A Storm for Christmas is the show that you binge on a Sunday during the winter holidays, wrapped up in a blanket, with a hot mug of cocoa. Think Love Actually, but expanded to fill a season of TV. It’s got those warm and cosy feelings that only a Christmas show can bring.
This limited series follows a set of people who find themselves stuck at Oslo airport due to a snowstorm. They include a famous pianist reeling from a recent bad concert, the airport priest looking for renewed faith, a popstar and her assistant, a woman travelling with a man who isn’t her boyfriend, a mother trying to get her son to an eye operation, a little girl exhausted with her arguing parents, a luggage handler who finds a lost dog and the airport bartender who settles in to serve people for a long night. On paper, this seems like an overstuffed and ineffective recipe. On screen, it is a beautiful mosaic of heartwarming stories.
The multi-story plot line has been handled with deftness and balanced out well, never lingering on one character for too long. On the flip side though, there were a couple which could have been more fleshed out. For instance, one of the characters is a Swedish woman who is determined to get to London for a meeting but we never learn what the meeting is about or why it’s so important to her. But this is more of an afterthought than a glaring fault. After all, the series is more focused on the here and now rather than the before and after.
The characters we see are utterly human and immensely complex. Each episode dives a little deeper as they deal with issues that most of us are well familiar with. Excepting one story that falls into a rom-com cliché, the others all feel like they’ve been plucked right out of real, everyday life. They are earnest without being dramatic, and emotional without being preachy. Without rambling on for too long, the show covers over ten different stories in six episodes of less than 40 minutes — an ideal binge-watch. This is the kind of series that hits you better when watched all at once.
The storytelling is the heart and soul of the show. It is bolstered by melodious renditions of Christmas songs, poetically drafted monologues and by a talented cast that makes all the characters feel real and relatable. Smooth camera movements are frequently used in between scenes, flowing from one character to another. The lack of a cut enhances the feeling of connection.
And connection is the key here. Tales weave in and across each other. It is only when these different people cross each other’s paths and interact that things evolve — burdens are eased, perspectives are changed and the story takes a step forward. Human beings are nothing without each other, the show seems to be saying. And so it strikes at the heart of the human condition.
Verdict - 8/10