Being unemployed, I spend a large part of my time consuming media of some sort. Movies, documentaries, articles, tv-series, you name it. Most of the time, it`s case of “watch/read and move on”, often even forgetting I`ve seen it or what it was actually about.
But sometimes? Sometimes I come across something that really grabs me, something that stays with me, where the characters will still roam around in my head.
The day before yesterday I came across one of these gems. There`s a BBC mini-series called “In The Flesh”, it`s only 9 hour-long episodes spread over 2 seasons, with mostly unknown actors. It`s plot is about zombies being reintegrated into society.
And it`s mind-bogglingy good.
The story is about Kieren Walker, a PDS sufferer (Partially Deceased Syndrom sufferer) who is declared cured enough to go back to his hometown, the fictional Roarton, Lancashire. Here, he finds that things are even more tough than expected – there is blatant prejudice and discrimination towards PDS sufferers, Kieren`s little sister Jem is part of the Human Volunteer Force and has fought rabid (untreated) PDS sufferers and ended up with PTSD, his parents are struggling not just with Kieren`s PDS but also with the suicide that got him dead in the first place.
This story is a whole new take on the zombie genre. It`s no standard “zombie apocalypse with slow-walking grunting zoms everywhere that need to be shot”, there is no standard “society has fallen and every man fights for himself” story. Instead, we get a continuation of society, we get very real-life human stories and the different ways people deal with what happens to them.
There are themes of discrimination, segregation, PTSD, belonging, finding your own place, being proud of who you are, sexuality (Kieren is gay/bi/pan – nothing`s confirmed aside from not-straight), depression/suicide, radicalism, and even extremist politics and terrorism.
The story is extremely well-written, save for some plotholes or seemingly forgotten plotlines here and there. But the characters – and I do mean every character – are well-rounded, they all have their own 3 dimensional characters and backgrounds and ways of responding to everything that`s happened and still happening. The cinematography is stunning, making good use of the gloomy surroundings of a small village in northern England. There is immense focus on details, right up to “PDS friendly” hotels in Europe.
Basically? I cried almost every episode, everything hurts and everything is great and everyone should watch this show so I can properly rant with people.
No wait it`s not. Here`s the thing: this show is amazing, it`s new, it makes everything hurt in all the right ways. And it might be discontinued. BBC3, the channel that aired In The Flesh, is being cancelled due to budgetary restraints. It`s moving online, but it`s not certain if BBC3 can take all their shows with them online. And In The Flesh is one of the shows in danger of being cancelled, due to low viewers ratings.
So, if you`re interested in this show, please do go watch it. And if you can, make sure you watch it on BBC iPlayer or On Demand, to get those viewers ratings up. Share this show, get other people to watch it as well. Have it on in the background while you do something else. Talk about it online (using the hashtags #intheflesh and #saveintheflesh). Let the BBC and The Powers That Be know that you appreciate this show and want to see more of it. Because shows like this one are rare and precious and should be saved.
Also I want to see more Sad Zombie Boyfriends.
Let`s do this, everyone!