Puppies and Kittens
Full Metal Zombie
Home Sweet Zombie
Welcome To The Fu-Bar
Die Zombie Die…Again
Sisters Of Mercy
Doctor of the Dead
When it comes to the zombie apocalypse, Z Nation is nothing like The Walking Dead. Its neither better or worse than its older zombie brethren but what it lacks in big set pieces and polish, it more than makes up for with a real charm and tenacity, intent on having fun and telling a simple story in the best way possible with its own unique humour thrown in.
Set several years after a viral outbreak that’s turned most of the world into brain-thirsty zombies, Z Nation follows a ragtag group of survivors tasked with bringing a man named Murphy (Keith Allan) across America from the east coast of New York to the west coast of California. Immune to zombie bites and presumably holding the key to a cure for humanity, the first season spans across the country as the group grapple with numerous obstacles as they try and keep Murphy alive and preferably intact. Each episode holds its own individual plot line but it still flows well, forever driving home the main narrative of bringing Murphy to California.
Z Nation is worth persevering with as the first couple of episodes do take a while to settle into a consistent rhythm. The inevitable comparisons to The Walking Dead are bound to crop up with the aesthetic very similar, bathing the world in dirty browns and earthy colours, void of bright colours. Going into Z Nation expecting a high polished zombie series with the finesse and intricate storytelling some of the earlier seasons of The Walking Dead nailed so well is sure to leave you disappointed. However, if you go into this with an open mind and are open to a more comedic take on the zombie apocalypse, there’s a lot to like here.
Z Nation’s wicked sense of humour does borderline on the more silly and slapstick elements at times but it manages to balance this with some genuinely good twists and turns in the more dramatic scenes. There’s some wonderfully edited and imaginative episodes here boasting a more experimental style of storytelling. Admittedly it doesn’t always hit but when it does, Z Nation’s charm and enjoyable episodes make for some very entertaining television. The relentless and shocking way characters are killed off helps to keep the tension high in some of the more stressful situations and juxtaposes against the humour really well.
Toward the end of the first season, Z Nation really sinks its zombified teeth into the man plot line and channels its energy into climaxing the main plot line. It does walk a fine tightrope between being a little too over the top and ludicrous at times but the fast paced action is enough to forgive any shortcomings with a well paced, engaging plot line.
Although some of the editing is very good and the art style suitably grim for the apocalypse, Z Nation’s low budget ultimately holds it back from becoming a more widely recognised show. The fast paced, clever zombies of Z Nation won’t be for everyone but it does also help to differentiate the show from the mass shuffling hordes of cliched, slow zombies plaguing film.
Its a shame that more people won’t be willing to stick this one out as Z Nation has a unique charm lacking from many shows in this genre. Complete with a great bunch of characters and an interesting plot unafraid to dive into imaginatively edited episodes, Z Nation is a wickedly funny zombie show that holds one heck of a bite. If you keep an open mind and are willing to look past some of the shortcomings with its low budget, Z Nation is a lot of fun.