Zombieverse Season 1 Review – Netflix zombie bash is an amusing misfire

Season 1



Episode Guide

Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3
Episode 4
Episode 5
Episode 6
Episode 7
Episode 8


Zombieverse is the latest Korean reality series on Netflix, looking to ride the wave of success both Physical: 100 and Run For The Money achieved. The premise is simple, and with high production values and crackling chemistry with the main cast, there’s certainly lots to like here. Unfortunately, the execution is shaky, and at its worst, the show undermines its own tension with a smattering of slapstick jokes and a variety of situations that feel painfully staged.

That aforementioned premise is something that many people have likely discussed while drinking or watching their favourite zombie flick with their friends – how would you survive if a zombie apocalypse consumed the world? For anyone who has read Max Brooks’ two books, World War Z and The Zombie Survival Guide, then you may be a little more clued up on answering that than others! When it comes to this Korean series, Zombieverse assumes that our characters know absolutely nothing and are plunged right in the heart of the drama.

The first episode sets the scene, with a group of men and women believing they’re being cast to star in a dating show called Love Hunter. In reality, they’re actually the hunted as a zombie outbreak consumes the set, and the wider Korean area. From here, our five survivors set out to try and find salvation, wait out the infection and try to survive until the very end. Along the way they’re joined by other survivors, while there’s a smattering of different “quests” thrown in that help to freshen things up.

From episode 2 onward, the show moves into a more methodical pace, with emphasis that these guys and gals are apparently on their own. We get long discussions among survivors over what to do, and a whole bunch of different scenarios play out. There’s the usual freezeframes, slow-mo replays and visual effects thrown in to spice things up too. At times this works quite well but other times, it actually dissipates that aforementioned tension. This is something only made worse by the tone of the series, which starts out quite serious and then devolves into more of a comedic affair. By episode 7, all horror is out the window and it’s full on comedy. There’s a moment where a character is supposedly “dead” and everyone else is just laughing and joking as if nothing has happened.

The show attempts to add in a layer of tension by claiming that survivors can be “infected” or “killed” but even during the most dramatic moments, there’s always that undercurrent of humour rippling through this series. 

The group dynamic and hearing the different discussions is where this show is at its most interesting, and by episode 4 the addition of the town chief and a more intense narrative does help to freshen things up. Even then though, there’s never much in the way of suspense while watching.

One could argue that all of this is staged and therefore no harm would come to any of the contestants, but at the start of episode 1 we literally begin with shots from the middle of episode 7, showing different individuals alive, infected or dead. It’s a bizarre way to start the show as we already know the fate for most of these guys before we even begin!

Even with those flaws though, Zombieverse is fun to watch if you want something a bit silly that you don’t take seriously. The entire premise is clearly staged and there’s a lot of issues with the humour, which overpowers any tension this could have had.

This is a light, breezy series with plenty of stand-out moments; pockets of selfless heroism and genuinely funny jokes that help this series shine. It’s just a pity that these small moments of brilliance are undercut by a tone that just doesn’t work and episodes that feel longer than they should be. Ultimately, this is a series to chuck on when you need background noise while eating but unlikely to be something that ignites the TV world anytime soon.

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  • Verdict - 5.5/10

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