Monday, May 11, 2020

Pandemic Appropriate TV? I'm Not So Sure.

BBC's 'culture' section is praising a TV series adaptation of a dystopian movie, "Snowpiercer," set to air this month. The Beebs calls it "the perfect TV show for right now."

Perfect at what?
The Earth has frozen, and a train called Snowpiercer, carrying the survivors, must stay in perpetual motion circling the globe. Its cars are strictly divided by class, from billionaires living in luxury up front to stowaways crammed in dank, filthy cars at the rear, plotting rebellion against the train’s authoritarian ruler. Oh, and now and then the train zooms through avalanches or barely avoids skidding off a bridge.
A "something for everyone" apocalypse drama.
The snobs in first class are one-dimensional villains. The lower class rebels are more varied in their motives, yet remain types. But they are all vibrant types, more than enough to carry this engaging story of social division, injustice and deception, with the side attraction of a murder mystery.
Set six years into the train’s journey, the series occupies its own universe, with different characters from the film’s. But its premise is the same. A plan to reverse global warming by cooling the atmosphere backfired, leaving the Earth’s temperature at a lethal -120F (-84C). The culprit is not climate change itself, but the wrong-headed choices humans make. “To be human is to be self-involved,” a first-class character says, and the difference between the selfish and the selfless drives much of the show’s intrigue. 
The heroes are the passengers in the tail of the train, the so-called tailies. Their world is so visually full of shadows that even their food is dark, as they survive on daily rations of gelatinous black bars.  
"Up the Revolution" indeed. That's not to say the world, parts of it at least, isn't headed for instability and turmoil but does that make it entertainment. Judge for yourself. It's airing on Netflix on May 25th.

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