Spoiler-Free Review of “Zomboat!” on Hulu: Zombies can’t swim…can they?

**This is a spoiler-free review so feel free to read on!**

It seems like the zombie apocalypse trend may be here to stay, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  Now that TWD is taking a break until February, you may be going through some zombie withdrawal.

Fear not, as Zomboat! is the perfect show to provide you with some campy zombie apocalypse fun, while even making mention of the great and powerful Rick Grimes!

The UK show began streaming episodes on Hulu as of October 25th 2019 and currently features six episodes for season one.  It stars Leah Brotherhead, Cara Theobold, Hamza Jeetooa, and Ryan McKen.  We follow a group of survivors after a zombie apocalypse occurs in Birmingham, as they decide to escape using…a canal boat.

If you are a fan of Shaun of the Dead and Anna and the Apocalypse, you will feel right at home with this horror comedy, but is Zomboat! original enough to find its own identity?  Let’s find out!

The Pros:

Zomboat Hulu 2019 1
Images courtesy of Hulu

The dynamic between sisters Kat and Jo is fantastic.

You will immediately fall in love with these two, as they battle the zombie apocalypse while bringing us some welcomed dark comedy.  The banter between them is hilarious and they are really believable as sisters, as you start to root for them from the very start of the show.

Short episodes.

Each episode runs a little under 25 minutes, which makes binge-watching this show really easy.  The episodes are fast-paced and I’m glad they went with the shorter length because this show could easily go off track, but it stays on point, which I appreciated.

References to your favorite zombie shows and movies!

If you are thinking about watching this show, you are most likely a fan of the zombie genre and this show does a great job of presenting the audience with these references.

From The Walking Dead to Contagion, you will be chuckling quite a bit during the conversations, which gave this show a very real feel to me.

Sure, it’s the zombie apocalypse and all, but maybe we should be planning out our strategy according to how we play Call of Duty?  Either way, this was a lot of fun!

The Cons:

Zomboat Hulu 2019 2
Images courtesy of Hulu

There’s nothing too original about the zombies.

While the show goes out of its way to point out some of the flaws of zombie shows and movies we love, they don’t really do anything drastically different here.  You can’t kill the zombies in Zomboat! in traditional fashion and we do get some interesting twists thrown our way, but the interactions with the zombies were very routine.

That being said, we do get some hilarious fights and some interesting choices of weapon, but if you are looking for something really unique or different in the genre, I’m not sure that you will find it here.

So am I in or out? 

Zomboat Hulu 2019 3
Images courtesy of Hulu

I’m in!  I went into this show without any real expectations and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it.  The dark sarcastic humor was spot on for me even if I wasn’t laughing out loud hysterically all the time. 

We are left with a huge cliffhanger at the end, so I am hoping we get a second season soon, but I would love to hang out with Kat and Jo during the zombie apocalypse, although we might need to change up our wardrobe a little bit.

If you are looking for some zombie fun or a quick show to binge-watch while all of your other shows go on break, this is the perfect one for you!

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Zomboat! in the comments section below.  Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

Dreaming of Wonderland Holiday 1

The Dreaming of Wonderland Book Series is available here!

**Do you love television shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Once Upon a Time, Lost, Charmed, The Vampire Diaries, and Supernatural?  Do you enjoy dark fantasy, fairy-tale retellings, paranormal romance, horror, and mystery?  Then you may like my book series, Dreaming of Wonderland…available on Amazon!  Thank you for taking the time to check it out and I appreciate any feedback as well.  I really hope you enjoy!

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Spoiler-Free Review of “Black Summer” on Netflix: More than a Prequel to “Z Nation”

**This is a spoiler-free review so feel free to read on!**

“You can’t be immortal if you ain’t alive.”  A valid point for sure, but how is one actually defined as a member of the undead these days?  While we are all used to the slow moving walkers in The Walking Dead universe, the infected we see in Black Summer sort of have a 28 Days Later vibe, as they move much quicker, which may have you contemplating your own cardio workout to stay prepared.

So are they actually zombies or are they something else?  Either way, if you are craving some zombie apocalypse fun, you’re in the right place.  Black Summer has been advertised as a prequel to Z Nation, but the show actually can stand on its own and that’s how I plan on reviewing it.

The show currently features 8 episodes, all streaming on Netflix as of April 11th 2019.  It stars Jaime King, Justin Chu Cary, Christine Lee, Sal Velez Jr. and Kelsey Flower.  We follow these survivors and witness what occurs after the zombie apocalypse first takes place, as they all desperately try to make it to the stadium to find missing loved ones and some kind of sanctuary.

However, the threats keep coming, as our characters are tested again and again while the undead continues to threaten their survival.  But we also find that these characters have to watch out for each other as well, as it’s difficult to earn one’s trust during the zombie apocalypse.

The Pros:

Black Summer Sun
Image courtesy of Netflix

The episodes are the perfect length. 

The beginning episodes start out at about 40-45 minutes and as we move through the show, they actually shorten to 30 minutes and even 20 minutes, which makes binge-watching this show very feasible.  I watched the first episode on Thursday night and I finished up the show the following night with very little effort.

The transitions between characters are clever and well done.

Another viewer mentioned to me that these transitions sort of reminded them of Pulp Fiction and I tend to agree.  Credit on that goes to @NerdswithFriend on Twitter.  We have seen so many shows and movies that feature a zombie apocalypse and it’s difficult to stand out and truly make a story unique.  However, the clever fade-ins and transitions allow us to easily see things from different perspectives and it also helps quicken the pace of the show.

Some of the characters are absolutely fantastic.

While I was annoyed by some characters on the show, there are some standout performances.  Christine Lee as Sun is truly amazing and you will root for her even more than the main billed cast.  You may find yourself trying to determine who is going to make it and who will bite the dust, so to speak, but I will say that I was pleasantly surprised that so many of the characters did not just mold themselves into the stereotypical roles we sometimes see. 

Some characters that you assume will make it, don’t, and others that seem so incompetent actually manage to scrape by, but I think that makes the show that much more entertaining.

Bone-chilling and terrifying moments.

There are some genuinely scary moments on this show and I found myself on the edge of my seat, not knowing what to expect.  Sometimes the moments come out of nowhere, but I think that makes them even more brilliant.  Maybe you will see some of the moments coming, but I think that they deliver and I still have been replaying some of them in my mind, as I have just created a whole new set of nightmares for myself.

The Cons:

Black Summer
Image courtesy of Netflix

The moments following the zombies around.

So I appreciate that the show is doing something different with these zombies, as they sprint after you as soon as they are turned, grunting and moaning.  However, the noises are kind of jarring and distracting, as I found myself actually laughing several times when we followed around a zombie who was looking for their kill.

The show is meant to be serious so I know that this was not intended, but I just couldn’t take some of these zombies seriously.  I don’t know if it was the acting or if was the amount of time we spent actually following them, which made me focus on this so much more, but it was slightly underwhelming and it took away from some of the initial scares.

The fluff in between the terrifying moments.

I’m all for character development and I’m not saying that the show needs to be jam-packed with zombies attacking, but I often found myself bored in between these moments.  Some episodes are much better than others, but I think that the lack of background music during these moments really made this worse.

Don’t get me wrong, I thought that the lack of background music was brilliant during the moments where the characters were under attack, but how long do we need to follow someone walking in silence?

There are major plot holes.

I know that this a prequel, but I found several plot holes throughout the show and I was hoping to get some answers, but I realized that this was not going to happen once I got to episode 6, which was slightly disappointing.

So am I in or out? 

Black summer 6
Image courtesy of Netflix

I was initially very excited to watch this show because I absolutely love anything with zombies.  However, after watching the first episode, I was slightly disappointed.  Fear not, as I give all shows three episodes to start making a real assessment and the show did get better with each episode.  However, I think that the show had a lot of potential to be absolutely brilliant, but it decided to settle comfortably as a standard zombie apocalypse show instead. 

I’m not really sure if this show truly separated itself or provided us with anything new about the apocalypse, but it definitely had some terrifying and compelling moments. 

If you love shows about zombies, I definitely recommend it and even if you don’t, you may find yourself intrigued for a quick binge-watch.  However, I wouldn’t say that you need to move it to the top of your watch list, but the show had a lot of redeeming qualities and captured enough of my attention to make it an entertaining watch for sure.

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Black Summer in the comments section below.  Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

**I am so excited to announce that my book, The Search for Alice, is now available!  If you enjoy dark fantasy, fairy-tale retellings, paranormal romance, horror, and mystery, then this might be the book for you or someone you know!  Thank you for taking the time to check it out and I appreciate any feedback as well.  I hope you enjoy!

The Search for Alice is available here!

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Free Instant Preview of The Search for Alice is available here!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

@TV_Fanatic_Girl

**If you enjoyed this blog, I would love it if you would click the follow button on your way out to subscribe.  Thanks for your support!

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Ranking the top 5 moments from “Fear the Walking Dead” season 4 episode 2: “No one’s gone till they’re gone”

Happy Tuesday TV fans!  After watching AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead season 4 episode 2, I learned that a baseball stadium can actually serve as the perfect place for survival in the zombie apocalypse.  After all, you have a field for crops, a PA system to warn you of oncoming attacks, and showers.  Did I mention showers?  I have to admit that out of all the places we have seen the characters from The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead hold up in; this settlement really seems the most promising.  Time will tell if it will last, however.  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch the latest episode yet.  In last night’s episode, “Another Day in the Diamond,” we learn that Madison and the gang found the baseball stadium and decided to turn it into a settlement after everything they went through.  While we are still missing a chunk of time and don’t know exactly all of the details that led to this, we do get some flashes, reminding us that these characters have survived quite a lot and are still standing.  Meanwhile, Madison risks her life to save a stranger, a child is not who she says she is, and we meet the people responsible for the numbered flags, who seem to be the new big bad in town.  My top 5 moments from Fear the Walking Dead season 4 episode 2 are:

5

Nick tries not to let his fear get the best of him.

Nick has always been one of the strongest and most resourceful characters on the show.  When the going got rough, he would head off on his own and face unthinkable threats.  He learned to adapt to his surroundings and make hard choices, but he always radiated an inner strength.  At the end of season 3, Nick made a difficult choice and attempted to sacrifice himself on the bridge and blow it up to protect his family.  Throughout the episode, Nick had several flashes back to this event and it clearly traumatized him into a stagnant fear.  Nick never leaves the baseball stadium and has anxiety when he tries to head off into the parking lot.  Although Nick is clearly making an effort to get over what happened, his inner demons won’t go away just yet.

4

“No one’s gone until they’re gone.”

Madison has fully embraced her role as leader and is trying to help everyone in her settlement.  She has really connected with a young girl named Charlie and desperately wants to help her find her family.  When they go out looking for answers, Madison crosses paths with a survivor named Naomi who is played by Jenna Elfman.  Naomi pulls a gun on Madison, but is quickly surrounded by Alicia, Luciana, and Victor.  She tries to escape but falls into some sort of oil tank.  She is surrounded by walkers and it seems like she is out of luck, but Madison risks her life to jump in and help her.  We know that Madison is never afraid to get dirty and proves to be an unstoppable force, even covered in oil and gunk.  Madison brings Naomi back to their settlement and we learn that she used to be a nurse which will certainly come in handy.  Madison has a genuine conversation with Naomi and reveals that she almost lost her family because of the decisions she made before.  Madison is always moving and doing something, as if she’s almost afraid to be alone with her thoughts and memories, worrying that they could break her down.  Like Nick, Madison has been traumatized on some level, but decides to keep busy and help others to numb the pain. 

3

Charlie is not who she says she is.

Throughout the episode, I found it interesting that there seemed to be a lot of focus on this little girl, but the Clark family has clearly taken her in under their wing.  Nick even asks Luciana to find her another book so that she has something to pass the time with and Madison attempts to build her a bedroom.  Even though Madison and the others have been betrayed before, they open their settlement and heart to Charlie, trusting in the innocence of a child.  We later learn that Charlie is part of the “Vultures” group which has come to take over the settlement from Madison.  Charlie has been providing them with intel and they even know who Nick is and about the turnips going bad.  While Charlie remains quiet when she joins her “family,” it’s clear that no one saw this coming.

2

Meet Mel.

In episodes 1 and 2, we see numbered flags along the way.  Mel and his group drive up to the stadium and demonstrate how they handle walkers.  While Mel does not seem like a forceful threat, he does want something and is willing to wait patiently to get it.  He tells Madison that he wants them to listen.  He proposes that they give them their stuff and live or that they can wait for them to die and take it anyway.  While we don’t know much about Mel just yet, he seems very calm and rational.  He pulls up a chair in the parking lot and seems to think he’s right about everything.  The threat is a real one however; and Madison must decide carefully what to do next.

1

“We’re not going anywhere.”

After listening to Mel, Madison confidently stands up to him and lets him know that they worked hard to build up their settlement and they are not going to just hand it over to him.  Mel tells her that they will be tested, but Madison is a very capable and strong leader.  We know that she will do anything to protect her own, but is she ready for a new threat?  At the end of the episode, we finally catch up to present day and the end of episode 1.  Alicia initially thinks that Morgan, Al, and John are working with the Vultures, which is why they hold them at gun point.  After they clear up this misunderstanding, Alicia demands that they show them where they found the “51” flag.  While we don’t know how much time has passed between then and now, we know that the Vultures have got everyone on edge.  Stay tuned!

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your own theories and thoughts on Fear the Walking Dead in the comments section below.  Happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

@TV_Fanatic_Girl