My initial impression after finishing the first season of HBOs The Leftovers is basically positive, which in itself is an old takeaway from a show so relentlessly and essentially bleak. I didn't like the finale all that much and the moments of catharsis accompanied by Philip Glass arpeggios have passed the point of finishing returns to enter the realm of self-parody. Honestly how can this town even function if its citizens are breaking down every fifty minutes for a good ugly cry?
But this show works on so many levels I can't simply laugh it away. At least three of stories in season one were instant classics: "Two Boats and a Helicopter," "Gladys," and "Guest." The overall ideas of the series - the cult of depression and the crisis of a psychological apocalypse really worked for me.
I'm not sure if I'm looking forward to the next season of The Leftovers but I'm willing to watch it be what it is.