TV Review – The Hollywood Reporter

Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of War of the Worlds tells about an alien invasion and its chaotic aftermath, but it is perhaps the best description to date of the bewilderment and paranoia that ensued after the 11th terrorist attacks. September 2001.

The essence of art is that the best expression of something unfathomable is rarely the most direct (I’m Looking At You, “Isaac and Ishmael” by West Wing). That’s Why My Favorite Artwork Tied To The Last 20 Months Was HBO’s First Finale How to be with John Wilson, a half hour on basic human kindness and connection only becomes about COVID-19 in the last 10 minutes.

Station 11

Key point

Haunting, hopeful and mostly well adapted.

Release date: Thursday, December 16

Cast: Mackenzie Davis, Himesh Patel, Daniel Zovatto, David Wilmot, Matilda Lawler, Philippine Velge, Nabhaan Rizwan and Lori Petty, with Gael García Bernal and Danielle Deadwyler

Creator: Patrick Somerville, from the novel by Emily St. John Mandel

HBO Max’s New Limited Series Station 11 regularly does an effective job in separating the difference between portraying and evoking a global catastrophe that will always be compared to our current pandemic, even if the novel Emily St. . John Mandel based it on was published in 2014. From time to time, Patrick Somerville’s 10-episode adaptation exploits the visceral horror of a society in the midst of a flu pandemic that makes no sense if it doesn’t. that scared some viewers. But Station 11 contemplation of the consequences, delving into the concepts of healing and how much any “new normal” should resemble the old. On the page, it’s often an ephemeral theme, one that may have been over-described for the screen, without necessarily draining the narrative of its power.

The series began in Chicago during production King Lear ends in tragedy. Well, all of ‘s products King Lear ends in tragedy, but this is on stage, when the lead Arthur Leander (Gael Garcia Bernal in the honored cameo) suffers a heart attack. The only person in the audience trying to help is Jeevan (Himesh Patel), who reacts reflexively, but doesn’t have any medical expertise. In the chaos, Jeevan puts one of the young actresses in the cast (Matilda Lawler’s Kirsten) under his wing, a bit of a temporary babysitting job that becomes full guardianship when a virus spreads spread rapidly, causing 99.99% deaths, pushing Chicago and society to the brink of ruin.

Years later, Kirsten (now Mackenzie Davis) was part of the Traveling Symphony, a roaming band of musicians and musicians led by the Conductor (a uniquely eccentric Lori Petty) and performed pieces. of Shakespeare in a circle of survivor communities. The group’s motto is “Survival is not enough”, which refers to the microscopic need to preserve and survive art, to maintain an understanding of commonly accepted sources of inspiration and beauty.

But in a larger sense, the Symphony of Travels and Station 11 preoccupied with questions of what will happen next. Is it enough to keep playing? Hamlet because we have agreed for centuries that Hamlet is important? If Hamlet is indispensable to civilization, but civilization means technological debris, environmental destruction and the isolation of modernity, should we rebuild on that foundation or create something new? The connection between the backward past and present is presented in a poetic style, sliding back and forth in time, by pilot director Hiro Murai.

This doesn’t sound like much of a “plot” and I’m not sure it’ll pull you in any further by saying that there’s a mysterious cult leader named The Prophet who seems to be targeting the Traveling Symphony – also that’s not to say there’s another mysterious Museum of Civilizations trying to attract the Traveling Symphony. And it would probably only confuse you to mention that the title of the book and show comes from a mysterious graphic novel that everyone finds intriguing for elusive reasons. The hypnotic quality of the comics – which I think is mainly there to create an arc of populist art forms, capable of providing both escapism and resonant undertones, which society had to decide whether to accept or reject – not presented more convincingly. here than in the book.

Mandel’s book isn’t heavy on narrative, but it builds up a series of satisfying revelations from hopping through the decades and selectively filling in surprising relationships between seemingly unlikely characters. link. It is a very literary weave structure. Somerville intelligently plays to the strengths of his medium, wisely combining certain themes and splitting some plot lines into standalone episodes.

These episodes introduce episodes, giving favors to countless supporting players (repeated references to Hamlet the substitutes Rosencrantz and Guildenstern were no coincidence), along with a pervasive blend of grief and hope, for Station 11 a very Lindelofian feeling – which makes sense since many writers, including Somerville, Nick Cuse and Cord Jefferson, have Leftovers, The guard or both on their resume. They are also the best episodes of the show, including a spotlight episode for Miranda by Danielle Deadwyler, creator of Station 11 comic book, and a near-bottle episode that follows Jeevan, Jeevan’s brother Frank (Nabhaan Rizwan) and Young Kirsten in the first days after the pandemic.

Making the program all the time is a strong team, starting with Davis, who by rights should become a super delegate later Pause and catch fire, episode “San Junipero” by Black mirror and Tully. She’s an actress of heartbreaking openness, showing every emotion up her sleeve, and there’s a comforting serenity as she portrays the role of an actress in a post-pandemic world affected by the pandemic. This devastating, almost as a therapist and patient at the same time. Notably, Davis is giving her second stellar performance on the show as Kirsten, with Lawler’s early maturity never feeling over-researched. The two actresses and two versions of Kirsten even played nice together in one episode.

Like any good troupe, Station 11 strikes a good balance between the actors you’ll recognize – Caitlin FitzGerald and David Wilmot are strong, although both are plagued by some trivial aging effects as the show goes on – and the lesser known co-star.

As Station 11 Coming to its conclusion, you can feel Somerville losing faith in the loose workability of the source material for a TV. He began to fill in the blanks that didn’t need to be filled in, adding extra episodes that over-explain what Mandel left unclear and repeating dialogues that had a certain weight to them like a musical, closes so many meanings that open up that make the book so poignant. . There are a number of choices in the last few episodes, especially in the soundtrack, which I find annoying, thinking about the show’s signal, none of which violates the spirit or meaning of the book. They just make things clear.

Station 11 It’s harder to watch because it’s immediate because it doesn’t happen the same way in 2014. However, the series isn’t filled with conspicuous coughs or inevitable corpses, instead it’s worth it. fear of a world on the brink of irreparable change and the anger and optimism that go hand in hand with facing that world like a blank slate.

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