When I reviewed the first episode of Zomboat I found myself slightly annoyed that it had been overhyped and was only an okay comedy horror show, and unfortunately three episodes on and nothing has really changed. It’s still a likeable enough series but it continues to suffer from the same flaws that the first episode did, and has chucked in a couple more for good measure.
One of the things it hasn’t done well from the get go is it’s references to other zombie media, along with jokes about various other bits of pop culture. For instance in this fourth episode there’s a throwaway mention of James Cameron’s Titanic which then leads to the characters mocking aspects of the film, which I’ve no issue with as it’s a movie I’ve no great fondness for, but the jokes it makes are painfully dated and the gag about how Leonardo DiCaprio’s fate could have been very different is the kind of thing you heard on the open mic circuit decades ago.
The bickering is still present and correct too, unfortunately, (Cara Theobold) and Kat (Lea Brotherhead) aren’t arguing with each other quite so much but that’s been replaced with Kat mocking Sunny (Hamza Jeetooa) and Jo making digs about Amar (Ryan McKen). I suspect it’s meant to come off as witty banter but it fails on all counts, and just makes the characters slightly unlikeable instead, which especially applies with Kat’s mockery of Sunny’s phobia, and sure, the show addresses her twattiness but that doesn’t make it any funnier.
And if I were a picky idiot – which I am, and then some – given that it’s a zombie apocalypse and Kat’s supposed to be incredibly clued up about how to survive it, the fact that none of them carry around weapons with them seems to be a pretty huge misjudgement. That they haven’t been bitten and then turned in to one of the undead seems to be down to blind luck rather than any skill at knowing how to get by when the world is suddenly filled with the risk of death every second of the day, and I’m surprised that it hasn’t addressed this given how aware of other zombie fare it is.
Without these problems, which could be easily rectified if it is given a second series, there’s a fair amount to enjoy. When not being insulting the characters are well written and often quite funny, there’s a good number of decent one liners, and it can be inventive too. It’s also pretty great at bringing in one off characters, like in this episode where Jo and Amar get stuck in a supermarket and discover a former colleague of Jo’s in the form of Chloe (Amy Booth-Steel), who appears to be rather enamoured with Jo and who has a great scene where she kills her now zombiefied boss.
But sadly the glimpses of real enjoyment are still overshadowed by the negative aspects. It’s just about good enough to be worth watching but I can’t help but feel irritated because it appears to be on the cusp of being a really great sitcom, with some top notch performances and appealing cinematography, but the script is letting the side down and given we’re four episodes and I very much doubt that will change now.