'The Leftovers' (HBO)
How did this happen? The Leftovers started out as a perfectly respectable little Prestige TV weeper with a shamelessly cynical approach to punching the audience's grief buttons. (Both dogs and babies, abused in the first episode!) Then, for no clear reason, in Season Two, it blew up into something great and bold and powerful. The third and final season is one for the ages, capping off an utterly unique time-tripping story about the end of the world, jumping from upstate New York to Texas to Australia, with Justin Theroux as the grief-stricken cop reeling in the long aftermath of the Sudden Departure. Carrie Coon became this year's TV secret weapon, in tandem with her superb turn on Fargo as a single-mom cop. Mark Linn-Baker plays himself as the last survivor from the Eighties sitcom Perfect Strangers. Ten years after Lost, Damon Lindelof finally hit the finale jackpot.