(This article is part of our Best of the Decade series.)

As the saying goes, everyone loves a comeback. The 2010s saw a number of creative entities emerge from the wilderness to enjoy renewed artistic credibility onscreen. There were so many comeback stories, actually, that this mere list of ten is guaranteed to smack of exclusions. FX’s The People v O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, for instance, revived interest in the trial of the century while serving as a soft comeback for several actors. Be honest: when’s the last time you’d heard David Schwimmer’s name around the watercolor? Despite its use of John Travolta, however, there was no one actor on that show who made a resurgence on the level of Travolta’s in Pulp Fiction. If anything, the show was more memorable for its Emmy-winning turn by Sarah Paulson and for facilitating the breakout of Sterling K. Brown.

Stranger Things built its brand on ‘80s nostalgia and thrust faces from that decade, like Winona Ryder and Matthew Modine, back in the spotlight…but there wasn’t room for it on this list, either, and that’s saying a lot. It should be noted, too, that a return to form, in and of itself, isn’t enough to qualify as a comeback. Christopher Nolan was back in top form with Dunkirk, yet while his previous two films may have revealed chinks in his critical armor, they were both still commercial successes. A slightly off-game Nolan is still better than your average blockbuster filmmaker.

Master of the “Nouveau Shamanic” acting style, Nicolas Cage, likewise marches to the beat of a different drum, where the notion of frail mortal comebacks is irrelevant. So alas, you won’t see Mandy on this list. But enough with the honorable mentions … let’s look back, in reverse chronological order, at ten of the decade’s best film and television comebacks.

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Damon Lindelof interview

Until the end, The Leftovers delivered the unexpected. Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta‘s HBO series grew into a show that defied or subverted all expectations. After the first season, which now feels like a complete contrast to the series finale, it felt like all bets were off.

Kevin Garvey Jr. (Justin Theroux) as a messiah? Matt Jamison’s (Christopher Eccleston) spiritual journey on a sex cruise? And then there’s Nora Durst’s (Carrie Coon) experiences in season 3. The Leftovers seemed like it could go anywhere it wanted and earn it. After an ambitious season 2, Lindelof and Perrotta took more chances with the final eight episodes. Big swings that led to one emotionally satisfying finale. It was a show so good that the Emmys almost completely ignored it.

In the first of an expansive, two-part interview, Lindelof talked to us about some of the choices made in the final season of The Leftovers.

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2017 Emmy Nominations: The Biggest Snubs & Surprises

the leftovers season 3 trailer

This morning brought the cavalcade of nominations for the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards, which will be handed out in September. Westworld was out in front with a whopping 22 nominations for its freshman season while other debut shows like This Is Us, as well as continuing shows like Veep and Saturday Night Live, also landed a surprising number of nods. But there are only so many slots for nominees and plenty of shows were snubbed by the Television Academy. Thankfully, it wasn’t all bad news though as there were some pleasant (sometimes goofy) surprises as well.

Below, we run through the biggest 2017 Emmy snubs and surprises. Read More »

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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/Response: Your Favorite TV Episodes of All Time

the wire middle ground

(Welcome to /Response, the companion piece to our /Answers series and a space where /Film readers can chime in and offer their two cents on a particular question.)

Earlier this week, the /Film team wrote about their favorite TV episodes of all time. We then opened the floor to our readers: what is your favorite episode of television? And you let us know!

We have collected our favorite answers (edited for length and clarity) below. Next week’s question: what is your favorite movie gunfight? Send your (at least one paragraph, please) answer to slashfilmpitches@gmail.com!

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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 Has No Plans to Direct Anytime Soon

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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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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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

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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