"Snowpiercer" is an American TV series based on the graphic novel "Le Transperceneige", from which the namesake was also taken film of which the series stands as a prequel. "Snowpiercer" has ten episodes lasting a little less than an hour, although longer than the canonical forty minutes typical of the TV series that do not belong to the sitcom genre.
The series is well-made, with actors capable of transmitting the emotions and themes treated by the work, which represent the very heart of this production. Unfortunately, the script and the rhythm of the episodes do not always keep this quality high, lowering the judgment on the series.
Setting and Timeline
The "Snowpiercer" series takes place seven years before the events narrated in the film and eight after the cataclysm that precipitated the world into a heavy ice age. In an attempt to stop global warming, a failed experiment created an ice age that exterminated most of humanity. The few brave survivors are condemned to move on a train, driven by a perpetual engine, circling the globe for a lifetime.
Train passengers are divided into four ticket and social classes: First class is made up of those who were the main financiers of the Snowpiercer train and who bought themselves a lifetime ticket for leisure and luxury; the second class is for the wealthier and those who have distinguished themselves from the third, even for them there are comforts and comforts but not the typical luxury of the first; the third class is represented by the majority of those who bought the ticket and represents the working class of the train; finally we have the inhabitants of the queue, people who at the time of the train attacked the Snowpiercer of strength gaining a place with violence. The four classes also represent four social classes, of course, in constant struggle with each other.
To hold together the social and mechanical structure of the Snowpiercer is the figure of Mr. Wilford, creator and creator of the train, a charismatic figure who stands as a father for each of the passengers.
One of the major flaws of this television production is the distribution of events and the screenplay, made up of very poorly distributed peaks and valleys. The series deals with two events that happen one after the other but which, in terms of episodes, are concentrated at the beginning and at the end of the series. With more courageous choices in rhythm, it would have been possible to reduce the number of episodes by about half. The weekly release, unfortunately, did not help in any way to alleviate the lack of content of some episodes.
Characters and themes
The characters and themes represent both a strength and a weakness of the series. The main theme of "Snowpiercer" is, as many have understood, the class struggle, intended almost literally in this case. The 1001 train carriages are distributed according to the ticket and therefore to the census, relegating the less well-off in the dark and cold. However, I find that the point of view offered by the series is at least simplistic, relegating all the blame to the "snobs" of the First class and the train managers. One could wonder about the possibility that a private company, which builds a train with private financing, may have "strong" reactions with pirates who board the train and take possession of some carriages with violence. The fact that all this was done to survive and not for some mean purpose obviously complicates this picture, giving rise to interesting reflections in the viewer but unfortunately not in the series.
The characters presented in ten episodes are really many and, if some stand out for their facets, others turn out to be kind, two-dimensional. Other than the protagonists Layton and Melanie Cavill, who together show us how to manage such a train often requires difficult, unpopular and cruel decisions, the other characters really look like specks against the background of a tragedy. Of particular quality is the acting of Jennifer Connelly who, alone, is worth the vision of the whole series.
As we have already explained, the rhythm of the series is a big flaw, while not affecting the enjoyment of the same, and another critical aspect is the use of the CGI for the scenes outside the train, which reveal the weakness with which this aspect was Treaty.
The real strengths are photography, scenography and music. This essential trio manages to make each carriage of the Snowpiercer unique, dividing the classes and restoring the microcosm inside the train to the spectator. Some wagons seem immense and infinite thanks to the game of photography and scenography.
An enjoyable but not perfect series
"Snowpiercer" is a good series, capable of giving excellent hours of entertainment to viewers, this does not mean that it is perfect. The vision also reveals to a less careful eye several flaws and the fact that some occasions have not been exploited seems to relegate the series to something "lazy". All that remains is to wait for the second season to find out what the developments in history and production have been.