With the television market being flooded with zombie stories right now (more specifically being dominated by “The Walking Dead”), we weren’t sure that there was room for anything fresh in this genre… that was until we discovered the Syfy series “Z Nation”.
Typically in the television landscape, when someone finds a hit in the monster genre it gets beaten to death by every network on the planet. Look what happened to vampires (“The Vampire Diaries”, “Dracula”, “The Originals”, “True Blood”) and now the hot topic is time travel (“Doctor Who”, “Timeless”, “Time After Time”, “Outlander”, “The Flash”). For a while there it was nothing but zombies everywhere you looked and everyone wanted a piece of that pie after “The Walking Dead” proved to be a ratings monster. We saw shows like “iZombie”, “Fear The Walking Dead” and more recently “The Santa Clarita Diet” pop up, but it’s been hard to for anyone to compete. “The Walking Dead” still dominates this genre and has made it feel like there is no room for anyone else, but more recently it’s starting to feel played out. Then along came “Z Nation” and they were able to breath new life into a genre that we thought was… well, dead.
So what is it about “Z Nation” that makes this a must-see zombie show?
They will kill main characters: We aren’t going to list off the main characters who have died on this show since not everyone reading this article has seen the show (and if you haven’t, you really should), but let’s just say that if the guys at The Asylum were running “The Walking Dead”, Daryl, Rick and Carol would probably be walker food by now. The one thing this show does really well is that as the group gets thinner, they find a way to seamlessly add new survivors to the mix in a way that makes us feel like they have been there since inception. With the insane cliffhanger of season 3, it’s starting to look like they may need an entirely new cast.
They aren’t afraid to make us laugh: In a world as terrifying as this, it’s easy to get caught up in the hopelessness of it all as we’ve seen on “The Walking Dead”, but “Z Nation” has found a way to balance the darkness of this situation with some much needed laughter and that’s what sets this show apart from others in this genre – it doesn’t take it’s self so seriously that we can’t have some fun with it. Whether it’s a giant cheese wheel rolling down the streets smashing zombies, a George R R Martin zombie and his new book “Summer is Here”, or Doc’s obsession with Z Weed, there are numerous moments on this show where we are able to have a laugh without being taken out of this world.
The zombies are legit threats: Besides killing off some secondary characters that no one is that surprised to see go, “The Walking Dead” has some how made the walkers into a complete non-threat and instead have found a way to easily traverse the living dead and go about their life. “Z Nation” on the other hand has found a way to put the fear of god back into zombies as we have seen all different strains of zombies quickly chase you down and eat your face off. Slow zombies = boring non-threats, but “Z Nation” gives us fast moving, unpredictable zombies that will kill anyone. On other zombie shows it’s all about human zombies and nothing else, but on “Z Nation” anything is up for the zombie infection. Want to see what a zombie bear can do? Then this is the show for you. Some of it can be disturbing like a zombie sheep, and weirdly enough some of it can be endearing like zombie baby Lucy, but don’t be fooled… all are deadly.
The stories: If you are tired of 7 seasons of Rick going on a supply run then you aren’t alone. There’s a strong main story on “Z Nation” of bringing Murphy to a place where his blood can be used to help create a cure for the zombie virus. More then that, the stories along their travels are not just the group gathering supplies, which is a story we are quite done with seeing over on “The Walking Dead”. We’ve seen this group in an Amish village dealing with anthrax, in Roswell facing alien invasion and shutting down a major nuclear threat that’s created radioactive zombies. Yup you read that right – radioactive zombies, and they are awesome.
There is a bit of a wait until season 4 comes around (especially with that season 3 cliffhanger looming), but that makes this a perfect time to jump into the series if you haven’t had a chance to watch it yet. This is easily the best zombie show on television right now and it’s not even close.
Are you planning to watch “Z Nation”? If you are watching – what do you like best about the show? Leave us a comment in the box below with your thoughts. (Photo: Syfy)