The arrival of Netflix’s dramatic Z Nation spinoff Black Summer has some online commentators pitting the freshly-released series against AMC’s The Walking Dead and spinoff Fear the Walking Dead.
Set in the immediate wake of a societal collapse brought on by a widespread zombie virus outbreak, Black Summer centers on Rose (Jaime King), a midwestern mother who stops at nothing to reunite with her daughter when the two are forcibly separated.
Rose and other strangers are forced to band together in a desperate attempt to survive a harrowing journey and attacks from the reanimated undead, who unlike the slow-moving walkers seen in AMC’s Walking Dead Universe, are fast-moving sprinters comparable to the running zombies seen in the Zack Snyder-directed Dawn of the Dead.
One Twitter user dubbed Black Summer “the poor man’s Walking Dead,” while another wrote this new series, backed by low-budget producing house The Asylum, “copied Fear the Walking Dead so hard.”
While the premiere season of The Walking Dead was set towards the beginning of the zombie apocalypse — sheriff’s deputy Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) was stirred from a coma about two months after the walker outbreak — Fear explored the earliest days of the collapse of society through the lens of high school guidance counselor Madison Clark (Kim Dickens) and family.
“The new series Black Summer on Netflix is just like The Walking Dead without the great story, acting, cinematography, character development and scenery,” wrote one user. Wrote another, Black Summer is “like some dull plain oatmeal stuff ... like The Walking Dead with all the character drained from it.”
But others write the more serious Z Nation spinoff is “scarier than the Walking Dead could ever be.”
“Black Summer on netflix is intense,” reads one tweet. “Basically a darker faster paced walking dead. Story isn’t as good but [definitely] worth a binge.”
“My word, Black Summer is making The Walking Dead look like a kids show after two episodes,” another tweet reads. Others don’t pull punches: “If you’re sick of Walking Dead, Black Summer is your show.”
Z Nation producer Jodi Binstock previously told SYFY the series was birthed out of creators John Hines and Karl Schaefer’s desire to “do something very different in the genre that is extremely popular.”
“You stand the chance of, ‘Oh, that old trope, that old zombie thing, I’m done with zombies.’ They wanted to do something different,” Binstock said.
“John’s philosophy is that one realistic zombie is far more terrifying than a horde of them coming at you. There’s also the realism of what would happen if your husband turned into a zombie, or your child turned into a zombie. It’s the real grittiness of that, and that’s what Black Summer is. The way it’s being shot is extremely unique too, and Netflix allows you to do that. Z Nation is more of a PG show and I would say that Black Summer is much more of an R show.”
The eight-episode first season of Black Summer is now streaming on Netflix. AMC next debuts its fifth season of Fear the Walking Dead Sunday, June 2, ahead of The Walking Dead’s Season Ten premiere expected to reach the network in October.
Black summer released today on Netflix. Watched the first episode and i gave up. They said it's going to takeover walking dead. It's not even close. #PoorMansWalkingDead.— Sulav Khatiwada (@Sulove_kh) April 11, 2019
Spent the day watching Black Summer on Netflix. Definitely a bigger fan of The Walking Dead. Interesting enough show. Just ended in such a weird place.— DeanaMarie (@DeanaXburke) April 13, 2019
Whoever said Black Summer on netflix could have been better than The Walking Dead is actually deluded— Jay (@JayOWillson) April 12, 2019
black summer copied fear the walking dead so hard— I AM YEE (@TrippBeatty) April 12, 2019
The new series Black Summer on Netflix is just like The Walking Dead without the great story, acting, cinematography, character development and scenery. I’m only in episode 2 and I’m wishing for a commercial break and rooting for the zombies to kill them all. #blacksummer— Steve Freeman (@thestevefreeman) April 12, 2019
Not usually one for these takes but I put on the first episode of Netflix' Black Summer and wow this is like some dull plain oatmeal stuff huh. Like The Walking Dead with all the character drained from it.— Liam Allen-Miller (@RSSLiam) April 11, 2019
My word, Black Summer is making The Walking Dead look like a kids show after two episodes.— Bud's RPG review (@BudsRPGreview) April 13, 2019
I watched that new series on Netflix “Black Summer” yesterday. I was pleasantly surprised at how good it was. Much better than The Walking Dead even on season one. The way it was put together was brilliant. #BlackSummerNetflix— Christina (@christina3812) April 13, 2019
Black Summer ....scarier than the Walking Dead could ever be ....— Ambnt1 (@Ambnt1) April 13, 2019
Didn't think i would bother with zombies after walking dead lost its appeal but black summer on netflix is pretty intense. Watched 3 episodes and enjoying it so far.— Fish the Fitter (@FishmanMCFC) April 12, 2019
Black Summer on Netflix is worth a watch if you like the Walking Dead, the Zombies are bastards, they run like fuck. 😂— Psilocybin (@Fugazi140) April 13, 2019
If you're sick of Walking Dead, Black Summer is your show. #Netflix— Leah Fallesen (@LeahCF) April 14, 2019
Thank @netflix for Black Summer.. they actually have to fear the undead.. cough cough walking dead— Soup🐍ㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤ (@TheKierre) April 14, 2019
Black Summer is creepier than Walking Dead. Gives me like 10 heart attacks per episode.— 𝑀𝒜𝑅𝐼𝒫♡𝒮𝒜 (@ADR_IANNA) April 14, 2019
Man if you're looking for a new good realistic zombie apocalypse show 'Black Summer' on Netflix.
I like it more than 'The Walking Dead.' It's more real. Feels less scripted and more how people would actually react in an apocalypse.
And it's actually scary.— Adam III (@AdamIIIMusic) April 13, 2019
BLACK SUMMER on Netflix finally answers the question "What if THE WALKING DEAD were less like DAYS OF OUR LIVES and more like SAVING PRIVATE RYAN?"— Pete Bridges (@boldtitlepete) April 12, 2019
So...Black Summer on @netflix ... yeah everyone is gonna want to watch that one. It's everything the walking dead could have been before it went off the rails— Chris Sciulli (@scin383) April 14, 2019
Black summer is my kind of tv show. Just hope it doesn’t get stale like the walking dead.— Daniel Phillips (@BuddyLove_19) April 13, 2019
Black Summer on Netflix is fucking awesome. Everything The Walking Dead isn't.— Chrisps (@hill79) April 13, 2019
This black summer show is like the walking dead but less talking and coked up zombies— Bosé (@Bozart_92) April 14, 2019
Black Summer on netflix is intense. Basically a darker faster paced walking dead. Story isnt as good but definatly worth a binge.— Big Kat (@Tcullum13) April 14, 2019
Finished the first season of black summer and I’m highly impressed! Fuck a walking dead😂!— RB Deezy (@PLDThaKid) April 13, 2019
Watching "Black Summer " OMG this is scary..its The Walking Dead..but actually with more gore and sweary F words..!!— suzie (@zooziee) April 13, 2019
These zombies on Black Summer need to teach The Walking Dead zombies a lil sumn’ sumn. They are fast and smart AF— ʟօʋɛʏօʊʀֆɛʟʄ🧘🏽♂️ (@ChillCookie44) April 14, 2019
Just finished Black Summer and I’m blown away! Not super deep but really entertaining and non stop. I want more!! Best zombie experience I’ve seen in awhile. Put walking dead to shame.— Brad Watts (@WATTS24fps) April 13, 2019
damn Black Summer got me more anxious than Walking Dead— alyc (@xlycc) April 14, 2019
Black Summer is a better zombie show than The Walking Dead.— ✨Tia✨ (@IAmInertiaGG) April 13, 2019
Damn! Black Summer is the best of the movie World War Z and the series The Walking Dead mashed up in lovely tension-filled zombieness! #BlackSummer— Sabra Wineteer (@sabrawineteer) April 13, 2019
Watching BLACK SUMMER, the prequel to Z NATION, which I loved. Give me humor in the apocalypse. Give me people who find scraps of absurd joy within the horror
BLACK SUMMER has no joy but looks like FEAR THE WALKING DEAD, except better. So it's got that going for it, I guess.— K.B. Spangler (@KBSpangler) April 13, 2019
Black Summer is what the Walking Dead wish it could be— Grant (@gr_saulters) April 13, 2019
After me and bae watched the silence , I started watching black summer. It's good as fuck. Something like the walking dead.— 💋 (@NooRegrets_) April 13, 2019
If the walking dead and the purge had a baby but pulp fiction might have been the father. This is Black Summer. pic.twitter.com/InOBEdApyI— Sound Strike Audio (@SS_Audio) April 12, 2019
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