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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!




( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 23rd, 2014 12:18 am (UTC)
I watched that!!! Loved it. As ever, the humans post-apocalypse are the scariest thing. Kieran is a great character. I really enjoyed season 2.
Jul. 23rd, 2014 01:08 am (UTC)
That's me, by the way. Used a wireless device that didn't know who I was, and apparently I can't recall my password, either. *rolls eyes*

I also fell in love with Whitechapel. Have you ever seen that? Lovely characters, one with OCD issues, and a young policeman with a serious man-crush (or more) on his boss. Sweet.
Jul. 23rd, 2014 01:11 am (UTC)
Hahaha! There you are! We posted at the same moment *see below*
Jul. 23rd, 2014 01:34 am (UTC)
I love In The Flesh! I watched the first season last year and it broke my heart. I love Luke Newberry and his acting and I adore Emily Bevan.

Looking forward to Season Two!

Have you been watching Halt And Catch Fire, the 1980s Mad Men :p?
Jul. 23rd, 2014 02:49 am (UTC)
Hi hon!! *hug*
Get thee to Season 2! Great character development, interesting politics, aannngggsttt!!!, a couple of surprising romances...SO GOOD.
Ooo, and I don't know Halt and Catch Fire. I must look and see.
Jul. 24th, 2014 12:41 pm (UTC)
Hee! Yeah looking really forward to it!

Halt And Catch Fire needs two episodes to get really good but I like it now. Also I'm an admirer of Lee Pace's eyebrows so I'm biased.
Jul. 23rd, 2014 08:49 pm (UTC)
Whitechapel is now on the watch list. *nod* Heard of it, but haven't seen. Yay, more good stuff!

I just finished watching all of ITF for a second time, and am even more convinced of the show's brilliance. I was reading another blog about it which pointed out that there were so many places where the show could have gone so wrong, on issues, character, plot, gender, sexuality, etc, and so far they have managed to walk this delicate line of complex, troubling content but really beautifully handled. There's so many examples, but something like the moral greyness of the ULA (Simon's group), where as a viewer you are left still unsure- is this a good thing? are just some of the members extremists? who is really speaking for the organization? terrorists? Amy? Simon? It's all really tricky, and so well done- it's why I can't stop thinking about the damn thing.

I have a couple of hours to write now, so I'll see how far I get...
Jul. 23rd, 2014 01:09 am (UTC)
Hurrah! Indeed, the heroes and villains get flipped so quickly from the standard zombie trope, but I really like that there are sympathetic characters on all sides.
And yes, SEASON 2. Oh god. Now I'm paranoid that there will be no season 3, so I'm recruiting more fans...;)

PS Are you truly a mystery anon, or is this one of my friends who forgot to log in?? Fine either way, just wondering.
Jul. 23rd, 2014 01:13 am (UTC)
The fic I've started is a Simon character study so far...with a heavy dose of Kieran eventually. SEASON 2! I need an ITF icon.
Jul. 23rd, 2014 01:17 am (UTC)
(I'm supposed to be making dinner. More soon.)
Jul. 23rd, 2014 03:47 am (UTC)
I'm like you with the whole disliking horror & zombie things, but after "True Detective", I've eased my stance on certain genres of horror, and this sounds kind of interesting. Any idea if it's available on Amazon Prime? I've never heard of it.

And since we're talking about media.... have you seen the last of the Simon Pegg/Nick Frost "Cornetto Trilogy" movies, "The World's End"? Because I would love to know if you got the same Sirius-type vibes from Pegg's character as I did, and if you thought the same thing about where it might could lead. (Honestly, first time I ever considered writing a crossover of anything...)
Jul. 23rd, 2014 08:37 pm (UTC)
Hi Neha! SO great to see you as always. Where have you landed? Back in my neck of the woods or still down south? I'm curious for an update when you're up for it.

Back to zombies...as far as I know, you have to pay for the episodes, but you can stream on Amazon Prime. If you're willing, it's great to actually pay for it, since this show is not getting a huge viewership, so the more obvious, paying watchers, the better in order to get a Season 3 going...there must be a season 3!! ;) I just finished watching the entire series a second time (again, only 9 episodes), and can definitely be a spotter for you with the horror bits if you want. (Short version: if there's a scene in an almost empty supermarket, be on alert that there might be something icky involving brains.) The worst is all concentrated in episode 1, honestly. On second watch, I'm even more convinced of this show's brilliance. So many hard, complicated issues handled so well. Season 1 is like a really compelling 3 hour movie, and then series 2 really starts to fly from there.

No, I'm not familiar with the Cornetto movies, and clearly must fix that immediately! I like the idea of you and writing fic again, crossover or no crossover...have you been writing at all for yourself?
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )