Before Charlie Brooker created Black Mirror, he created and wrote the show Dead Set for the British television channel E4. Dead Set is filled with the same satirical and cynical style that fills each episode of Black Mirror. While most of the show is scary and slightly depressing, there are moments of satirical and cynical humor that give the show more meaning than just another zombie drama.
The show starts with introducing you to a reality show that looks a lot like the show Big Brother. It’s eviction night and the viewers are waiting with baited breath to see who will officially get kicked off the show. The only problem is, there is a raging zombie apocalypse outside of the studio walls. The world is literally going to hell and no one within the reality show’s studio walls knows what’s going on. The studio serves as a fortress…for a while. When the zombie outbreak finally bursts inside the studio, the contestants and those still alive in the production team will need to use their smarts to survive the zombie horde. Do they have any smarts left to survive though, is the question.
Dead Set is like one really, really long Black Mirror episode. If you like that show, Dead Set is totally worth your time. This five-part series discusses our obsession with reality television and the possibility of what it is doing to our brains. Is reality television really based in reality? One of the most obvious messages of the show is that watching other people live their lives on television takes away from the richness of your own. Dead Set suggests through it’s characters that when you spend your time watching stupid people do stupid things, you lose your common sense as well. While this theme is pretty controversial, it does make you think about the media you consume on a daily basis. Is it is a smart use of your time or turning you into a zombie?
Dead set does not just make a social statement. Dead set is extremely terrifying! The zombies are not slow moving, they move quickly and viciously like in the 2002 horror film 28 Days Later. This series does not cut any horror/gore corners. Despite the low budget the show was produced on, the gore effects are realistic and frightening.
Zombie fans will find this five part miniseries scary as well as satirically smart. All gore hounds can binge this show right now on Netflix!
– Janiera Eldridge
Follow me on Twitter @janieraeldridge