HBO’s marketing is all about the details, from intimate “Inside the Episode” guides to careful trailers that reveal a lot without spoiling the show they are teasing. For the last week, the subscription cable network has been busy promoting its upcoming drama series The Leftovers from Lost creator Damon Lindelof and author Tom Perrotta. The new teaser is emotional and provoking, giving us a few more hints about the Rapture-like event to come.
You have to give credit to a marketer who is musically savvy enough to use an incredible Max Richter track to give the trailer its tone. “Vladimir’s Blues” is one of the most emotive songs from the composer’s album The Blue Notebooks, and since it always makes me feel like spontaneously crying, it really put me in a mood as I watched people go about their daily lives after the Rapture-esque left many behind. It’s a shock when the trailer jolts into a violent montage, showing snippets of guns, anger and even a couple of people jumping off of a tall building, which can’t have ended well.
The Leftovers has been in the works over at HBO for some time. Way back in 2012, we learned the network had picked up the rights to Perrotta’s novel of the same name, which follows life on Earth after millions of people have disappeared. In the first official trailer for the series, we got an inkling about what happened. The trailer shows a woman buckling her baby into a car seat. She turns away to pick up her bags, and when she turns back, her baby is completely gone. It sounds like a savvy kidnapping story, but as we learn more about the “sudden departure” people across the world have undergone, we know the the vanishings weren’t isolated.
As the title suggests, The Leftovers isn’t about the departed; instead, it’s about the group of people that are trying to make sense of their lives and pick up the pieces after many of their loved ones leave them. Life after “departure” isn’t that abnormal. People still go running in the mornings and put on their coats before they head into the cold. They straighten their picture frames and go to school. They have jobs and lives, but many of the people they loved and cared for most are absent. Those left behind don’t seem to know why, either.
Lindelof frequently prefers projects with a little bit of convolution and with opportunities to explore humanity through unique lenses. The Leftovers sounds like a perfect vehicle, and hopefully a subscription cable network will allow the man plenty of creative control while the ten-episode order will reign in his tendency to ramble. We’ll find out soon enough. The Leftovers will premiere on June 15, right after the season finale of Game of Thrones. For the rest of the summer, it will air in the cushiony slot opposite True Blood’s final season.