I’ve been feeling a bit weird lately and, instead of having zero interest in watching TV or movies, I’ve been waking up thinking: “I just feel like watching a TV show.” (I haven’t followed through on my impulses, though. I’ve been confining layabout activities to the evening-time.)

I’ve been thinking about something that annoys me in TV shows and I’m going to call it The Zombie Phenomenon. You know when you’re watching a story where the characters start noticing that other humans are getting sick, dying, seemingly coming alive again, and attacking other humans, and they don’t use the word “zombie” for ages? And they don’t treat the situation as though they’re dealing with zombies, and they keep getting surprised (and attacked and killed)? As though they’ve never watched a zombie movie before?

I find this reeeeeeeally frustrating in movies and TV shows – not just with zombies, but with so many different storylines. Say a lawyer is defending a psychotic serial killer who is becoming increasingly obsessed with them — and apparently the characters in this fictional world have never seen a movie or TV show about a psychotic serial killer, so they don’t think that their family might be in danger.

So, here are 3 shows I’ve been watching lately (True Detective, The Tunnel, and The Escape Artist), and how they relate to The Zombie Phenomenon. (Note: the file contains massive spoilers.)

On the other side of the fence, there’s Castle. Say, what? That goofy show?


My boyfriend thinks I’m nuts for liking it. YES, it’s superficial, cheesy, unrealistic, and pretty dumb… but I really like is how it addresses The Zombie Phenomenon head-on. It’s the main point of the show.

Richard Castle is a crime fiction writer, and he helps cops solve murder cases. He learns about the different suspects, theories, motives and circumstances in a case, and then he extrapolates likely explanations based on how this would have been written, or how it’s usually written. So, if there’s a psycho killer on the loose, and they’ve noticed some red herrings in the case so far, maybe he guesses that a) they need to assume all clues might be red herrings, and b) if he was writing the psycho killer, the storyline would probably be that all of these red herrings (and the murders) were carefully crafted as misdirections — and that the “real” crime was happening somewhere else. Or something like that.

Sometimes he’s wrong, of course, and sometimes he’s right… but it’s really refreshing to hear characters in a show say, “Well, if this was in a movie… and there was a highly intelligent psycho, and he seemed to be taking a personal interest in the lead detective… jeez, we better protect her and her family!”

I like that show. That is all.

Add your comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.