Dead Channels: UK vs. US TV Zombies

Dead Set

Dir: Yann Demange
Star: Jaime Winstone, Andy Nyman, Kevin Eldon, Riz Ahmed

I largely avoided the Big Brother phenomenon, leaving the country mere months after the programme started in 2000, though it was clearly already gaining some steam. My ignorance probably added some extra resonance to this five-part series, which centres on the effect a zombie outbreak would have on show participants, from both sides of the camera. Certainly, there is no dodging the parallel drawn between the reality show devotees who gather outside the studio with their signs and chants, and the living dead chewing on human flesh later – both mindless zombies, of one kind or another.

The Walking Dead

Dir: Frank Darabont and others
Star: Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies, Laurie Holden

The hero is Rick Grimes (Lincoln), a cop who is shot, and comes back from unconsciousness – like the protagonist in 28 Days Later – to find the world has gone to hell. He returns home to find his wife Lori (Callies) and son have vanished, and heads off towards Atlanta to find them. What he doesn’t know is that, while his family are safe, Lori is now in a relationship with Rick’s old partner, Shane (Bernthal), hiding out in the country.  Rick has first to track them down, and then figure out how to survive in a world with very little infrastructure left.

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