Not long ago, 2 percent of the world’s population vanished. Quietly, instantly, with no provocation.
This unfathomable loss continues to haunt all those left behind, including residents of the small New York town that serves as the setting for The Leftovers, HBO’s eerie new drama premiering Sunday at 10 p.m. EDT.
The 10-episode series brushes over the seminal event, picking up the story as the third anniversary of the Sudden Departure nears. It finds the locals (played by a cast that includes Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman, Chris Eccleston, Carrie Coon, Liv Tyler and Michael Gaston) mired in grief, bewilderment and discord.
“They have to find a way to come together, but some people are going to be able to achieve that — and others aren’t,” says Damon Lindelof.
Here in Mapleton, and around the world, the “leftovers” are dogged by the same awful unknowns about those who disappeared: What happened to them on that Oct. 14 upheaval? Where have they gone? And why them? What underlying common denominator could possibly link a local infant named Sam with Shaquille O’Neal and Gary Busey among the millions plucked from sight as if at random?
Don’t come to The Leftovers expecting anyone to learn why. Including you.
And this stands as one of many differences between The Leftovers and Lost, Lindelof’s monumental thriller that kept viewers breathless for an explanation — which they finally got, sort of — of the fate of the passengers of Oceanic Airlines Flight 815 after its crash landing on a remote tropical island.