Where to start, where to start: What the Hell, SyFy?
I really am a great fan of the Zombie Genre. Get me a Zombie flick, and I will watch it. So, there’s this new SyFy show, Z-Nation. Earth is enveloped in the Plague of the Raging Dead. So far, so good. National Governments are no more. It’s everyone for themselves. Sound Familiar? It should, because we have one really great show out there, which captures this pretty well: The Walking Dead (AMC), which is based on the graphic novel of the same name, with credible characters and circumstances, fast-paced action and extraordinary drama. Then we have Zombieland, the spin-off TV show to the Movie of the same name, which is very much a comedy, like it’s namesake. The comedy is obvious and intended, so it is easy to suspend your disbelief of the circumstances and overlook the one-dimensional character design, which seem to exist only for the sake of comedy.
Z-Nation, on the other hand, seems to try hard to fail. The drama is coerced, morality is black and white in an area, where survival is the prime objective, characters are badly established. With the resources of the SyFy Network, you might expect the show to have decent CGI: Nu-uh there. The Premise of the show: Some douche is immune to the zombie plague, due to some last-minute experimental vaccine tested on “volunteer” correctional facility inmates. His Escort is a Delta Force veteran, who is killed at the end of the pilot episode by a Baby Zombie, after he’s killed hundreds and thousands over the course of three years, thus handing his quest over to a few ragtags they met along the way. The way this happens, it feels like a group of newbie Gamers are introduced to each other in this manner: “Strange, weird things are going on here, and I wanna join!” This entire “for no particular reason” mentality is THE hallmark of trash movies, which can be a lot of fun if you watch them as such. But this show is just in the Uncanny Valley between Trash and TV.
SyFy could and should do better.