For zombie fans, Reality Z will be appreciated, but like Black Summer it feels like a cheap throwaway.
This review of Netflix series Reality Z season 1 contains no spoilers.
The zombie genre has been rehashed so many times that you can predict scenarios beat for beat. You may recognize the storyboard of Reality Z which has a similar path to Channel 4’s Dead Set, which resided in a fictional Big Brother house and the contestants have little idea of what is happening in the outside world.
Reality Z relies on the notion that the zombie apocalypse happening in Brazil is merely fear-mongering — the producer of the Big Brother reality show is all-hands-on-deck to get the show moving as the City experiences “riots” which are really flesh-eating hordes pulling away at human organs. Like any zombie material, the entertainment is obvious — that gruesome moment every time a zombie sinks their teeth into warm flesh — but the story still has to be worthy by today’s standards.
And that’s because we’ve seen it all before. Like Dead Set, Netflix’s Reality Z feels a bit too similar, with the writers choosing to enhance the story rather than alter the scenario. Once the studio has been overrun, one of production runners ends up inside the Big Brother house, deemed to be a new contestant, but in reality, she’s sweating profusely from running away from the horde.
It would be refreshing for a team of writers to think of something original with this genre, rather than rehashing the same old story. It’s understandable that making zombies feel original is a hard feat, but Reality Z makes no attempt. In terms of special effects, the Netflix series impresses with the gore — proudly squirting blood and flesh in plenty of scenes.
For zombie fans, Reality Z season 1 will be appreciated, but like Black Summer it feels like a cheap throwaway.
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Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.