TV, Interrupted: Post-Zombie Apocalypse Series In The Flesh Was Buried Too Soon – /Film

Zombies aren't the first thing you'd associate with the distinctly British genre of kitchen sink dramas, but "In the Flesh" works perfectly by guessing that British people would probably deal with the post-zombie apocalypse the same way we deal with all other uncomfortable topics: by not talking about them.

Even as he is plagued by visions of killing people and eating brains while in his pre-medicated state, the doctor-prescribed treatment for Kieren's trauma is to dissociate from it completely. After bluntly stating "I'm a zombie, and I killed people," he is corrected and forced to recite the mantra:"I am a Partially Deceased Syndrome sufferer, and what I did in my untreated state was not my fault."

In group therapy, he stumbles over the approved phrasing while trying to express the enormity of the horror and guilt he feels.Among his fellow PDS sufferers, there seem to be only two acceptable views: either they are entirely innocent and not accountable for anything they did while rabid, or they were justified in killing because there was a war between the living and the dead, and they were in "survival mode." There's no room for Kieren's guilt among either group. Ahead of his release from the treatment center, he's given makeup and colored contact lenses so that he can appear "normal" in public. The great machine of British culture and politics is keen to paper over the whole zombie issue. Keep calm and carry on.

When Kieren goes home, things become even more absurd as his parents create a desperate veneer of normality. Kieren is gay, and died by suicide after his boyfriend was killed in Afghanistan. Along with these facts, his undead state becomes just another taboo topic that he's expected to stay quiet about. Instead of telling Kieren that he can't leave the house because his neighbors might murder him, his dad cheerfully tells him about all the board games and DVDs they've bought to keep him entertained. When Kieren tells his mother he can't eat food any more, she asks him to "pretend," and he's forced to pantomime cutting up the food and eating it. His parents bring him cups of coffee that he can't drink. And when prospective buyers come to view the house, Kieren's father literally shoves him into the closet.

Of course, not everyone is willing to play along, especially in Roarton. Outside of the politically correct pamphlets handed out to PDS sufferers and their families, the undead are derided as "rotters" by people still reeling from the horrors of the Rising. In lieu of frank discussion there is extremism, hate, and fear. The recent societal collapse has primed Britain for further unrest and full-blown fascism. Kieren watches as his undead neighbor, an elderly woman, is dragged from her home and executed in the street in front of her sobbing husband. When he tries to broach the subject of the "crazy night" to his parents the next morning, his father agrees that it was a crazy night ... of weather, and turns the topic of conversation to rainfall and drainage.

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TV, Interrupted: Post-Zombie Apocalypse Series In The Flesh Was Buried Too Soon - /Film

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Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero
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