On Wednesday, Netflix quietly went down Snowflake Mountain with a little promotion ahead of his arrival. And it’s only necessary to watch the first 30 seconds of the reality-television series to understand why.
If you haven’t guessed, the “snowflakes” in Snowflake Mountain refers to a pejorative term mostly used by the right—and often preceded by the word “liberal”—to describe someone who is overly sensitive. The eight-episode series follows a group of young adults who are said to be “overemotional, irritable, and dramatic.” Their parents, who still live with them, send them into the wilderness where two military veterans teach them survival skills that will somehow turn into maturity and accountability once they return home. Later, it was revealed that they were also competing in survivor-style competition for a $50,000 prize.
The authenticity of the show was immediately questioned as we were given a brief overview of the cast. You feel that the participants are actors or non-professionals who are ordered to appear too narcissistic and lazy by the producers. For example, a 19-year-old woman named Devon, who “parties 24/7”, tells us that her only contribution to society is being vegan. A white British man named Liam childishly insists that cleaning “isn’t for me, baby!” And a black man named Carl told us, while playing basketball, that he dropped out of college with no further information about his life.
Whole, Snowflake Mountain has a familiar early-to-mid-2000s Fox sensibilities regarding its subject matter, mixed with the overly quirky kind of tone from other Netflix programs like Lava floor and Is It Cake? The series doesn’t have the stakes it’s trying to build considering how clear it all feels. And the challenge is as exciting as watching your neighbors cut down a tree, which is literally one of their jobs. (Although, there is one particularly shocking and irresistible scene where Devon, the vegan, has to slaughter a deer carcass).
The portrayal of the cast members became more bearable over time, treating them less like one-dimensional caricatures and more like humans recognizable with backstory. Meanwhile, survival experts Matt and Joel, a former Army combat engineer and former Navy Explosive Disposal technician, respectively, deliberately disarm and are approached to convey the message that people who commit mass destruction for a living are actually harmless. Towards the end Snowflake MountainYou realize that it touts the same middle message of the Emmy-winning Netflix original series Weird Eyesonly this time it is aimed at progressive urban millennials and Gen-Zers.
At a time when Netflix’s stock plummeted on a massive subscriber loss this year that was expected to get worse, Snowflake Mountain read as a desperate attempt by streaming services to lure conservative viewers who may not see themselves represented in their current programming line. Netflix has taken a right-wing stance in our current culture war by allowing transphobic comedians to thrive on its platform, so why not invite fanatical subscribers to mock a wildly diverse group of young people introduced in the most stereotypical fashion?
“Netflix has taken a right-wing stance in our current culture war by allowing transphobic comedians to thrive on its platform, so why not invite fanatical subscribers to mock a wildly diverse group of young people introduced in the most stereotypical fashion?”
One can imagine Netflix executives defending Snowflake Mountain by claiming it mocks young people broadly as opposed to the people of color and weirdos who play a role in the show. But viewers who have made uninformed generalizations about the younger generation—such as the idea that they are underemployed, overly sensitive, and economically privileged—and earnestly use the term “snowflake”, usually have a fanatical view of the demographics shown. in the series. Even as the show becomes more down to earth and sympathetic, it’s been done to confirm any bias conservative viewers may have toward black women and gay men, for example.
all completely, Snowflake Mountain is another example of Netflix, which likes to praise itself for having progressive values and embracing diversity, wanting to have both. It’s also another reminder that tech companies, especially ones as big as Netflix, really don’t have morals, and we shouldn’t really expect them to. If their latest reality series becomes a success, we should only expect more of this kind of conservative scum in the future.