The Leftovers: The Complete First Season (Blu-ray Review)

The LeftoversTwo percent of the world’s population has disappeared. Was it the Rapture? Aliens? Or something else? Based on Tom Perrotta’s best-selling novel, The Leftovers follows Kevin Garvey (Justin Theroux) , police chief and father of two, in Mapleton, New York, three years after the mysterious event. As Garvey struggles to grieve for his losses, rebuild his life, and regain a sense of normalcy within the community, the world around him grows even stranger. The Hollywood Reporter’s Tim Goodman calls “this bold series…a triumph fro Tom Perrotta and Damon Lindelof, plus so many superb actors in the ensemble.” Don’t be left behind! 


The Leftovers

The Series 

On one eventful day 2% of the world’s population vanished into thin air. No one knew where they went or why they disappeared. Millions upon millions of people were gone in a split second regardless of age, race, or socioeconomic status. 3 years later and after world governments declared the event as an unknown occurrence those that were left behind are still trying to live their lives as best as they can.

In Mapleton, New York, sheriff Kevin Garvey (Justin Theroux) lost his wife to divorce and she ended up joining a strange cult called The Guilty Remnant. TGR are made up of men and women of all walks of life who are through living in the “real world” so to speak. They are all dressed in white, chain smoke like cigarettes are going out of style, and do not speak. Not because they can’t but because they don’t want to.

Kevin has to navigate his way through all of this with his head sort of held high all the while being undermined and disrespected by everyone from the Mayor of the town to his own subordinates at the police station. It doesn’t help much that his father and former sheriff of the town (Scott Glenn) has suffered a psychological breakdown and that he has a very cold relationship with his daughter and a more understanding one with his son.

What exacerbates things is how everyone, 3 years after the mass disappearances, carry on. Everyone walks with a perpetual look of disgust on their faces and an EXTREMELY cynical demeanor. Just about every person has been affected by a disappearance of at least a friend or loved one. In some cases entire families vanished into thin air, as well.

Going into the first season of The Leftovers I didn’t really know what to expect. The trailers didn’t do it for me, because it looked like a less preachy version of Left Behind. I was surprised by how much of it doesn’t preach and I also feel that the directors that were brought on board to direct handled the written material really well. It was great to see episodes directed by Mimi Leder. Don’t mistake my middle-of-the-road rating as a negative. I am still cautious that it will develop into a better show than what was presented in season one.

There are many subplots going throughout the show that I still don’t know what to think. It wasn’t until the last two episodes of the season that I figured out HOW folks disappeared but not the whys. Granted, the HOW is just my thoughts, and not necessarily what did happen. I won’t reveal that here, because it may be filled with spoilers.

In any event The Leftovers is an interesting show and I give much props to Justin Theroux for practically carrying the entire season on his stressed and weathered arms. It’s definitely a grand undertaking but his performance is a standout and I enjoyed seeing many familiar faces make an appearance. Give it a shot and let me know what you think. Please keep reading to find out how the Blu-ray set stacked up.



Penguin One, Us Zero

Two Boats and a Helicopter

B.J. and the A.C.



Solace for Tired Feet


The Garveys at their Best

The Prodigal Son Returns


The Leftovers


Encoding: AVC/MPEG-4

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Clarity/Detail: The Leftovers on Blu-ray looks fantastic. There’s about an equal amount of scenes that take place outdoors as well as indoors that look great and are without any postproduction tweaking. Contrast and sharpness levels are in pristine shape.

Depth: The small town aesthetic of Mapleton looks great in high definition.

Black Levels: Black levels were deep and inky and free from crush and other anomalies.

Color Reproduction: The color palette was bold and vivid and I only detected a few instances of a muted color wheel and those were during scenes that were trying too illustrate what was going on.

Flesh Tones: Flesh tones are great.

Noise/Artifacts: I did not detect any instances of noise, debris, or artifacts.


The Leftovers



Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD MA 5.1, French Dolby Digital 2.0, Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0, German Dolby Digital 2.0, Italian Dolby Digital 2.0

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, German SDH, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Italian SDH, Norwegian, Swedish

Dynamics: The Leftovers sounds great on Blu-ray. I love when television shows are given the full lossless treatment.

Low Frequency Extension: There are many scenes involving LFE bass and the subwoofer does a bang up job of presenting the rumble in all of its scary low-end glory.

Surround Sound Presentation: The surround sound channels carry the ambience well enough but also enhance the sound field by being more active than the norm. There are quite a few action scenes in this series and the rear channels handle the violence with great depth and clarity.

Dialogue Reproduction: Dialogue levels are razor sharp and crustal clear.


The Leftovers


The extras, brief as they, are quite entertaining and interesting. We get writer and producer of the Damon Lindelof and author of the novel Tom Perrotta talking about the show and novel and what had to be tweaked here and there for television. Both men seemed to have spearheaded the show’s entire production, which is quite rare, in my opinion. We get a featurette that focuses on the primary cast and we also get historical highlights of documented disappearance through time that have no explanations. We also get professionals and scientists talking about disappearances and what laws of science they would have to follow if a person were to just vanish. There are a couple of episodes that feature a Lindelof/Perrotta commentary, as well. A preview of what’s to come in season 2 is also featured.


  • Commentary on the Pilot and Finale Episodes
  • Making The Leftovers (HD)
  • I Remember: A Season One Conversation with Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta (HD)
  • Living Reminders: The Guilty Remnant (HD)
  • Beyond the Book: Season 2 (HD)


The Leftovers


The Leftovers is an interesting show. It did keep my attention most of the time, with only little bits of dullness and mending thrown in to balance it out, I guess. I am hoping for a much stronger season, because if it doesn’t get to the meat and potatoes of what is going on. The Blu-ray presentation, however, is reference. HBO shows always look and sound great and The Leftovers is no exception. Even the supplemental materials are more in depth than the average fare. I’d give The Leftovers: Season One a mild recommendation. If you must watch it then do so on Blu-ray.




The Leftovers: The Complete First Season

is now available on Blu-ray & DVD!






The Leftovers


Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

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