Jennifer Connelly has been picking and choosing her spots on screen lately, starring in only a few movies over the last five years or so. The actress deserves to be picky at this point with more than enough of a resume to support the idea that she doesn’t need to take just any role handed out. So when she signs on for a television series, it’s probably a noteworthy piece of news. And it’s really no surprise that the show is one of the most popular on Netflix right now. Snowpiercer currently ranks fourth on the platform for the most-streamed show.
Snowpiercer, which originally aired on TNT, is a post-apocalyptic show based on the graphic novel and movie of the same name.The concept is relatively simple. The world has descended into a new ice age that’s wiped out almost the entirety of the human population. The only (known) humans still alive are living on Snowpiercer, a massive train that circumnavigates the globe with its 1,000+ cars. Jennifer Connelly’s character is Melanie Cavill, the Head of Hospitality on the train. She’s a stern and unforgiving woman who happens to serve as something of the de facto leader and organizer of all the trains comings and goings. But she has a softer side as well, something we get to understand as the first season progresses.
See, Snowpiercer as a train is set up into a caste system with the wealthier and more elite passengers riding near the front of the train and the poor and disenfranchised riding at the back. In the middle is every manner of car ranging from schools to restaurants, to night clubs, to gardens and really almost anything else in between. The train is meant to comprise the entirety of the world and all of society that’s left alive on the Earth. Jennifer Connelly’s character oversees all of this and is something of an eye for the train. She’s also the voice of the train, making announcements and such. So even when not on screen, her character runs throughout.
The general plot of Snowpiercer is around life in the most unusual of circumstances and the evil underbelly of a world of clear haves and have-nots. It acts as much as a societal referendum as anything else with very little ambiguity around how all different levels of society feel about each other. From this perspective, it’s a rather sad affair from the beginning. But from a smaller plot perspective, the first season does focus on a murder that occurred on the train. It’s being investigated by a back car passenger Andre Layton played by Daveed Diggs. Diggs and Jennifer Connelly have an interesting dynamic on the show, one that speaks a lot to the greater issues the train faces.
Critical reception for Snowpiercer’s first season has been mixed though trended mostly favorable. It’s sitting at 62% on the Tomatometer. Most agreed the casting of Jennifer Connelly and Daveed Diggs, in particular, helped to carry the show through some rougher patches. Where the original movie worked so well as a one-off, extended time on the train did have some diminishing returns. Meanwhile, the ratings on TNT trended toward the low end. The show averaged only around 2.5 million viewers per episode throughout. From that perspective, it’s seeing something of a renaissance on Netflix with so many folks tuning in now.
That being said, Snowpiercer did just return for its second season on TNT with Jennifer Connelly’s character taking an even more prominent role. It’s begun setting up a larger world, one that might even exist outside of Snowpiercer and what many thought to be the end of civilization. Now is the best time ever to go and catch up with the show on Netflix and blow through Season 1. You clearly won’t be alone with folks rushing to get up to speed now that the second season is airing.
As for Jennifer Connelly, you’ll next be able to catch her on the big screen when Top Gun: Maverick is finally released. Pandemic-related closings put a delay on that this past summer and right now we are gearing up for a July 2, 2021 release. It’s a good time to be a fan of the actress.