As soon as a popular television series has finished airing its first season, the question over whether there will be a second fills the air. It was understandable with other HBO shows such as Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, The Sopranos, The Wire, Westworld and Boardwalk Empire to name only a few, but when the same question was asked of Chernobyl, it was difficult to know if the correct reaction was to laugh, cry or scream in despair for the state of the world we live in.
HBO win over audiences with another near-perfect TV show
Boasting an IMDb ranking superior to Breaking Bad – even though that’s no longer true – and unconventionally choosing to go for quality rather than quantity in being a total of five hours and thirty minutes in length, Chernobyl was an instant hit, and it was hard to fault the storytelling as it paid tribute to drama, comedy, action and even horror.
Between another underrated performance from Jared Harris, a typically Swedish display from Stellan Skarsgard, an unnerving display from Emily Watson, an unprecedented cameo from Friday Night Dinner’s Paul Ritter, and countless bit-parts from actors that were almost certainly in a Specsavers advert at some point in the past, it was hard to fault any of the cast.
HBO’s interpretation of the Chernobyl Disaster was the best recreation of what happened in Ukraine back in 1986 since 2006’s Surviving Disaster, where Adrian Edmondson took a leap of faith straight out of comedy in one of the most bizarre celebrity transformations since Bruce Jenner.
Although Chernobyl was short and as honest as possible, leaving out any jazzing up to make the story somehow more appealing to fans of Hollywood blockbusters, it was hard to find any faults with it, making for a solid piece of television. The only issue some people found with it, was the distinctly minimal length.
One of the most difficult conversations you’ll ever have
Talking to someone that simply doesn’t understand something glaringly obvious can become extremely frustrating in a matter of seconds, and the situation only worsens as it goes into its latter stages.
This frighteningly realistic account of Chernobyl brought the implications of such a disaster to your front room, and making everyone possess inexplicable British accents apart from one character only made it feel more relatable. However, something it could not do was prevent painfully stupid questions from being asked around the possibility of a sequel.
In truth, this was a conversation I overheard myself. I won’t name names or even admit to where it took place, but I can guarantee that it was 100% real. For the sake of continuing in the same format of anonymity, I will refer to the two people having the conversation as Person A and Person B. The conversation in question went as follows:
Person A: Have you been watching anything good on the telly recently?
Person B: I’ve been watching that show Chernobyl on Sky Atlantic.
Person A: Chernobyl? I’ve heard of that. Is it good?
Person B: Yeah, it’s brilliant! You should watch it.
Person A: Ahhh right. Maybe I will then. Has it finished for the series now?
Person B: Yeah, it was only short. It’s a one-off too, so that’s it.
Person A: What? So, there’s not going to be a second series?!
Person B: No? Why would there be?
Person A: Oh, hell. It’s a shame if it didn’t get a second series! Did it not do well?
Sky Atlantic accidentally presenting idiocy at its finest
If you didn’t realise the stupidity of the conversation I recalled above, I implore you to leave this website and never return.
The utter irony of wondering why a series based on a factual event won’t have a sequel would almost be enjoyable if it wasn’t so frustrating.
No, Chernobyl will not have a second series. This isn’t because it did poorly, because any of the cast refused to return, because it offended the people of Ukraine, or any other reason; Chernobyl won’t have a second series because you can’t make a follow-up to a documentary based on reality if nothing else happened.