The Zombie of the Veil: Dead Set

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Sarah Hood

Big Brother is one of those TV shows that everyone really enjoys but I never understood why. I also never fully understood the appeal of reality TV, even more so after realizing everything is staged and less reality. The only way I really like reality TV is when it’s in a horroresque setting, like ghost hunting shows where they send contestants in to hunt ghosts in supposedly haunted places. When Dead Set was suggested to me I had never heard of it and was curious just by the name alone. When I read the small synopsis, I laughed and jumped in because it honestly sounded hilarious and was expecting something akin to Shaun of the Dead. Boy was I wrong. It was nothing like Shaun of the Dead, more like 28 Days Later meets Big Brother.

Dead Set does take place in the Big Brother U.K. house, along with the studio around it, with the hand full of survivors in different parts. The story not only takes place in the house and studio but also on the road as a survivor whose girlfriend is trapped in the house tries to make it back to her. It is five episodes of about twenty minutes long that feels more like a movie broken up for dramatic effect and is a bit of an effective story telling tool. You’re not only seeing what’s happening to those in the house but to two other much smaller groups that will eventually combine towards the end.

I’ve never been a big fan of the show Big Brother or the use of fast moving zombies in zombie films. I don’t understand the appeal of having zombies that can run marathons when after a while the human that’s fleeing it will tire out. It doesn’t matter if that person use to run miles every day before the apocalypse, they will eventually tire out. Not to mention, if it was truly a dead creature the running would tear its limbs from its body. Dead Set takes place primarily in the studio during an elimination night of Big Brother. From inside the control center of the show, we see news reports about rioting. Like every other zombie movie or show, they never tell you what has caused the zombie outbreak, either for dramatic effect or for choosing to leave it up to the viewers to try and figure it out.

The show doesn’t just stay focused on the people in the studio but a few outside it as well. Kelly, who works in the studio as a runner for her boss Patrick and is one of the main people you follow in the coming episodes of the show, speaks with her boyfriend Riq who is trying to get to the studio. But, Riq is carjacked on the way by a family whose daughter was bitten by something. Sophie and Pippa’s mother are also on their way with their driver who was attacked and bitten after stopping to help a family.

The episodes themselves aren’t very long, only lasting about twenty minutes, and the show had only five episodes. I really did not enjoy the show because instead of coming up with better solutions in a very timely manner the people inside the house continued to argue and make light of the situation until face to face with it. Many folks will argue with me about this saying that is just how humans are in a stressful situation. I’d like to point out that the people inside the house were under complete surveillance twenty-four hours a day. Only one person realized something was up. They portray the people in the house as really dumb even off-camera. The only character who seemed to be above this is Greyson who is a nurse outside of the Big Brother house.

Moving past my dislikes of the show and the issues I feel are very glaring in it, there were a few scenes I had issues with many of them being just plain gross. I know many of you are sitting there like “it’s a zombie show, there’s going to be gross scenes” and yes, I agree with you on this. But I can completely do without the sight of someone caving in a zombie’s skull with a fire extinguisher and seeing someone use the bathroom in a bucket. Both of those within the first two episodes. The episodes aren’t all bad, seeing two people yelling at a zombie to shut up will never not be funny to me.

Dead Set isn’t my cup of tea, surprisingly enough. But I would recommend it to others just to watch their reaction of this horrid train wreck of a show. If you want to check it out it’s on Netflix and I do welcome feedback on what others thought of it.

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