HBO’s Mini Series Chernobyl Got a Very Millennial Reaction

HBO didn’t have to wait around for long before they had created yet another TV series which would set social media alight after Game of Thrones finished.

What has almost been as interesting as watching the Chernobyl mini-series is watching the is the 21st-century population’s reaction to the show. In some cases, it’s got a little bit millennial. Yet, it has been fairly interesting to see how a catastrophic event which occurred in 1986 can tell us about today’s society.

Take for example the social media influencers who quite literally flocked to the Chernobyl death zone after the series aired. Given what actually happened in Chernobyl, that’s about as classy as heading to Auschwitz after a major retelling of the history of the Holocaust to jump on a bandwagon of grief and horror. And that’s just one of the events which have followed the release of Chernobyl.

‘Influencers’ Prove that They’re Willing to Jump on the Most Disrespectful Bandwagons

Chernobyl social media influencers

Did anyone really need to see a woman’s bare ass in a half-on hazmat suit in Chernobyl after we had just seen the very graphic images of what the radiation had done to the firefighters, plant operators and any other poor fucker who had been in the vicinity of the radiation? Probably not, but that didn’t stop some influencers risking lymphomas for likes in a desperate clawing bid for popularity and relevance.

Back in the day, if we liked a TV show, we might buy the boxset, or we might have been even more extra and bought a franchised t-shirt, now, it seems that heading to a nuclear disaster zone seems like a good idea.

The writer of the series Craig Mazin was just one of the people who took to Twitter to vehemently condemn those who took the opportunistic photos. At least we can be assured that the images taken by the influencers and models were quickly labeled as crass and insensitive.

No one knows quite how many people died as a result of the explosion of the nuclear reactor, the number of immediate deaths due to the fallout stood at around 4,000, but there’s no telling how many people are suffering the consequences now. 350,000 people occupied Pripyat; the surrounding area of the plant. Yet in terms of the total number of people who have been exposed to the radiation in some way, that stands at approximately five million people – and that number is still likely to grow given that the ground is still impacted by the radiation.

Some Tourists Stay Behind the Camera

Chernobyl tourism boom

Tourism to the exclusion zone isn’t exactly a new thing, but there’s been a boom in tourism ever since HBO’s series aired. Local travel agencies have reported that bookings in the area are up by 40%.

While I can usually get behind the whole ‘each to their own’ ethos in life, I’m genuinely struggling to imagine watching the abject horror unfold in Pripyat during the show and thinking “yeah, I really want to go there!”. Pripyat almost looked like it was dreamed up by David Lynch even before the explosion happened. It was an impossibly bleak and grey landscape, I could almost begin to understand why people would feel compelled to visit Pripyat if it were an idyllic location, but you won’t see much other than a dilapidated concrete jungle where hundreds if not thousands of people literally felt their flesh melting and their internal organs failing.

Its one thing to be fascinated by a TV show, but to be compelled to walk through other people’s grief is just a little macabre. Why don’t you go and enjoy wandering around the theme park which was intended for the children of Pripyat but they only got to experience the devastating impact of the man-made disaster? That will be a holiday you’ll never forget.

Perhaps the most sickening revelation has been that some people enjoy their stag dos in Pripyat. I’m sure that will lead to a long and healthy marriage… oh, wait.

Even though the radiation levels are now down to a low enough level where you can wander round Pripyat for short periods of time hot spots still exist. While the best things in life usually involve risk, this probably isn’t going to be one of those occasions.

Everyone’s a Critic

Chernobyl tv show critics

While it was pretty much fair game to tear into the writing of HBO’s Game of Thrones in season 8, some people really will stop at nothing to prove that they’re smarter than screenwriters. Jared Harris who played Valery Legasov grew increasingly frustrated with the number of people who rushed to their keyboards to bash out the fact that the series was filled with historical inaccuracies.

Some people were so pedantic that they felt compelled to point out that in the show the actors were drinking out of the wrong glasses while they were downing vodka attempting to numb themselves to the utter disparity which surrounded them.

Many people missed the point of the series, it was never meant to a documentary, generally, any programme containing actors is fiction. The narrative may have been based on a real event, but the true purpose of the series was to portray the disaster which happened in Chernobyl. Apparently, that was lost on many people. But none more so than the Russian’s themselves, who weren’t happy in the slightest with how the series panned out. In fact, Russia even wants to create its own retelling of Chernobyl which will find a way of blaming the US and the CIA.

No one was quite expecting that much of a fall out from the Chernobyl mini-series. 


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