Pending Train 2023 / A Japanese survival sci-fi drama that takes a more soapy track than expected


When a group of people have to band together for survival, whether it be due to zombies, bus accidents, or being lost from civilization, there’s no higher stakes than life or death. If we care about the characters enough, the will to survive already drives the plot. However, Netflix show Pending Train doesn’t trust in the entertainment of this survival premise. Instead of focusing on the group’s survival, it constantly shifts to flashbacks depicting everyday drama. When the group finds out that they got lost way into the future, there’s less strategizing, and even more flashbacks. This strange episode structure makes the series feel less like a compelling survival show and more like a soapy melodrama.

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