There are a good many people out there who are struggling to figuring out precisely what is the right form of summer TV, and for that group, we come with a message: It’s “Zoo.” You want something that is intense, but not something so dramatic that it’s depressing (we like our summer TV to be fairly light). You want it to have a cinematic feel, and maybe something that makes you suspend belief more than you normally would.
We certainly think that the two-hour season premiere on CBS did that for several different reasons, including some of the following:
1. A fairly quick and easy way to conclude that cliffhanger from season 1 that was completely cheesy, but hey, we went with it.
2. Vultures carrying dead body parts. Also, bloody, nasty rain!
3. A human in Kovacs serving as a bit of a cautionary tale to Jackson when it comes to the mutation that could await him.
4. A chance scene involving an elephant.
5. Somehow, this show getting as global in scope as it possibly can.
Anyhow, it feels to us like the difference between “Zoo” and another past CBS summer show in “Under the Dome” is that in this case, we feel like everyone involved knows that this makes almost no sense at all, and they just shrug their shoulders and go with it because they’re having a good time. Maybe “Under the Dome” needed more crazy animals, or it was just a little too obtuse for its own good. “Zoo” has a premise that is easier to follow: Evil animals. Maybe it’s more complicated that that, but that’s an easy way to describe it to your friends.
Another thing it still has going for it? James Wolk, otherwise known as the man we love in everything (for us it’s his role on “Mad Men”), but he never gets to stay in anything as long as we’d like.
This show’s not Shakespeare, and as an animal lover, even sometimes fictionalized evil animals are at times uncomfortable to watch. Still, this is solid summer entertainment that matched most of the season 1 quality over two hours. If it was your cup of tea the first time, get ready to pour another cup for season 2. Grade: B.
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