Poll: Will You Watch Damon Lindelof’s New TV Show?

If you have HBO, you’ve probably seen the ads for the network’s upcoming Rapture-themed summer series ‘The Leftovers’. Like many viewers, you may have thought the show looked interesting until the dreaded screen credit: “From Writer and Executive Producer Damon Lindelof.” Are you still willing to give the series a shot, or is Lindelof’s name so toxic at this point that you’re immediately repulsed by his involvement?

For at least the first five seasons, ‘Lost’ made nerd icons out of writers and co-producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse. Unfortunately, the sixth season, and especially the series finale episode, were incredibly divisive among fans, to the point that many claimed to regret ever watching the show at all.

The two producers later decided to pursue separate projects. While Cuse has found new success with ‘Bates Motel’ on cable, Lindelof went on to write (or polish as a script doctor) garbage screenplays for lousy movies including ‘Prometheus’, ‘Cowboys & Aliens’ and ‘Star Trek into Darkness’. Exactly how responsible Lindelof was for the problems with those scripts is up for some debate. (Apologists may argue that he only wrote what he was hired to write.) Nevertheless, among countless sci-fi and genre fans, the name Damon Lindelof is anathema.

So now we have ‘The Leftovers’, based on a novel by respected author Tom Perrotta (‘Little Children’), who also serves as co-creator and chief writer. With glossy production values and an impressive ensemble cast featuring the likes of Justin Theroux, Christopher Eccleston and Liv Tyler, the series looks like another must-see prestige drama from HBO.

Except for that damned Damon Lindelof credit.

Personally, I will defend ‘Lost’ right to the end, including the finale. However, as time has passed, it sure looks like most of the best parts of that show were probably Cuse’s doing. Aside from some passable touch-up work on the could-have-been-much-worse ‘World War Z’, Lindelof’s feature film output has been pretty dreadful. The screenplay for ‘Prometheus’ is one of the worst ever written.

I’m inclined to give ‘The Leftovers’ the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps television is Lindelof’s strength, and he’s learned some lessons from the fan reaction to ‘Lost’ and the aforementioned movies. Or perhaps Tom Perrotta’s involvement will be enough to cancel out Lindelof’s worst instincts. But I certainly understand the knee-jerk skepticism that many will feel toward it.

‘The Leftovers’ premieres June 29th on HBO.

Will You Watch 'The Leftovers'?

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  1. William Henley

    Never heard of the guy, and I don’t have cable – electing to get all my shows through the four main streaming services (Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and Vudu). I am just now watching HBO shows that came out 10 years ago.

  2. As Lost first aired all I really focused on was answers to all of the island’s mysteries and leaving the character stories on the side. I enjoyed the finale and wasn’t terribly upset. I recent watched the entire series over, this time focusing solely on the characters since I knew what mysteries were solved or left to the imagination. This time I absolutely loved the finale. I found myself getting very emotional which isn’t normal for me. I’m so glad I watched it again because I got to focus on what the entire show was about, the characters.
    I have enjoyed Lindleoff’s ideas for tv and film. He seems to think outside the box.

    • Ryan

      When I FIRST started watching Lost…it was all about the mystery. But as the show went on, it became more and more about the characters. I was wrecked when “Blank” died….I couldn’t care less about where the polar bears came from.
      So for me, the finale was near perfection. A stunning emotional pay off to a fantastic show about characters I loved.
      I’ll give his new show a shot…hopefully it’s good.

  3. I’ll watch a few episodes to see how it goes. Lindelof’s already said in press materials for the show that he hopes people get caught up in the personal relationship and not questions about “what happened?” Additionally, some actors for the show have said the show is really not about the mystery as much as it is the relationship.

    So, like LOST, it doesn’t seem like Lindelof cares (or possibly even knows) about the long-range mythology of the show – which is sure to lead to disappointment if the series DOES take-off with viewers.

  4. Jeff Levy

    You really didn’t like ST Into Darkness? I thought it was great! I also liked Lost. But do I want to get invested into a new show that could be like Lost? No, I don’t want to take the time right now. But if the show looks like its getting traction, I’d be willing to give it a chance. No more Flashforwards for me.

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