TV Shows

Z Nation: Fast Zombies & a DJ – What More Can You Want?

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With the next installment of Z Nation happening tomorrow, it’s about time we get to our review of the very first episode! Warning: SPOILERS SPOILERS EVERYWHERE!

For reasons unknown to us, some people online were really hating on episode one. They said the show takes itself too seriously to be funny, when it’s supposed to be light-hearted and tongue-in-cheek. A lot of people also complained that the CGI wasn’t as great as The Walking Dead.

This is how we feel about all the negative comments:

When this episode was nearing the end, friends with us exclaimed: “I like this better than Walking Dead!” And I’ve got to agree — there were tons of things about this premiere episode that were outstanding. Of course, there were a couple things in the last few minutes that I didn’t love, but I’ll save that for the end.

First, after reading other people’s reviews, I have to ask:

This is supposed to be lighthearted? 

It wasn’t until the very end that I saw this “levity” people were hinting at (we’ll get to that later.) Apparently Z Nation is brought to us by the same people who made Sharknado (which I still haven’t been able to bring myself to watch yet…) Because of this connection, everyone was expecting a disaster-era-series that was way over-the-top to the point of being funny. But watching the show, I never got that feeling until the end.

The show really takes itself seriously. One survivor, Murphy, may be the vaccine to the zombie virus. An unrelated group of survivors is thrust into his world with the goal of bringing him to doctors in California. It’s a pretty cool premise. Meanwhile, a guy is left behind at an NSA headquarters in snowville, where he gets to oversee what’s happening around the world and make fun commentary.

This has the makings of a great show! Here are a few of my favorite things so far:

The zombies are TOUGH. 

They run FAST. They’re strong. Heck, they even seem to be able to make plans, like hiding in the water and pretending to be dead until someone steps in. They’re even more menacing than classical zombies, and that ups the stakes even more. I like it!

The characters are interesting

The main characters have my interest. We’ve got the teens (you need teenagers in every post-apocalyptic story it seems.) You’ve got the old guy that deals drugs. You’ve got the two tough adults who came from a thriving village. You’ve got the vaccine carrier who only cares about himself and was a criminal of some sort… It’s a good combination, in my opinion. 

[Tweet “You’ve got the vaccine carrier who only cares about himself and was a criminal…”]

Citizen Z provides something different

The guy who got left behind at the North Pole gives Z Nation a totally different feel from every other zombie show. Using a radio and NSA feeds, he’s keeping track of what’s going on worldwide, looking for other survivors, and providing really entertaining commentary. It’s going to be fun to see what they do with his character next.  Yes, he’ll likely be part of the “levity” that makes this show feel different from other zombie shows.

You’ll see tons of action and little soap opera

[Tweet “Z Nation starts out with a bang and keeps going. Every scene is jam-packed with action…”]

The show starts out with a bang and keeps going. Every scene is jam-packed with action shots, fleeing from zombies, crazy surprises, and more. I almost didn’t watch The Walking Dead when it first premiered because the first few episodes, although very good, also had a “soap opera” feel to them. There’s none of that in Z Nation, at least not yet!

Of course, I’ll admit the show isn’t perfect. I had three main complaints:

1. The Mysterious Sniper

He was pretty interesting, but they dragged him onto the team awkwardly at the end. “Hey! You saved my life right? Wanna ride with us?”
“Sure, why not?!”

It would’ve been better if they had built him up more, maybe had him mysteriously following the group for awhile or something like that. Then again, Jeremiah tried that with limited success (along with countless other shows)… I’m interested in seeing where the show goes with him.

2. Baby Zombie

This is definitely where we saw some Sharknado in action. The idea of a baby turning into a zombie is cool. But the fact that he went from a defenseless, helpless baby to magically being able to run super fast was…over the top. Because the rest of the show was not over the top like that, the baby zombie part seem disjointed and jarring. Some people like it though, saying that it shows us that Z Nation won’t keep anything, even babies, safe from the grips of zombies.

3. Harold Perrineau is gone 🙁 

This made me the saddest! I like the actor and was really relating to his character. He seemed to be the glue that held everything together. But at the end, despite his very important mission, he decided to lock himself up in a building with the baby zombie to kill it…and he got killed instead. I really think the show would have benefited from his inclusion. And yes, now we know that no one is safe and any character can be killed. But his death would have brought that point across more if they kept him around for a few more episodes and then killed him. 

Despite these minor flaws, the show overall was exciting & entertaining. I’ll definitely keep tuning in!

    Stephanie Dwilson started Post Apocalyptic Media with her husband Derek. She's a licensed attorney and has a master's in science and technology journalism. You can reach her at [email protected].

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