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  • Series Premiere Date: Apr 11, 2019
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User Score
5.0

Mixed or average reviews- based on 28 Ratings

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  • Summary: Rose (Jaime King) searches for her daughter when the zombie virus epidemic begins in this prequel series to Syfy's Z Nation.
  • Genre(s): Drama, Action & Adventure, Horror, Science Fiction
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 2
  2. Negative: 1 out of 2
  1. Reviewed by: Tim Surette
    Apr 5, 2019
    60
    In a sense, Black Summer is The Walking Dead without all the bloated melodrama, kooky villains, and pretentious blabbering.
  2. Reviewed by: Brian Tallerico
    Apr 10, 2019
    30
    Nothing is less terrifying than over-familiarity, and that’s only one of the many problems with Netflix’s Black Summer (premiering on April 11), a bleak, dull affair that mistakes camera movement for narrative energy and has about as much life as the walking dead.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 14
  2. Negative: 10 out of 14
  1. Apr 11, 2019
    9
    I'm not a big Zombie show guy but I blew through the first couple of episodes of this with ease. Jaime King is doing some fine work in thisI'm not a big Zombie show guy but I blew through the first couple of episodes of this with ease. Jaime King is doing some fine work in this show. I like all the characters, the diversity of the casting, it's not over written. The deaf character is great, sort of an extra terrifying world to have to live in with this handicap. Good scares and the pacing moves. Very well shot, too! Good for a binge! Expand
  2. Apr 17, 2019
    8
    If you like film of the fast-zombie genre I would reasonably assume you will enjoy Black Summer.
    So, there are the slow-zombie genre (e.g.
    If you like film of the fast-zombie genre I would reasonably assume you will enjoy Black Summer.
    So, there are the slow-zombie genre (e.g. The Walking Dead TV series) and the fast-zombie genre (e.g. 28 Days Later movie). Black Summer falls within the fast-zombie genre.
    I personally favor the fast-zombie genre so perhaps you might take my 8-rating within that context.
    Regardless of anyone's opinion on the plot-type of Black Summer, technically this is a professional quality series and the acting falls within above average professional quality... and, I would suggest some of the acting is excellent. Editing is extremely important to produce a high-quality fast-zombie series and I would rate the editing of Black Summer as excellent.

    In regard to the overall narrative and plot, I would warn that if you are an individual who requires explicit, detailed context and clearly defined roles and backgrounds then you will not get that in the first series of Black Summers. I personally do not require explicit detail in narratives so I was fine with this - but, most people want things to be completely explained in detail.

    There is one episode that has no dialog in it and I'm sure the average and typical viewer might find that frustrating where as I found it to be the most interesting episode involving the most complex characterization.

    I almost require that a film work within the context of moral ambiguity in order for me to enjoy it. I felt Black Summer provided that and perhaps is part of my level-8 rating. The primary character develops within that moral ambiguity - right through the zones of thin red/blue/green/gold/etc lines - in what to me was very satisfying. The very last moral decision at the end completes the character development that I found it to be extremely realistic and one that most people never need to make and exists almost entirely within the realm of fiction.

    Off topic - but, I know many individuals must wonder how discerning, intelligent people like watching zombie movies. That I cannot explain - but, millions of people enjoy them so you just have to accept that is a reality. My wife loves rom-coms and I see nothing wrong with that. If you do not like fast-zombie movies then you obviously will not want to spend your time watching Black Summer.

    There are many zombie genres and if you are interested you can google the subject or go to Wikipedia to get a better understanding.
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  3. Apr 14, 2019
    6
    Hold on to your bats folks, for is this yet another zombie flick that hits the screen? Will it swing wide or will it hit home? Let's have aHold on to your bats folks, for is this yet another zombie flick that hits the screen? Will it swing wide or will it hit home? Let's have a look, shall we?

    Black Summer is a zombie flick that picks up just after the outbreak of the epidemic. Interestingly enough, we won't see much of the relentless dead for some time, which is arguably a good thing. The unseen is scarier than the seen(and it saves on the makeup). The first two episodes introduces us to the potential cast. Potential, because some won't make it past those first episodes, which is another good thing I suppose. A zombie flick worth its grain should have a profound sense of vulnerability. Nobody is safe.. not even the leading cast members.

    Two hits and it starts to looks good. And here is another good thing: some of the cast are actually interesting. Take Spears for instance. He is a close runner up for being my favorite. We don't know much about him, but he is introduced to us as a detainee of the military. But are these soldiers actually good? We never quite know what is the truth. Spears tells Rose lateron that they are just heavily armed looters, forcing her to make a tough choice with little to go on. He remains ambiguous, saving Rose from a zombie while he could have left her to die, but prepared to leave other people behind.. or so he says. And at some point he even gave me a yes reaction.

    Would you shoot a kid?, asks Rose.

    Yes, Spears replies, aiming his gun at one.

    Do it, I thought. Let me see you do it!

    Of course he doesn't. Kids in are invulnerable. Like dogs. Which makes you wonder why they put them in, except perhaps for the trailer. It feels that cheap. Oh right, a bunch of kids turn out to be nasty, but you'll know they won't get hurt, no matter what. I bet a nuking them from orbit won't kill them.

    And here is that thing: Black Summer is seriously hamstrung. It develops ideas(or actually: steals them from others) and then completely undoes them.

    Possibly the best moment is where five desperate people are chased by two zombies into a diner. At odds with eachother and without any proper weapons they have to work together. Killing two zombies with five people must be easy, right? Yes, I know: you will do it, cause you played the game. But in reality trying to kill someone with a cooking pan is hard, let alone a screaming bloody corpse that flails at you.

    And even though the conversations are at times awkward this episode it actually okay.

    But these moments are rare as everything is marred by ham-fisted writing. Dialogs suffer especially. You see the actors try to do their best and the guy in the diner trying to persuade the others to throw the Korean lady to the zombies gives arguably the best delivery. And at some point there is even an attempt at a Tarentino like conversation. But that is what it is: an attempt.

    Situations often feel awkward. There is a whole episode where one mysterious car chases a group in their car to the point of finally destroying both. The point? Stealing fuel is suggested, but how is that going to work if your car is destroyed? It is like someone thought: let's take this one from Duel. Why? Cause it is Matheson, man. Who? Matheson, the guy who invented zombies! He wrote the script for that movie.

    The whole school episode is Children of the Corn redone! Redone poorly. Someone must have gone through the works of King, Matheson and others and turned them into a poor dervatives.

    It is hubris.

    I liked the few moments, but to be honest, I barely hung on. The creators of these series should take stock of their strenghts and weaknesses. Writing isn't their strong suit, so don't try to pull of a Tarentino. Don't steal from others. Don't make people nasty unless there is a reason to. Movies like Saw and the Purge are nonsense, but can offer a twist. Don't make people do stupid things, like banging on a drum when noise attracts zombies. Be aware that if you give a group of people weapons, that not everyone knows how to handle them. Play on that. Make people worried about their car running out of gas. It is a simple thing, really. And if you grab a car, what car will it be? The big guzzler that can take six, half a ton and go cross-country, or the nimble economical two seater with a suitcase sized booth that can get you far?

    That sort of thing.

    Seems easy enough. It probably isn't. But then you want to make another zombie flick in a world saturated with zombie flicks.

    Merit
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  4. Apr 17, 2019
    2
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Best way to describe the show
    "There's zombies and things happen"

    Things you will ask yourself while watching this-

    Why is no one talking?
    Why is nothing ever explained?
    Why do people suddenly show up in places?
    Where even are they?
    Why do people keep trying to communicate with the Korean character long after it is established she doesn't speak English?
    Why are there so many moments of unnecessary and illogical silence?
    How does this show manage to show so much and yet show nothing at the same time?
    Why are many people holding guns yet they are never used?
    Why does the screen cut to black every 4 minutes to show a pretentious chapter title?

    Good things.
    The actors are at least trying.
    Camera work is ok at times.
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  5. Apr 12, 2019
    2
    Can't people simple hire a actual screenwriter do write screenplays? This is horrible. A story starts and ends in less tem 20min, you simpleCan't people simple hire a actual screenwriter do write screenplays? This is horrible. A story starts and ends in less tem 20min, you simple have no time to give a F to any characters.
    If netflix ain't gonna put an effort to making these movies then it should do it at all. 2 for the photography.
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  6. Apr 14, 2019
    2
    Wow can't believe I watched all 8 episodes. The first half the season you are waiting for something interesting to happen, the second half youWow can't believe I watched all 8 episodes. The first half the season you are waiting for something interesting to happen, the second half you are just enduring this really badly scripted and poorly budgeted C grade zombie series as you are already half way there. It is like the walking dead but they could only afford one or 2 zombie makeups and could not afford a writer. plenty of swearing to make it for adults but can't show any sort of zombie damage or effects.

    The character building is non existent. made especially worse by having most of them doing stuff that suggests they have less intellect than the average zombie, pretty much could not have given a damn for any of them. Avoid this piece of garbage.
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  7. Apr 17, 2019
    0
    if you're not black, latin, or woman you can't see this because was made for SJW.... i don't now, maybe someone there is gay. But for sure youif you're not black, latin, or woman you can't see this because was made for SJW.... i don't now, maybe someone there is gay. But for sure you must be dumb... in a zumbi apocalipse you don't close doors, you get inside traps or worse be on a full of people who can turn in a zumbi place.... this is netflix, gonna cancel this **** Expand

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