The Leftovers is unlike anything else on TV

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t will probably be a few years before The Leftovers finally reaches the number of screens it deserves through word of mouth. The tragically under-watched drama is currently airing its third and final season on HBO, and many frequent television viewers still haven’t heard of it. Despite heavy promotion leading up to each of its season premieres, it simply hasn’t had the rampant success that the premium cable network’s other dramas, Game of Thrones and Westworld, have found early in their runs.

The show is difficult to describe, but it’s essentially an exploration of the ways people are still coping several years after an event called the Departure, when 2 percent of the global population suddenly disappeared without any discernible reason or pattern. In the wake of the Departure, cults have risen, new government agencies have been formed, and worldviews have been shaken. It’s a bizarre, unpredictable story that’s nearly impossible to imagine without seeing it.

When The Leftovers first premiered in 2014, some viewers complained that its deep dive into grief was too depressing. Others were reluctant to trust co-creator Damon Lindelof with another show after widespread disappointment in the ending of his previous series, Lost. Lindelof, however, has won many disillusioned fans back in this brilliant collaboration with Tom Perotta. Perotta penned the novel The Leftovers was originally based on and worked with Lindelof to adapt it for television. The entire book was covered in the first season, but season two took the series to astoundingly creative places that have made the source material look like vague inspiration.

The third season is already looking to improve the series even further by asking even more fascinating questions about religion, which has become a central theme of The Leftovers. In one of the most original and universal approaches to the subject ever accomplished onscreen, the show manages to provide provocative angles on spirituality for everyone from atheists to fanatics. Just when it seems the show is going to use a character to make a statement about religion, something will happen to call everything into question all over again.

Contrary to the way he ran Lost, Lindelof confirmed upfront that he has no intention of explaining why the Departure happened. This isn’t that kind of show. The Leftovers was never going to be a story about getting answers. It’s intended to be the exact opposite, and the result is a beautifully realistic representation of the painstakingly empty search for certainty. It’s not too late to catch up on this strange, inventive series that’s unlike anything else on TV. Maybe it’s ahead of its time, or simply misunderstood, but one day it will go down as an all-time great.