The Leftovers series review | why you should watch it?

the leftovers movie review


Three years after the disappearance of two percent of the global population; a group of people in a small New York community try to continue their lives while coping with the tragedy of the unexplained nature of the event.

Credit to IMDb

Quick States

  • Rating: 8.3
  • Genres: Drama, Fantasy, Mystery
  • Stars: Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman, Christopher Eccleston, Carrie Coon, Ann Dowd, Regina King
  • Director:
  • Writers: Damon Lindelof
  • Certificate: TV-MA
  • Country: United States
  • Language: English
  • Release Date: 2014
  • AKA: The Leftovers
  • Runtime: 60 min at episode
  • Filming Location: New York, Texas, USA – Victoria, Australia

The Leftovers series review

Series nowadays races to catch the viewer’s attention using promising writing, good directing; superb cast and many other elements, some of them succeed in maintaining those elements, while the others fail, and we can see that in series like ” Your honor “, who gives us good writing along with a good cast who got his back like Bryan Cranston, Michael Stuhlbarg (A Serious Man). But as soon as we pass three episodes the series starts fading away, especially in terms of writing!

On the other hand, we find some series that succeeds in maintaining the elements that were attracting the audience from the get-go. However, the interesting thing is that there is some absolutely special series that shows up now and then, and do not get much attention, but time passes, and people start being aware of them, therefore start getting the praise and the impetus it desperately needed when it was on display!

Well, The Leftovers is one of these shows! So why should you watch it?

The series is produced by HBO and is based on a novel by Tom Barota, taking the same name. The writer is Damon Lindelof known for his famous controversial series Lost. Let’s point out something first before going into the details, if the fact that Loste’s writer is engaged in the work makes you question him, maybe detest him. I assure you that the magic effect is reversed here, how?

The Leftovers draws its strength from unanswered questions and weird events, not the other way around; and over time you’ll stop looking for answers and move attention primarily to characters because that’s what the series does. makes you pay attention. So if you’re looking for a series that gives you answers, it’s probably not for you; but if you want a series that challenges you, tests the boundaries of your imagination, and emotionally tests you; you’re in the right place, my friend!

The Leftovers series trailer

credit to Series Trailer MP youtube channel

Another thing, since the series is based on a novel and covered it in full in the first season; The Leftovers take a specific, loyal version of the story in the second and third seasons. This leaves room for a little reassurance that the series will not lose its path as Lost did.

The thing that makes this series special is The Sudden Departure; That event, which touched the whole world, created a unique atmosphere, making a sense of loss for all of humanity, a sense of absence of a conclusion to their pain, because if we compare the sudden departure of someone with actual death, the difference is night and day, in case of death you know that the person is basically dead, but there appears the problem of the sudden departure, you can’t know whether the person is dead or not.

By drawing the sequence of its events three years after this event, The Leftovers has succeeded in creating countless dimensions of how people deal with it, to depict us with a simulation of human suffering in a very exceptional way.

On October 14, 2014, suddenly and without any warning, 2% of the people disappeared under mysterious circumstances; just disappeared, in a moment they were there and all of a sudden there was no trace of them as if the earth had split and swallowed them except that it had not been inhaled, but disappeared in front of their eyes.

When we say two percent of humanity, it’s going to sound like a small number, but if you think about it and you do your math, you’re going to find that it’s a very large number, say about 150 million people.


Imagine that 150 million people disappear at once, imagine the impact that this has on communities or even individuals, imagine that it’s a random situation where 10 people don’t disappear Neighbor loses four people at once; imagine if she puts her baby in the back seat of the car and turns around, she doesn’t find it. She goes out of the car quickly to look for help to see people lost around her. All this on one hand, on the other hand, we have the cults that were a result of this sudden departure; and they will play a big role in the series.

credit to GoldDerby / Gold Derby youtube channel

The Leftovers have a good rhythm, and that manifests in the good building of each episode, especially the ones that take focuses on the path of one character throughout the whole episode, in one hand it brings us closer to that character, on the other hand summarizing a large set of events. Especially mentioning the third episode of the first season, “Two Boats and a Helicopter”; is one of the most important episodes that did this with distinction, leaving very positive opinions to critics.

The series gives us some impeccable individual performances, starting with Justin Theroux. The simple way to describe the writing and the performance of the characters is that as episodes go; you start feeling a bond with them and sensationalize the deepness of them, they even feel alive!

We can’t talk about acting without talking about the silent performance of Amy Brenneman, Laurie’s character without words, but with lots to say, watching the conflict in her eyes and professionally transmitting it to us. I don’t know if I’ve seen such a silent performance before!

The Leftovers Cast

Christopher Eccleston, the man who made Matt’s episode every season the most awaited episode for followers and critics, Chris plays the role of a priest who adheres 100% to his faith despite all the madness that is happening around him and fights to prove his faith to the people, yeah sometimes he goes a little too far, but hey! it’s come crazy times they live at. Moreover, the relationship between him and his wife and what he is doing for her every day takes a real man, a man of his word.

Carrie Coon, in a distinguished performance, succeeded in changing the character of the novel and giving it other dimensions, Carrie playing the character Nora, simply embodied one of the most important characters in The Leftovers, I reckon because it is the perfect reference for all pain and suffering.

In addition to other great performances from Chris Zylka, Liv Tyler, and Scott Glenn… without forgetting Ann Dowd’s remarkable performance in Patty’s character and Kevin Carroll’s character, John Murphy. I got to admit that at the beginning I didn’t like Patty at all, but with time everything changes and Patty become one of my favorite characters of The Leftovers!

What makes acting special in this series is the big field that is given to every personality, and also the intelligent writing of Damon Lindelof, who presented his characters in a very good and realistic way, and in Justin Theroux’s words “The writing was good, we just had to make the faces!”. This mixture gives you the feeling that you are watching a documentary about people who are experiencing mixed feelings, and having a hard time, not acting. However, seriously all the cast was performing some solid; and sometimes (when the focus is on them) extremely impeccable acting, waw, no words!

In Conclusion

The series is very rich in projections and symbolism and semiology, and this is because the book has a cleverness in creating many topics that branch from the main event The Sudden Departure, to shine alone and take on a distinctive dramatic scene. In addition, we see the effect of the sudden departure more on the motives of the characters; Some resort to religion, while some have turned atheist, and some resort to a certain cult; to see the way each character takes and its effect on the course of our story.

We can’t talk about the Leftovers without bringing the soundtrack of the series to the table, Max Richter (composer of the soundtrack of a lot of works like the series Taboo, Black mirror, peaky blinders, and movies like Ad Astra, Shutter Island) made some very special pieces that fit the atmosphere of the series. Special music for a special series!

Attraction factors for viewers are the basis of the fame of any television work. The series was heavily focused on characters and reduced plot, in a test of viewer imagination and flooding into the human soul, it got e sometimes thinking about Dostoevsky’s novels and how he gets so deep in the human soul and just messes there. The Leftovers is drawing its strength from not answering questions; making the viewer not willing to ask questions in the first place.

The Leftovers ending explained

Credit to New York magazine youtube channel

“The leftovers” is absolutely one of my favorites, I can easily put him with Breaking Bad and the others! highly recommended.

Regina King was also in the American Crime series with a perfect performance that got here the Emmy; you may want to check our review on the American Crime series here.

Writer and film critic for Filmiland website, movies enthusiast, and a college student in the Film and Audiovisual Production Management. "Everything I know I know from movies!"

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