Greetings and Salutations, Blog Readers!
Today, we are talking about Black Summer.
But, while it is classified as a Zombie Review in my blog organization, this is not going to be, a strictly speaking, true Abbi Grasso review, because my reviews have standards.
One: A true Abbi Grasso Zombie Review will only be done after I have watched the content several times, minimum two-three for TV shows, normally much, much more than that.
And Two: A true Abbi Grasso Zombie Review will be mostly positive. All zombie content, even bad zombie content, enriches zombie culture and brings more people to zombies, so, if I have nothing nice to say, I say nothing at all.
That being said several people have asked my thoughts regarding the Netflix spin-off of the once popular SciFy channel show, and a personal favorite of mine, “Z Nation”. This spin off is called Black Summer, and covers a time the characters in Z Nation refer to often, the dreaded Black Summer. The characters from Z Nation do not show up, or haven’t yet, but it is, as it turns out, at least in the same universe as the show I love.
When the first season came out, I first watched a few reviews of it, but I felt, as I often do, that the reviews may have been harsh.
So, I watched it, and by the end of the first season I wasn’t quite sure if I liked it or not, which in itself was a big sign, so I decided to see if they were given the green light for the second season, and would watch and judge from there.
Finally the show announced it was given the go ahead for another season and I hoped I would get more information, or more to watch and determine if I liked this show, that I really, really, wanted to like.
The first season had me worried we would call into the same trap TWD (The Walking Dead) falls into, which is showcasing how much humans can be assholes, and not showcasing the horror that is zombies.
Z Nation walked this line, sure some humans were fucked up, but they were largely well balanced and also the show kept the focus on the zombies, and all the ways the zombie science was changing, and sure, the show got super weird, but it was awesome, and I would always have weird over more humans being assholes.
I always see humans being assholes why would my escape into zombies want more of that?
So season one really seemed to focus on how awful humans could be, but some humans were being good people, others were trying hard to survive, and by in large, the characters were interesting enough for me to want to know what happens.
And boy was that a waste of hopes.
I don’t want to bash on any of Black Summer, but I don’t know how long it will be before I can handle to re-watch all of season one and two in order to give an adequate review.
So let me say this:
I need to re-watch it before I give it a proper review, see Rule #1- But I don’t know if I will find enough positives to say about it to give it a review, via Rule #2.
But I do want to, and if I am able, I will update this blog with the link to that review. Until then, let me explain why it will be hard to get through a second re-watching.
(Beware, there may be spoilers ahead, I will try to mark them but season one has been out a while so…)
First: It will be hard to re-watch because that shit moved painfully slow. Season one had what I thought were pacing issues, but season two showed me what an actual pacing issue is.
Season two was so horribly spliced together, so terribly long shot…you could have easily fit all of season two into one to two nice lengthed and paced episodes.
The amount of time we spend staring at characters staring at other or nothing is OUT OF LINE.
I know, I KNOW, with how much of a slow burner Flake City Volume One is, I shouldn’t say this, but, actually, I would say that how much of a slow burner Flake City Vol. One is, I am a bit of an expert on pacing and how slow something should be. I thought season one was slow to set stuff up for season two.
Season two was slow, it seemed, to make two episodes turn into a whole season.
I mean entire intros and outros in scenes, action will have LONG passed and yet the camera stays filming scenery or people with the same expression on their face, for ten-twenty seconds or MORE after the action of the scene or scene business is concluded. Scenes take forever to begin and establish and even longer to conclude with each sentence taking forever, being punctuated with long stares of no significance, big stupid talks that lead to literally nothing happening, just for the scene to begin to wrap up and then have a thirty second stare off before another awkwardly placed “Part __” card flashes on screen to tell you another bull shit long winded segment of tedious nature you are about to be submitted to. You spend all this time waiting for something to actually happen, and when it does, often time the action is skipped over.
Yes, action happened, but honestly plenty was cut off, and season two made even more use of that.
Season two also took “broken story line” to a new level, telling the story not in order, but not in a clever way.
It wasn’t some fun clever messing with the story line to show multiple sides of a story, it was just broken story lines that could have maybe been trying to set other things up, but those things never happened.
All while seeing the few characters from season one I liked that made it to season two either die, act horribly, or go through a bunch of shit but ultimately not get to engage much in the story line (the case of my favorite character, Sun).
All in all, season two built on all the wrong stuff from season one, in my opinion, including the long scenes to nowhere, people being their not best selves, and broken story telling for no reason.
In the end, we get no more closure at the end of season two, than we did in season one, except on one small thing.
This is the good thing.
This is the thing that will probably power me through the re-watching.
I don’t want to spoil anything, so turn away if spoilers (to be honest, not a huge one) mean anything to you.
I don’t care if the mom and Anna live or die I truly don’t I am over their story-line because of crimes against time and shitty long scenes of dramatic stares for no reason- however Sun? Sun is my girl and I want her ass to live, more so after the season two hell she endured. All of the shit she endured, and she does it with no one understanding her, no one speaking her language, no one to talk to, and no one to understand her, while she tries so hard to understand the world around her.
In the end, the one person I know made it to the plane that is vaguely hinted at as being the way to get to safety, is Sun, so I was pretty jazzed when she made it and is looking out the plane window.
Even more jazzed, like, literally had tears in my eyes, that the pilot spoke Korean, at least a little, so finally someone can talk to her.
This was the best part of anything for me, and when I do go back to re-watch this to TRY and give a review, this is the highlight that will fuel me to the end again…knowing that at least my favorite person not only lives till the end of season two, but found someone who spoke her language and isn’t as alone in the already isolating world of the zombie apocalypse.
So, go watch it if you want, both seasons are available on Netflix, and while it is very slow, if you liked TWD, you may well love it, and if you liked Z Nation of which it shares it’s universe…
Man, I don’t know. I watch Z Nation on repeat as one of my comfort re-watch in the background shows- I love it to death. It sucks I can’t love Black Summer more, but I want to, because I do love Z Nation, and I love zombie content in general.
So I will re-watch it, and maybe you should give it a go too- never know, maybe you will love it. If so, comment or DM why you enjoyed it (or didn’t) so I have more things to look for and keep in mind on my next re-watch.
Thanks for reading!