The Calculus of Miracles and the Machinery of Power: Interconnectivity in The Leftovers

The Calculus of Miracles and the Machinery of Power: Interconnectivity in The Leftovers

The science fiction author, Ursula K. Le Guin, once remarked that science fiction “isn’t prescriptive; it’s descriptive,” meaning that, in spite of the fantastic future settings and plot machinations of the genre, it nevertheless remains an allegorized description of the present moment from which the author writes. From this perspective, The Leftovers (a kind of speculative fiction) isn’t only offering what might be under the circumstances of a historical collision with profoundly large forces, but what is if viewed through a speculative lens.

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Music Supervisor Liza Richardson Talks ‘Authentic Oldies,’ and Her Favorite Songs From Season 1

Music Supervisor Liza Richardson Talks ‘Authentic Oldies,’ and Her Favorite Songs From Season 1

When it came to The Leftovers' sound, series creator Damon Lindelof had specific direction for music supervisor Liza Richardson. "He encouraged me to go weird and deep and dark," Richardson tells WatchingTheLeftovers.com. Richardson oversaw the song selection for the series, a process she describes as "taking my interpretation of Damon's sensibility, reading the characters, and funneling that through what I think is cool musically." Coupled with Max Richter's score, Richardson's songs created a distinct sound, one that fans responded to all season. 

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A Sermon Inspired by The Leftovers

A Sermon Inspired by The Leftovers

When The Leftovers first aired, I began writing an article about the show's implications on faith and spirituality. As I wrote, I realized that my thoughts kept edging further and further towards creating a sermon, mostly because I think the show is one of the most important commentaries on spirituality and living I've ever seen.

So when I was asked to give a sermon at All Saints' Episcopal Church in Chicago, Illinois – where I'm a parishioner and member of the Vestry – I knew I had to include The Leftovers. The drama means many things to many people; for me, it's a wake up call to realize that this – this life, this journey, this panoply of relationships lovely and painful – could be over any moment. So, how might we live today?

What you'll read or listen to below, "Always Leftover," was presented, of course, in a Christian context. I think all sermons should, one way or another, illuminate the Gospel reading for any particular Sunday. In this case, the reading that day was Matthew 16:21-28 Though this was written for a Christian community, I hope readers of any faith tradition (or none at all, for that matter) will discover just how deeply this show has affected me – and how I hope it might affect everyone.

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The Leftovers Sparks Artist's Minimalist Posters

The Leftovers Sparks Artist's Minimalist Posters

Much like the Loaded Imagery offered here each weekThe Leftovers has inspired an artist to boil each episode of the show down to one singular image. The figures range from the ill-fated Dudley's dog tag ("Pilot") to a whistle ("Gladys").

Seattle-based graphic designer Andy Paroff, 24, has posted five of what he calls "minimalist posters," one for each episode, on his Tumblr.

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5 Prodigal Sons in ‘The Prodigal Son Returns’

5 Prodigal Sons in ‘The Prodigal Son Returns’

In the Bible, Luke 15:11-32 tells the story of the prodigal son and his return to his family. The title of the season finale of The Leftovers, “The Prodigal Son Returns,” takes inspiration from this passage. As we’ve seen throughout the series, episode titles potentially contain multiple meanings…or in this case, multiple prodigal sons.

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Go Behind the Scenes of 'The Prodigal Son Returns' With Director Mimi Leder

Go Behind the Scenes of 'The Prodigal Son Returns' With Director Mimi Leder

The season finale of The Leftovers is filled with turning points for the Garvey family and Mapleton as a whole. WatchingTheLeftovers.com connected with director and co-executive producer Mimi Leder to discuss Season 1's final installment. For Leder, "The Prodigal Son Returns" is about delving "deep into the characters' grief and their struggles to somehow try to come out the other end." Below, the director takes us inside specific moments from the episode.

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Smoke, Smoke, Smoke That Cigarette…

Smoke, Smoke, Smoke That Cigarette…

The Leftovers is leaving many viewers with more questions than answers. Last Sunday’s episode, “The Garveys at Their Best,” certainly offered some solace for the bewildered by using flashbacks to Oct. 13 and the morning of Oct. 14 three years ago, just before the Departure. But the question of why the Guilty Remnant are incessantly puffing on cigarettes remains an enigma that’s tough to unravel.

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 Different Ways The Leftovers Challenges Our Sense of Purpose

Different Ways The Leftovers Challenges Our Sense of Purpose

Like a vacuum that implodes an object, the Departure seems to have crushed the details of each character, hardening them into more simplified shapes in keeping with whatever in them responds to their truest purpose. Prior to Episode 9, we saw the aftermath of several years of Post-Rapture Tribulation – Kevin Jr. seems to be coming apart psychologically, Patti was driven to suicide as a rhetorical device, Jill has joined the G.R., while Laurie ascends its ranks. Each of the main characters have been explored, and we finally got to see an informative glimpse into where they came from, revealing that the Rapture wasn’t the story of who disappeared (as Matt stubbornly insists), but what purpose they served in the next stage for those who remained. The show illustrates – in a more speculatively humanist, less dogmatically Christian way – a society, conspicuously similar to our own, that was already ripe for an unraveling.

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