Several years after a zombie outbreak occurs a cure is discovered that reverts the living dead back to their former selves (sort of). The former zombies are slowly reintroduced into society and go about attempting to lead a normal life despite the fact that they are feared and hated by the general public. This television series (brought to you by BBC America) follows a recently cured young man named Kieren as he struggles to adjust to his new life.
I think that the premise of this show is nothing short of brilliant. There are tons of zombie movies and television shows out there today and it is getting harder and harder to do something original with the concept anymore, but the people behind In the Flesh have succeeded in doing so with flying colors. I love the idea of zombies being rehabilitated and given a second chance in society as I think that it is one of the most interesting and thought-provoking concepts to come around in a very long time. The results are realistic, entertaining, and at times nothing short of heart-breaking for a number of reasons.
I was lucky enough to check out the first three episodes of the series recently and I am happy to say that I was hooked from the get go. Things start off very quickly from the beginning of the premiere episode and don’t let up even for a second. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t a show full of non-stop action that features endless zombie attacks or people fighting zombies over and over again and is more story and character-driven but it works.
As a matter of fact I don’t think that I would have liked it as much if it was just another show that focused on a group of people trying to survive the zombie apocalypse and the adventures that they face on a daily basis as they struggle to stay alive in a world overrun by hordes of the living dead. In the Flesh goes a deeper than that and I applaud the people behind it for having the balls to try something fresh and different when it comes to zombies. I’m not saying that it is totally devoid of action as we do get some pretty cool scenes (especially in the second episode) that depict humans fighting zombies but that isn’t what this show is all about at its core. It’s about how people (especially family members) react to someone who has gone from being something completely horrible to the person that they knew in the past, and as a result I think that many viewers will be able to relate to it if they’ve ever had a loved one who has come home from drug rehab, a mental hospital, or some other similar place.
I thought that the episodes that I watched were extremely well-written and engaging and after I finished them I found myself immediately wanting more because I wanted to see what Kieren and his family were going to have to face next. I can see myself really getting hooked on this show and I think that anyone else that watches it will feel the same way by the time that the first episode comes to an end. If the makers of it keep up the excellent work I am sure that they are going to have a huge hit on their hands that is going to have a loyal following that will rival the one that The Walking Dead currently has.
As I said earlier, in addition to being interesting and just a great program in general this show is also very depressing at times. I couldn’t help but feel for poor Kieren as he struggles to get back to his old life. He is just a sad and pitiful character in general, especially after we find out the reason he died in the first place as I found it to be more than just a little sad. I really felt sorry for him as he tried to reconnect with his family upon returning home (especially when it comes to his younger sister who he was very close with at one time and who is now a member of a fanatical anti-zombie group who goes around killing any zombie they come across) and there are many scenes that feature him interacting with her and his nervous parents that damn near brought a tear to my eye. Overall the tone of the show is bleak and depressing and I can see it really depressing the hell out of some of the people who watch it (but in a good way, if that makes any sense).
In a lot of ways the show reminded me of the X-Men. Much like people in the comics and movies hate and fear the majority of the characters from In the Flesh feel the same way about the zombies. There is vicious group called the HVF (which stands for the Human Volunteer Group) that is determined to wipe all zombies of the face of the planet much like all the anti-mutant groups associated with the X-Men in addition to an essentially evil zombie group that encourages all reformed zombies to return to their mindless, human-eating ways (which reminded me a great deal of Magneto’s Brotherhood of Evil Mutants that want all mutants to embrace the fact that they are superior to humankind). Without a doubt both groups are going to play key roles in Kieren’s life, and if you ask me the zombie group is the lesser of two evils as the HVF does something so horrible and unnecessary toward the end of the first episode that I was fuming.
Overall I was very impressed with In the Flesh and am excited to see new episodes. I love the concept and so far I am digging the ongoing storylines that are in place and can’t wait to see how they play out. If you are into zombies and want to see them in a different light then I can’t recommend this show enough. Check it out when you can, you won’t be disappointed.
In the Flesh (Season 1) (2013)