I wish I could say we’re looking at it as another season of television, that it’s just another game, but it’s the finals — and I want The Leftovers to be something that only lived for three years but people speak very highly of with no buts. What I don’t want is The Leftovers to feel like a reaction to Lost. In the same way a parent has two different kids, just because you f—ed up with your older kid doesn’t mean you have to extrapolate those same mistakes onto your younger one. And I’m not saying that I f—ed up with Lost. I’m just saying every parent feels like they f— up constantly. And the world is full of siblings who complain about the fact that their parents raised them as a reaction to their older sibling. So I’m focused on not doing that.
If the takeaway from Lost was that there was a disgruntled portion of the fan base that said, “You did not give satisfactory answers to the mysteries,” then I feel somewhat liberated withThe Leftovers because that’s off the table. Both shows traffic in mystery, but The Leftovers has been unapologetic that it’s not the mystery-solving show. Lost was that show. During the finale writing process, Carlton Cuse and I had a list of unanswered questions on a white board, and when we felt we answered them satisfactorily, we erased them. The lesson learned is there were apparently not enough questions on the white board.
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