“Oh, I am this close to losing every last bit of my shit.”
When we first heard a Zombieland TV series was coming to Amazon Instant, it seemed vaguely in touch with reality, since it was already supposed to have been a TV show to begin with, and it’s part of a pack of pilots the streaming service has started in order to find its footing within the original programming market. There’s some kind of a voting process. Whatever. This is about the actual Zombieland pilot.
Watch it here before going forward if you’d like.
Was it a stinking, bloody pile of putrid garbage? A soft no. Was it as good as the film? A much harder no. But that is no fault of director Eli Craig, whose horror comedy Tucker and Dale vs Evil was one of the highlights of 2011. No, Zombieland looks pretty damned good for a pilot, and carries with it a similar stylized take on how it feels to not really give a shit that you live in a world overrun by zombies. I’m not ripping on it for its complete lack of suspense or the manner in which its characters treat their own safety as they would a complete stranger’s, but I’m not saying it’s a good thing. I have no idea how this show would compel people for an entire season. And it was written by the creators, Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. So if they can’t do it…
Tallahassee (Kirk Ward) is now a complete bumbling maniacal idiot instead of a just a strong-willed Southern hick, so all comparisons to Woody Harrelson are completely off the table. Columbus (Tyler Ross) appears to be Colin Hanks asked to act like Jesse Eisenberg as if he were in one of John Cusack’s early films. A stunning amount of useless awkwardness. Anyway, Wichita (Maiara Walsh) is nihilistic and bubbly all at the same time, laughing at the mere instinct to want to prolong the human race because humans are sooo stupid. And Little Rock (Izabela Vidovic) just says “fuck” when they tell her to, and her chemistry with Walsh is about as good as actual sisters who are uncomfortable around one another. This is the cast chosen, people, and this is what they were given to perform. Oh, and there’s a new cast member, Detroit (Kendra Fountain), who plays a former On-Star operator who helps these characters by…knowing where shit is. Not really sure how she knows things in what should be a complete electronic dead zone, but we’ll see.
And so this episode doesn’t really set up anything, other than mentioning a zombie-free safe haven in New York, 50,000 miles away from their L.A. setting, according to Tallahassee. But then they immediately blow that off because it’s far away and people suck and whatnot. So maybe they’ll end up doing that if the series continues. Maybe they’ll just keep counting how many times Tallahassee says vagina. Because this episode had a “vagina count,” just because the character Regina said her named rhymed with vagina. A vagina count. My keyboard just shook its head at me for typing it twice.
It wasn’t the worst thing in the world, but Jesus, they even defiled Ms. Pac-Man. Every live person they met had an almost instant death that happened suddenly, yet none of our central cast suddenly seemed to care about themselves. They break into a house and have a conversation about what they used to call their grandparents, and then the elderly owners make their expected appearance, but they act nothing like the fast-moving zombies we’ve previously seen, at least until Columbus has his little comedic moment. This show gets a lot worse once you’re tasked with remembering all of it in order to write about it.
Because it’s a comedy, it isn’t plagued with the melodrama that The Walking Dead oozes with, but lame-ass humor is no fine substitute. The devil is always in the details, and this show lives in a world without humanity, religion or devils. And thus, no details. This is marshmallow TV, not even the creme-filled center of Twinkie TV.
Here’s the vaguely misleading but still in the ballpark trailer.