REVOLUTION (Netflix) is a French zombie series that reimagines the history of the French Revolution as being caused by a disease spreading among the nobility that turns them into undead creatures with an appetite for flesh. Sort of a French version of South Korea’s excellent series KINGDOM, though in this case the zombies retain their faculties. It’s moody, cool, and interesting. Overall, I liked it, though with its complex plot and sometimes sluggish pace, it’s no WORLD WAR Z.
Working at the Bastille prison, Dr. Joseph Guillotin meets a new prisoner alleged to have murdered and partially eaten a number of peasants. He suspects something isn’t right, and eventually uncovers a plague that could transform humanity into a direct food chain. Some in the nobility know something isn’t right and resist; others go along with it; and a resistance group hoping to overthrow them all and institute a republic finds an even greater reason to take action. It’s all leading to a revolution with even greater stakes than its real historical counterpart.
The colors are dark, the actors often somber, the plot complex, the atmosphere moody. And it’s slow, which is probably its biggest difference with KINGDOM, which used humor well, offered plenty of action, and didn’t take itself as seriously. Despite this, I liked REVOLUTION quite a bit and regard it as a terrific reinvention of the zombie in a unique historical context.
The first season ends in a way that promises a second, though unfortunately the show was canceled, which may leave viewers expecting the full-on revolution by the end of season 1 hanging. Regardless, it’s a solid watch, particularly for those looking for something new and interesting with zombies.