Snowpiercer – Good Entertainment or a Bad Remake?
The modern TV industry is incredibly focused on serving relevant entertainment to the general public. Every show is targeting a certain demographic and their needs or characteristics. Nevertheless, there are quite a few general trends that occur all over the world. First and foremost is the rise of science fiction. Yes, we do remember good old Doctor Who and a long list of science fiction shows or movies from the mid and late 20th century. However, this niche has never been as active and relevant as it is now.
What has caused the sudden popularity of the sci-fi? Most likely it is about modern reality and how much we have changed as a society. Tech innovations and scientific breakthroughs are determining the present and the future of our world. Therefore, the need for the TV representation of the potential future reality is crucial. After all, we have never been so close to the future. In fact, we can consider that we live in the future already. But what can be more impressive than what we already know and have today? Well, there is that in the newest TNT production Snowpiercer.
The show is the remake of a 2013 movie with the same name. The latter received immediate critical acclaim for being a good science fiction movie with good character development and some unique features. Nevertheless, the 2020 TNT remake came under a lot of criticism for mediocre acting, poor character development, as well as the lack of well-sophisticated heroes and antiheroes.
Yet, there is so much to this show. It is simply mind-blowing to think about the potential life on a train that is 1001 cars long, surfing through the ashes of what used to be the most advanced and well-developed civilization on earth. What Mr. Wilford has tried to do is exactly to replicate the world we used to live in under bearable weather conditions.
The plot is quite simple and without too much scientific reasoning. After climate change and certain natural disasters, the ice age started on earth. With the temperatures outside dropping below 100 degrees, there is no way anyone could survive even inside of a well-protected building. There are no energy supplies and barely any survivors on the face of the planet. So what can one do? Wait to die from the freezing cold?
Mr. Wilford came up with the eternal engine that is able to support a 1001 car long train with the energy as far as it keeps going. The global top 0.1% showed interest and the train became a reality just in time for the brutal apocalypse. Thousands got onto the train but not everyone could afford the first-class ticket. This gigantic machine is divided into 4 sections. The first class is for the ultra-rich only. The second class is a bit better than the third class, where cars are utterly overcrowded. Then there is the tail. It is the very end of the train where people without tickets managed to hop on just before departure. They are not being appropriately fed and have no personal space.
The train itself is quite diverse. There are cars with clubs, schools, and even brothels. Their ethnicity is also quite varied. Every profession is being utilized on the train that carries the very last bit of the human race. There are former casino owners in the third class who could not afford the first-class ticket. They are now organizing gambling evenings in the back of the train for the first and second class passengers. A Kiwi billionaire that has the entire car to himself enjoyed playing expensive New Zealand live roulette games. Yet, being on the train, he satisfies himself with the poker evenings provided by the third class passengers.
Thus hierarchy is visible in every part of the train operation. Second and third class passengers serve the upper class. They take care of the gardens, of the logistics, of the protection, and even healthcare. On the other hand, the first-class passengers enjoy the highest comfort levels possible. It is simply like living in a 5-star dream hotel for eternity.
Now, as mentioned above, there also are the “tailees” This is how the rest of the train addresses people who are placed in the very back of the train with barely any space or food. More than 400 tailees have been there for years and are not allowed to leave. Over the course of the endless journey, many revolutions have been sparked in this part of the train. Yet, none have managed to succeed and overtake the train.
The highest management of the operation is Mr. Wilford himself. Yet, after the departure of the train, he has not come out of his berth even a single time. What has changed? Why is the administrator of the services conveying Mr.s Wilford’s messages to the entire train? That is the main question that is posed immediately at the very beginning of the show.
After quite some time from the last revolution, there is a new bit of hope in the tail of the train. Despite the conflict, everyone agrees that the life they have been living for years is enough. There have been too many deaths from the last attempt of a revolution. The first season of this show follows this heartbeat of 400 people stuck in the back of a train with endless energy and resources.
Why should I watch Snowpiercer?
If you enjoy science fiction, then this show most certainly is for you. Should you find apocalyptic plots even more appealing, then watching Snowpiercer is essential for you. Besides the good sci-fi plot, the show explores modern-day problems and goes quite deep into the roots of the problem. Social injustice, inequality, and the unfair distribution of wealth are at the very core of the show and its idea. If you are not too much into sci-fi but love exploring how the modern-day issues can affect the civilizations of tomorrow. One big downside of the show is its lack of profound character development plots and not too good acting. Surely, this show is not Emmy-worthy or innovation in the TV industry. The Guardian scored it with only 3 stars, amidst the lack of good acting and character development. Nevertheless, if you like the concept and especially if you loved the 2013 Snowpiercer, then this will be quite an enjoyable experience for you.