TV for Zombie Fans!

As many of you know, the new AMC zombie series The Walking Dead starts next weekend: October 31st at 10pm.  Based on the comic book series by Robert Kirkman, the show is being executive-produced by Frank Darabout (who, we will pretend, only made The Shawshank Redemption and not also The Mist); he also directs the pilot.  It looks superb.  I cannot WAIT!

For more information, see:  http://www.amctv.com/originals/The-Walking-Dead/

While we’re waiting, though, guess who’s coming in to rescue us?  IFC, which begins airing the BBC series Dead Set tonight at midnight, and will be airing another new episode each night this week (I think there are only six total).  For more: http://www.ifc.com/dead-set/

I saw Dead Set about a year ago, thanks to a friend in the UK, and I loved it.  It’s the perfect combination of scary and hilarious — something the Brits do so, so well.  Basic premise:  Zombies invade the Big Brother house, munch munch yum!  Brings a whole new meaning to the term “evicted.”

So, set your DVRs and watch out for your brains!

Your BRAINS!  Your BRAAAAAAAINS!

(p.s. In un-zombie-related news, I hope everybody caught the new Sherlock series that started on Masterpiece Mystery last night (PBS).  I haven’t seen the episode yet, but I’ve heard it’s an absolute blast.  Check for reruns if you missed it!)

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25 Responses to “TV for Zombie Fans!”

  1. Jo Says:

    I was going to hijack this entry to talk about Sherlock, and then you beat me to it.

    It was tons of fun. I’m still basking in the afterglow so I can’t even think of any nits to pick.

  2. Chris Says:

    I’ve been looking forward to this ever since I first heard about it a few months ago. I’ve been somewhat zombie-obsessed since, oh, around the time Return of the Living Dead came out. It was shortly after that that I discovered George Romero. They’re still the only horror movies that actually scare me.

  3. RogerBW Says:

    Is this the recent BBC Sherlock series (contemporary setting), or something else?

    (Two years ago I said that a lovely way to start a remake would be to make it modern but keep “I perceive you have been in Afghanistan”. Obviously the people at the BBC are reading my mind…)

  4. megwood Says:

    Yes, the recent BBC Sherlock Holmes, updated for contemporary times. I’ve been hearing many, many raves about it. Will watch it tonight for sure!

  5. Chris Says:

    You can also watch the Sherlock episodes online.

  6. megwood Says:

    Oh great, Chris! Thanks! Can you post a link for that? I wasn’t able to find where. (Legal online viewing options only, please!)

    Also, in case you all hadn’t heard, the guy playing Dr. Watson is Martin Freeman, who has also just been cast as Bilbo Baggins in the upcoming new version of The Hobbit.

    I’ve liked Freeman since seeing him as Tim in the original British version of The Office (Tim is sort of the UK Jim, for those who haven’t seen the original series). He was also Arthur Dent in the HHGG film from a few years back, and was in Love, Actually and Shaun of the Dead as well. I’m not totally sold on him as Baggins yet, though. I want to see pictures. Specifically of his bare feet.

  7. Chris Says:

    You can watch it here:
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/sherlock/watch.html

    I’ve started watching it already. It’s pretty good so far. I’m a big Sherlock Holmes fan and I’m always a bit skeptical when it comes to modernizing things like that. But so far, I like it. Freeman is great as Watson. I hadn’t heard about him as Bilbo. I can kind of see that though…

  8. megwood Says:

    Awesome, thank you, Chris!!

  9. briantoohey Says:

    Ah, too bad I don’t get IFC. I really only have basic cable, and watch by DVD mostly, but for some reason, I luckily do get AMC (something I just discovered a few weeks ago, so still have yet to start Mad Men, Breaking Bad, or Rubicon… which I plan to catch up on via DVD). But I’m glad I’ll be able to catch The Walking Dead. And I’m with you, Meg. Here’s hoping it’s a return to form for Darabont and not a continued Mist-stumble.

  10. Trip Says:

    It is here. A major realization of all my childhood dreams and wishes. A zombie TV show with graphic violence AND I can stay up and watch it whenever I want.

    All I need now is a jetpack and a pocket watch that can stop time.

  11. Liz Says:

    YOU STOLE MY THUNDER! I was going to e-mail you about “Dead Set” on the IFC channel (starts tonight, at midnight!). I should have realized that the omniscient Meg knows all … well, all that’s really important, anyway. I already have my DVR programmed, and will CERTAINLY be recording “The Walking Dead” on AMC next Sunday. I didn’t know about the “Sherlock Holmes,” though – will check it out. BTW, RDJ is making a sequel to HIS “Sherlock Holmes!”

  12. Melinda Says:

    Thank you sooo much for the Sherlock link!! I’ve been thinking about this show since I heard about in on NPR and Mr Holmes starred in the audio portion of this past week’s road trip, and, um, well, bedtimes are negotiable when you’re thirty!!!

    Also, I just finished reading The Walking Dead, so I’m not sure I’ll be up to actual *watching* for a bit….

  13. Chris Says:

    You can also find it on iTunes apparently. $.99 to rent, but you can also buy it for $1.99, so I just went ahead and bought it. Just finished watching it.

    I was doubtful at first. In a genre that has CSI agents sweeping for particles and scanning DNA, where does Sherlock Holmes fit in? One of the brilliant aspects of the original Holmes was that it was at a time where science was first being applied to criminal investigation. Now, it’s commonplace, especially on TV. Sherlock Holmes has been “updated” and “improved” many times with mixed results (check out “Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century”).

    So, where does Holmes fit in? When there’s a camera on every street corner in London, blood spatter analysts, FBI profilers, crime labs, and the vast databases of genetic profiles, ballistics, and other assorted forensic information?

    Elementary, my dear Watson. (Yes, I went there.) The brilliance of Holmes is deduction, his ability to observe the world, pick out seemingly minute details, and draw astute conclusions from them. This show seems to capture that. It’s very clever, engrossing, and fun. The cast is superb, and the story is interesting, and shot beautifully. I can’t wait for the next episode.

    Geez, I’m rambling. Didn’t mean to write a little review, but there you are. Back to work…

  14. megwood Says:

    I really enjoyed the first episode of Sherlock Holmes too. My only quibble is that I’d like it if it stopped assuming we in the audience were quite so stupid. (The text clarifications of the clues he sees, for example, aren’t necessary, especially since inevitably Sherlock then has to explain what he saw to Watson and Lestrade anyway. And the overly lengthy taxi cab montage as Sherlock was beginning to put that all together was a bit heavy handed, too, especially since I’d been yelling, “Helllllooooo! It’s the CAB DRIVER!” for ten minutes at that point.

    That said, I loved the building chemistry between Sherlock and Watson — major crush on Watson already, naturally. As the funny underdog. And I agree that it was shot beautifully.

    Incidentally, was I the only one who yelled, “Never start a land war in Asia!” during the final showdown between Sherlock and the bad guy, though? I can’t possibly have been.

    “The battle of wits has begun. It ends when you decide and we both drink, and find out who is right… and who is dead.”

  15. Chris Says:

    I actually liked the graphic treatment. It let us follow his thought process and see how his rather unique brain works. It didn’t feel like a Sherlock Holmes cheat sheet. It allowed us to follow the process of discovery, rather than simply watch as he pokes and prods around the crime scene.

    It was also a clever way of showing us the interaction with technology, specifically phones. It’s allowing us to see what the characters are doing with their assorted mobile devices without breaking the action. Can you imagine the “wrong!” press conference scene if we had to jump to closeups of a dozen or so mobile phones? Drag.

    The 21st century is swarming with text bubbles and tiny little packets of data zipping through the air. Heck, I’m writing this on my phone. For the most part, you can’t escape it. How many movies and tv shows have the hero saving the day by whipping out his or her trusty laptop? It’s boring, but you can’t escape it, it’s part of life. This was a clever way of showing that.

  16. megwood Says:

    That’s a really good point, Chris! I like thinking of it that way — the swarm of text bubbles and packets. And I definitely was enjoying greatly the text-message elements of the Sherlock tale. Not to mention the fact that Sherlock hates making phone calls and prefers sending texts instead — that, I can totally relate to.

    The hints/clues on screen made me think a little of the RDJ Sherlock film too, by the way — specifically the fight scenes, which got dissected for the audience beat by beat. But I still think they could get away with doing less of that in the TV series. In parts where Sherlock is moving slowly enough and deliberately enough for the audience to also see exactly what he’s seeing (for example, touching the coat and then rubbing his fingers together in close-up in the camera — so we can see his fingers are wet. We don’t then ALSO need the word “WET” to appear on-screen), it just feels like hand-holding. It would work better (for me, anyway), if those were limited to observations the audience is less likely to notice themselves.

  17. RogerBW Says:

    Well, the BBC is trying to build something understandable to the stupidest viewer, just as much as an American production company is.

    Was it just me, or do the long shots of London (e.g. in the title sequence) look as though they’ve been tilt-shift filtered? (I.e. narrow depth of field so that they look like models.)

  18. Rochelle Says:

    i caught the repeat of Sherlock at 1 am Monday on pbs. (luckily i am off work this week) i was totally shouting iocane powder at the screen during the “battle of wits”. i like how awesome Watson was. in a lot of the Holmes stories he comes off as an idiot. one of my favorite Stephen King short stories, which I just double checked in my “library” is The Doctor’s Case where Watson solves the case. Holmes is a little off his game because the murder takes place at a house with a pet cat. Holmes is allergic and is too busy sneezing to get all the clues! but Watson was still pretty cool, a house full of police missed the “smoking gun”. I liked RDJ as Holmes but i am all over a “real” brit for authenticity. (also, i am a sucker for an accent, real — or fake, see my spike obsession) without cable, i am not really familiar with many British actors but i really liked this guy. kind of handsome, but goofy. i also couldn’t help but feel a little dr who, Tom Baker style with the curly hair, long coat & scarf. one of the things i liked about the RDJ version, was how they showed us what he was thinking. in the end, i thought the over all plot seemed lame and just a set up for a sequel, but there were parts i liked. as for Sherlock, i did like how they showed the texts, etc on the screen rather than zooming to the phone. the “wet” thing was a bit of over kill when he was going to explain to lestrande a minute later. the next morning i was online looking for the DVD. btw, you can pre-order at pbs.org for $29.

  19. Trip Says:

    Never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line.

  20. Chris Says:

    Did anyone else notice how similar the music was to the Guy Ritchie film? I only happened to notice because I watched the movie just a couple of days ago.

    By the way, wasn’t this post about zombies?

  21. drunkkenbubba Says:

    Dead Set is very good, other good ones out on dvd ( or online for free hehehehe) are The Zombie Diaries and La Horde. The Zombie Diaries to this day rarely gets its due thanks to hordes of virginal 30 something Romero fanboys who went out of their way to bash it on IMDb and other places. It was released a year before Romero’s “groundbreaking” (yeah right) Diary of the Dead and follows a similar, and in my opinion better storyline set in the UK. La Horde is a strange combination of Reservoir Dogs, Dawn of the Dead, and Die Hard. It’s about a group of crooked cops on a search and destroy mission against a Kenyan drug gang that is hiding in a condemned, but not abandoned Paris high rise apartment building.

    I actually have already watched the first episode of The Walking Dead and I can say it is going to not only meet fans expectations but surpass it. The amount of gore for even a cable show was a shock to me, and it’s amazing AMC let Darabount get away with it.

    The only downside is that the pilot is an hour and seven minutes long, pushed out to around 90 minutes due to commercials.

  22. Liz Says:

    Yay! Back to zombies! I goofed up on recording “Dead Set.” are they showing them all again on Friday? I also goofed on taping “The Rocky Horror Glee Show”. But I have a BETTER idea of a show for them: “Little Shop of Horrors”! Artie, the guy in the wheelchair, could be the voice of the plant – “Feed me, Seymour”!

  23. drunkkenbubba Says:

    Liz – just find it online – Stagevu would be your best bet.

  24. megwood Says:

    I’m sure “Dead Set” will be out on DVD soon in the U.S. And I bet IFC will rerun it as well. No stealing, please!

  25. Chris Says:

    Liz, if you can’t find Dead Set online, you can buy Dead Set on iTunes for $8.

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