The Leftovers Episode 1 Spoilers/Preview: Sudden Departure of Loved Ones without an Explanation

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By Anshu Shrivastava | June 24, 2014 9:17 AM EST

The much anticipated new HBO show, "The Leftovers," is the story of people who were left behind after 2 percent of the world population disappeared in a rapture kind of event, without any explanation.

The show is set in a small fictional town of Mapleton in New York. It features Justin Theroux as Kevin Garvey, the police chief of Mapleton, the town which is trying to come to terms with the unexplainable event that took place three years ago. According to The Washington Post's review, "three years earlier, on Oct. 14, one in every 50 or so people randomly vanished in a single instance -- a total of 2 percent of global population. They didn't burn up or float away. They're just inexplicably gone."

The review reveals that the episode opens with people seeing their loved ones disappear, all of a sudden, and they are unable to do anything about it. They are there one moment and the next moment they cease to exist, without dying. Carrie Coon plays Nora Durst, a woman who has lost her husband and two kids on Oct. 14.

The review says that "The Leftovers" is "preoccupied with how everyday life changed" because of the sudden departure. It reveals that a young man drops out of college and follows a "menacing cult leader," while another character abandons her husband and children and joins a group, which demands vow of complete silence from  its members.       

Official Synopsis of "The Leftovers" pilot episode: "Three years after millions of people suddenly vanished, police chief Kevin Garvey juggles personal and professional challenges."

"The Leftovers" is based on Tom Perrotta's book of the same name. He has co-written the pilot episode with Damon Lindelof. Peter Berg has directed the first episode.   

Earlier this year in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Lindelof said, "This is going to be a show about sudden and abrupt loss and more importantly, what will at least in its initial presentation seem to be one that you can't receive closure from."

He said that if someone dies, "that's a horrible thing and they must be mourned. But in this instance, you don't even know if you're supposed to mourn who's been departed because they could be walking through your door tomorrow, or you could be zapped up or down or sideways to wherever they are."

"So this lack of understanding as to what just occurred is the most pervasive feeling, not just in the moment that it happens but certainly three years later when the story starts."

"The Leftovers" is scheduled to premiere on June 29, 2014.  HBO has picked the show for full series.

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