FilmPopper Review: Amazon’s ‘Zombieland’ Seems Lifeless, Alright

Published by Dave in: Television -- Date: 19 Apr 2013 Comments: 0

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Zombieland TV Series AmazonAs I type, I have a window open to Netflix’s new original series, Hemlock Grove. Just a month ago, I obsessed over Kevin Spacey’s portrayal of Frank Underwood in the utterly AMAZING House of Cards. Like many others out there, I am eagerly awaiting the next season of Arrested Development that is going to be released at the end of May.

Simply put, online original series are providing an exhilarating experience that is reinvigorating the ideas behind episodic television and reminding us why we like to follow our favorite characters in various dramatic situations.

So when I hopped online to find Amazon’s new Zombieland, I was excited to write a review about the newest series to come to our beloved Intronetz.

Now, as a society, we are veterans to the zombie genre. So much, that in my Top 10 Post-Apocalyptic article, four of my selections were zombie flicks. We have been subjected to so many shotgun-toting, zombie-flaying, groan-inducing protagonists, that it’s hard to be surprised and amused anymore. Perhaps it was this that made me feel that the new Zombieland series’ pilot was only… “so-so.”

For those who have not seen Zombieland, I severely hope you were raised in a broom closet, otherwise you have no excuse to have not seen this great flick. Few movies can provide laughter, horror, and heartfelt goodness in a way you would never expect from the zombie genre on par with Shaun of the Dead. If you have not seen it, go to the five-dollar movie bin at Wal-Mart and just buy it already!

Originally, the movie featured Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin. Since it was originally released in 2009, by the time the creators got around to doing any continuation of the Zombieland story, the actors felt it wouldn’t be so relevant with the time gap and they didn’t want to participate. The end result is a show with a completely new cast; at first, I was excited to see what these reincarnations of the classic characters would offer, but I immediately felt that none of them were bringing the right “oomf” that the original actors possessed. Lines were awkward, romantic nuances were flat, and I found myself trying to pretend I was amused as if I was at a dinner party seated next to the awkward old lady in the corner who tells me how it was “in her day.”

The overall potential plot also bewildered me and it was hard not to be confused as to where the story was going until I realized there was none, which is atypical of a rom-com-horror-slash-drama. I was expecting a laugh track to accompany their vulgar romps, and, in short, I didn’t know who this show was supposed to be catering to with the uncomfortable movements of the characters.

Still, I did laugh. There were fun plot points in between the awkward dialogue that made me chuckle, and I found myself direly hoping that the show would improve over time, since there is so much to see if they can bring the same heart and power that the cinematic companion flaunted.

Personally, I still hope this show survives. Since this is part of the entire Amazon Originals program which allows viewers to vote on which pilots get picked up as series, it is still very possible that this show will die. I can only hope that Zombieland gets the right footing. I love the original story, and with so many of my favorite shows being canceled mid-season in recent events, I only hope Zombieland can resuscitate itself instead of suffering the same fate.

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