Snowpiercer is back on TNT in POG form. Torn from the pages of French comics and overpraised Weinstein Company movies, the little engine that could makes its way through the frozen Apocalypse. Jennifer Connolly picks up where Tilda Swinton laid off as the fill-in voice controlling the train. At times, this feels almost like a prequel series. Then, I realize that I don’t care enough about the Snowpiercer history and universe.
It’s weird to see high concept films get adapted for TV. Back in my day, it was usually legal dramas, relationship movies or comedies that got their TV iterations. Now, everyone is trying to compete with streaming services and we got Snowpiercer TV edition in between NBA on TNT and Return of the Jedi (w/ commercials!). Nothing is as cool as going from Donovan Mitchell dunking to a dystopian drama!
Daveed Diggs carries a lot of the show on his back. Stepping into the Chris Evans style role, Diggs is a former cop now charged with investigating malfeasance on Supertrain 2020. The main thing this series has going for it is having a better conclusion than Snowpiercer: The Motion Picture. I love Ed Harris as much as the next yokel, but this season finale just played better.
The Bong hive still hates me for not doing on their Golden Cow from last year. That’s fine, art is art and pretentiousness is free. What I fine funny is how I can’t quite place if the Parasite love helped push this show further into warm audience territory or not? Given the production timeline, the show had to have already been shooting before the Parasite Oscar wins. So, where does that leave us?
With a show about a train in the middle of frozen desolation trying to reach ten episodes of plot. Snowpiercer is great when it works, but fails as miserably as the movie when it gets on a soapbox. That being said, Daveed Diggs has more time to feel out this train society and make it make sense. Jennifer Connolly struggles to find the right note to play, as she is giving us something different than Swinton did in the Snowpiercer film.
Jennifer Connolly might actually be the biggest bone I have to pick with the show. The good thing about being an adaption is that you have source material to study. If Connolly even bothered to look at what came before, I couldn’t tell. Actors don’t need to be slaves to the material, but the foundations of the character on a page. Honestly, she could be playing a Dark City matron for all we know.
The only time she gets real definition is where the show finds its footing. By diving back into the history of this world, we learn more about Snowpiercer than ever before. What was once heavy-handed left-wing allegory now becomes a fascinating Science Fiction world. Could we end up in a Snowpiercer world? Not likely, as most people would rather die than hop on a doom train.
Choo choo! Troy’s Snowpiercer rant is incoming.
The ultimate sticking point with this show is what killed the film for me. It wants you to draw paper thin lines to our reality, but it’s far-fetched. Watching as class warfare and systematic oppression gets dumbed down for Buzzfeed readers is disappointing. But, what’s even more upsetting is seeing how the faux intellectual elite of your favorite social networks salivates after this mess.
There is a line to be drawn here and it’s crystal clear. Speculative science fiction about real life issues is fine and dandy. But, having an obese man in a Future is Female shirt scream it at me from a keyboard is a bit much. Especially, when I enjoy the nihilism of watching a planet rot to a Hoth-like dystopia.
What does this mean for you? Well, your enjoyment of Snowpiercer will hinge on what you can take away from this Stanley Kramer style journey through Ray Bradbury’s trash. Shows like this make certain audiences feel good because they think their personal fears and goals are getting equal air time with things that people find actually entertaining.
I just watch because the show is closer to the Sci-Fi roots of the source material and tries to build out the Snowpiercer world. That and I’m from the middle of the country. If we don’t watch TNT and USA religiously, then how else would the world know what happens on Burn Notice, Claws and Suits? You’re welcome, America.
Snowpiercer: The Complete First Season comes to Blu-ray with featurettes. Got to love those production EPKs to help sell the show to people that let YouTube autoplay everything. The A/V Quality is quite impeccable and in-line with what I expected for recent WB TV on Blu-ray releases.