Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Seems like a good time to check in with Snowpiercer

Illustration for article titled Seems like a good time to check in with Snowpiercer
Photo: David Bukach

Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Monday, February 22. All times are Eastern. 

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Top pick

Snowpiercer (TNT, 9 p.m.): With much of the country still coping with the after-effects of Winter Storm Uri (here are some ways to help, if you can!), TNT’s wintry apocalyptic series might seem like an odd place to turn. But hey, sometimes it’s better to lean in, you know? Besides, this season’s focus on character development has paid off big time in recent weeks. Here’s Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya on last Monday’s episode:

“A Single Trade” is successful in tackling the trauma and grief that sometimes gets swept to the side when Snowpiercer becomes too meticulous about lining up its plot mechanics. As with last episode, there are a lot more zoomed-in character moments, ones that engage with the internal effects of war and class struggle. Audrey’s trauma—largely ignored or not understood by the other characters—provides the emotional backbone for the episode. But there are some other meaningful scenes, too, like Bess Till losing complete control of her emotions because she’s so overwhelmed with grief that she feels like she doesn’t even have an identity anymore. All that is a lot more interesting than Bess Till becoming a detective overnight. Till’s all over the place in this episode, lashing out at the Breachmen when they get in a fight with the Tailies, hooking up with a bartender at the Night Car party, and crying uncontrollably. But her mix of emotions and behaviors makes sense. She hasn’t had a moment’s pause since the war to really process what has been happening around her. Lots of passengers are grappling with who they really are.

Watch for Kayla’s recap this evening (and stay as safe and warm as you possibly can.)

Regular coverage

The Bachelor (ABC, 8 p.m.)

Wild card

Independent Lens, “Mr. SOUL!” (PBS, 10 p.m.): The PBS institution turns its focus to Soul!, the groundbreaking all-Black variety show, and Ellis Haizlip, the man who helped to shape it during its too-short run. Watch this trailer and just try to be bored. We dare you.

Beartown (HBO, 9 p.m., two-hour limited series premiere): We are fascinerade (Google tells us that’s “intrigued” in Swedish) by this HBO limited drama series, adapted from executive producer Fredrik Backman’s bestselling novel of the same name. The Swedish-language series focuses on a small community with dreams of stardom for its hometown hockey hero, but things quickly take a much darker turn. (This trailer includes depictions and discussions of violent sexual assault.)

Contributor, The A.V. Club and The Takeout. Allison loves TV, bourbon, and overanalyzing social interactions. Please buy her book, How TV Can Make You Smarter (Chronicle, 2020). It’s short!