Z Nation Premiere Review: Back To Basics

Z Nation Premiere Review: Back To Basics

Z Nation isn't very deep or original, but if you like zombies and mindless action, it's worth a watch.

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Wait a minute, the asylum? As in THE "The asylum"? Of questionable "I am omega" "Transmorphers" and "Atlantic Rim" fame?

Oh, I gotta see this.

'Wait a minute, the asylum? As in THE "The asylum"? Of questionable "I am omega" "Transmorphers" and "Atlantic Rim" fame?

Oh, I gotta see this.'

trust me dude, you really dont

My basic opinion is that "The Asylum" never quite hits the mark of making the brilliant B-movies they set out to create, I suppose they hit all the marks, but it always seems to come across as lacking.

That said, given time I'll probably have to check this one out. I've always thought the whole "human drama" elements in a lot of this stuff seemed forced, especially when it involves people acting stupid. That said a TV series focused less on the human drama might be able to build a better mythology and answer a lot of the questions other series gloss over, and which cause Zombie fans to laugh... such as how they overrun anything and keep their numbers high (since they don't reproduce sexually, once a zombie is gone, it's gone, and one prepared guy can drop dozens of these things) or how they could actually beat the military once it deployed. For example one reason why I've always kind of rolled my eyes at "The Walking Dead" was that an initial bit of the drama revolved around a tank and a bag of guns, how do Zombies take out the crew of a modern tank exactly? What's more why was there only one tank? We deploy them in groups, when we went to Iraq our ground invasion was described as a steel wave, they didn't even try and fight us with a standing military. Global apocalypse? Russia has even more tanks than we do... Questions like this always bug me. World War Z was up there too when I was thinking "gee, this would be a really good time to drop a few daisy cutters and call it a day" with a few
of the "zombie wave" scenes. Israel has a huge, modern, military.... basically in every zombie movie/concept ever it seems that without justification the military always seems to try and fight back with small arms and maybe jeeps and hummers (and forget the APCs... they always drive the troops around in open trucks to crisis areas).

A while ago I read some articles about how the US Army said "yep, we could handle a Zombie outbreak" and I believe them. Perhaps with hours and hours to develop it a scenario will be created here that might convincingly, and horrifically, prove that wrong even to skeptics. :)

This show does not deserve three stars. I love zombie stuff, since I first saw Night of the Living Dead on Monster madness as a young boy in the early 90's. This show is terrible. They have a list of actors who have some acting accomplishments such as Tom Everett Scott playing who is I'm assuming to be the main character. But it is directed and written so poorly, these actors might as well have been in nothing prior to this. There is a requirement for actors to behave in such a way as to be believable given the circumstances, and there is none of that here. I blame the horrendous direction though, because some of the actors are actually pretty good judging by previous acting roles. The writing was utter drivel. What the fuck was up with that baby. All of the sudden it can run around as if it's been doing that it's whole life, it hides and shows intelligence while all the other zombies run and shamble about? There is no context for this, only to make sure that utterly forgettable military guy gets killed. Also, how is it that these zombies sneak up on people? The writing.. ugh, it's bad. I have seen student zombie films written better than this junk.

My only hope is that it's like a lot of Syfy series in that it starts bad but actually gets better. That first season of Defiance... I hated it up to the last few episodes which were actually quite good.

Hell no. Saw my first episode. The Walking Dead --- it is not.

Ok, it's high time someone said it and by all accounts it looks like it's gonna be me.Ahem:
ENOUGH WITH THE FUCKING ZOMBIES ALREADY!!!

The monotony wouldn't be so bad if someone would just create something worth a sh---- to watch and an original take.

I can't believe it, I owe someone 5$ because I said "5$ says anyone who makes a tv show out of a zombie apocalypse will do a better job then The Walking Dead". But of course oh all the companies to do it it's the Asylum instead of literally anyone else.

Eh, I'll give it a shot myself, figure I'll give it a season or so before I either dig it or put a bolter round through it's head.

Can't be any duller than the "Walking Dead" comics I read awhile back.

I watched it. It needs polish, but if it goes the way I think it will, into gratuitous zombie killing with style, and so forth, it'll probably do well. Still, I hate runners, though.

fi6eka:
Ok, it's high time someone said it and by all accounts it looks like it's gonna be me.Ahem:
ENOUGH WITH THE FUCKING ZOMBIES ALREADY!!!

Funnily enough TV is about the only medium that isn't saturated with Zombies. Despite The Walking Dead being the most popular show in the history of cable television, I think this is the only TV show to try and latch onto TWD's coattails. There's like a thousand shitty vampire shows and about a thousand zombie movies/books/games/comics but surprisingly (and thankfully) very few Zombie TV shows.

Rebel_Raven:
I watched it. It needs polish, but if it goes the way I think it will, into gratuitous zombie killing with style, and so forth, it'll probably do well. Still, I hate runners, though.

I think "needs polish" is a being very, very kind. The show falls short in every respect, but most damningly in the writing and acting departments (which is painfully bad throughout). Characters are flat and archetypal, and they behave neither believably nor consistently, more than once contradicting themselves or changing roles from one scene to the next. "Twists" in the plot are telegraphed, and it is extremely clear that the zombies only appear when they are needed to conveniently drive the plot, and when the budget allows. Need two newly-introduced characters to abandon their community and travel with the central characters? Have their commune attacked off-screen while they're away. Need to kill a character? Have them turn their back on a corpse they've assured the audience is "dead," only to have it suddenly attack. This happens twice in the episode, undermining the presentation of these characters as battle-hardened survivors and zombie-slaying badasses, and highlighting the lousy writing.

Don't expect zombies in the number or quality of The Walking Dead, and don't expect to see them in the background of shots unless they are currently "threatening" the characters. They otherwise feel to be absent, even in scenes of overrun towns. (I'm having a hard time putting words to it... they just seem to be non-entities, and not because they're the living dead.) Less important, but still notable, is the poor CGI. I've watched C and D movies that looked, sounded, and all-around were better.

I contest Mr Lemon's review. He claims that the show isn't about about drama, yet characters arguing with each other makes up the majority of their interaction. If that isn't the focus, I fail to see what it IS about, because it hardly seems to be about the zombies. The premier doesn't give us an outpost being overrun, it gives us exposition as the action occurs off screen. It does give us an airplane that falls from the sky, in the distance of one scene, but with no repercussions or true impact on the plot, just some poor CGI to reinforce the chaos of the world and the isolation of a particular character.

Sharknado was so bad, but so stupid, I could watch and laugh my way through most of it. Z Nation is just bad, just stupid. Nothing you will see is memorable, nothing you will see is worth it; you will never get that time back. We aren't so starved for Zombies that we need to settle for such drivel, and certainly not so starved that someone in the business of reviewing such work should recommend it. If you want some sci-fi horror on TV right now, Penny Dreadful, The Strain, or The Leftovers are all flawed, but much, much better options. They don't have zombies, but they do have acting, writing, and better production value.

You know, I am probably being too unfair with a series I haven't even seen, but just being about Zombies makes me not interested. At this point, even the TV is so crowded with them, a series has to be really creative with its premise to distinguish themselves from the horde; and being low budget besides being self-aware is not enough of a pull...

My biggest question while watching it was why anyone would take on the burden of taking care of a baby after the zombie apocalypse. It's not gonna be useful for like 5 or 6 years at least and the people didn't know if they'd survive to the next day. It's something that would cry and alert zombies so I'd have said leave it.

 

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