3 and OUT: Z Nation needs a bullet to the head
If you’ve been paying attention to the sometimes not to subtle hints I give about myself. I’m not your typical zombies guy, mostly, I don’t care for anything Horror related because I’m a giant wuss. I think the only zombie related movie I’ve enjoyed was 28 Days Later and when it comes to TV, I follow The Walking Dead with as many eye rolling on my part as an episode can deliver. Z Nation and the current zombie themed juggernaut, The Walking Dead on AMC are not similar shows at all, obviously. Where The Walking Dead at least presented a character you loved or hated, Z Nation gives us a bowl full of “Meh” after putting in 3 episodes on my DVR.
Like Xopher said about the first episode of Z Nation, they sent in the only character that was actually interesting to kill a zombie baby that somehow unbuckled itself from a car seat and was scurrying around on all fours within a locked room that posed no threat to the party at whole. Yes, they did that and that character died. Poor Harold Perrineau, I think the writers of Z Nation probably killed him off only because he was Walt’s Dad on Lost, and everyone still has bitter feelings about how Lost ended. That is really the only thing I could possibly think of after the end of the first episode.
Z Nation only gets worse from there.
Basically, what we’re getting with Z Nation is a group of characters that are all forgettable and nobody that you can connect with. I can’t fault the acting too much, I think they did a decent job with what they had to work with, especially the Murphy character played by Keith Allan. Paranoid, self preserving because he was forcibly injected by the government with a vaccine that turned out to be the only cure to the zombie virus. Then eight zombies jumped on him and started eating. So, paranoia, understood at the least.
If The Walking Dead had the same kind of directing/acting/writing, it would never have made it past the first season. Heck, people were quitting on TWD after the long, slow burn of Season 2 on Hershel’s farm. I’m not saying TWD is the crème that rose to the top for this kind of TV, but at least it’s not purely unwatchable. Z Nation feels like it’s just trying to capitalize on a “Zombie Fad” and fails miserably at that in only three episodes.
The biggest reason for me disliking the show, is none other than Citizen Z himself played by DJ Qualls. The only survivor of a NSA facility presumably in the Arctic, hence the name “Northen Lights” as it’s call sign. This facility, the writers want us to believe is some kind of NSA super technological building that can essentially do anything you can dream of technologically. Want to zero in on a single police squad car in Philly to talk to a main character? Let the operator connect you. Want to broadcast some music to a speaker connected to the back of a truck? Hey, is this loud enough for you?
Citizen Z feels like a complete rip-off of the DJ Three Dog from Fallout 3. Three Dog, who is a rip off/stereotype of every dumb DJ you’ve heard on the radio. Whenever they showed Citizen Z with those stupid sunglasses and hat trying to do his best DJ voice because he was broadcasting music on a low band frequency to the entire United States I wanted to toss something at his face. Add in the whole snooze worthy scene of him trying to shoot a zombie dog to save a not zombie dog he found, and you’ve got a very boring character.
Wow, this really wasn’t the article I thought I was going to be writing. Apparently, I have some anger to vent. Or, maybe I’m just tired of watching too many bad TV Shows that just mess up an “ok concept”. Z Nation is obviously not going to be getting any more reviews out of me. It’s 86’d from my DVR and I shot it in the head a few extra times to make sure it never enters my data-space again. If you were curious about this show and have been storing up episodes. Delete them all, it’s not worth your time.
Not even in a “so bad, it’s good” way.