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YOU WILL either be bowled over by the new sci-fi fantasy, The Leftovers, in much the same way as you were by Lost and The 4400, or you will be utterly infuriated by all the cliffhanger-type suspense.
And that’s probably the genius of this show – it is so well written that viewers are left fascinated by the bizarre turn of events.
Well, it’s that and the fact that it boasts the acting talents of Justin Theroux (Mullholand Drive), Amy Brenneman (Judging Amy, Private Practice), Christopher Eccleston (Thor: The Dark World), Liv Tyler (The Incredible Hulk, The Ledge), Ann Dowd (Masters of Sex, True Detective) and Michael Gaston (Body of Lies, Unforgettable).
Of course, having Damon Lindelof (Lost, Cowboys & Aliens, Prometheus and Star Trek Into Darkness) at the forefront with Tom Perrotta, the author of the novel on which the series in based, is a draw-card as it hints at the show being an brilliant offering.
The story looks at how the residents of Mapleton, New York, pick up the pieces of their shattered lives after the inexplicable disappearance of 2 percent of the world’s population in the wake of a phenomenon referred to as Rapture.
Theroux plays Kevin Garvey, the chief of police and father of two rebellious teenagers. His daughter Jill (Margaret Qualley) is a spirited straight-A student, while his son Tom (Chris Zylka) has taken refuge with a guru called Holy Wayne.
The fracture in their family is widened by his wife Laurie abandoning them to join a mysterious cult known as The Guilty Remnant. Then there is Meg Abbott (Tyler), who is targeted by the cult, and Matt Jamison (Eccleston), a former pastor and current editor of a tabloid.
Other notable characters include a no-nonsense mayor, twin teenage brothers who are more optimistic despite their doom and gloom surroundings and groupies of Holy Wayne.
In a chat with Collider.com, Lindelof shared: “Hopefully, what you are going to care about, more and more, when you watch the show is how these characters are dealing with this situation, in terms of living in this world and interacting with each other, and less about what happened and where everybody went and why. Although there will be characters in the show who are concerned with those things.
“I think in the other shows that are based on a massive genre premise, like Flash Forward or even Lost, built into the DNA of the premise was a mysterious island or mysterious event.
“You have characters who are actively engaged in determining why it happened and how. You are promising the audience that you are going to give them that answer.”
As for the possibility this show might turn into another Lost, he maintained: “All I can say is I didn’t want to do Lost again. But the things that drew me to the premise of Lost are the same things that drew me to this.
“I know there are people who were frustrated with the way the show (Lost) ended, but there were other people who were not. I think the same will be true of The Leftovers.”
On whether the script is true to the book’s ending, the creator revealed: “I think we will be moving past the ending of the book fairly quickly, in terms of the life of the series.
“The idea of the story we have talked about for the series definitely extends beyond the ending that’s currently in Tom’s book.”
In the meantime, viewers are left on tenterhooks trying to figure out what the Rapture was about and why it happened as well as more on the origins of The Guilty Remnant, who are always dressed in white, chain-smoke and communicate via notes.
As I said, it is bizarre but fascinatingly so!
• The Leftovers airs on Saturday on M-Net (DStv channel 101) at 9pm.