Station Eleven: Full Season
January 13, 2022 12:14 PM - Season 1 (Full Season) - Subscribe

Based on the bestselling novel, this post-apocalyptic saga follows the 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.

This was by far my favorite series to watch in years. The story of Kirstin and Jeevan and Clark and Tyler left me feeling hope in a way that's been hard to find recently. It ended at a good spot but I really want more. Please, HBO, please?
posted by Stanczyk (38 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
I suppose I also need to beg Emily St. John Mandel. I hadn't read the book but my wife did and thinks they did an excellent job adapting it. I'm sure Emily St. John Mandel's participation in the production played no small part in its success.
posted by Stanczyk at 12:18 PM on January 13


The costume design was also simply amazing, especially for the Travelling Symphony's productions. That fictional costume designer deserves a Tony for those costumes.
posted by Stanczyk at 12:21 PM on January 13 [9 favorites]


Book readers, would you recommend book first or show first?
posted by sammyo at 1:17 PM on January 13


I don’t think it makes a huge difference tbh - I read and loved the book many years ago and remembered so little of it when I started watching the show! I believe there are quite a few differences between the two.
posted by adrianhon at 1:26 PM on January 13 [1 favorite]


Oh - and what a show! Absolutely one of the best in recent years. Jeevan’s story in particular… just perfect.

“I was always scared. Then I met this girl. Said I’d walk her home. It was cold. She forgot her key.”

“…You walked her home.”
posted by adrianhon at 1:28 PM on January 13 [10 favorites]


I read the book a few years ago but don't remember too much of it. I was skeptical of the series and I began watching it on a night when maybe I shouldn't have and ten minutes in when someone on the phone said "I'm not feeling too well" I decided I just couldn't handle it right now.

Should I give it another chance? I did hear it was somewhat hopeful but I'm not sure I can handle scenes with thousands of sick people dying just now.
posted by bondcliff at 2:00 PM on January 13 [2 favorites]


Just… wow.

This show is SO TENSE sometimes but usually if I cry they’re happy tears.
posted by sixswitch at 2:05 PM on January 13


This show is like a warm hug.
posted by roolya_boolya at 2:22 PM on January 13


Bondcliff: The best I can say about the show is that it is kind. There are some very dark moments but it is a hopeful show.
posted by adrianhon at 3:21 PM on January 13 [5 favorites]


Although when they teased Doc Chaudhary not staying for the play I was ready to tear my hair out. And then I realized it was a valid choice because, like, to paraphrase Mostly Harmless, if life has taught that man one thing, it’s leave before the play.

(Although Frank never would have made it across the ice.)
posted by sixswitch at 3:48 PM on January 13 [8 favorites]


And then when they saw each other… what a beautiful lead in, and then the moment… she’s lit warm against cool, so he’s cool against warm, and he just can’t believe it, and I cried.
posted by sixswitch at 3:51 PM on January 13 [5 favorites]


BRB watching again.

I’m glad Tyler didn’t stick around, I’m not sure you get over the whole minecraft for kids thing.
posted by sixswitch at 3:52 PM on January 13


I would recommend book first. There are quite a few differences. They are both excellent but the tv adaptation treats the characters differently in some cases. It extends and ties some ends that aren’t in the original. It almost feels like another draft was done. This was such a satisfying series for 2021/22.
posted by Cuke at 4:09 PM on January 13 [3 favorites]


It ended at a good spot but I really want more. Please, HBO, please?

It ended at a perfect spot and I hope that they just leave it at that.
posted by octothorpe at 6:09 PM on January 13 [10 favorites]


This was an amazing, amazing show. I just can't get over how good every actor was. Obviously the leads were incredible - maybe the best child performance I've ever seen. So thoughtfully and beautifully shot and directed. And all the plot threads come together so neatly. I think Reservation Dogs is still my favorite show of the year, but this is a very, very close second.
posted by ssmith at 10:35 PM on January 13 [3 favorites]


I loved it. I loved the way they let it unfold.
posted by h00py at 3:28 AM on January 14


Absolutely loved it. The podcast Still Watching did an interview with the show runner on yesterday’s episode and I really recommend it. They discussed how the story could be an allegory for parenting. I had not made that connection and it really touched me.
posted by pearlybob at 3:46 AM on January 14


The costumes are by Helen Huang (decent interview here), who hasn't done anything else I thought was really important, but I absolutely agree the costumes are super important to the feel of the show--both the theatrical costumes, which are great, but also the kids and actually all the other characters in the future timeline. To me it's a bit like if you took a Wes Anderson world and made it less twee and a lot scarier, but also more grungily relatable.
posted by Mngo at 4:28 AM on January 14 [3 favorites]


Alan Sepinwall has a great interview with Patrick Somerville, the showrunner.
posted by General Malaise at 5:14 AM on January 14 [1 favorite]


bondcliff, i was worried about that too but the pandemic really takes a back seat in the story, as much as it's possible in a story based on a pandemic. I was expecting to not be able to watch it right now, and I am in love with this show. It's all about the characters, and hope and love and connecting.

I really only had one moment -- when the surviving passenger got off the plane and came into the airport. Shit got a little too real for me in that moment, like this is what really happens to scared people in a pandemic. It's such an important scene for many reasons (no spoilers!) but man was that a hard scene to watch, like any one of us could be any one of those people in that moment where you are faced with an impossible choice and intense fear. I had to take a break before finishing the episode.

Lori Petty has never gotten the credit she deserves. She can be a little one-note (oh another wacky sage character!) but damn is she fantastic in this.
posted by archimago at 6:50 AM on January 14 [4 favorites]


My partner pointed out that Kirsten NOT chasing the child who stole her copy of Station Eleven allowed her to have that reunion with Jeevan. Letting something of inestimable value go to get something even more valuable.

We also noticed all the circular motifs - physically in their environment, in Station Eleven, and in the characters' connections with each other. It's all a closed loop in a way. (which does stretch the imagination a bit, but I think they earned it and it works here)
posted by jeoc at 9:02 AM on January 14 [6 favorites]


The Severn City airport rotunda is the Ontario Science Centre’s main non-permanent exhibition space. I spent a lot of time there as a kid.
posted by sixswitch at 9:57 AM on January 14 [1 favorite]


Is the man that Clark shoots in the airport the pilot that Miranda calls in the final episode or just a random passenger?
posted by roolya_boolya at 11:13 AM on January 15


Random passenger, I think. Didn’t look like the pilot we saw in the final ep.
posted by sixswitch at 6:20 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]


So I just looked at the credits of both episodes (the IMDB listings don't seem totally accurate yet), and Pilot Hugo is credited to Paul Nusbaum, whereas he is not credited in the earlier episode, and I think the man Miles shoots is called "frail man" credited to Nicholas Van Burek.
posted by General Malaise at 6:23 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]


Loved this show. My brother and I had different suspicions about the meaning of the spaceman. I thought it was symbolic of each character finding their destiny in and through the pandemic, he thought it pointed towards all of this ending up in a timeloop. After seeing the finale, and so many characters reaching a satisfying, full-circle resolution, I think my brother was more right than me.

Put me down as another vote for "please no second season." I'll read the book if I decide I need more, but trying to continue this story would only collapse it. I love it just how it is. However, between how she played all the knife throwing and two blade fighting in the Red Bandanna amush scene, and her performance in Terminator: Dark Fate, I'd love to see MacKenzie Davis do a bunch more action movies.
posted by EatTheWeek at 5:59 AM on January 16


"please no second season."

I guess I'd just love to see Kirsten meet Jeevan's family the following year. That would make me so happy. And to find the airport colony thriving and maybe a little more democratic. But I guess that's not a popular opinion so maybe I'll just go write some fan fic for myself about it.
posted by Stanczyk at 10:00 AM on January 16 [1 favorite]




I guess I'd just love to see Kirsten meet Jeevan's family the following year. That would make me so happy.

Don't get me wrong, I choose to believe this happens a year or so after that final frame, but the way I'd want for it to happen would be 100% trauma and drama free, with zero conflict or tension whatsoever. I love Jeevan and Kirsten and I'd like them both safe from the demands of the camera's gaze for the rest of their lives.
posted by EatTheWeek at 5:41 PM on January 16 [7 favorites]


I've read the book four or five times, and as I enthused in an earlier thread, I found this adaptation well-nigh perfect. I haven't wept like this over a work on art for a long time. My own intermingled trauma of being a person living through a pandemic and an actor sidelined from my beloved profession for the better part of two years was shown to me in the cracked, imperfect-yet-perfect mirror of art, and I was in a small way healed.

Anyway - and spoilers below for those who haven't read the book - I would love to talk about some of the little easter eggs and inside references and jokes that I noticed these last two episodes. I'm sure there are more, so please chime in with what you picked up on?
- In the book, Miranda dies on the beach in Malaysia. Here, her fantasy takes her to the shore of the undersea, her toes in the sand. And that last shot of her and her colleague dead in the hotel room is underscored by the sound of surf.
- In episode 9, Young Kirsten said "I hate the road." Cormac McCarthy shade, I imagine.
- In episode 10, the symphony sings Midnight Train to Georgia. In the book, the flu is nicknamed "the Georgian flu" for the Russian republic where is supposedly originated.
posted by minervous at 7:26 PM on January 16 [5 favorites]


I just read the book and it kind of annoys me that this was originally set in Toronto and then they moved it and then they ended up shooting so much of it in Toronto anyways… because of, lol, a global pandemic.

The show has more things on fire and blowing up, more jump scares, but also way sharper characters and more affecting scene work.
posted by sixswitch at 12:14 AM on January 17 [1 favorite]


When the show started, the IMDB reviews were so savage I chose to skip this. But I've just watched the first episode and it doesn't strike me as bad at all. Though whatever that space station was at the end looked pretty impractical to me. I'll watch this and see how it goes.
posted by Catblack at 8:10 AM on January 17


“Chef’s Kiss”

Not much more I can say, one of the best things I have ever seen!
posted by rozcakj at 9:56 AM on January 17 [1 favorite]


Every single detail of the series looked bad to me on paper (well, on screen), and reading the synopsis of the novel didn't help (there's literally no genre I like less than post-apocalyptic sci-fi), but I tuned in out of laziness one night expecting to have a cozy little hatewatch while aimlessly browsing on my tablet.

My expectations were wrong. I loved almost every moment of this series, right to the ending. Whenever it seemed to be setting up a cliché, it turned the other way, and whenever it appeared poised to smack down our species for all the usual reasons, it turned the other cheek.

It was sublime.

Oddly, in retrospect, the novel, at least in synopsis, seems less kind, so I may give it a wide-ish berth, but the miniseries? Just exactly right. I hope they don't try to continue the story in another "season"—it's small, perfectly formed, and complete.
posted by sonascope at 12:50 PM on January 17 [9 favorites]


I came into this without any foreknowledge at all, about the book, or the show, or anything. Didn't even know it existed.

This has to be the best, most beautful, amazing thing I've seen in... I dunno. It's just beautiful. Perfect. Gorgeous. Sad. Happy.
I don't know that I'll some up with anything more cohesive than that. I just... Haven't seen anything like it before, haven't been completely captivated like this, or just awed by something.
It's just amazing.
posted by rp at 10:14 AM on January 18 [4 favorites]


I just got through episode 4, and what a depressing ending to that one. I enjoyed the character study in episode 3, and I'm a fan of Hiro Murai (the director) from his work on Atlanta.

I'm not a fan of the whole "obscure graphic novel inspires it's fans" thing at all. I keep being reminded of the british Utopia series. (Which is good, with some great music, great cast, and a horrible anti-vax message. And in mentioning that, also avoid the single season american remake at all costs; it's the biggest regret of anything I've watched the past two years. Same plot, terribly recast, more violence and amps up the anti-vax message a thousandfold.)

I'm going to try to get through Station 11 this week, but could have used a children wearing land mines warning. So depressing.

And I was looking forward to David Cross and Lori Petty butting heads the rest of the season.
posted by Catblack at 9:12 AM on January 19


I took a few days off after Episode 4 because I wasn't sure how I felt about it after the land mine scene. I went back because I found it compelling and I was curious about the hopefulness it was supposed to have. I'm so glad I did. It's a wonderful, cohesive whole, even though the episodes are so different and some are difficult. I haven't stopped thinking about it for days.
posted by Mavri at 10:50 PM on January 20


I stayed up late for the last episode. Jeevan must have seen their Hamlet production, but Kirsten probably didn't even glance at the audience. I get the feeling the final episode was cut down to the bone with maybe 10 minutes shaved off. Still, it works and works well. It's now on the list to show my wife, though probably not for a couple of weeks.
posted by Catblack at 5:59 PM on January 23 [1 favorite]


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