HBO Max’s New Series Station Eleven Is Yet ANOTHER Pandemic Series
Read the room, TV executives.
We’re 20 months into the COVID-19 pandemic, and everyone is exhausted. And while most of us would like to spend our leisure time thinking of anything else, streamers and networks continue to churn out post-apocalyptic content. The latest entry is HBO Max’s miniseries Station Eleven, which dropped its first trailer this week.
The series, based on Emily St. John Mandel’s bestselling 2014 novel of the same name, is described as, “A post-apocalyptic saga spanning multiple timelines, this limited drama series tells the stories of survivors of a devastating flu as they attempt to rebuild and reimagine the world anew while holding on to the best of what’s been lost.”
The series was created by Patrick Somerville (Maniac, The Leftovers) and features an ensemble cast that includes Mackenzie Davis (Happiest Season), Himesh Patel (Tenet), Gael García Bernal (Old), Daniel Zovatto (Penny Dreadful: City of Angels), and Lori Petty (Tank Girl), among others.
Station Eleven arrives the same week that viewers watched the season (and likely series) finale of FX on Hulu’s Y: the Last Man, another science fiction drama set around an unprecedented global catastrophe. Many credited Y‘s cancellation with pandemic fatigue, citing the fact that no one wants to see their grim news cycle play out on a weekly basis.
This follows a long run of pandemic-set projects, including Amazon’s Utopia, Paramount+’s The Stand, and AMC’s The Walking Dead franchise. Maybe our tolerance for intense drama is waning, or maybe we’re just sick of everything and anything pandemic-related.
Much like Y, Station Eleven is based on critically acclaimed original novel. Mandel’s book received rave reviews upon its release, and later won the Arthur C. Clarke Award. But will its fan base translate to the miniseries? Ultimately, it doesn’t matter, as the series was conceived to be limited in scope, with only 10 episodes.
The trailer has already received negative feedback on social media for emphasizing the pandemic, as opposed to the book, which focuses on the years after. It’s also a salient reminder that the people making the series don’t necessarily make the trailers.
Oh no, I just watched it and am weirdly furious now, too. This is a book about art and religion and survival, but sure–let’s just make the trailer ALL about the inciting incident that reminds us of what we’ve all lived through.
— Erin P (@EMPS88) November 3, 2021
Also, not only was the novel written pre-pandemic, but HBO Max announced the series in June of 2019. Hopefully the series will be able to get out from under the COVID shadow and establish itself as its very own thing.
Station Eleven premieres on HBO Max on December 16.
(image: screencap/HBO Max)
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