rather stupid. and why would i care about stupid caracters.
    i ll give it a few more episodes though

  • ann davis | July 14, 2014 10:49 AMReply

    Agree with this review. Especially very annoying casting of Justin Theroux. Mr. Aniston.
    Yuck what a bad show. And I love HBO shows.

  • Long Don Sliver | July 14, 2014 4:13 AMReply

    More non researched crap giving uninformed opinions on other peoples work. Great. Carnivale ran 2 seasons, not several. As a matter of fact, Carnivale (an amazing show and one of HBO's best) premiered to the same garbage response as The Leftovers seems to be doing. "Oh god, what is going on? Why are they not explaining everything to me? Why can my mind not comprehend anything? Why? Why? Why?" Seriously, I love how people are so quick to condemn a series because they don't "understand" it in the first episode. They complain non stop about all of the shitty reality shows and other trash on tv, Then when a show comes along that actually has any form of originality and is unconventional, They throw a fit because "it sucks" simply because they can't grasp it immediately. I have no trouble following this show. Episode 3 is one of the best episodes of TV in a long time. Period. Now that The Leftovers is getting it's footing and gaining momentum, I can't wait until critics are eating it up (as they already are, if you look around after tonight) and all of these simple minded fools start to look like what they are.

  • Ian | July 15, 2014 8:40 PM

    At least Carnivale felt like a HBO show. The Leftovers has nothing of Carnivale's acting, production or storyline, to date that is anyway.

  • Coopergary | July 15, 2014 6:17 AM

    Right @ANNA because great TV is supposed to be upbeat and suited to your needs for mindless entertainment that you can zone out on. This show is not for everyone and neither was Twin Peaks, Carnivale, Etc...Just because you don't get this show (obviously) doesn't mean that it is bad. It is well made and has substance. It is different obviously because if it wasn't, It wouldn't evoke such strong responses from people about how "confusing" it is and "depressing" By "enjoyable" and non depressing, I am assuming you mean something like Supernatural or The Vampire Diaries. By all means, Continue watching garbage.

  • Anna | July 14, 2014 9:31 PM

    The show is only original in that it's the most depressing tv show I've ever seen. When I watch television I want something that I'll enjoy - not something that will make me reach for hard liquor. I managed to muddle through all three of the first episodes because I wanted to like it. I figured it's HBO - their shows are always great. But on this one? I'm done.

  • Cody | July 14, 2014 1:00 AMReply

    While I semi agree with the reactions to this series, I think the series is doomed due to the fact that lindelof is one of the worst creatives / writers / anything that HBO has ever let in the door. This is not even close to comparable to The Wire (which is probably the best show HBO has ever produced) or Carnivale (which only went 2 seasons btw). And Carnivale debuted with awesome numbers, it just took too long to develop and lost it's audience after season 1. This was also still an amazing show, you just had to invest the time to get through season 1. I'm assuming the author just did a bit of Googling for these tidbits after wasting an hour on another show that resembles the feeling of being completely 'lost'.......

  • Lucy | July 13, 2014 11:10 AMReply

    Thank you for writing a review that mirrors my reaction to this show. I watched the pilot and was confused at why HBO is involved. Weak premise since more than 2% has left humanity's ranks before. Annoying and unlikeable characters who react in hard-to-believe ways to the disappearance. And too slow moving. I'll give this one a pass.

  • Bull Winkle | July 12, 2014 10:39 PMReply

    The minute I saw the requisite hot guy/gal, I knew there would eventually be some romance between the two of them. What I loved about Breaking Bad is that it didn't need eye candy. Everyone looked like everyday people. Leftovers just didn't draw me in or engage me. Not really fair after only 2 episodes, but good shows don't take that long.

  • Freelove | July 11, 2014 6:56 PMReply

    These types of shows were tired a decade ago, I am actually very disappointed with HBO's new shows the last two season ... maybe I was spoiled with Game of Thrones, Sopranos, Band of Brothers, The Wire, Rome, Entourage, Deadwood, OZ, Big Love, Boardwalk Empire and True Blood ... do you sense a theme here (well minus sucki sookie). NOT Girls, The Leftovers, Hung, Veep, How to Make it America, East Bound and Silicon Valley (which is interesting for about 5 minutes then the whining chases me off) - leave that crap to the networks they churn it out like butter. HBO is the Ferrari in the driveway with the hot single person in it that just honked the horn ... not the Ford Galaxy with the PTA member who wants to cheat on their soul mate to get back at them ....

  • creambean | July 14, 2014 4:04 AM

    You were spoiled with True Blood? I feel sorry for you.

  • An | July 10, 2014 4:55 PMReply

    I didn't know it was the same guy that did lost until I read this. It has a VERY lost feel. I don't care for these shows. I guessed they were all dead by the end of season one. Each episode dragged on and I kept praying for better stuff. I felt compelled to watch lost hoping I wasn't right. This show has serious issues. No excitement, it's super slow and drawn out. I don't want another lost. We don't need a guru or a cult. Stupid they don't talk. Who wants to read their dialog all the time. Super disappointed.

  • Mark Judge | July 17, 2014 2:05 PM

    AN- Uh, regarding LOST, they were not all dead and hey, art is subjective BUT, just because you do not care for something certainly does not mean it is stupid! Yes, the pace of the show is slower than most AND darker than most. That, in itself does not make for a bad show. True Detective was slow and dark, Fargo was slow and dark and The Killing was slow and dark. All excellent television and all well written. Different strokes and such but just because you don't like it doesn't mean it is bad.

  • Dave_Not_Lost | July 11, 2014 6:29 PM

    They were not all dead the whole time on LOST you complete moron. Saying they were dead on LOST is like saying everyone eventually dies. No sh! &. The final season flash sideways just served to show how these people eventually redeemed themselves and Remembered each other. It also, in the case of Desmond served to help their current state on the Island. But I will say the Leftovers is weak so far. Not sure I'll give more than 2 or 3 weeks.

  • Lucie | July 9, 2014 1:49 PMReply

    I wanted to like it but the story lines are just not interesting, and the characters and dialog are boring. Something about the way it's filmed or the way the camera keep shaking gives it a cheap quality. The acting is weird and bad and nothing makes sense, and there is no reason to care what happens next. I skimmed through episode 2, it was hard to watch. I bet this one gets cancelled quick.

  • Lee West | July 8, 2014 7:57 PMReply

    I was so looking forward to something that would finally compare to "Lost."
    This isn't it.
    Boring dialogue, uninteresting characters, and weird storyline that I don't care about. Someone wake me if it picks up. :0 <yawn

  • AKJeyti | July 14, 2014 1:27 PM

    "This isn't it.
    Boring dialogue, uninteresting characters, and weird storyline that I don't care about. Someone wake me if it picks up. :0 <yawn"

    E X A C T L Y

  • Julia Haber | July 8, 2014 4:47 PMReply

    What an awful, awful show. Gave it 2 episodes but enough is enough!

  • jim | July 8, 2014 2:11 AMReply

    Can I get a dsicount on HBO citing this shit? This is quite possibly the most uninteresting show I have ever seen and I am currently watching the last season of True Blood. I am starting to feel like HBO is just a really expensive CW.

  • MereM | July 7, 2014 10:20 PMReply

    Boring, I agree with ML it seemed like four hours instead of two. I don't care about any of the characters, they are all creepy. The show is a flop, because it is stupid.

  • Mike Lampson | July 7, 2014 9:57 PMReply

    so much potential here. I have seen the first 2 episodes now and they felt like four hours instead of two. I feel like it is that same with Halt and Catch Fire, both of these plots sounded very interesting to me, but I do not care or even like the characters. And yes who are the people in white and why do we care? Who thought of not talking and smoking all day as a protest. Very odd. I thought this show would be much more about the rapture and that actual event and all the mystery and interesting ideas with that, and Halt and Catch fire about an exciting time in computer development and neither went that way, and have dull characters to boot. The Leftovers has some really good actors on board here, so I was really expecting more.

  • mario | July 14, 2014 1:22 AM

    Boring!

    They smoke because the show collects money from the tobacco industry. Period.

    2 % gone. 98 % left. What "leftovers" are we referring to? Wrong math.

    Boring show.

  • Aj | July 10, 2014 5:00 PM

    I agree

  • J | July 7, 2014 3:36 PMReply

    Problem is, I don't care. The characters should be compelling but they are dull. The story should be fascinating but the way it is told, it's kind of flat. I've watched two episodes now and I'm Surprised that with such a great concept, it should be so boring. Compare to walking dead, characters are accessible and compelling. And the story is so well told. feel that I've wasted my time with leftover. Basic 101, make us care so that we will keep watching.

  • derekridgeo | July 14, 2014 3:15 AM

    The Walking Dead is awful television

    Truly dreadful.

  • Craig Michaels | July 7, 2014 3:18 PMReply

    Have no clue what the mute people in white are all about - totally ludicrous not to explain their point... They seem like pointless filler, nothing more...

  • Cory | July 28, 2014 4:08 AM

    Because you said that I'm going to dress all in white and stand in front of your house and chain smoke...

    lol. I think the only people who like this are the same kinds of people who are from small towns and move to New York and San Francisco and suddenly think "I'm from the big city....I'm an intellectual." And those of us from large cities originally can spot a snobby transplant a mile away.

    .....and now I know theyr'e all watching the Leftovers on Sunday nights. lol

  • Craig | July 7, 2014 10:41 PM

    I agree. I get the idea of a cult coming up after this, but it seems like a pointless cult. Generally cults develop out of a desperation for salvation or something like that, which may have been interesting, but this cult just seems to exist to annoy people. Basically their message is, we are all doomed so don't waste your time. But then why do they waste their time going around screwing with people. And why do people abandon their lives to join them if there is no point? Why wouldn't you just enjoy what life you had left? And if you were so depressed about it why not just kill yourself? That would be far more interesting; an epidemic of suicide from people who can't cope with being left behind, and how those they leave behind have to deal with even more losses.

  • Joli | July 7, 2014 2:04 AMReply

    Glad I looked ahead to see the book summary and if there was a point to this show. Also glad to see I'm not alone thinking this show is a joke. Very poorly executed...of course, it didn't have much to start with. Surprised HBO picked it up. Just cuz they put something in the Sunday night slot, doesn't mean we have to watch.
    Thanks to the reviews that assure me I'm not missing anything by giving up on this quickly instead of wasting time watching.
    Hopefully it will disappear as quickly as all the people who went missing :)

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