I spent much of the last four days becoming completely enamoured of absolutely everything involving the BBC show In the Flesh
, and now I'm desperate for someone else I know to watch it so we can talk. Honestly, I want my book club to watch it, all of you to watch it, something...there is so much to talk about. I've started a fic, I'm re-watching from the beginning, I'm just...into it.
Anyway, here's my little plug, hoping a few of you, especially those of you interested in the progress of queer representation in media, might give it a go. If it was still June, I'd totally be reccing this for lgbtq_recs
Let me start by being clear: my least favorite genre of ANYTHING is horror (ugh), and I am not at all interested in zombies, etc, by nature. I had to be talked into trying this show out over the course of several weeks of reading recs from various sources. This is not a horror story or even mostly about zombies (well it is, but it isn't).
Here's the concept: There was a zombie rising, several years before the start of the series. This was followed by a war, mostly fought by volunteer militias in local communities. Eventually, the living win the war due to the invention of a drug that can bring the zombies back to their past state. They are still dead, but they remember who they are, no longer kill for brains, and can be integrated back into society. That's where the show starts. The main character, Kieran, is a recovered zombie (partially deceased syndrome sufferer) who is being sent back to his small village to live with his family again.
Of course, he was dead before he was a zombie so returning to his family is, as you can imagine, fraught.
It's a great concept, and then it just gets better and better. There is such rich metaphor and allegory throughout, touching really big subjects such as identity, being closeted, mental health, chronic illness, prejudice, extremism, suicide, PTSD...all really thought provoking, sometimes really funny, and beautifully written. The fantastical zombie plot is treated with utter realism, from the horrible make-up "mousse" and contact lenses the PDS sufferers have to wear, to the grim, dull small town life in the village, to the way the families react to having their dead loved-ones returned to them...it's all so damn good. The characters and acting are all suberb- it's just great. Oh, the characters! My heart.
This is not a light show...it's very very sad in parts, like actual-crying-while-watching sad, but it's worth it, and is balanced by some really joyful moments too.
Note to others who dislike gore and horror: The absolute worst, grossest images of the entire series take place in the first two minutes of the first episode. It is not a gross show in general, and the few images of zombie business that are shown are all really important and quick. Just FYI. If it's a deal breaker for you, ask and I can tell you when to fast forward or look away (I love when people do that for me!).
If you might give a try, you can buy episodes from Amazon
. There are only 9 episodes total! TRY! THEN COME TALK TO ME!