Best of the Small Screen, Dramas No. 6

Over the next 6 weeks I'll be taking a look at some of my favorite TV series, broken down into three groups (Limited Run Series, Comedies, and Dramas). In my post on March 1 I laid out the ground rules for these categories and this exploration, the biggest of which is no series that are currently airing. To read the whole thing, check out the post "Best of the Small Screen" from March 1.

Today I continue my countdown with another one from Damon Lindelof

The Leftovers (2014-2017)
Number of Seasons/Episodes: 3/28
Network: HBO
Starring: Justin Theroux, Carrie Coon, Christopher Eccleston, Amy Brenneman, Ann Dowd, John Carroll, and Scott Glenn
Creator: Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta
Favorite Season/Episodes: Season Three, 1.03 "Two Boats and a Helicopter," 1.06 "Guest," 2.10 "I Live Here Now," 3.02 "Don't Be Ridiculous," 3.06 "Certified," and 3.08 "The Book of Nora"
About: I've written a few times about the importance of considering series as a whole. Earlier on this list, I had a Lindelof show in "LOST," which started great and sort of faded at the finish. It still made this list, but not as high as it might have at one point. "The Leftovers," his follow up series, falls in the other camp. In fact, many hated the first season. I didn't. While I didn't love the first season the way I came to love the second and third season, I appreciated it's meditation on grief, loss and religion. In fact, there were some beautiful stories there. The standalone feature episode on Matt Jamison (Eccleston), "Two Boats and a Helicopter," and the feature on Nora, "Guest," were beautiful. More importantly, I bought into Nora (Coon) and Kevin (Theroux) and their journeys alone and together. The second season took the show in a bold new direction, and I liked the way it worked. I liked the shift in characters and stories and it ended in a fascinating place. But nothing prepared me for the third and final season, eight of the most beautiful episodes I've ever seen. I was reduced to tears at some point in every episode, and particularly moved by the finale, which nailed it. The series never answered some of the big questions, but it wasn't about that. It was about this journey and these characters. I didn't need the answers, I loved the journey and I bought into Kevin and Nora. I'm beyond thrilled the series finished to be able to be on this list. And I can't wait to see what Lindelof does next. After "LOST" and "The Leftovers," he has a fan in me for life.


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