Song of the Day 3,264: ‘The Leftovers Piano Theme’ – Max Richter

I’m interrupting my normally scheduled Random Weekend selection to offer up a quick appreciation of the HBO show The Leftovers, which ended its three-season run a week ago.

The show, based on a book by Tom Perrotta (one of my favorite authors), was developed for television by Damon Lindelof, of Lost fame. It takes place in a world where an unexplained “Departure” has seen 2% of the world’s population disappear without explanation. Think of the Biblical Rapture, but affecting people of all faiths (and no faith).

The story isn’t about those who departed, but those who remain (the titular “leftovers”) and how they deal with the event. It’s a show about faith, family, love, loss, forgiveness, redemption, all those grand things. It’s also darkly funny, profoundly strange and one of the most moving works of art I’ve ever seen.

I’m going to leave it at that. The show was criminally under-watched, so I’m assuming most people reading this aren’t fans. I encourage all of you to give it a try. Three seasons, just 28 episodes, only a few more than one season of Lost.

I’m still processing the finale, but I can say without reservation that this is one of the greatest television series I’ve watched. Breaking Bad, of course, sits at the top of that list. Friday Night Lights, Mad Men and this show are jockeying for the second spot.

One more quick shout-out. The Leftovers‘ lead actors — Justin Theroux and Carrie Coon — are revelatory. Especially Coon, who has to be my favorite working actress right now based on her work here (and a winning turn on the current season of Fargo).

Finally, the show’s score, by Max Richter, is brilliant. The piano theme featured today, in particular, slays me. It plays under some of the series’ most devastating moments and always brings them home. Fans have taken to playing this theme over scenes from other shows and movies to give them extra impact.

3 thoughts on “Song of the Day 3,264: ‘The Leftovers Piano Theme’ – Max Richter

  1. Amy says:

    You’ve convinced me. I’ll give the show a try!

  2. Dana says:

    I’ve heard good things. We will have to check it our.

  3. Peg says:

    We watched the first episode and thought it was interesting; not sure how much of the second we watched, but we didn’t stick with it; not sure why. Guess we will try the third one given your review and this song of the day 🙂

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