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Why Station Eleven Is Releasing At The Worst Time | Screen Rant

HBO Max's upcoming miniseries Station Eleven seems to be releasing at the worst possible time. The upcoming miniseries is an adaptation of Emily St. John Mandel's 2014 novel of the same name and tells the story of a post-pandemic world after a strain of flu wiped out a large percentage of the population. Station Eleven is set to star Mackenzie Davis and Himesh Patel at the head of an ensemble cast also featuring Lori Petty, David Cross, and Gael García Bernal and is currently scheduled to begin streaming on HBO Max on December 16.

The series was originally ordered way back in the summer of 2019, months before COVID hit, and early production began in 2020. Station Eleven was then - like so many other shows and movies - delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic and is now scheduled for a late 2021 release. It might seem apt for a show depicting a pandemic-ravaged apocalyptic society, but this delay is actually a large part of the reason that Station Eleven's release is coming at the worst time.

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The series being ordered before the onset of COVID seems almost prescient, but the delay in Station Eleven's production has turned what could have been a timely commentary on pandemic society into a far less impactful story. While audiences have come to tolerate - and even expect - delays in even Hollywood's biggest movie releasesStation Eleven's later-than-intended release will likely hurt the miniseries more than anyone would have hoped. This issue of poor timing goes far deeper than being a little late off the mark, though.

While Station Eleven's story will surely still resonate with audiences - it depicts a very familiar pandemic situation with a very different outcome - it's releasing at a time when life has returned to a sense of normalcy for many. Despite ongoing considerations relating to COVID, the pandemic hasn't had the catastrophic impact that Station Eleven will depict, and this will lessen the series' ability to deliver an emotionally resonant story. The timing removes Station Eleven's release just a little further from realism, something which will undoubtedly reflect in the audience's reaction to the series.

Station Eleven will need to find an audience first, though. After experiencing the pandemic and seeing movies and shows like Ricky & Morty reference or satire COVID, it's likely that yet another show based on realistic apocalyptic fiction will struggle to draw an audience. After all, with daily life impacted so heavily since the onset of COVID, many have lost interest in apocalyptic stories - as evidenced by the decline in the popularity of shows like The Walking Dead over the past year.

Sadly, long before COVID, Emily St. John Mandel's novel was winning awards, and the pandemic has hurt Station Eleven's chances at success on HBO Max far more than could have been expected. It seems that the series will release too late to catch the interest of those affected, as public sensibility is now swaying the other way. Pandemic stories are fast becoming a well-trodden path, and unfortunately, Station Eleven is releasing at a time that many will be sick of even hearing the word "pandemic."

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