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Why Damon Lindelof’s The Leftovers Doesn’t Have to Stick the Landing



Almost seven years ago on May 23rd, 2010, the series Lost aired it’s two part finale, titled “The End Part 1” and “The End Part 2”. Like most episodes of the hugely successful show, plenty of people watched it (about 13.5 million) and plenty of people enjoyed it (the episode’s Metacritic score is a solid 74 out of 100). But if you think back to the ending of Lost, one of the most popular and influential television shows of its time, that’s not really what comes to mind, is it? Instead, thinking about the end of Lost now is more like remembering the time the golden goose of TV laid one really stinky, rotten egg. That finale sucked, didn’t it?



Otherwise, how did it end up on so many lists of the worst TV series finales of all time, or inspire reviews with titles like, “Lame ending proves Lost was a long con” and “The Lost Finale was Incredibly Dumb” The truth is that, years later, I can’t recall in much detail way all the different ways the Lost finale crushed my spirit (I do know a polar bear was left unaccounted for – not cool! (get it?), but, man, does that disappointment still sting.

Now all that unrest and butthurtness that Lost fans (myself included) felt had to go somewhere (thank god it was before attacking people on Twitter really became a sport), and most of it got directed at Lindelof. In what I chalk up to a testament to his storytelling powers, those fans had become so obsessed the show’s characters and their trajectories, with its mysteries and their answers, that no 104 minute wrap up would have ever made them happy. And Lindelof has been very public about how getting blamed for ruining the show has weighed on him, to the point where he finally decided to just stop talking about it, even though he knows there are corners of the internet where the inconsolable never will.

It might have seemed like Lindelof’s name would forever and foremost be linked to that feeling of great promise and then failure, except that three years ago he did something unexpected (I know I wasn’t sitting around thinking about what he’d do next) – he created one of the most ambitious and important television shows ever made, HBO’s The Leftovers.

If you’re not watching it (standard incredulousness here – go, watch it, what are you doing with your life etc), The Leftovers is a show based on Tom Perrotta’s book of the same name, both about an event called “The Sudden Departure” in which 2% of the world’s population (140 million people) vanish simultaneously for no apparent reason. The show deals with the aftermath for those left behind – the grief, anger, confusion and powerlessness felt by everyone left to deal with the loss of family and friends, spouses and children, with no answers or explanations offered to them by the universe, their leaders or their gods.

We’re already deep in Lost territory here, with huge mysteries and the lives up-ended by them, except in The Leftovers, the stakes are even higher – this isn’t one planeful of people, but the entire planet that was shaken by a horrific, anomalous event, and oh yeah by the way, the world may be coming to an end soon too, so there’s that. With so much riding on the final four episodes, should Leftovers fans be nervous about a repeat blunder from Lindelof? As strange as it sounds, I’m not a bit worried about getting to that finale in a few weeks and feeling that “WTF, but what ABOUT THE POLAR BEARS” feeling again.

With The Leftovers, the ending could answer every question it ever posed or not – maybe just give us the finger with an hour long episode where everyone’s really sane and happy – and it just wouldn’t matter like it did with Lost. Some important features set this show apart from Lindelof’s earlier creation, and as Robert Frost might say, those things make all the difference :

  • It’s about so much more

I feel like one of the big mistakes Lindelof and ABC made early on with Lost was to play up how everything hinged on unraveling the mysteries that were planted in the first few episodes. It was all about finding clues and following leads and repeating that string of meaningless numbers till you just couldn’t do it anymore (poor Hurley). And some great storylines and themes that got sacrificed and pushed aside of all for the sake of pursuing the how and whys of the island. Setting up a show like that means the ending is bound to disappoint, unless Damon Lindelof had actually tapped in to some secret meaning of the universe. The Leftovers is a course correct for that overreach – the characters, their turbulent inner lives, take center stage, with the inexplicable event of The Sudden Departure only a backdrop (albeit an extremely important one) that works to magnify what is a ultimately a story of loss universal to every human on the planet.

  • It’s been short and sweet

Lost clocked in at 121 episodes, compared to The Leftovers eventual 28. Keeping the seasons short and the series down to three seasons shows an amazing degree of restraint that most American shows just don’t have (learn from the British!) One factor that contributed to the Lost finale being a dud, was that, so were those last few seasons, in comparison to the first few novel ones. Dragging out the secrets and riddles of the plot made it feel like the magician you hired for your kid’s birthday party was stalling cause he couldn’t find the card he knows he put up his sleeve. A big part of ending things is right, is ending them when it’s time, and this way, if anything, The Leftovers will leave us wanting more, not wishing to got to the damn point already.

Nothing says it better than the sweet little song that plays over the gorgeous credits for Season 2. Over the course of it’s run, The Leftovers has asked why we’re here, why some of us stick around when others don’t and why we even try to bear the pain of it all. But it’s never promised us an easy answer, and so I won’t need one when the series finally comes to a close. As Iris Dement puts it (so much more beautifully than I ever could):

“Everybody’s wonderin’ what and where they they all came from
Everybody’s worryin’ ’bout where they’re gonna go
When the whole thing’s done
But no one knows for certain
And so it’s all the same to me
I think I’ll just let the mystery be”


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Apple TV+ announces season two for delightful kids and family series “Camp Snoopy



Today, Apple TV+ announced a season two for acclaimed kids and family series “Camp Snoopy,” based on the classic Peanuts comic strip by Charles M. Schulz and directed by Rob Boutilier (“The Snoopy Show,” “Snoopy in Space”). The complete  first season of “Camp Snoopy” is now streaming globally on Apple TV+.

After discovering their troop is in danger of disbanding, Snoopy and the Beagle Scouts set off to immerse themselves in nature and the Great Outdoors, with the Beagle Scout Manual as their guide. Meanwhile, Charlie Brown and friends enjoy their summer at Camp Spring Lake, crossing paths with Snoopy as they experience hiking, swimming, sitting around campfires and everything summer camp and the outdoors have to offer. 

Produced for Apple TV+ by Peanuts and WildBrain, “Camp Snoopy” is based on the Peanuts comic strip by Charles M. Schulz and is directed by Rob Boutilier (“The Snoopy Show,” “Snoopy in Space”). Executive producers are Craig Schulz, Paige Braddock, Boutilier, Josh Scherba, Stephanie Betts and Logan McPherson.

“Camp Snoopy” joined an exciting slate of new offerings for kids and families on Apple TV+ this summer featuring the second season of beloved animated series “Frog and Toad,” based on the Caldecott and Newbery Honor-winning books; animated adventure trilogy “WondLa,” based on the New York Times bestselling book series “The Search for WondLa” by Tony DiTerlizzi; highly anticipated kids and family series “Yo Gabba GabbaLand!,” inspired by the hit, Emmy Award-nominated cultural phenomenon “Yo Gabba Gabba!”; “Me,” an elevated cinematic coming-of-age story from Barry L. Levy; and, the first-ever television adaptation of the cult classic film, “Time Bandits,” starring Lisa Kudrow.

Award-winning all-age offerings now streaming globally on Apple TV+ include celebrated live action animated hybrid special, “The Velveteen Rabbit”; the Academy Award and BAFTA Award-winning animated short film “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse”; Oscar-nominated and BAFTA Award-winning animated film “Wolfwalkers”; the BAFTA Award and Humanitas Prize-winning “El Deafo,” BAFTA Award-winning “Lovely Little Farm,” “Duck & Goose,” “Get Rolling With Otis,” Spin Master Entertainment’s “Sago Mini Friends,” GLAAD Media Award-nominated “Pinecone & Pony,” “Frog and Toad,” The Jim Henson Company’s Emmy Award-winning “Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock,” “Harriet the Spy” and “Slumberkins,” Sesame Workshop’s “Helpsters,” Joseph Gordon-Levitt, HITRECORD and Bento Box Entertainment’s “Wolfboy and the Everything Factory,” Jack McBrayer and Angela C. Santomero’s Emmy Award-nominated “Hello, Jack! The Kindness Show,” Peanuts and WildBrain’s Emmy Award-nominated “Snoopy in Space,” “The Snoopy Show,” Scholastic’s “Eva the Owlet” and Peabody and Emmy Award-winning series “Stillwater.” Live-action offerings include Bonnie Hunt’s DGA and WGA Award-nominated “Amber Brown,” DGA Award-winning “Best Foot Forward,” “Surfside Girls,” WGA Award-winning “Life By Ella,” Sesame Workshop and Sinking Ship’s Emmy Award-winning “Ghostwriter,” Emmy Award and Environmental Media Association Award winning “Jane,” and Scholastic’s “Puppy Place.”

Also included are “Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth,” the Emmy Award-winning television event based on the New York Times bestselling book and TIME Best Book of the Year by Oliver Jeffers, and specials from Peanuts and WildBrain including Emmy Award-nominated “Snoopy Presents: It’s the Small Things, Charlie Brown,” “Snoopy Presents: Lucy’s School,” Humanitas and Emmy Award-nominated “Snoopy Presents: To Mom (and Dad), With Love,” “Snoopy Presents: One-of-a-Kind Marcie,” “Snoopy Presents: Welcome Home, Franklin,” Emmy Award-winning “Snoopy Presents: Who Are You, Charlie Brown?” and “Snoopy Presents: For Auld Lang Syne.”

Apple TV+ offers premium, compelling drama and comedy series, feature films, groundbreaking documentaries, and kids and family entertainment, and is available to watch across all of a user’s favorite screens. After its launch on November 1, 2019, Apple TV+ became the first all-original streaming service to launch around the world, and has premiered more original hits and received more award recognitions faster than any other streaming service in its debut. To date, Apple Original films, documentaries and series have earned 499 wins and 2,262 award nominations and counting, including multi-Emmy Award-winning comedy “Ted Lasso” and historic Oscar Best Picture winner “CODA.”

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That’s My E Coverage Of The Adult Swim’s Pirate Parrrty



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Interview With Heroes & Villains Creative Director Doug Johnson



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