The following is a guest post from friend of the blog Brian Z.
Review: Do Not Trust Z Nation
Just A Taste
Anyone who has watched Z Nation knows that in Part One I did not fully explain each aspect of the show. My goal here again is to give you just enough of a taste of Z Nation so that you will want more. That you will Go Watch It.
With that said let’s move upward and onward into Part Two. Or I guess downward since that is how most of us read.
If you haven’t read Part One yet you can find it here.
Kickn Butt and Taking Brainz
The Z Nation team has a goal other than to just survive. The first episode makes it very clear that our Z Nation family has a mission. No, it is not a “Mission From God” aka The Blues Brothers. Although I would love some of that food Aretha Franklin was serving up at the Soul Food Cafe in the movie. Yum.
Their mission is to deliver Alvin Murphy to a CDC lab in California since he could be the cure for the ZN1 virus that started the whole Zombie Apocalypse.
Dang, now I sound like every other reviewer of Z Nation out there. Screw this. They are going to be “kicking butt and taking brains” while doing the mission! Whew. Ok, now I feel better.
This mission is a tall order since the story starts in Kittery, Maine and the group forms in upstate New York. Yes, they have to scavenge and fight off other groups while moving across the country but that is not the primary focus of the show.
Their interactions with each other and others during the adventure along with some weird fun stuff thrown into the mix is what drives the show within the framework of their mission. Did anyone say something about the Zombie Cheese Wheel? No? Oh, ok. Maybe later.
“I Didn’t Tell Him To Go Get Eaten By A Baby”
On Twitter you might see #DontTrustZNation scattered about like the entrails of a half-eaten corpse. What is that all about? Since this is the Zombie Apocalypse characters do die. Some unexpectedly; others you can see it coming. And some comically.
The thing with Z Nation is that this is not overdone. The deaths are written in a way to keep the storyline open or to allow for the development of another character. Usually. Other times Zombie babies are just hungry.
Sometimes they will introduce a new side character, who you will totally adore and then BANG, they are dead. Hey, you can only keep so many people safe and fed during the end of the world, right?
And The Death Star…I Mean Guest Star is…
A fun way in which they kill off new characters on Z Nation is by using guest stars. And they have had several great ones.
George R. R. Martin (author, Games of Thrones) played himself as a Zombie. Yes, THAT George.Gina Gerson (ShowGirls, Face Off, Blockers) had a fantastic role as the leader of the Zeros.
Henry Rollins (musician – Black Flag, actor, comedian)
Emilio Rivera (Con Air, Sons of Anarchy and Mayans M.C.)
Michael Berryman (The Hills Have Eyes, Weird Science, The Devil’s Rejects, The Evil Within)
And others. You know. The people who do the acting thing.
Squeeze Every Last Drop (Production Value vs Budget…or Brain Juice Out Of A Skull?)
Need an experimental Sci-Fi looking aircraft? No problem. A cool looking military drone? Done! Find some boxes, some duct tape, maybe some Play-Doh and viola the Z Nation crew has what they need. And let me tell you their work turns out great.
When their crew is used to working with 2 cans and a string they get really good at it. And you know what? They can’t even afford the shoes for those shoestrings!
Ok, I am exaggerating here. Z Nation does have a budget but that budget isn’t breaking any records from what I hear. Using practical effects instead of CGI effects is the norm. They get the job done and most always in a Zomberific impressive way. Can you say Zombienado?
The Black Rainbow, The Black Rain & The Flying Manta Ray
No, this is not the title of a new C. S. Lewis book. I can’t delve into much detail about the Black Rainbow and the Black Rain since they are major plot points for Season 4 and even into Season 5.
I can tell you that the Black Rainbow is pretty darn cool and a very unique concept. To see how it all plays out is life changing…but for whom?
Now, The Flying Manta Ray I will touch on. Imagine the most majestic, soothing, almost spiritual, meaningful yet also meaningless thing you have even seen on a Zombie TV show.
To describe it as a beautiful scene is like saying George Romero made a decent Zombie movie. It is like saying Stan Lee dabbled in comics for a while. It is like the Jedi on Star Wars weren’t very Jediey??? The moment was THAT moving.
The Spinoff and Black Summer
Only the very best Zombie shows get spinoffs right? You would be correct. The Walking Dead spinoff Fear The Walking Dead, has been fairly successful.
Did you know that Z Nation has an upcoming spinoff also? Netflix ordered “Black Summer” directly from The Asylum.
While the new show is set in the Z Nation universe the tone and viewpoint will be very different.
Black Summer will cover the very dark period of time after the Zompocalypse started, referred to in Z Nation on several occasions as the Black Summer.
This was a time when food was scarce and the so-called people left did whatever they needed to do to survive.
This will be a harsher, much more serious take on the Zombie Apocalypse. Just think of Bruce Campbell and his Deadites. Ok, maybe that is not such a good example.
Black Summer is currently expected to release Spring of 2019 and it will only be on Netflix.
We Were Nowhere Near The Grand Canyon
Ya? So? A perfectly commonplace line inserted at just the right moment equals comedy gold.
Just the Tip
Yes, exactly what you were thinking. Two full blogs and we have yet to even get beyond the tip of this iceberg called Z Nation.
So. Z Nation is cool. It has Zombies. It is loads of fun.
Go watch it. Now. Seriously. If you read all of this blog, then that is the next logical step. Otherwise you will turn. Really you will. And being a Zombie is not as much fun as everyone says it is. Trust me.
Seasons 1-4 are on The Syfy Channel on Demand. They can also be found on Netflix.
Season 5 is currently on Fridays 9/8c on Syfy in the US and on the Space Channel at 10pm ET in Canada.
Till the next Zombie Apocalypse occurs, this is BrianZFandom, the Zombie Freak.
Thank Your Brian for another great review.
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