There’s nothing particularly funny about the idea of a zombie apocalypse, but Zomboat! manages to find the humor in an otherwise dire situation. The new British comedy, which airs on ITV in its native UK and debuts on Hulu Oct. 25, follows a group of friends who escape by boat after a zombie outbreak in the English city of Birmingham. It hasn’t yet been announced if Zomboat! will return for Season 2, but it certainly adds a fresh take to the well-trod zombie genre, which in and of itself makes it worth seeing where the show will take things.
The idea of trying to flee a massive zombie horde on a slow-moving canal boat already lends itself to plenty of laughs, but add in the fact that Sisters Jo and Kat are trapped on the boat with complete strangers Sunny and Amar, and it’s no surprise that "friendships develop, alliances form, arguments occur and romance blossoms," as Variety wrote. Confining four big personalities to close quarters is the perfect set-up for both drama and jokes, but most importantly, it leaves the door open to future storytelling as the characters adapt to living in a new, zombie-ridden world and either learn how to fight back or perhaps fail and end up becoming zombies themselves.
The stakes do feel much lower than in other zombie shows, most notably The Walking Dead and Fear The Walking Dead, so if you’re looking for a more straightforward, action-driven approach, Zomboat might not be your best bet. But while it’s not exactly scary, it’s also a lot more fun — both for viewers to watch and for the cast to play.
"I don’t think these characters have been seen on TV before. There’s a really fresh feel to them. They’re not stereotypes," Leah Brotherhead, who plays Kat, told BradfordZone. "What’s really fun is that no one has to be the straight man. Everyone has got their odd quirks. They’re so fun to play. We could really bounce off each other and there was so much room for comedy within that because they’re all a bit barmy."
That being said, there are still moments of conflict that keep Zomboat! grounded and give the characters an opportunity to become more well-rounded and sympathetic to fans.
As Hamza Jeetooa (Sunny) explained to BradfordZone, "It’s this ongoing slow-burning terror. Then there are times when we may have to compromise our safety by having to get off to do other things back on land. That’s where all the conflict comes in." He added that the relationship between Kat, Jo, Sunny, and Amar is "where we see how everyone’s characters pan out as well as all their issues and problems."
Dealing with these interpersonal issues on top of a zombie apocalypse is more than enough for Zomboat! to work with for Season 2 — and potentially beyond.
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