My wife and I watched the first 3 or 4 episodes of Z Nation, the Walking Dead wannabe on SyFy, and about the best thing I can say about it is that it's occasionally funny without meaning to be.
Z Nation goes three better than TWD, in that it's the third year of the zombie apocalypse. Which, oddly, is one of its problems, in that the world is in really great shape for year three of the apocalypse! For example, Philadelphia looks pretty much like Philly today, except that the streets are cleared of pedestrians and traffic. No overgrowth, no collapsing overpasses.
Oh, and car batteries still work ... three years after having not been used. There's plenty of gas, too. And bullets. Phones workds, despite there being no electricity. In the second episode, they run across a gas refinery that is still working on automatic after three years. (Plausibility Meter says: Naw.) Nobody seems to run out of anything.
Clearly they have never run out of food, because most of these folks are a little on the tubby side. That makes sense for maybe the first year of the Z apocalypse, but by three year, with nobody growing any crops, I'd expect them all to be on the lean side.
And, wow, these guys are good at killing zombies. That actually makes sense, but unfortunately, the special effects aren't Walking Dead level.
The zombies aren't TWD-level, either. I thought it was odd that TWD had a "Zombie School," because how hard is it to act undead? But it turns out there's a trick to it, because a lot of the Zs on Z Nation are clearly just guys in makeup -- their reactions and movements give them away as college students or extras.
And to tell you the truth, the acting isn't up to TWD level, either. The script occasionally has flair, but none of these folks seem capable of delivering their lines well.
Which is where it's funny. Without meaning to, Z Nation occasionally veers into camp, with everyone getting the joke but the actors. I don't think it's intentional, but it would make the show better if it was.
Which brings us to the only bright spot, which is J.D. Qualls as "Citizen Z," the last survivor of NSA outpost somewhere really cold. He can communicate with the rest of the cast through any telephone -- he's the NSA, he constantly reminds them, although phones shouldn't work without electricity -- so we see a lot of him. Which is good, because Qualls plays the character as slightly unhinged, and he's a hoot.
The rest of the show, sadly, is about the same quality as the SyFy made-for-TV movies. With Walking Dead coming back this month, I don't suppose I'll be watching it again.
Oh, and car batteries still work ... three years after having not been used.
I learned the hard way what happens if you have a car you seldom use. Its computer, which runs all the time, will deplete the battery. I now make sure that the unfavored car is driven weekly. This applies to any car since the early 1990s.
The TV show Revolution concerned a massive (nationwide? worldwide?) power failure. I never watched it but from the promotions it appeared they had access to a lot of steel arrows and the women had all just stepped out of beauty shops.
I never had any intention of watching this series. A friend of mine recorded the first episode, and showed me one scene just for comedic purposes. That was plenty for me.
It's not nearly as good as TWD, but it's an OK way to spend an hour. I agree about Citizen Z (and I like his dog, too, who is arguably a better actor than most of the humans on the show). I think of it as a B-movie for television, and I've seen far worse. Do you guys seriously expect a show like this to make sense? ;)