Syfy’s Z Nation Premier Episode Review
“Puppies and Kittens”
Season 1, Ep. 01 – ‘Puppies and Kittens’ | Aired Sept 12, 2014
by TS Alan
The Asylum’s new zombie horror series Z Nation aired last night on the Syfy channel, and all ready viewers are commenting on how it’s nothing like The Walking Dead. And to me that’s a good thing.
Three years into the zombie apocalypse, Delta Force Lt. Mark Hammond (Harold Perrineau) assembles a ragtag team of survivors to transport the only known survivor (Keith Allan) of the zombie virus from New York to California in hopes of using his blood for a vaccine.
In the premiere “Puppies and Kittens” we find out how Murphy came to be immune to the ZN1 virus and why Hammond must transport him across the country. We also get introduced to the circumstances behind the group of survivors that Hammond has forced to help him.
First and foremost Z Nation isn’t afraid to use the dreaded running zombie that so many zombie purists baulk at. Secondly, they’re zombies. Yes, the word that no one has ever uttered on that AMC show. To compare the two shows would like comparing Jaws to Sharknado. Both have sharks but are not in the same body of water. But both have their place as does Z Nation.
The difference between the two series is clearly evident. Z Nation is campy with a bit of dark humor and at times suffers in production value from its low budget. It’s everything The Walking Dead is not. But that’s okay. It has nearly done everything right within its own power and budget constraints.
What it does have along with its camp and dark humor is a good blend of suspense and horror. It has decent makeup and special effects, and good writing that propels the storyline faster. It also has a solid, and a mostly recognizable cast, which includes Harold Perrineau, Tom Everett Scott, Kellita Smith, DJ Qualls, Keith Allen, Russell Hodgkinson, Pisay Pao and Nat Zang; though characters currently suffer from under development. Best of all Z Nation has zombies galore. You’ll love the cheesy zombie baby segment.
The bottom line: This is a television series that has possibilities and a future on Syfy if The Asylum develops this into a zombie series more about the gore and camp and not about dramatic subplots that at times makes The Walking Dead difficult to watch. I’m sure I’ll be hearing about that, but let’s not forgot how us loyal TWD fans tolerated and suffered through that seemingly endless episodic period stuck on Herschel’s farm with nearly a zombie about.
I highly recommend you give Z Nation a chance and watch a few episodes before giving final judgement. I know I will.
Z Nations airs 10 pm ET/PT on Syfy.