A lot has changed since the virulent strain of zombie media first made the leap from movies to the small screen, but we are nearly a decade in from day zero of the zombie apocalypse and it doesn’t seem like we’re going to find the cure any time soon.
In the early days of The Walking Dead, there was nothing quite like it. Viewers being able to spend more than two hours with the protagonists before they either succumbed to the zombie horde or found a way to live peacefully with their zombie best friend for the rest of their days? Who wouldn’t be compelled to see average human beings struggle against the living dead and continuously persevere? There have been a handful of shows that have tried to pry the baton from The Walking Dead‘s hands (including a spin-off), but like the creatures it is named after—the show continues to trudge along, even after it had been pronounced dead by many professionals. So, while the zombie copycats might have stopped rising from the pile of dead ideas in the last few years, the virus has mutated in ways that we might not have thought possible in the early days of the outbreak.
The zombie mutagen has transformed into everything from zombie medical examiner to zombies dealing with racism to whatever it was Z Nation was, and now? Now, we’ve got a small suburban family trying to stick together while mom has developed an insatiable hunger for human flesh and the delicious, meaty organs that lie beneath.
Reboots are in fashion. It’s quite possible the machine that consumes existing novels and plays for the small screen has run out of fodder and is beginning to cannibalize its most successful excrement. Okay, it’s more than possible. It’s likely.
This isn’t meant to disparage the art of adaptation, though. Television tends to mirror society, and society tends to repeat itself in cycles; in short, television has its own cycles. One Day at a Time addressed the issues of its time by exploring the challenges a single mother faces in the only tone that would be palatable to middle America: comedy. One Day at a Time—currently—throws race into the mix of issues to address by writing the family as Cuban. As far as television goes, this counts as progress. Progress, at any rate, is a good thing even if it is only coming One Day at a Time.
During the first “golden age” of television, screens across America were dominated by the likes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Twilight Zone and the myriad of “Playhouse” and “Theater” programs—which makes it hard to argue against anthology series being the king of the ’50s. This was probably in part due to the radio plays that ruled the airwaves utilizing a similar style of storytelling. The anthology series held on strong for quite some time, but seemed to have all but faded in the last few decades preceding of the 21st century.
All of that seemed to change in the last few years as the style has gained moment with series such as American Horror Story, Fargo and True Detective. While the genre has adapted in most cases to allow for season-length stories, the one-off story style of Twilight Zone and its kin still exist in shows like the recently returned Black Mirror and the subject of this review, Easy.
Ricky Gervais has been busy since his British hit The Office. He wrote and directed another show , starred in a couple of Hollywood movies, performed in four comedy tours, wrote a best-selling book series, and hosted a world famous podcast. He’s even hosted a few award shows. Ricky must’ve missed the BBC because he’s back with another British sitcom: Derek.