Just days before the premiere of The Leftovers, co-creator Damon Lindelof made it clear that he and co-creator Tom Perrotta hope viewers come to their new show with open minds. No preconceived notions or preferred viewing lens is required. "We don’t want to tell people how to watch this show," Lindelof says firmly.
"What would be very exciting for us is for there to be a wide-range of reactions in terms of what they’re supposed to be looking for," Lindelof continues. And for viewers who want immediate answers about what happened and why, Lindelof has the same wisdom: "It’s not our place to tell you how to watch it. That’s the great thing about any kind of writing: It doesn't come with a set of instructions, it just is."
Lindelof cites Close Encounters of the Third Kind as precedent: "It has a big mystery: Where the aliens come from, why the aliens are behaving the way they behave and what they want. Those are questions the movie never answers. They just want to make contact and drop off some people they’ve abducted over the years. It’s our investment in Richard Dreyfus and his family that powers that movie. I think we’ve tried to do something similar here."
For his part, Perrotta adds: "I just hope that people want to live in the world. It will be a show that people need to acclimate themselves to. To be open to trying to find their way into the world would be better than coming to it with some agenda."