Station Eleven: Hurricane
December 19, 2021 4:01 PM - Season 1, Episode 3 - Subscribe

While fighting for her only chance at survival, Miranda Carroll reflects on the cost of her relationships with Arthur and Dr. Eleven.
posted by roolya_boolya (15 comments total)
This felt … effortful. I admire the ambition of the storytelling, but this felt like a series of literary devices that never really came to life for me. The Leftovers had some episodes like this, but it didn’t matter in the long run because they nailed the ending, and nailed it to an emotional core they had spent a long time developing. As a finale this just felt stubbornly off-point and ineffective.
posted by argybarg at 10:36 AM on December 20, 2021 [1 favorite]

And I just now see this wasn’t the finale. Apologies for the misdirect above. Still: not a great episode in my book.
posted by argybarg at 10:43 AM on December 20, 2021

I am enjoying this so far. While watching, it is very hard to draw the line between things that are uncomfortable to me today given what we know now and what might actually be unrealistic behavior in a much more rapid onset pandemic situation. I saw a comment somewhere about how surprising it is to be able to judge the realism of a pandemic disaster show. Who woulda thunk it?
posted by snofoam at 12:11 PM on December 20, 2021 [4 favorites]

Haven't gotten to episode 3 yet. But came here to say I *really* like some of the music direction: (1) O Trem Azul* (in the condo, episode 1), (2) Give up the funk (transition from ID4 to parade, episode 2)

I mean I really like a lot about the show so far. It's the most emotional and gripping show I've seen since early-Leftovers. But these moments of music keep coming back to me throughout the day.

* - How had I never heard this song/group before??
posted by pjenks at 5:48 PM on December 20, 2021 [4 favorites]

Wow, I am really loving this show so much!! The book is one of my favorites, and I think the show does a good job of keeping the important things like character and tone/theme, while improving on some of the plot points.

argybarg, based on the book, I think this episode will be even more important in retrospect. Personally, I loved it as it was, mainly for the amazing acting by the woman playing Miranda.

I wasn't sure if I'd be able to handle this show, even though the pandemic is so different from ours, but it's really hopeful in a way I find kind of cathartic. If the world went to hell in a handbasket, I wouldn't mind spending the post-apocalypse performing Shakespeare around the Upper Peninsula (though what do they do in the winter?) with a bunch of theater and band kids.

Really looking forward to seeing how this all unfolds.
posted by lunasol at 11:05 AM on December 21, 2021 [5 favorites]

The first episode sold the situation of the characters for me. Dieter and Kirsten are efficacious writing. But, yeah, it's pretty naive already about human nature.

Second episode sold the show for me, despite the Star Trek "best of humanity" optimism, the Mad Max/ Fallout post-apocalypse setting is enough to keep me entertained while wanting to know more about the characters.

Agreed, the exact transmission rate and mortality makes a huge difference in how it and the response could play out.

But this is oddly optimistic and naive about the specifics of human behaviour and the logistics of surviving.

Where are they all pooping? And washing up newborn babies? This is even worse than light fantasy.

I adore Lori Petty and Mackenzie Davis, so that's a huge bonus.

The situation (theatre troupe in the apocalypse) has been done in other media, but I really appreciate focusing on the traveling troupe. I hope it shows how entertainment nomads can help sustain human civilization. I'd love to see trade/ barter that the troupe does, and defense from bandits (or commit some light banditry when the opportunity arises).

A bunch of reviews say that the time(line) jumps are confusing. ? The transitions between memory/ past and the present are fluid and intuitive to me.
posted by porpoise at 11:47 PM on December 21, 2021

The transitions between memory/ past and the present are fluid and intuitive to me.

Yes, and they're making such transitions in most other shows feel clumsy to me.
posted by kingless at 3:07 AM on December 22, 2021 [1 favorite]

I do like this. But I can’t help but feel I should like it more than I do. Bonus points for being set in my hometown.

I did appreciate how this ep folded in another character’s story so well; Miranda isn’t just a background character, and I’m eager to see where she goes from here.

It’s pretty clear to me this series is less concerned about the logistics that so many post-apocalyptic shows are very concerned about. That may change, but I quietly hope it doesn’t, and something more bold takes its place.
posted by hijinx at 6:32 AM on December 22, 2021 [3 favorites]

I love the book intensely and am almost undone by how much I love the adaptation. Like, when Miranda met Leon I burst into tears because they were just both right. I don't think I have ever interacted with an adaptation that has been so true to the source material and also justified its existence so thoroughly.

And I want to shout out the sound design - both diagetic and non - in grounding the slips back and forth through time. A friend called the editing "poetic" and I heartily concur.
posted by minervous at 11:20 AM on December 22, 2021 [8 favorites]

But, yeah, it's pretty naive already about human nature.

We had a huge debate about this when my book club read the original. But I don't think it's naïveté. I think it's a conscious choice the author and then the showrunner made. There's dark, bad stuff in both, but the choice is to focus on what people do in a situation like this to maintain their humanity and to forge connections with each other.

I see it as a corrective to all the grimdark entertainment out there, which honestly is just as blinkered.
posted by lunasol at 10:44 PM on December 26, 2021 [4 favorites]

Does anyone know what caused this episode to have a seizure warning at the beginning? DH and I are watching but he has some photo-sensitivity.
posted by manageyourexpectations at 9:17 AM on December 30, 2021

I am really loving this show. I didn’t read the book, though I was aware of it through my casual reading of The Millions over the years. I am very impressed by the depth of character in the writing and acting. These are not qualities I normally associate with post-apocalyptic sf, so it’s almost an embarrassment of riches when combined with a pretty good story that is revealed so artfully. This is in some way what I had wished the Justin Cronin “The Passage” trilogy to be, an which I gave up on after the initial volume.

I want to say the my current pandemic experience leads me to cry foul at the 99% mortality rate of that in the story. I think we are learning through our own lives that far less dramatic peril can lead to far greater dramatic result, and I think there is an untapped vein of fiction that takes that perspective, something for which HBO’s The Leftovers establishes the standard by which I shall henceforth judge.
posted by hwestiii at 12:08 PM on December 30, 2021

But, yeah, it's pretty naive already about human nature.

We had a huge debate about this when my book club read the original. But I don't think it's naïveté. I think it's a conscious choice the author and then the showrunner made.

I disagree, here, actually-- there's plenty of darkness in the book, and in the series as well. It's just that the show doesn't focus on the darkness, or on characters who are responding to the collapse with violence. Kirsten in the book remembers nothing of the first year after the pandemic, aside from an aversion to gutting fish which she thinks is rooted in something she saw or experienced then (in the book she is cared for by her brother during the first few years, before she meets the Symphony).

One thing I love about the book is that I believe she really does convey how people would genuinely act under the circumstances; that they would draw together, help each other, form small family groups and practice mutual aid. The best of this, I think, is seen in her description of the early days in the airport and how the community develops over time. By the time we reach the novel's "present", it is twenty years after the collapse and the worst of the violence appears to be over, though there are certainly dangers on the road.
posted by jokeefe at 9:43 PM on January 6, 2022 [3 favorites]

Oh and according to my very math-challenged calculations, a survival rate of one person per thousand would still mean that a post-pandemic world population would stand at about 80 million people scattered over the world. The last time that this was the size of the human population was in the second century BC, or so Wikipedia tells me. I'm happy to be corrected as my arithmetic skills are shit.

But if this is a true number, then the human race will survive, although the question Will any of the technology left behind have a place in the new world remains an open one.
posted by jokeefe at 11:56 PM on January 6, 2022

So far this was one of my favorite episodes. I think the stuff with the troupe in the future is very depressing. I enjoyed the character study that this one is.
posted by Catblack at 8:55 AM on January 19, 2022 [1 favorite]

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