This series delivers a unique take on apocalyptic drama.

By Rebekah Karp, Staff Writer and Artist

Before the fateful year of 2020—and life as we knew it then ceased to exist—Emily St. John Mandel wrote a novel about an airborne disease that ransacked the world. The story followed a theater troupe trying to keep the art of acting intact for years after the virus arrived. Then, at the beginning of 2020, Patrick Sommerville started adapting the novel into a mini-series, and mid-filming, an actual airborne sickness ransacked the world. He decided to continue the project, and boy am I glad he did. 

 “Station Eleven” is an apocalypse drama released on HBO Max at the beginning of this year and follows a collection of characters at the start of this fictional pandemic. Twenty years after “Year One,” their lives are intricately woven together in ways they could never imagine. With an incredible cast, such as Mackenzie Davis, “Tenet’s” Himesh Patel, “Orange is the New Black’s” Lori Petty, and horror star Daniel Zovatto, “Station Eleven” is one of the most interesting post-apocalypse dramas I have seen.

As a self-proclaimed connoisseur of apocalypse dramas (simply meaning I read “The Hunger Games” in middle school and only consumed media of that type throughout my adolescent years), I was pleasantly surprised by HBO’s take on “Station Eleven.” It was courageous to release a piece that mirrored our current world so much. Usually, I absolutely hate when a work of media references COVID, simply because I want to escape the world, not be reminded of it. This show, however, does it excellently. I also appreciate that there are no zombies, fast-moving or slow-moving of any kind or no supernatural elements of sorts. It was a brutal and very picturesque portrayal of humankind and what we would do if an event flipped how the world was run on its side. 

For example, the whole “Year Twenty” storyline was as good as my friend Sydni Wolpert said it would be when she convinced me to watch it. The show is as if “theater kids were the only ones to survive an apocalypse,” said Wolpert. Now, “Station Eleven” has its charming qualities. It is a beautiful portrayal of how important art is to humanity and how we as human beings find comfort and familiarity in art in times of sorrow, great grief and loss. There are wonderful themes of art, forgiveness and community that are such a heart-warming—and heart-wrenching—experience to watch.

Without giving away all of the insane twists and turns and absolutely gratifying connections of all the characters you fall in love with, “Station Eleven neeAds to be put on your to-watch list. And call me up when you watch it because it is definitely a mini-series you will want to watch again to catch all the small, fun details.