HBO renews ‘The Leftovers’ for season 2

Time to stock up on cigarettes and Sharpies, folks, because HBO has renewed “The Leftovers” for a second season.

This is a fairly late pick-up as HBO has done business recently – new shows renewals often come within the first three weeks of a season, whereas “The Leftovers” is about to air its eighth of 10 episodes – but the circumstances have been unusual. Production was shut down midway through the season, for instance, so the creative team (headed by Damon Lindelof and “The Leftovers” author Tom Perrotta) could untangle several creative knots.

“The Leftovers” has in some ways turned out to be the dramatic equivalent of “Girls”: a series where viewers and critics are either deeply in love with it or angry at its very existence, with almost no middle ground. For a pay cable channel like HBO that depends on word of mouth far more than ratings, a show that generates that level of passion – even if some of it is negative – can be very valuable.

As one of the critics who’s loved it – and someone who was floored by the next episode – I’m very glad this despairing, engrossing show will get to continue, even as I wonder how long Lindelof and Perrotta can keep their broken fictional world working.

What does everybody else think? Glad “The Leftovers” will continue, or had you been hoping it would vanish to wherever Nora Durst’s family has gone?