You ask “another zombie themed show, why watch it?” I say it’s an engrossing show that is more about the person than the zombie. It’s about the struggle we all go through for acceptance and that of loneliness, the desire for the former and the need to not be the latter. BBC America aired the second season of In the Flesh this past weekend and, as I’ve come to expect from BBCA, this program does not disappoint (spoilers from season one are included below)
In the Flesh aired last year as a three episode mini series. It was an excellent series and I was surprised and happy when I heard a follow-up season would air. In the Flesh is about Kieren Walker who suffers from PDS – partially deceased syndrome (clever name for a zombie) who is living his life as a zombie living with his parents and his younger sister in a place named Roarton. Season one was all about Kieren coming back home, adjusting to the realization of his new life, the struggle for acceptance of who he is (in more than just the physical sense), and the struggle to combat loneliness.
One thing I love about BBC America dramas is their ability to project so much emotion with so little. Dramas on BBCA do a spectacular job of making you feel what the character is feeling. It’s so easy to connect with the person and relate to them on every level. They do this in simple ways, sometimes by just showing a person’s look combined with the right music, sometimes by only showing a solitary image of a seemingly unrelated object. It provides the right mood and allows you to think like the character. And this was just with a three episode series from last year!
Kieren’s struggle as a human were still there now that he’s a PDS suffer (or “rotter” as the humans refer to them). Kieren became a zombie by killing himself after his best mate was killed in Afghanistan. Kieren had wanted to be cremated but his parents couldn’t go through with it and buried him instead, another thing that Kieren has to struggle to deal with. Once Kieren has gone through all the required acclimatization’s, he is released to live with his family, which isn’t too easy since his sister Jem is part of the Human Volunteer Force (HVF) whose goal is to protect humans from the rotters, at whatever cost.
Other main topics from the first season was the reveal of Kieren and his best friend being gay and the fact they hid that from everyone they knew. Something they continued to hide even after rising from the dead. Kieren’s relationship with his family was another issue. His sister saw him and his zombie friend Amy, almost shooting him, chowing down on some brains before they were given the drugs to make them seem human again. Kieren’s relationship with his parents evolved by his dad opening up and telling his son he cared about him regardless of who he loved or what he was (a zombie).
The second season continues with the themes of acceptance and loneliness. The Undead Liberation Army is not helping things by killing humans as a form of terrorism, while the humans are gaining government power through the Pro-Living Party via Victus. Kieren wants nothing more than to escape to Paris, where the reanimated are more accepted as a part of society. Kieren is a good guy and I hope things don’t go badly for him. In the Flesh is another stellar program from BBC America. If you’re up for a slightly different take on the zombie theme, give this show a try. You won’t be disappointed.