Tuesday, April 23, 2013

TV Review: Zombieland the Series Pilot

I finally watched the Zombieland TV Series pilot episode. Since we can't stream from our US Amazon account here in the UK, I signed up for the free initial month of LoveFilmUK. The story picks up where the movie basically left off--the four survivors are hanging out in Los Angeles. They've discovered a new truck that has OnStar, with a human operator still answering calls. She directs them to other survivors in L.A. but also tells them about a big, safe community in New York where they really should go. It's a perfect set up for an episodic road show.

A lot of elements are carried over from the film: the rules appearing on screen; naming people after the towns they're from; zombie kill of the week; the preciousness of Twinkies. The awkward romance between Columbus and Wichita is revisited and will obviously be an ongoing element of the story.

The gore is mostly off screen or off in the distance but there is blood splatter and the occasional close up that is not for tender eyes. Some of the special effects look very CGI, but I suppose that's to be expected in a low-budget pilot. Also, the language is really bad, including lots of f-bombs. One of the people they meet is a woman from the Canadian town of Regina, which they pronounce the Canadian way and then set up as an ongoing gag about what that town rhymes with. I could have done without that and the other foul language.

On the other hand, I did laugh several times, even meeting Mark Kermode's six laugh test in only 26 minutes. It's clever enough and follows amiably in the footsteps of the movie. The actors aren't as good as the big screen cast but I imagine they'll grow on viewers if the series is picked up. I'd watch more if Amazon makes more. I may even pay for LoveFilm access!

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