Those familiar with Gilligan’s Island can’t forget the opening song, and this series tries to create the same catchy beat. The song is a lot of fun to listen to, and kind of makes me want to chant “Sponge Bob Square Pants!” Getting past the song, each episode runs maybe 5-6 minutes give or take. They certainly try to stick to the sitcom theme, as each episode tries to hit on one or two major comedic punch lines before ending. Most of the episodes accomplish this, however it would be nice if they were a little longer, and able to cover more ground in the overall story.
Digging deeper let me briefly touch on each of the first 5 episodes. While it might be entertaining watching Gilligan run from zombies, this story begins as Barry (Gary Rolin), and his daughter Sara (Jennifer Losi) try to make it to their house in the woods before the zombies get them. The comedic aspect to the series starts off well, as there is a funny moment when Gary has to go through his entire set of keys to find the right one to open the fence. Soon enough, they make it in the house, and the audience is introduced to a group of survivors who have already taken shelter in the house.
Episode 2 begins with the introduction of the most interesting character in the series, uncle Lester (Michael Perrick). Lester is part human, part zombie. I’ll let you watch the episode to figure out how that is possible. I do like the creativity, and it adds a different element to the group. If the audience is looking for zombie kills, this is the episode. Lester shows the group how to kill zombies, and they finish with one of the survivors going crazy on one of them. It ends with a good mix of comedy, and zombie death.
In episode 3, the group finds out that one of the survivors, Banks (Tim Sands) has been bitten. Before they can discuss it, they get a call from someone in the military saying they will send help for them. This seems a little too random to me, but is a good excuse to introduce a special guest star to the series. The episode then tries to end on another comedic note, but just doesn’t cut it. This is one episode that certainly needs to be expended, and is my least favorite of the first 5 episodes.
The audience gets to know Sara a little better in the beginning of episode 4. She talks to one of the other survivors about her mother, and how they got to the cabin. This is a shorter episode than some of the others, but has a good joke involving pot. It really seems like this episode should have been part of the previous one. Therefore episode 3 would have ended on a higher note.
Episode 5 revisits the discussion about what to do with Banks, who begins to turn. This episode kind of brings together themes from the previous episodes. The group finds out how the search and rescue team are doing, a survivor goes crazy again, Sara still has issues with her father, and finally a zombie gets someone! It really feels like a complete episode, and actually has one of the best endings in the series so far.
Life, with Zombies has a good theme, and setting for a short web series. There is a good mix of characters, including a very interesting one in uncle Lester. It isn’t so much about killing zombies, or a zombie killing them, although there are some of those moments if that is what the audience is looking for. It sticks to a sitcom theme trying to hit the audience with many punch lines as possible in a brief period of time. I give this web series 2.5 pools of blood, and look forward to seeing the upcoming episodes!