Watchmen

Who watches the watchmen? Looks like the answer might be Damon Lindelof. The co-creator of shows like Lost and The Leftovers is reportedly staying in the HBO fold and is currently in talks to develop a TV adaptation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ groundbreaking superhero comic book series for the premium cable channel.
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the leftovers finale

At the end of The Leftovers, almost all the questions and answers don’t matter. They never really did. In the final minutes, all that matters are the two people sitting across from each other. As far out as Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta‘s HBO series got, it became increasingly more intimate over the course of three seasons. A clean and simple answer isn’t closure in The Leftovers finale; it’s a beautiful scene between siblings playing Matt Libs.

Below, check out our thoughts on The Leftovers finale.

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in defense of the lost ending

(Welcome to The Unpopular Opinion, a series where a writer goes to the defense of a much-maligned film or TV show, or sets their sights on something seemingly beloved by all. In this edition: a defense of the final season of the ABC TV series LOST.)

LOST was once at the pinnacle of the early Golden Age of TV. Ambitious, awe-inspiring, and frustrating, it brought forth a new age in serialized primetime television and was perhaps the last great TV show to command the attention of audiences across the country before streaming and prestige cable shows dispersed them.

You remember those glory days, right? The connective flashbacks, the masterful character work, the scavenger hunt for hints, the jaw-dropping cliffhangers. It was like nothing on TV. And it ended seven years ago today, airing its series finale on May 23, 2010.

So it pains me that LOST, one of the most exciting and daring sci-fi TV series — and one of my favorite shows of all time — is met with derision because of its final season. To be sure, it’s an oddly opaque finale for a show that until then, had operated in grays — espousing realist and borderline nihilistic philosophies that called into question the nature and morals of man. But one of the charms of LOST was that it never tried to answer these questions. Yes, it bludgeoned you over the head with that “man of science, man of faith” debate between Jack Shephard (Matthew Fox) and John Locke (Terry O’Quinn), but neither were able to ever really win the upper hand.

The finale changed that. The answer, it seemed to say, was faith. And in a show that depended so heavily on sci-fi tropes and staples, this switcheroo understandably angered people.

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Damon Lindelof interview

(This is part two of a larger interview. You can read part one right over here.)

The Leftovers isn’t playing it safe in its third and final season. Co-creators Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta‘s series has grown more ambitious over its three chapters and this season can get pretty bonkers, to say the least.

As out there as The Leftovers can get, it somehow manages to stay grounded. The surreal touches and bizarre turns tend to carry an emotional weight, striking deep into the heart of the characters. Last season’s “International Assassin” is a great example of that.

Lindelof takes some big swings with season 3. He recently told us about some of the risks the writers took, how the music has evolved over the series, and what he’s learned from the experience of The Leftovers.

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Damon Lindelof interview

(This is the first half of a two-part interview. The second half will run later this week.)

The Leftovers entered its third and final season this week. The first hour was what we’ve come to expect from showrunner Damon Lindelof‘s ambitious HBO drama – the start of another ominous, darkly funny, and emotional journey for the struggling family at the heart of the Tom Perrotta adaptation. Kevin Garvey Jr. (Justin Theroux) and co. remain at the forefront of this story, not the mystery (as intriguing as it is).

There are a few questions raised at the start of season 3, but the characters continue to drive Damon Lindelof and Perrotta’s story. The new season is set three years after the events of season two, and some of them have changed and grown, but others still find themselves lost in this fish-out-of-water chapter of The Leftovers.

I was recently able to speak with Lindelof about the series and while we didn’t get into too many plot specifics, we did talk about the structure of season 3, shows that inspire the series (like Rick and Morty), and the side effects of binge-watching.

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Damon Lindelof directing

Over the years, some notable television showrunners have taken to directing. Ryan Murphy, Noah Hawley, and Matthew Weiner have directed episodes of their shows, just to name a few examples. Sometimes these transitions from writing to directing yield great results. Hawley recently directed the thrilling and imaginative Legion pilot, while back in 2012 David Chase (The Sopranos) gifted us with his feature directorial debut, Not Fade Away.

Damon Lindelof is one well-known showrunner who’s yet to direct. In all of his years on Lost and The Leftovers, which begin its third and final season April 16, he didn’t get behind the camera once. We recently asked him why.

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Lost original ending

LOST has always been an exercise in “what could have been” — both in the story of the hit ABC show itself, and in the fans’ ultimate reaction to the show’s legacy. What could have been if the show had answered all our questions, if every bit of foreshadowing and world-building had paid off? If the ending was different?

Perhaps, as a show that attempted to tell a metaphysical story through a science-fiction lens, LOST would never have fully satisfied anyone — but it could have at least ended with a bang. At least, that was the original intention from showrunners Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof, who planned for an explosive finale involving a battle for the fate of the world on top of a volcano. But alas, it was not meant to be.

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Leftovers post photo

The Leftovers third season is a continuation of everything the second season got right. Co-creators Damon Lindelof and Tom Perotta once again take their drama into new, unexpected, and even stranger territory. Right from the very start of the final season, it feels like anything goes. There’s a great, almost free-wheeling sensibility to this season, despite how dense and full each episode is. Here’s a final season that doesn’t waste any time.

It won’t end with any “to be continued” silliness either, at least according to Lindelof. Below, read what he had to say about The Leftovers series finale.

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why tv binge-watching is bad

We may be in the age of Peak TV, but The Leftovers showrunner Damon Lindelof says that’s no reason to engage in bad TV-watching habits.

In a tongue-in-cheek letter accompanying preview episodes of HBO’s apocalyptic drama series provided to critics, Lindelof shared his opinion about the rapidly-changing TV business model, and how streaming has negatively affected the viewing experience. You can read the whole thing below.

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The Leftovers Season 3 Trailer

A great flood is approaching. The end may be near. Cue Abba’s “SOS,” and then witness Agnetha Fältskog’s beautiful voice singing over all sorts of chaos in a trailer fitting for the final season of The Leftovers. All the dark laughs and trials and tribulations aren’t over yet for the characters on Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta‘s HBO drama. Based on the new trailer for the third and final season, which contains some huge hints for what’s to come, Kevin Garvey (Justin Theroux) and the world’s terrible predicament has never looked funnier or worse.

Below, watch The Leftovers season 3 trailer.

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