Series Mania 2022: Station Eleven reinvents the post-apocalyptic genre [critique]

Station Eleven
HBO Max

The adaptation of the best-selling novel makes us want to believe in people by celebrating the collective in the face of adversity. Very strong.

Are you tired of post-apocalyptic series? Tired of following survivors of an atomic war/zombie invasion/mysterious pandemic? Make an exception for Station Eleven, It’s worth the detour. On a scenario a priori very marked out (an ultra virulent flu kills 99% of infected people), the series manages to constantly surprise by creating scriptwriting and pure staging links between past (our present) and future. The story begins in Chicago at the start of the epidemic: while civilization is collapsing at high speed, fate puts in the hands of Jeevan (Himesh Patel) a young girl, Kristen, whom he will have to protect as he can. In an alternate montage, we will follow their beginnings in this new world and the fate of a Kristen who has become an adult (played by Mackenzie Davis), now a member of a theater troupe that travels the United States to restore some hope. to survivors.

Built on time travels and entire episodes that also focus on other shattered lives, this adaptation of Emily St. John Mandel’s novel manages to be both a relentless suspense machine and a great human drama. Death and mourning are at the heart of the story (we think of Lost Where The Leftovers), but the series cultivates its optimism with a discourse on the cathartic power of the collective in the face of adversity. The best idea of Station Eleven being to consider that culture and art – theater in particular – are our lifeline, and that pure survival will never be enough. If all this reminds you of what humanity has been through for two years, it may not be a coincidence.

Station Eleven does not yet have a French broadcaster. The first two episodes (out of ten) were screened at Series Mania.

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