Why You Need to Watch the Most Important Show of the Last 5 Years

Station Eleven irritated me in the starting.

Three episodes deep, I would fallen asleep twice. I wasn’t simply annoyed with what I perceived to be self indulgence – I used to be bored.

A post-apocalyptic HBO Max miniseries set in the fast aftermath of a lethal and extremely contagious flu, Station Eleven is a present a few fictional pandemic – shot, produced and launched throughout an precise pandemic. However in lots of ways in which pandemic is subservient and unimportant. Station Eleven is a present about issues. About massive concepts and themes. It is a present about survival. About trauma. About taking refuge in the transitive energy of artwork and the connective tissue of our shared humanity.

Learn extra: (*5*)Assessment: Station Eleven’s HBO Adaptation Got here at a Bizarre, however Good, Time


In different phrases: urgh.

From the outset, it is a present that spells out grand ambitions in clear phrases. This can be a present that opens with King Lear. A present that makes flagrant use of Shakespeare as a story and framing system, but in addition has the gall to place itself at the middle of a grand literary canon. 

As soon as once more: urgh. The most important urgh I can muster. 

Three episodes deep I jumped into one of ClassyBuzz’s many Slack channels to unload on the present with my co-workers. It was self-indulgent. It was boring. It took itself manner too critically. It was excessive by itself provide. It was basically flawed compared with a present like, say, Yellowjackets – which masked its personal themes of trauma underneath the guise of a crafty and compelling thriller field present. 

“Station Eleven sucks.” I feel that is what I typed. I used to be flawed. I could not have been extra flawed.

Simply seven episodes later, at the present’s conclusion, I went crawling again to that very same workplace Slack, on my palms and knees, to inform everybody that – truly – Station Eleven is one of the greatest TV exhibits I feel I’ve ever seen in my life and that each human being alive ought to make efforts to watch it.

So pretentious

Himesh Patel as Jeevan and Matilda Lawler as young Kirsten in Station Eleven

Jeevan and Kirsten.

Parrish Lewis/HBO Max

My favourite second in Station Eleven happens midway by episode 9.

Jeevan, one of the present’s principal characters, has been taking care of Kirsten, a baby actress obsessive about a comic book e book – the titular Station Eleven. A comic book e book she carries along with her in every single place as she travels in the post-pandemic world. A comic book e book that offers her hope in determined circumstances. 

After trekking again to their dwelling base, Kirsten realizes she’s dropped the comedian e book in the snow. Pissed off, not fairly understanding why it issues, Jeevan angrily stomps again into the wilderness to retrieve it. Throughout the search, a wolf assaults him, mauling him half to demise. As he crawls on his palms and knees, combating for survival in excessive subzero temperatures, he stumbles throughout the comedian e book, buried in the snow. In full agony he begins studying it, earlier than tossing it apart, screaming: “IT’S SO PRETENTIOUS!”


It is an extremely cathartic second. To start with, it is humorous! A wonderfully timed second of comedy in the midst of a darkish, visceral second. I laughed out loud. Nevertheless it’s additionally an acknowledgement, a crystalized second of self consciousness. The present is speaking about itself, immediately to its viewers. Sure, Station Eleven is pretentious. It’s a present actively wrestling with massive concepts – swinging for the fences, navigating the worth of artwork in a world stuffed with struggling. 

However Station Eleven can be self-aware sufficient to know it is asking so much. Of its viewers, of itself as an leisure product. That is vital.

An enormous ask

Why ought to we care a few tv present? Why ought to any type of artwork matter? In a world the place I discover myself drifting away from so-called “status TV,” Station Eleven compelled me to ask myself that query. 

Not too long ago I have been extra probably to eat infinite, disposable anime, or binge watch feel-good actuality exhibits. It has been tough to summon the “massive mind power” required to take pleasure in a present like Station Eleven. A present that forces us to reckon with massive questions and massive concepts. 

Daniel Zovatto as the Prophet and Mackenzie Davis as Kirsten in Station Eleven

Station Eleven goes in instructions you won’t count on.

{Photograph} by Ian Watson/HBO Max

That is exactly why I discovered Station Eleven so repulsive in the starting. In the aftermath of COVID-19, a interval of ground-shaking political strife, you are actually gonna ask me to have interaction with a TV present a few touring troupe of Shakespearean actors performing Hamlet in a post-pandemic wasteland? That is a giant ask.

However Station Eleven works as a result of it guidelines on each potential stage. It is so simple as that. It is a well-written present, with nice performances and soundtrack that may hang-out you lengthy after you’ve got completed watching. 

Station Eleven swings for the fences however hits the ball clear. It takes time to ship on its daring imaginative and prescient, however for those who stick by that preliminary gradual burn – combat by that preliminary repulsion – you may be rewarded with a present that has nuanced issues to say on each “Severe Matter” it dares to broach. This can be a present about households – actual and inherited. It is a present about the legacy of shared trauma. A present about artwork as a refuge. If that offers you the ick, I get it. However in a really actual universe the place we’re deep in the wilderness of our personal ache and struggling, Station Eleven is as important as tv will get. 

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