I recently published a post about how the Walking Dead lost me (and a lot of other viewers recently). For those of you who have been going through zombie withdrawal, you are in luck. I stumbled upon Dead Set and was more than pleasantly surprised. Dead Set is a British show from 2008 that has recently arrived on Netflix and it is show that should not be missed.
The series opens during a big night on the set of the “Big Brother” reality television show. Someone is getting voted off. Crowds have gathered outside the Big Brother house/production studio to see which cast member gets evicted. Unfortunately for humanity (in general) and the crowd (specifically), a zombie outbreak is simultaneously sweeping the country. The Big Brother contestants are unaware of the unfolding chaos occurring right outside their door and continue with their petty bickering and ego-centric actions. And that, my friend, is the world into which you are thrown.
Here’s some additional information worth sharing that doesn’t reveal anything that will spoil the series.
– The zombies in Dead Set are fast moving and the cinematography used in the chase and attack scenes is directly influenced by Danny Boyle’s ‘28 Days Later’ and Juan Carlos Fresnadillo’s ‘28 Weeks Later’. Although I often prefer the classic George A. Romero-esque shambling zombies, the fast moving zombies can also work well in the right context and with the right filmmaker. In Dead Set, it works.
– The story telling occurs at a brisk paced. The characters are introduced without any pomp and circumstance and are developed if and when necessary. The characters are engaging for the most part and the reality contestants are as off-putting, narcissistic, and vapid as they tend to be in any reality program. The show’s producer and one ditzy contestant are utilized for comic relief and would not work if given extended screen time. However, the writer (Charlie Brooker) and director (Yann Demange) of Dead Set seemed cognizant of this and the short clips and overall screen time each of these characters is allotted in Dead Set work perfectly.
– If you decide to watch Dead Set, I recommend doling out your viewing minutes out judiciously. There are only 5 episodes totaling 2 hours and 21 minutes. This show is a pleasure and screams to be binge watched. However, I would recommend taking your time and savoring the show. Each episode is action packed and there is plenty to digest in each segment.