Saturday, 20 April 2013

Zombieland - The TV Series -- An Apology and Review, of Sorts

So in a previous post I praised the quality of the Netflix original programming and shunned that of Amazon based solely on the trailer for the new Zombieland series. Well I finally got around to watching the pilot episode and I had to hold my tongue as I didn't entirely dislike it.

That's not to say I enjoyed it (it feels like a web serial rather than a proper TV show) but there were moments in the series, particularly the opening, that I enjoyed. Would I grab a LoveFilm account to watch the whole series? No I wouldn't. I fact, I highly recommend they go back to the drawing board and start fresh with this one.

Like I said, the episode had some nice ideas (though completely forgettable it seems) but it was bogged down by a lacklustre plot (something happens, they meet Mark Zuckerberg, something else happens) and horrible dialogue. Zombieland the film had some great dialogue and one-liners. In fact, that's what helped set it apart from most of the other zombie films out there. To create a TV show with lines that sound like they belong in a TV soap opera is not the way to do it and this should seriously be corrected should Amazon decide to commision a full length series of this.

My other major tripe is that they try too hard to continue from the movie to the point where the characters are exactly the same. Again, this is the wrong approach. Zombieland the film already showed us these characters, and they were fun and goofy. Why not show us some completely new characters who also live in this wacky world where zombies run free. The movie only hinted at the mass carnage that could be achieved (and also the 'zombie-kill-of-the-week', which the series completely ruins) and so it would be great to see this world where rules exist but to see it through new eyes. Don't get some guy and tell him to pretend he's Woody Harrelson; believe me, you cannot even dream of imitating the madness of that man. We all know the socially awkward teen angle so why not introduce a fat kid with a love for violence or an emo who's found he now wants to live (these are horrible ideas but they are at least fresh to see). The two grifter sisters was a nice addition to the movie but surely there's other ways of presenting siblings on the small screen.

All in all the pilot made me chuckle but also made me sad as to what could have been achieved. Better than what the trailer advertised but horrible compared to the movie, Zombieland the Series has a long way to go.

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