The Leftovers

“play the music as you read”

The TV show leftovers a production by HBO is a combination of religion cultural conflict and roles that we play in society. It takes place in current time in a parallel universe. Centering around the events that happen on October 14th. In the event people begin to disappear from the face of the earth. Leftovers uses the text from various religions of the end times but with a twist on it. People of all races, creeds, and walks of life disappear from the face of the earth. Regardless of what they may have done it seems totally at random. Throughout the course of the television show we see different points of view of how people are affected by the event and the ways they cope with it. The show takes into account all of the social norms and social conflict that is present in today. It does this in a way that takes on the viewer head on.
In the years that follow the event people struggle to reason and explain what happened. Turn into religion, economic groups and ethnic division, which in turn bear no fruit of explanation. Moving into the human condition and how we interpret handle the world. It focuses on a family in a small community that was affected by the event itself. Looking at the deterioration of the family structure and division that besets all of humanity. In following people begin to question the values that they had held on to their entire lives. From the family role structure, relationship with the world, and how they define themselves. The world is in a sort of a slow decay that stretches on throughout the series. People look towards religion as a source of comfort to help explain the events that happen. Others turn to more extremist ideologies to guide them on after work.
This sets the People on a path of violence and destruction in the fall out of the event. The family that is the main focus of the show is trying to move forward while barely holding on to the values that they have grown up with. Challenging social norms and define them in some cases entirely. The show itself uses religious subjects, cultural conflict, and political things that are controversial in the real world as we know it. It uses dialogue and scene setting to convey to the viewer of the emotion that is subliminal. Design of the show as progressive lighting to convey emotion and foreshadowing. In many of the themes light is used in a way to show duality of man itself. In some cases using the half face lit, to show the different sides of people. When characters in the show are in a great deal of the stress the musical tempo is lowered down to do conveying the strong emotions that the characters filled out the series. Using minimalist melodies and musical scores to not overshadow the scene and story told, but to carry it along.
In many way it seems that take place between transitions between the storyline. Nature is used to convey a watchful eye that is unseen by the characters but felt at the same time. That their actions are guided in some case and controlled and others. Live religious template of man and God is got it throughout the entire series and every episode. Bringing into play challenging philosophical questions that challenge the viewer’s point of view. In some cases directly and other settling ways. From my observation of the TV show and episodes that I’ve watched. The characters in the show are shown from their infancy stage after the event and their maturity long after as they grow and transition to different places and do different things. Not always looking in adapting to the outside world, but looking inward into themselves and challenging the character of who they are.


Looking at HBO’s approach to the show and what they wish to convey to the viewers of it. They wish to challenge the viewer’s ethical, moral, and spiritual character ask they watch. The show not only makes the viewer uncomfortable, but also intrigued them to continue seeing the progression of the story unfold. The target audience of the show is meant for a 20 and older audience. The philosophical nature of the show itself would be lost on younger viewers. Overall the story pull together the hero’s journey, religious themes, and social controversies to engage the viewers. Caring the story with classical music with a minimalist style give the audience overall satisfaction that can be found in a book.



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