Black Summer – What the heck?!
Before I begin… A few things you, the reader, need to know… I promise NOT to spoil anything – so if you haven’t watched it yet, feel free – the cat will remain in the bag. Second, I’m not going to mention Z Nation at all – except for 3 seconds ago… And if you’re reading this and interested in Black Summer – you probably already know the correlation.
And, finally, there will be no mention of that other zombie show everyone talks about. Alright, let’s review…
Premise / Show Info:
There’s only eight episodes in this show on Netflix. Easily bingeable in about 4 total hours. Brought to you by Karl Schaefer and John Hymas who tag team as the series creators, executive producers and showrunners – Black Summer is all about surviving a nitty gritty world overrun by both zombies and the inevitable poor behavior and decision-making of mankind.
It’s a fairly gruesome world with a lot of action, a decent amount of gore, and just enough character information to make you wanna learn more. Oh, and the zombies? They are FAST. They’re not very bright, but they’re quick and relentless.
The first episode didn’t hook me – It jumps around quite a bit to give you an idea of the characters you’ll see, and the situations they’ll face. It wasn’t bad – but it didn’t grab me right away… and probably won’t grab most viewers.
The second and third episodes changed that… A recipe of drama, action, and suspense – all mixed in with a little gore and a lot of uncertainty – had me hooked. I needed to keep watching. So, I did…
This is not a show of perfection…
By the sixth episode I was still hooked – but I was confused. Concerned I missed some things from earlier episodes because not everything makes 100% sense. But it’s a zombie show, right? Maybe it’s not supposed to. The show jumps around between characters and storylines – so if you’re not paying 100% attention – you’re going to miss something. (Guilty! I may have answered a few texts, grabbed a couple of snacks, and who knows what else…)
Then there were smaller things that drove me a little nuts – and for the life of me – I couldn’t figure them out. I’ll just bring one to light – and maybe someone out there can explain it to me… Maybe there was a time jump of a day or two I wasn’t aware? At one point one of our characters hurts his right hand pretty badly… To the point he attempts to start a car, but can’t use that hand to hold or turn the key. His hand was covered in blood and basically useless. But…
Fast forward and he’s in a grocery store – using both hands to grab cans of food and other items. Hand seems okay to me. How did this happen? Oversight in writing/production? A few days had gone by? Am I just crazy?
It’s a fairly typical dystopian drama… Zombies. Humans turned evil. Who can you trust. Anything to survive. Blah blah blah… What isn’t so typical? There’s quite a bit of overall action throughout the series. I like action. I like gory, gruesome, ouch-that-has-to-hurt type stuff… And Black Summer does this well. There’s no love story going on in this world (At least not yet…) and I’m happy about that. The show really focuses on a number of different characters and the various things they must do to survive.
The acting overall is pretty good, although there’s a few parts they probably should have done another take, but overall I’m happy with the cast. I do wish we could have learned a little more about some of their characters though…
I really enjoyed the camera work – if you’re into the technical stuff. Great placement and viewpoints, jumpy when it needed to be and smooth when required. I even felt a few “Blair Witch” type moments from behind the camera – and I appreciate that.
Wrap it up!
This show won’t be for everyone, but it’s worth giving a chance if you’re into the genre.
There’s not a ton of reasons to root for certain characters – which is usually the case in end-of-the-world drama, but I would be curious to hear who your favorite character was – or who you were cheering for. (Spears was my guy. Not sure why – but I liked him from the start.)
I loved the lightning quick zombies – it was a little weird how they occasionally got “stuck” in a doorway or something – especially with how nimble they seemed to be.
The overall story has been told a million times… End of the world, must get from point A to point B – and the trials and tribulations of doing so… In 4 hours of viewing time, there was a lot that happens keeping you engaged in the fight – so I think they handled the story well.
I’m not so sure about the end though… I don’t think it’s as it appears. Notice what was in her hand? I’ve got some suspicions… do you? Maybe we’ll find out in a season 2…
I’d love to know your thoughts on the show – leave some comments below!
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