Parents' Guide to

Station Eleven

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Language, grim apocalypse in powerful book-based series.

TV Max Drama 2021
Station Eleven Poster Image

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Powerful, elegiac, and entirely too realistic for those who have lived through an epidemic or pandemic, this series has profound things to say about life, loss, and the human spirit. If you can bear to watch, that is. St. John Mandel's wistful speculative sci-fi novel was released in 2014, when the idea of a global killer flu was something for apocalyptic horror novels and movies. This adaptation, which follows the bones of the novel's narrative yet makes some significant changes, is simply, starkly beautiful.

Many, many narratives have imagined apocalyptic scenarios, spinning off that high-concept idea into action (the Mad Max series), comedy (The Last Man on Earth), and horror (The Road). Station Eleven manages to find something different: beauty and meaning, most of it wrapped up in the pandemic's survivors, our main characters, and the way they manage to connect to others and find some joy even in a grim time and place. Certainly the central metaphor of the traveling troupe Kirsten belongs to is a potent one, as the actors transmit echoes of a lost world in an attempt to hold on to something that was good. It's a powerful reminder of humans' ability to somehow make a home wherever they land, and a spooky story with a setting those who watch will be able to relate to, no matter how much they wish that weren't true.

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