Here’s Why You Should be Watching TNT’s Snowpiercer
DISCLAIMER: Mild spoilers abound for Snowpiercer. Hop aboard this train at your own peril.
Many of you may recall Bong Joon-ho‘s 2013 feature Snowpiercer. Perhaps some of you have even read the graphic novel on which it was based: Le Transperceneige. Now, there’s a television series on TNT with Bong as executive producer alongside Graeme Manson (Orphan Black).
On TNT’s Snowpiercer, Daveed Diggs stars as Andre Layton, a resident of the train who dwells in the tail end or “the Tail.” The “Engine Eternal,” a 1,001-car train, was crafted by a man named Mr. Wilford in response to a world decimated by climate change. Climate scientists attempted to cool down a rapidly heating Earth, but instead, the opposite happened — everything froze.
Now, the train perpetually circles the globe with the last remnants of humanity fighting for survival. Snowpiercer (the train) is a classist vehicle with only the richest living closer to the engine. Layton was a former detective prior to “The Freeze.” He’s summoned to third class to investigate a string of murders. Jennifer Connelly portrays Melanie Cavill, the Head of Hospitality who’s concealing a plethora of secrets beneath her demure smile.
What follows is a riveting series rife with class and political warfare, as well as apocalyptic trappings all about. Don’t let the 6.7 rating on IMDb fool you. Sure, it’s a slow burn. However, the enthralling performances and storyline are enough to keep one captivated. Once the story takes off, there’s no stopping it (much like the titular perpetual train). Season 1 debuted in May 2020 while Season 2 is slated for a January 25, 2021 premiere.
So, why should you be watching TNT’s Snowpiercer? I’ve got a list of reasons right here!
Two Words: Jennifer Connelly
Connelly is one of my favorite actresses of all time. She’s wholly compelling in everything she does, and Snowpiercer is no exception. She imbues Melanie with so many intricacies and nuances. Just when you think you know her, you discover you’ve only just brushed the surface. I won’t give away the twist in Season 1, but Melanie does some pretty horrific things to get what she wants.
However, she’s a character that fully feels the weight of her actions and doesn’t take them lightly. She’s had to make unbelievably difficult choices along the way. Connelly has the ability to convey so much while saying so little. She’s an actress that gives everything of herself in every scene and effortlessly steals them.
Connelly deserves recognition for her work in Snowpiercer, but we know how the Academy feels about genre shows.
Two More Words: Daveed Diggs
Prior to Snowpiercer, I’d only seen Diggs in two things: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Hamilton. I knew he had immense musical talent, but I wasn’t prepared for his display of serious acting chops. He transforms Layton into a charismatic leader of a burgeoning revolution fighting for freedom against systemic injustice, which is especially timely and relevant.
To me, his performance has catapulted Snowpiercer to new heights and certainly solidified it as a show that has a place in today’s social discussions. Anyway, Diggs is simply wonderful. Layton is relentless, compassionate, and tenacious. Like Connelly, Diggs gives Layton plenty of layers that are worth exploring. Watching these two have scenes together is pure magic.
Class warfare is nothing new. Politicians hiding their dirty secrets from the public eye is also nothing new. But Snowpiercer paints a portrait of a viable future for humanity. Firstly, climate change is an ever-expanding issue, and Snowpiercer shows what could happen if we don’t alleviate the problem in time. That’s what I love about sci-fi — it holds up a mirror and offers a vivid account of our potential future.
While the story is based on Le Transperceneige, the characters in Snowpiercer are original. The stakes are as high as high can be: literally life and death. The train runs out of supplies — people die. The train stops moving — people die.
Not only that, but the internal strife aboard the train is just as fascinating. Those who reside in the Tail want better living conditions and actual food while first and second-class passengers get entire cars to themselves with all the amenities.
It’s a stark reminder of what the world looks like today. The one percent rule the roost while the remaining populace struggles to get food on the table. I don’t want to give too much of the story away, as there are twists and turns, but the aforementioned subject matter was enough to get me hooked.
If you’ll recall, 2013’s Snowpiercer was laden with spectacular imagery aboard the train, from the disparities between the Tail and third class to the opulence of first class. Swimming pools, aquariums, and more luxurious amenities were constructed within a train. There are even cars that house livestock. The third class boasts what’s essentially a small town with eateries.
Additionally, the train has an extravagant night club, or “The Night Car,” that looks like something out of The Great Gatsby. It boggles the mind to think about how much is jam-packed into a singular train. It’s like New York City. On the show, we get glimpses of how the rich live versus the poor. Overall, it’s a sprawling spectacle, and I hope Season 2 pulls back the curtain on more of the train’s offerings.
But it’s not just the lavish first class that’s eye-catching. There are images aplenty riddled with bloodshed, violence, and a dismal, dreary future that looks shockingly like our present. There’s that mirror!
Have you watched Snowpiercer yet? Are you excited about Season 2? Sound off in the comments below and don’t forget to Let Your Geek Sideshow!