We hope you have enough anti-depressants to last you through the end of 2015, because HBO President of Programming Michael Lombardo has announced that the still-airing drama The Leftovers has been renewed for Season 2. Audiences will now get a whole new season to scratch their heads until they bleed, wondering what the hell is happening and why it's impossible to stop watching. This is great news, certainly, but I guess that means we won’t be finding out any concrete answers at the end of Season 1. (As if that were even an option.)
The Leftovers is based on the popular novel of the same name by Tom Perrota, who co-created the show with Damon Lindelof, a writer/producer whose arguably botched work on Lost and Star Trek Into Darkness had many people wary of what this HBO series would become. Fortunately, it’s turned into one of TV’s most gripping dramas, with a streak of fully realized grief and dark humor that rival any series that’s come before it. On the whole, I don’t even think Six Feet Under was this emotionally oppressive.
Justin Theroux stars as Kevin Garvey, the police chief in the New York town of Mapleton, one of thousands of communities around the globe that was affected by the Sudden Departure, a Rapture-like event in which two percent of the world’s population inexplicably vanished. Society changed dramatically, particularly with the rising of the Guilty Remnant, a cultish group who promote their message of emotional depletion by chain smoking and vowing silence. The Remnant’s members include Amy Brenneman as Kevin’s estranged wife Laurie, Liv Tyler as new recruit Meg and Ann Dowd as the conniving leader Patti.
Kevin’s daughter Jill (Margaret Qualley) is a teenager bleakly skating through life with her friend Aimee (Emily Meade), and his son Tom (Chris Zylka) is in the middle of a strange plot involving a pregnant Asian woman and a faith hugger/healer named Holy Wayne (Patterson Joseph). Elsewhere in Mapleton are failed preacher Matt Jamison (Christopher Eccleston), whose attempts to de-glorify the Departed are met with anger, and Nora Durst (Carrie Coon), a multi-faceted survivor who lost her entire family to the Departure. And then there’s Dean (Michael Gaston), a guy who goes around chewing tobacco and shooting wild dogs in the face.
There are more than enough stories here for The Leftovers to make it through an additional season, and the inclusion of Lost-like episodes devoted to single characters have helped to really put this show over the top. Though honestly, I wouldn’t mind if every episode stuck with Kevin, as Theroux is one of the best things happening on TV right now, anchoring the doom-and-gloom with unhinged impulsivity. Check out where his potential insanity will lead him in this Sunday night’s episode with the preview below.
The Leftovers will make its Season 2 debut in Summer 2015, but there are still three more episodes left in Season 1. Grab your favorite noose-shaped handkerchief and watch on.