‘The Leftovers’ Review Roundup: Justin Theroux’s A-List Role?

Fri, June 27, 2014 3:37pm EDT by 1 Comment
The Leftovers
Courtesy of HBO

HBO’s highly anticipated drama ‘The Leftovers’ — Damon Lindelhof’s new series, which covers an apocalyptic event that involves the disappearance of 2% of the world’s population — premieres Sunday, June 29th. Does it live up to the hype? Click to see what the critics are saying!

The Leftovers, directed by Lost showrunner Damon Lindelhof and based on Tom Perotta‘s book, is centered on the story of Kevin Garvey (Justin Theroux), a police officer living in a post-apocalyptic world. Set in a small New York town, the series begins three years after what has been described as “the sudden departure,” in which the community believes that their loved ones were lost. Keep reading to watch a sneak peek.

Can Humanity Survive In The Post-Apocalyptic World?

Police officer Kevin Garvey is on a mission to defend and protect humanity — not on the job, but for survival.

Garvey tries to save humanity, as people keep disappearing out of the blue. While Garvey himself didn’t suffer any losses in his own family, he’s dealing with his father who was committed to a mental hospital.

So can Justin pull off such a dark role? And is the storyline fascinating enough to pull in viewers?

‘The Leftovers’: Critics Give HBO Thriller Mixed Reviews


“After all the psychic energy expended fretting about how Damon Lindelof’s last series, Lost, would end…it’s perhaps understandable why he’d be drawn to The Leftovers…where the big mystery involves the abrupt disappearance of 2% of the world’s population, and the fallout from that cataclysmic event. Those shock waves certainly provide fertile dramatic material, but the show somewhat unevenly mixes its universal theme — probing how people cope with grief and loss — with the particulars of its characters. What’s left is undoubtedly interesting; whether it’s worthy of rapturous praise is another matter.”


“…The Leftovers is all bleakness all the time. Parts of it feel as though the show is emotionally blackmailing you into watching: What, don’t you care about these poor, miserable people? Well, go ahead and change the channel then, you monster. The characters wander around in an emotional fog, with good reason: The event was 9/11 multiplied by a couple million. Everyone knew someone who vanished. Many have turned to drugs or alcohol or self-mutilation. Nobody’s giving anybody any breaks because they’re all in pain. Postapocalypse is no time for an ouch contest.”

Hollywood Reporter:

“But getting the balance right in The Leftovers will be the key to its success. I felt less enamored with scattered hints that something bigger and possibly paranormal was in play, and more intrigued with normal human reactions to an epically complex event. If Lindelof and Perrotta can somehow strike a balance of the human, emotional fallout while also delving into an explanation of the oddities involved in “the sudden departure,” then The Leftovers could be one of the more riveting new series. And it would be nice for the series to be recognized for such an achievement, rather than being a show people watch to see if Lindelof can rectify Lost.”

AV Club:

“…The Leftovers is some of the most desolate, despairing television on air. It’s also frequently brilliant, using the central hook of Perrotta’s book not as a pivot into genre fiction but as a pivot into something like a modern version of medieval mystery plays.”


“Damon Lindelof follows up Lost with a postapocalyptic drama that has no monsters and no mystery to be answered. It’s gloomy, it’s slow– and it’s absolutely gorgeous.”

HollywoodLifers, will you catch The Leftovers this weekend? Do you want to see it? Let us know!

–Cara Munn

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