TV Recap: Z Nation, ‘Puppies & Kitten’ (Series Premiere)

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The world has been destroyed by a zombie virus. Three years in, a vaccine is found when testing is done on prison inmates but when the lab is taken over by zombies, the only bit of the vaccine left lives inside a prisoner who is now immune to the virus. A group of survivors is now responsible for getting this inmate to California to a government facility so the vaccine can be manufactured.

Z Nation has an obscure late ’90s/early ’00s cast including Tom Everett Scott (That Thing You Do), Harold Perrineau (Romeo and Juliet) and DJ Qualls (Road Trip). To add to the cast of people you never thought you would see in anything zombie-related, you can add Michael Welch of Twilight.vHe apparently went from being Bella Swan’s cast-off to a “big bad” zombie fighter. Yes, those are sarcastic quotes.

Photo Credit: Oliver Irwin/Syfy
Photo Credit: Oliver Irwin/Syfy

As you can imagine, with a cast like that, the acting is pretty atrocious. Tom Everett Scott is the sore thumb of the group as he is easily the best actor of the bunch. That really isn’t saying much as his character is written as the “Rick” of the group and he is hardly believable as such. Everyone else sounds like they are reading directly from the script, the dialogue of which is poorly written.

Making a zombie-themed television to go up against one of the strongest shows on television is brave.  However, Z Nation is not comparable to The Walking Dead. The zombies, while arguably more intelligent than in The Walking Dead, don’t stand up in terms of make-up or believability. The zombie bites themselves look like quarter blown up gray balloons glued to the skin and splatter painted with fake blood.

The most ridiculous part of the entire episode was a part involving a baby that turns. When it is human, it is strapped into a car seat and unable to walk. Once turned, the baby apparently gains the ability to not only release itself from the straps, but the ability to run as well. There is no makeup involved as the baby is entirely CGI and the amount of time and people it takes them to track and kill it inside a closed room is absolutely ridiculous.

Photo by: Oliver Irwin/Syfy
Photo by: Oliver Irwin/Syfy

The characters are incredibly unlikable and at no point are we given any chance to connect with anyone or feel for them as no strong feelings are shown to exist between any two characters. I managed to only learn one character’s name, Garnett (Tom Everett Scott), throughout the entire episode, which I didn’t learn that until the last 4 minutes and only because they repeated it numerous times in a matter of seconds.

Z Nation wouldn’t be considered a good show even if The Walking Dead didn’t exist to compare it to. Not one thing about the show will bring me back to watch another episode. Instead, I am more than content watching reruns of The Walking Dead on Netflix and waiting until October for my zombie drama fix.

Save your breath and an hour of your life. Wait for The Walking Dead. 

Rating: 1/5 Stars

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Ann Hale is the horror editor for Pop-Break.com and a senior contributing writer, reviewing horror movies and television shows. She is also the American Correspondent for Lovehorror.co.uk. Ann attended East Carolina University, majoring in English Literature. She is a collector of Halloween (the film) memorabilia and is a self-admitted opinionated horror nerd. You can follow her, her collection and her cat, Edward Kittyhands on Twitter and Instagram @Scarletjupiter

Just a giant nerd in love with horror, 80’s action flicks, Star Wars and Harry Potter. Hit me up on Twitter or Instagram @scarletjupiter to talk horror or just to browse the horror collection.