Inspired by the zombie universe of George A. Romero, the Day of the Dead series on the SyFy network takes place in a small town where an ordinary day takes a terrifying turn when the dead begin to rise.
In the first episode, it’s election day, so the Mayor and her husband are voting. Meanwhile the sheriff is called out to the nearby controversial fracking site with reports of a dead body.
In town, some of the teens are headed to a party, while others are working at the local funeral home. Lauren is embalming a body in preparation for leading her first funeral, and Cam is mowing the nearby cemetery lawn.
Of course, this being the Romero universe, those dead bodies…and others…soon start coming back to life and terrorizing the living.
I’m a big fan of Romero’s zombies…well, zombies in general…so here are my first impressions:
The first episode is hard to judge a show by since it has to introduce the characters and build a base for the story. That said, most of the characters weren’t very well developed, and most of the adult characters seem more stereotypical caricatures.
It seems there six main characters, all late teens or early 20’s. Of them, Lauren and Cam seem to have the most potential of staying alive. I predict most of the adults will get bitten. Hopefully the Mayor will be one…but I think her philandering husband will die first.
Once we have actual zombie signs, the show makes liberal use of gore and blood spray, which will make gorehounds happy. Though I am confused how the partially unburied living dead in the cemetery have so much fluid in them to spray when run over by the lawnmower.
The show also drops quite a few f-bombs during the hour.
The series seems to want to have a comedic balance with the horror, but most of the humor falls very flat and feels forced. Lots of cheesy dialogue, too.
Overall I’m giving the first episode of Day Of The Dead 3 out of 5 stars. It wasn’t the strongest debut, but had enough redeeming qualities I’m going to give it another couple of episodes.
Also, so far, this series has no story connection to the 1985 Romero movie of the same name, nor the 2008 or 2018 remakes, other than the zombies. Surely they could have come up with a better name.
Day Of The Dead airs on the SyFy channel Fridays at 10pm ET/9pm CT. It debuts Friday, October 19.
DAY OF THE DEAD (2021 SERIES)
Director: Steven Kostanski
Cast: Keenan Tracey, Daniel Doheny, Natalie Malaika, Morgan Holmstrom, Kristy Dawn Dinsmore, Miranda Frigon, Daniel Doheny, Caitlin Stryker, Mike Dopud
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Tagged: Day Of The Dead, first episode, horror series, series reviews, zombies