So, guess what new SyFy television show I found while slumming through Netflix last night? That’s right right, folks, Z-oh-my-god-I-can’t-believe-i’m-watching-this-Nation has been recently released on Netflix in all its bludgeoning macabre exploits of “who’s going to die next?” or “why can’t I get a decent radio signal?” or “why is that chick dressed like a hooker?” or (for better or worse) “ZOMBIE BABY!!!” Have you seen this new zombie wasteland? If you haven’t, fair warning. There could be spoilers ahead. Or meth-heads selling fabricated zombie weaponry.
Z Nation feels like how “Return of the Dead” is for “Night of the Living Dead.” Its campy. Goofy. B-rated production value with a few lower listed or no listed actors and actresses. In fact, I’m certain I’ve seen a few of these people in other cheesy-b’s, like Sharknado or Sharktopus or Mega Piranha or Deep Blue Sea (sorry Sam L.). Basically, nothing at all like its predecessor The Walking Dead. However, with that being said, while Z Nation is most certainly more outlandish and cartoonish than the famed Ricktatorship, I seriously doubt SyFy intended it for anything less. Z Nation is meant to be…well…dumb. But dumb and entertaining. Watch “Puppies and Kittens,” the season opener, the proverbial handshake to the world of horror and zombie fanatics and tell me otherwise.
The idea is credible. Finding a cure being a priority. And seeing the apocalypse in a larger world view instead of the isolated given Walking Dead story. My hat goes to SyFy for even attempting a new zombie show. And I think that’s probably the reason why they went for overthetop action sequences and spoofs. With plotholes the size Wyoming, its not a story that’s meant to carry much depth. Nor are we to feel anything for the protagonist, except for maybe the “survivor” guy, he seems cool and assholish (which is pretty bad close to reality — sad, but true). The comparison between The Walking Dead and Z Nation isn’t exactly fair either. They are two different takes on the same horror sub-genre. Its like comparing a delicious craft beer, like Saint Arnold or New Belgium, with an industry beer, like Coors or Miller. Yeah, they’re both beers and will eventually get you drunk, but they taste differently going down (interestingly though, they all taste the same coming back up. This is perhaps an interlude to the pretentious “work well with others or you’ll die” attitude most zombie shows and movies adopt). And besides, its got DJ Qualls in it! The last good thing DJ was in was those few guest appearances on Supernatural.
So there you go. Yes, Z Nation is not The Walking Dead…duh! Its running, gunning mayhem. Entertaining and shallow. But delicious all the same. Nothing wrong with a Coors every now and then. Sometimes the pretentiousness gets a little overwhelming and we need to just relax with some good ole fashion American violence.