Snowpiercer… this show… I don’t know what to say. Conceptually, I want to love it. The post-apocalyptic frozen Earth setting is already pretty interesting in and of itself, and adding to that, the only thing keeping humanity alive is a slowly-dying train that metaphorically doubles as a microcosm of our flawed society… it has so much potential.
It’s just… it makes me sad, and for all the wrong reasons. There are times when it is really good, but this show has so much missed potential. It’s always had a problem with focus, but I was hoping that the third season would be better… it’s not. It still has all of the flaws I mentioned in my Season I & II review (logistical issues, notable character absences, awkward ‘romantic’ scenes, and the aforementioned lack of focus). If anything, it’s gotten even worse.
Almost every character collectively dropped at least a few IQ points. Layton takes an abrupt turn to the spiritual. Asha didn’t get nearly enough screen-time for the amount of build-up she received. The Bess x Audrey ship is borderline nonsensical. Melanie’s absence just made me realize how underwhelming everyone else’s acting is. The set designs, a point I previously praised, have also become less varied. I can count on one hand the characters I still care about, and don’t even get me started on Wilford’s diabolus ex machina weapons.
My original plan was to do an episodic reaction to Season 3. However, if you’ve read my previous post, you’ll know why that plan fell through. I don’t want to say that Snowpiercer was directly responsible for my loss of motivation, but it was certainly a contributing factor. I so desperately want to like this show, but I just can’t, and it pains me to see such a good premise failing so badly in its execution.
In my search for answers, I did come across something interesting: Josh Friedman, the show’s original script-writer, had a falling-out with the production staff. Apparently, he was removed for having some ‘creative differences’, and his replacement, Graeme Manson, didn’t bother to consult with him.
- The Hollywood Reporter
Assuming the sources I found were accurate (take this with a grain of salt, in other words), the direction problems suddenly make a lot more sense. There’d be an obvious clash in creative vision between the two, and the veer away from realism could plausibly be the result of Manson running out of Friedman’s material and having to make new plot points up… but hey, that’s just a theory… a Snowpiercer theory!
If there’s any interest, I might cover the comics and the movie at some point too… but for now, I just want to focus on other things.
In any case, this is probably going to be the last time I write about this show. There’s going to be a fourth season. It’s left the hands of Graeme Manson, so I’m willing to give it one last shot, but unless Paul Zbyszewski can pull off a miracle, I’m probably just going to drop it and save myself from another round of disappointment.
I might at some point cover the comics and Bong Joon-Ho’s movie adaptation, if there’s any interest in the idea. For now, though, I just want to be done with the Snowpiercer franchise. It’s been on my mind for far too long already, and I want to get back to writing about the things I actually like.