How Siren Season 2 is Tackling Environmentalism

Season 2 of Siren started up on January 24 of 2019. For those who are unfamiliar with the show, it is set in a coastal town called Bristol Cove, which has local legends about mermaids that have proven to be truer than what most people would have expected. However, Siren‘s merfolk are neither figures of horror nor figures of romance even if the show makes it clear that humans and merfolk are capable of having children. Instead, the merfolk are people in their own right – strange people from strange environments from the perspective of humans but people nonetheless. As such, they are an excellent vehicle by which the show can explore various themes. Something that started up in Season 1 but promises to continue in Season 2.

What Are Themes that Season 2 of Siren Seems to Be Bringing Up?

Fantastical creatures have often been used to explore topics that are relevant to their creators. For example, Frankenstein can be considered either the first or one of the first books to express caution about the potential consequences of science without restraint, which remains a very popular topic in modern speculative fiction. Likewise, vampires have often been used as a metaphor for people who exploit other people, whether in an economic sense or a sexual sense. Due to this, Siren‘s use of merfolk is following in the footsteps of a very long tradition indeed.

Naturally, the themes that come up in Siren are very relevant for a modern audience. One example would be addiction, which is a very serious issue that can take on a wide range of forms. Someone who has developed a dependence on some kind of drug is certainly in the grasp of addiction, but the same can be argued for someone who uses the Internet to such an excess that they start neglecting their other considerations. In Siren, addiction is expressed through the song of the sirens, which leaves those who hear it with the strong urge to hear it again and again in spite of the fact that it causes noticeable damage. This is an excellent choice because the show makes it very clear that while sirens might be beautiful to look at, they are also very much killers. Meanwhile, another example would be ethnic inclusivity, which is something that has been receiving more and more attention in the North American mainstream in recent times. It remains to be seen how Siren will explore that particular issue through its merfolk, but it is definitely interesting to note that the merfolk seem to show the same variation as humans but are better-integrated. However, it is important to note that the viewers haven’t had more than short glimpses at merfolk societies, meaning that this might be no more than a surface impression formed by a paucity of information.

How Does Siren Handle Environmentalism?

With that said, there can be no doubt about the fact that environmentalism is one of the biggest themes that come up in Siren. This can be seen in how Ben Pownall is a marine biologist with a strong environmentalist beliefs, which makes excellent sense considering his choice of profession. Season 2 seems to be expanding on this theme, as shown by how an offshore drilling operation seems to be triggering a wave of most unexpected consequences. Animals are dying, animals are beginning to behave in some very strange and very unnerving ways, but perhaps most importantly, the merfolk are seeing more pressure to step out onto the land because they are by no means immune from the havoc that the offshore drilling operation is wreaking upon the local environment. There are various ways to read this, particularly since it is still very early in the season. However, it is important to remember a couple of things. First, the consequences of climate change are not wholly predictable, not least because there will be so many of them that not all of them can be accounted for. Second, change is fundamentally disruptive to existing structures. As a result, climate change is expected to have a horrendous impact on existing ways of living, which will cause refugees to start seeking safety wherever it can be found. This isn’t mere speculation, as shown by how the Marshall Islands are already relocating their population elsewhere because they can see what is coming very, very clearly.


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