Are Zombies Dying (Again)?


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Recently, I listened to Anthony Cumia (on The Anthony Cumia Show) describing a new video game, called “H1Z1”. His description of it makes me want to play. It’s a MMO, or Mass Multiplayer Online, video game where you navigate through a large world, along with several other online players, fighting for survival in a post-apocalyptic, zombie infested world. It sounds like fun. But, mostly for the factor of fighting other living people. Cumia even so much as stated that the zombies are mainly there in the background, and the game should just be called “Murder” because that’s all it really is.

A few weeks ago, I tuned in to the mid-season premiere of The Walking Dead. But, as I watched, I noted that there was something different this time. As great as the episode was, I wasn’t enjoying it as much as I had enjoyed previous episodes from previous seasons. This time around, I was watching it just as something to watch while waiting for the premiere of Better Call Saul, the Breaking Bad prequel/spin-off starring Bob Odenkirk as the shady lawyer, Jimmy McGill (known later, in the Breaking Bad years, as Saul Goodman). How many more seasons of The Walking Dead can there possibly be? How many seasons do we need of the undead, walking slowly and going “Uuuuuuuggghhhh”, while living people fight to somehow survive? WE GET IT!


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So, what was it that made me feel this way about a show that I used to be a big fan of? This has happened in the past, with other shows. I was a major fan of HBO’s True Blood series. Then, in the middle of the third season or so, I had lost interest. I think, in that instance, it was more of a thing where they were attempting to shoehorn too many types of characters into the series. It started out as a vampire show, and all of a sudden there’s werewolves, fairies, witches, you name it. It became overkill. On top of that, vampires just weren’t cool anymore. The Twilight series, which I admit I never gave a chance to, came along and ruined vampires for a lot of people. There was also The Vampire Diaries, which I had no interest in watching. Vampires everywhere. Even Abraham Lincoln was hunting them! They were jumping the shark (a term used for shows losing their coolness factor, based on the time Happy Days was ruined by Arthur Fonzarelli jumping over a shark on a pair of water skis). Vampires were done.

Could this be shark jumping time for zombies? It certainly feels like overkill. Zombies are everywhere. It seems like there’s 2 or 3 zombie video games released every month. There’s multiple releases of “Plants vs Zombies”. On cable, in addition to The Walking Dead on AMC, there’s also Z-Nation on SyFy. It seems that every direct-to-dvd movie is “Something Zombies”. There’s “Strippers vs Zombies”. There’s “Abraham Lincoln vs Zombies”. I had no idea our 16th President was so busy battling evil. There’s even a “Pro Wrestlers vs Zombies”, which I admit sounds fun. But how much of it do we need? I think this craze is finally on its way out.


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What will be the next thing? I really love the Better Call Saul series that I patiently waited through The Walking Dead to see. Maybe ambulance chasing lawyers will be the next big thing? Or maybe Odenkirk is really the best in that role, and can’t be touched by anyone else who tries it. Whatever follows the popularity of zombies, and the vampires before them, it needs to come along soon. What do you think? Are zombies not as dead as I think? Are robots the next thing? What will the next thing be? Email me, or tweet me!


– Jason Smith

Twitter: @ComedianJasonS