Is Zombieverse Real or Scripted? We discuss the South Korean Netflix reality series, which will contain minor spoilers.
Derren Brown has a lot to answer for…
There was a time when people worried that the world was on the edge of a zombie apocalypse, but if I’m honest, I think that particular fear has since dissipated.
The zombie takeover of Earth was probably perpetrated by a sudden surge in media of zombie-based content, culminating in the phenomenally popular show The Walking Dead.
Of course, there were other zombie based shows and movies available, and let’s not forget that TWD was based on the fantastic comic book series, but you could argue that the TV series created a whole generation of fans who were terrified by the prospect of the living dead rising up and roaming the Earth.
After the COVID pandemic, it seems that the prime opportunity for a zombie apocalypse to actually happen may have passed, and as a species, we may have had our fill of being locked in our own houses and being terrified to speak to anyone.
That hasn’t stopped South Korea from presenting us with Zombieverse, a reality game show that drops a set of celebrity players in the middle of a zombie takeover, and presents them with a series of quests that they have to complete to survive.
With such a high-concept premise, viewers have started to ask questions about the show, so this shambling and decomposing article is here to answer the question: Is Zombieverse real or scripted?
What is the format of the Netflix series Zombieverse?
The format follows a group of contestants that have been placed into a horrific scenario, the start of a zombie outbreak, and they must traverse the situation while their reaction to it is displayed for your viewing pleasure.
Is Zombieverse Real or Scripted?
Despite reports elsewhere, it has to be said that a show of this nature has to be carefully curated in order for it to make sense.
I very much doubt that the zombie extras are just dumped in front of the players, and the ensuing chaos is relayed to us, so there must be some form of narrative and schedule that the show follows, making it not technically a reality show.
The safety of the players and the poor jobbing actors in the roles of the zombies has to be taken into account, and that requires a level of control over the production that must, at some point, lean into some form of scripting.
The real reality of the situation will arise from the reactions of the contestants on the show who are faced with the scripted scenarios.
So it seems Zombieverse has blurred the line between reality and fantasy, and if you are wondering about the originality of the show, it might surprise you to know that this setup has been done before, in the UK, by the same guy who tried to convince us he had predicted the lottery numbers on live TV.
Why may it be scripted?
Derren Brown is a famous magician and illusionist who would make his name with shows such as Trick or Treat and Mind Control. He would often use celebrities, and the general public, in his shows and amaze viewers with his incredible displays of mesmerism.
In a series of “events” that Brown would present, he would use his skills to convince people to rob security vans, stage an art heist, and in one of the most complained about TV shows ever broadcast, he would host a live séance, traumatizing the great British public as they were encouraged to take part at home.
One such “event” was to convince Steven, an ordinary dude who was stuck in an everyday life of work, beer, and TV, that he was the survivor of a meteor strike that had turned the planet into a zombie playground.
Steven was completely oblivious to the fact that he was the victim of Derren’s manipulation, which would see his family, friends, and workmates all in on the act, and surrounding Steven with actors that would introduce scenarios that he had to navigate.
Sound familiar? It should, as it is pretty much what Zombieverse is, without the laughs.
Brown would receive backlash for the show, and there would be claims that the show was fake, and this may be in the back of the minds of anyone who has watched that show and then watched Zombieverse.
I am pretty sure that in the Korean show, the contestants may receive notes about what is happening, but on the whole, their responses are probably real, so although the show’s scenarios may be scripted, perhaps the responses are real.
Derren Brown has a lot to answer for.