A The Leftovers Community
Sunday 10:00 PM on HBO

Television is a forgiving medium. Case in point: the writing staff for Sean Saves the World will go on to get new jobs. But what about for the creator of one of television's most polarizing (well, mostly hated) series finales ever? After penning summer blockbusters for a few years, Damon Lindelof returns to television for the first time since Lost did whatever it did. His new show is The Leftovers and it's on HBO, so this collision of marquee names means it's one to keep an eye on. But should you actually invest your valuable life minutes on it? I've seen the pilot and am here to help you make that decision in another edition of This New TV Show: Hot or Not?


The Leftovers, so this is Guy Fieri's new show about what he eats out of his goatee?

I wish! The Leftovers takes place in a small New York 'burb known as Mapleton, three years after 2 percent of the global population (about 140 million peeps) mysteriously vanished. Some call the incident The Rapture, others call it something much worse, but whatever it was, everyone is pretty bummed about it. The series is a real slice o' life in Mapleton, but it focuses on chief of police Kevin Garvey and his family, as well as a strange cult that's popped up and calls itself the Guilty Remnant. And because it can, The Leftovers also includes some weird guru and a bunch of animals that have gone crazy. Embrace the strange, because there's a lot of "whaaaaa?" going on in the pilot.


Who made these Leftovers and who stars in it?

As I said above, this is Lindelof's baby, and his first series since Lost. He co-created The Leftovers with Tom Perrotta, who wrote the book that it's based on. Peter Berg, director of the Friday Night Lights movie (and Battleship *ahem*) directed the first episode and is also on board as an executive producer. Justin Theroux leads the cast as Kevin, and you'll also see Amy Brenneman (NYPD Blue), Chris Zylka (The Secret Circle), Christopher Eccleston (Doctor Who), Ann Dowd (who made flowers with Errol in True Detective), Liv Tyler (The Lord of the Rings), Michael Gaston (Turn), and Charlie and Max Carver (Teen Wolf).   


When does The Leftovers get left behind?

The Leftovers premieres Sunday, June 29 at 10pm on HBO. It'll be paired with True Blood for a block about death that couldn't be more tonally different. 


Who is going to gobble up The Leftovers?

The Leftovers is already getting tagged as the summer's most depressing show, and while I don't totally buy that (Bachelor in Paradise HAS to be more sorrowful), it's not far from the truth. Ain't no sunshine in this bag of sadness. But its dominant theme of loss makes for incredibly heavy drama, so if emotional pain (and the beauty in it) is your thing, you'll like it. If you've got one foot on the ledge, however, this will push you over. 


What's tasty about The Leftovers?

Lindelof knows what he's working with here, which is a town healing from inexplicable tragedy. The anguish over "being left behind" and anger of not knowing why is well laid out in the pilot as different people handle the situation differently. Wait 'til you see what the Mapleton teens get up to. Despite it's gloomy subject matter, The Leftovers is a gorgeous watch. And the doomed atmosphere is punched up with a really great soundtrack that every depressed and angry adolescent should own. But what spices things up here are the underlying mysteries, which aren't front and center like they were in Lost, but are enough to add more to The Leftovers than perpetual despair. 


What should be trashed about The Leftovers?

Like I said, this show is about loss and all the despondence that comes with it. It is NOT uplifting. It will be easy for many to see The Leftovers as unnecessary, slow-moving melodrama that bludgeons viewers with sad, sad themes. And that's not far from the truth. Most of the initial audience that comes for the mystery of why people vanished will be disappointed; that's not the point of the show nor is it even really touched on (it's three years on and most people have accepted the incident as some mystery they'll never understand). There are questions of how sustainable the series can be, too. In fact, I'd say that's The Leftovers' biggest red flag. Also, those of you offended by the F word beware! Every other word is F(iretr)uck now that the muzzle is off Lindelof.  


So, should I watch it?

This is going to be a show that will be really, really enjoyed by a specific audience, but has no chance to be a mainstream hit. However, there's a fascinating season of television here if it can be handled correctly, and my hopes for that exceed my worries of a series that will meander and thin out, at least for Season 1. If you can appreciate the beauty in coming to terms with loss, then you'll like it. If not, you'll only wonder how anyone would watch such a thing.


Let's take a look at a trailer!

Okay!




The Leftovers premieres Sunday, June 29 at 10pm on HBO.


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 4/23/2017

Season 3 : Episode 2

Next Episode

AIRS ON 4/30/2017

Season 3 : Episode 3

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Definitely intrigued by the "left behind" part. But you said they barely touch that subject... I might give it a shot.
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Look, just as with Lost, the people getting invested in this show solely because of the mystery are missing the point. Lindelof created some of the most dynamic and complex characters in Lost, and based on this review, he's doing it again on The Leftovers. Dealing with the more emotional themes instead of focusing on the event is going to set this show apart from other "big mystery" shows that have all failed (see: Revolution, The Event, FlashForward, etc.). It's definitely enough to get me to watch the first episode.
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That trailer was so strange and melancholy. And thanx so much Tim for such an insightful article! I was already in, but now I have more of an idea of what to expect from the pilot, as well as the tone of the series.
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Excellent song choice for trailer. Great taste. Will give it a shot.
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Interesting, but how does anyone know its a tragedy, that they are gone? seeing as how the world is shaping up, maybe its really a blessing!
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Really, 2% of the population just suddenly disappear. Nobody knows where they are, what happened to them, or if they're ever coming back. What if a member of your family disappeared out of the blue and nobody in the entire world could explain to you why they're gone or how.
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Amy Brennenman (NYPD Blue) hahahaha, yes, but how about Judging Amy where she played the lead (or her most recent tv show: Private Practice)
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Yes, it is a bit weird that they menitoned NYPD Blue instead of Judging Amy. XD
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Many modern shows' overuse of the word "F(iretr)uck" is just lazy writing/ acting. "Profanity is the effort of a feeble mind attempting to express itself forcibly" is often true. The word loses whatever power it once had and just becomes an ugly and annoying stutter. Sure, people do talk like that. But art and entertainment can and should be written and acted better so that the audience can get whatever emotion that word it meant to evoke without needing to beat it into the ground.
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You know, I often wonder what Lindelhof thinks about his disaster of an ending to Lost. Does he think we're all idiots who just didn't get his brilliance? Is he sorry he blew it, because he has to know he did from the overwhelming negative response? Leonard and Sheldon didn't like it, and neither did many of us. But I will watch this hoping he has learned a valuable lesson. And don't anyone profess to know what the man thinks--we clearly can't know--and I doubt very much if he knows he screwed up, he would ever publically admit it. But he has to know...doesn't he?
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At some point a while back he came out and said something to the effect of "look, I know most people hated it, I'm sorry that what I did made a lot of people feel like I had ruined one of their favorite shows, but I thought it was good and I stand by it. Now please stop telling me how much you hated it, I've heard it enough times that I will assume you hated it unless you specify otherwise, and I would really like to talk about something else."
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Well, that at least answers my question, thank you for that...
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Or maybe, given that he wrote it, he's completely satisfied with how it ended. Who knows? Like you said, we have no place to profess, to any degree, what this man thinks unless he says it quite bluntly. From the little he's spoken on it, he seems satisfied with his direction. I will take an educated guess and say he's probably not losing any sleep at night over a couple of fictional characters not liking the ending
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But what about the rest of us real people who hated it?
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To quote Jacob , what about you? I liked the finale even after watching the entire series three times over. I also think that does who didnt are just louder minority.
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Really? I think it's those who liked it who were a loud minority. Now that people have had some distance a reliable poll could be done (in theory, most internet polls are totally bogus, like the ones here that measure only fanaticism and script writing ability).
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*not does, those
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I loved LOST but the ending was a horrible disappointment. I learned my lesson and won't be wasting my time on another disappointment.
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I actually just started watching Lost, but I know the disappointment b/c I was plot spoiled by watching an episode of Tosh.0 because I didn't really believe him when he said the following would contain spoilers, so I kept listening; so from what I heard him say that sounds like quite the letdown. And it took me a while to reconcile all the wonder that I have heard the show contains with what I know comes at the end. Maybe in some ways it's better that I know so I won't be as disappointed as all the peeps who actually watched it.
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Good luck. I tried to rewatch the show last year, got through half of the first episode and thought... "All of this just to lead up to that BS ending" I couldn't do it. I think I need a few more years.
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I think polarizing was the right word to use. I know just as many who enjoyed the ending of Lost (myself included) that where disappointed.

But back on topic, this show seems interesting and will give it a try
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*were
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I don't understand the mixed response to this show. The themes that the synopsis and trailers have conveyed (loss, grief, the unknown, unity, anger) are so ingrained in the human condition. I for one watch television to connect and become inspired. These themes, if done well, will do just that. The cast is stellar, the trailers are captivating, and Lindelof has proven to be exceptional. I will be watching on Sunday. The show has such great potential, I don't see the harm in watching the premiere. Time will tell, though I am expecting great things from this show.
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This strangely reminds me Under The Dome. I really hope it is not.

Lindelof doing it is not encouraging at all.
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I've been really looking forward to this one. I doubt depressing'll be a deal breaker for me. Bring it on.
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I watched the trailer and nearly slit my wrists from the sheer depression it oozed. I don't know if i could survive 40 whole minutes of it. I'll give it a skip. And it's sad, because when they published the blurbs about the new summer shows, this one sounded so interesting and was Nr 1 on my "must check out" list.
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I'm sorry but this looks horrible. But it might be fun to hate watch it, like AHS but worse? The book isn't rated very well
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Staff
HBO rarely misses on a show but this series is way too serious for a summer show. Stop trying to bumm me out show!

I'm most likely passing. Should it have a great s1 finale, I'll binge watch it.
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The Poll is really split.

I love L O S T and the podcasts Darlton did. So I am inclined to give this a chance. I was disappointed in Prometheus ...but that isn't all Lindelof's fault.

I gotta go 4 episodes. I am not a big fan of Tv that makes me MORE sad, however.
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Lindelof is just untalented mediocre writer. That's all.
Also I don't understand what theme of loss has to do with anything? If some unknown to me strangers would dissapear, I wouldn't give an eff about it and live my life as usual. Why should these people be in despair and feel the theme of loss? Hah?
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Well obviously the people that knew the disappearees will have more loss than everyone else. But you can still have a collective sense of loss based on empathy, fear of the unknown, worry it could happen to you, etc. Just look at the collective response to 9/11.
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believe me people who didn't lose anyone in 9/11 moved on with their lives very quickly. Two weeks of mourning and confusion and that's it. How would you make whole series out of that short time I don't know.
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The fact that HBO is behind the show makes it a must watch.
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Damon Lindelof never again.Beside Lost his work in Prometheus ruined the best cinematography i have seen in a film
PS. The other guy (Carltin Cuse) though is doing preety great with Bates Motel and now The Strain.
PS2 I ll give him an excuse (for ruined Lost s4-s6) if only Fringe was developed in what supposed to be Lost original idea (two worlds)
PS3 Remember and dont let go
PS4 THE STRAINNNNNNNNNNNN
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Please take your ritalin
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Thanks for the advice.I d prefer to take the blue stuff that Walter White made.It called great TV.I suggest that you should try it
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But considering you haven't actually SEEN the show yet, I'd prefer to avoid your advice on great TV altogether.
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YOu actually might be safer
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Premiering the same time as the Penny Dreadful season 1 finale. Oh goody...
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It sounds like Lost by focusing more on the people than the actual mystery. If Lindelof has free rein to do what he wants to there may be some more coherence to this show. I think Lost ended up being kind of a mess at the end because Lindelof and Cuse at times wanted the show to be about the people and ABC wanted the show to be about the mysteries.
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We all wanted it to be about the mysteries. American TV series are hardly watched for depth oof character development.
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I completely disagree: character development is super important if you are trying to create something special rather than cater for the emotionally comatose.
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Yes there is nothing wrong with character development, but it is rarely something you see in an american series, who'd rather just try to conceal how shallow the characters are written, by heaping on loads of emotions. Of course many people (especially americans) seem to think that a a work of art should include "characters to root for" and other nonsense.

And films and tv-series should above all be an intellectual endeavouur. That is why mysteries are important. .
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I think this will be one season and done. It needs more sci-fi, you can't dangle a carrot like the Rapture and then turn it into a boring small town drama. Less Under the Dome, more Resurrection. Less Revolution, more Sleepy Hollow. Less Flashforward, more.... you get the point. Nothing I have seen so far makes me want to watch more than the first half of the first episode to see the Rapture event unfold. The moment the power went out in Revolution was tasty candy, as was the moment when everyone blacked out in Flashforward.
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This is HBO and Lindelof. HBO renewed Enlightened and Looking on very low ratings. There's no way they'll cancel a high-profile show like this unless at least 3 horses die in production.
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Or production values goes up high... Remember Carnival?
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Yes, and I remember Deadwood too.
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I watched the first episode and was terribly bored.
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I*t's kind of like The 4400, but in reverse.

Working titles:
"What's for dinner?"
"Doggie Bag"
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When I read the fist 2 lines about "the creator of one of the most hated series finales" I thought: what? Carter Bays? Craig Thomas?? haha forever pissssed!
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Lost is the worst show in television history, and because this is a depression show from Lost's Lindelof, this will be a major no no for me. I may loose out, but I don't care. Absolutely nothing i read makes me even want to watch the trailer! Ha!
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"the worst in history" is an expression to magnify my dislike for the show. Of course there are far more worse shows than Lost. Just to clarify to everyone below. I'm passionate, so i have to exaggerate when i hate some thing too, no? :)
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Oh Marion you really need to loose out. I wonder if you were saying Lost was the worst show ever in Season 1 or if you changed your mind after the finale.
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Saw the first two seasons but was hoping for something every single episode after the pilot. I'm surprised I watched that much. I still feel robbed of my time lol
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I have been watching Lost and only really felt super compelled at the end of S01E10. I know you're wondering why I hung in there so long. I just really wanted to watch it, had heard so much (good stuff) about it, and am a big fan of character-driven SciFi. But it's not quite what I thought, although it is oddly compelling after a fashion.
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Staff
expert troll
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Hi Marlon. So I assume you never watched Ringer!
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"Lost is the worst show in television history..."

There have been quite a few shows in the history of television. I doubt you have seen them all.
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Yet you have 'Joey' as a TV favorite? that show tainted the greatness of Friends and should be forgotten about, so your argument fails. Buffoon
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I don't know why "Joey" is in my TV Favourites. Back in 2005 i just clicked and added shows when i started here. That list is so not accurate or complete.
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It's nice to see people go to name calling when their favourite shows are shitted on by a stranger. I think you, 'lost'.
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Out of all the shows you could have picked in tv history you pick Lost as the worst? I am on the complete opposite spectrum but can see why people did not like it but come on there are plenty out there that were worse
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Very excited for this show. Even if it f*cks up, at least it'll never be as bad as Under the Dumb, right?
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I trust Lindelof to out-dumb the Dome. it's gonna be great!
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This comment is appropriate for mature audiences only. Kind of like HBO and Damon Lindelof's brilliant imagination.

Oh I'm fucking in! Fuck yeah, Lindelof! Fuck yea HBO. Fuck yeah fictional loss and despair. I fucking love those kind of shows. But fucking Justin Theroux......hmmmmm? I would never want to make flowers with him! No firetrucking way! Otherwise, count me in.

P.S. I fucking loved every last minute of LOST
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Me...um

Fucking too?

Yes definitely
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I'll firetrucking give it a couple of firetrucken try. If it gets too firetrucked up, I'll just say firetruck it and move the firetruck on :-)
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This has been the highlight of my evening. LMAO. I must go and watch my DVR of all of these shows now...
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LOL Firetruck yeah!
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I usually just wait till the season finishes and If it gets renewed for season 2 and the reviews are positive then I will come back and binge watch it lol There are way too many good shows both old and new on Tv to watch than investing in something you are not sure of.
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I don't handle drama, especially the sad kind, well. I'm allergic. I break out in hives.
Just like I do with chickflicks.
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It 'has no chance to be a mainstream hit', those are big words Tim. It is summer after all, what else are people going to be watching? I think Lindelof's return to television is a big enough pull to at least give it a fighting chance to build a strong audience, regardless of how people feel about Lost's ending.
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Hi Slayerette. "what else are people going to be watching?", well, seeing as you asked...
Penny Dreadful (season finale), Halt and Catch Fire, Salem, Devious Maids, Falling Skies, dare I say Unforgettable, or whatever the hell Catfish is and that's not to mention ant sport that might be on.
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Sunday's is eternally busy night for television, yeah (it remains a constant pain of mine), but it'll be Penny's finale this week, and Salem's a few after that. And while I'm sure each has there audiences, Devious Maids and Falling Skies haven't ever wowed the ratings (have they?), and poor Halt and Catch Fire doesn't seem like it's long for this world.

What I'm saying is people may be looking to feel the void after these shows finish, and even then, True Blood is on before The Leftovers (arguably a series that's doing better in the ratings than any of the series we've mentioned so far) and therefore has a chance to catch more eyes. The buzz around The Leftovers is also pretty huge, where I can't remember the last time I saw a post on a entertainment website about Salem or Devious Maids.

Honestly, I'd me more worried about The Strain (FX) when that premieres in three weeks time, and the return of Masters of Sex (Showtime). If The Leftovers hasn't built an audience by then, it might start to struggle.
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I think Tim has such a hard on for True Detective that he think The Leftovers will not be able to maintain the hype of that show, which annoys me, True Detective was good, but there have been better TV seasons this year, Hannibal and Fargo to name a few.
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The key part of the statement was "mainstream" hit. None of the ones you've mentioned could ever be considered mainstream. The audiences for all of these were very specific. The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones are the only two of recent memory that could be considered hits (plus, they don't betray their genres).
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Couldn't disagree more. EVERYONE was talking about True Detective when it was on and when Fargo aired, all i read was people stating True Detective was a better show and/or was the best show on TV
TWD and GoT have been mainstream for 4 years respectively, so they have already gained an audience, and i think there is a ceratain arrogance when critics say TD/Fargo and even The Leftovers would not be mainstraim after their first season
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I guess the only thing I'd say is that tweeting, blogging, and conversations on the web do not a mainstream show make, nor do critical favorites,
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I'd watch a show where 98% of the people on Earth disappeared instead.
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You mean The Stand?
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More like Afterworld.
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Knowing my luck I'd be in the 2%. I want to see how we'd do.
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Of course, you're one of the nice guys and one of the righteous ones "Raptured"!
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So you're saying I wouldn't be raptured!?!?

RACIST! wait H8R! wait FASCIST! wait.. Ok, I'm all out
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Easy now. Nobody's getting raptured, okay? Happy now?
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If 98% of those on earth disappeared (and ( am in th 2% stuck on earth) aren't the 98% the ones raptured? Pretty sure I'm not one of them.
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Yes, I got the wires crossed.
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Fox has a not-great-looking new Will Forte show, "last man on earth" starting mid season. It's about 140 million off your population count though
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Sounds interesting. A show which challenegs emotions and deals with the unknown. Like Too-Tickey from the Moomin's said: 'All things are so very uncertain, and that’s exactly what makes me feel reassured.'
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