By Michael Arbeiter, Hollywood.com Staff
Damon Lindelof is going back... to television.
And as such, it's that time of week when a developing television project demands invariable comparison to Lost. Deadline reports that the latest beneficiary of such an honor is The Leftovers, an HBO drama being developed by the island series' own Damon Lindelof, who also co-wrote the script for Ridley Scott's Prometheus. Considering that this is Lindelof's first television venture since Jack shut his eyes on the island, you immediately want to be excited. You want to set aside your paychecks to make sure you can afford an HBO subscription come time for the show. You want to believe that the naysayers were wrong, and that it is possible: we can have another Lost. But don't get ahead of yourself.
Lindelof's show will focus on a community of people left behind on Earth after many of their friends, neighbors, and family members vanish in a Rapture-esque event called the Sudden Departure. Post-SD, those who remain will take on the usual struggles faced by a group of people specifically passed over by the forces controlling the universe in a mass ascension to a greater plane of existence: turmoil, confusion, loss, introspection, the works. Some good old Island happenings.
Likening this show to Lost so quickly is a hasty move. Lindelof's attachment is no guarantee. As fans have learned from Alcatraz, just because it takes place on an island, has its own Hurley, and comes from J.J. Abrams, that doesn't mean it'll be imbued with the same glowing magic that made the ABC series a classic. But here's the thing: what Alcatraz lacked is what The Leftovers seems to be chock full of. It's a story about people, and the range of the human experience, as told in an interesting, somewhat magical, but relatable setting.
That's all Lost was in the first place. Sure, it had smoke monsters and polar bears and buttons and Dharma peanut butter and Daniel Faradays. But all of those things were simply vehicles for illustrating what it means to be a suffering member of the human race. (Except the polar bears. No one knows what those were for.) And from the sounds of The Leftovers, which is based on a novel by Tom Perrotta, it looks to be rooted in the same kinds of themes.
Plus, if there's one thing Lindelof knows how to do, it's craft a story about the journey of looking for answers, which is an integral part of what being a person is. The idea of the ""another Lost"" might be a self-defeating prophecy, but the HBO series has a ton of promise, and a ton of merit to its concept.
[Image Credit: ABC]
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