The first season of HBO’s The Leftovers was brutal, bleak, baffling and very occasionally breathtaking in its exploration of a town in grief, but when it returns to the network this summer, viewers will be in for a drastically different show, according to TVLine.
In its second season, The Leftovers will shift its setting from Mapleton, New York, to a new location in the Lone Star state. Though the name of the town is not yet known, this setting change will kick off a creative rejiggering of sorts for the series on the heels of it burning through all the source material (exec-producer Tom Perotta’s 2011 novel of the same name) in its first season.
In addition to moving to Texas, The Leftovers will shed some of its supporting cast members for the second season. As previously reported, season 1 regulars like Michael Gaston, Annie Q., Max and Charlie Carver, Amanda Warren and Emily Meade may appear as guest stars, but the core cast has been thinned to Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman, Chris Zylka, Margaret Qualley, Christopher Eccleston, Carrie Coon, Ann Dowd and Liv Tyler.
To fill the vacancies, the season will see the introduction of a new African-American family affected by the same Sudden Departure that saw 2% of the world’s population vanish into thin air.
I recapped The Leftovers in its first season and found myself disturbed but also intrigued by its meditations on life, death and coming to terms with loss. Though some of the more supernatural mysteries of the first season frustrated more than anything else, there was no denying the power of the cast and direction. Though the departure of Gaston, whose character seemed crucial to understanding what was going on in Mapleton, will certainly disappoint many viewers, at least the most transfixing stars remain.
The Leftovers is expected to return this summer.