Leftovers seems to be inspired by the Millerites. In 1844 a cult lead by Baptist Minister William Miller decided that Jesus Christ, the greatest teaser and denier of all time, would be returning to earth to kill all the wicked and hand the keys to the car over to the meek. Miller picked a date and waited, nothing happened. He picked another date, and again, nothing happened. This put into motion the current fad in Christianity that the Good and the Holy will be sucked off the face of the earth and everyone else will be Left Behind to suffer for their evil ways.
In HBO’s Leftovers, 140 million people disapear one day. That’s 2% of the world’s population. Not a great percentage if they are the good and the holy. The story opens three years after the Sudden Departure. The story follows around one family as they carry on in this brave new world. A new cult springs up, the Guilty Remnant, they dress all in white, don’t speak, and smoke cigerettes at all times. They are the bad guys, of a sort.
In Season Two, our hero dies and comes back to life a couple of times. There’s a small town in Texas where no one was taken, so they think they are special. This attracts the attention of the Guilty Remnant. Lots of odd things happen.
Most TV Shows have a formula. Every episode of House, Law & Order, Big Bang Theory, etc, is very similar to every other episode. The Castawys never get off the Island. Darren never decides, what the hell, use Magic! Perry Mason wins 99% of the time. Leftovers isn’t quite like that.
Most shows make sense. They have an internal logic, that once you understand, you can follow. You know not to get too attached to anyone in Game of Thrones or Fargo. You know Dexter is going to kill someone and that they deserve to die. You know House is going to save someone, just to keep him from being bored. You know Sherlock will solve the mystery, even if you don’t fully understand how or why. Again, Leftovers isn’t quite like that.
Leftovers, in my humble opinion, makes no damned sense at all.
There is no internal logic. There is no reason given for anything. Is the afterlife really an old hotel? Is doing it doggie style in the streets really the best sign of anarchy? Is this whole world the afterlife and no one will ever die and stay dead again? What the hell happened on October 14th? The world may never know.