Black Summer Season 1 Review

May 1, 2019 at 3:23am
By Jason Stettner

This is a Netflix Original Series that takes place within the early days of the zombie apocalypse. The show follows multiple perspectives and then connects them to a degree as things progress. It brings a somewhat realistic take on this element of survival as not everyone lives, and it’s best not to get attached to anyone. With that aspect of life being fragile, you really don’t get to know any of the survivors.

There’s really no character development here, and it felt rushed as they go from place to place. It’s frantic as this part of the apocalypse should be, but at the same time it would have been better to have more context into who these people that have banded together are. They do have some brief moments where they chat, but for the most part they’re skipping along to the next location. It feels rather low budget in style, and the coloring is most certainly bland. There’s no sense of color, or even grit and it just looks faded out.

It was however neat to notice some local locations as it was, at least partly shot where I’m located. Moving past that, it just didn’t really dig into the apocalypse enough. There were moments where it felt like a chaotic time, whereas other times it felt too empty for the apocalypse. Very rarely did you see bunches of zombies, despite the ultra quick turn over rate. Even a small town would have hordes due the fast changing that’s possible.
Black Summer Season 1 Wallpaper
The zombies were rather deadly when they did come into play. Death brought these creatures back quickly, and with improved aggression. There was a sense of danger around them, and just with any of the characters that were shown. At the start it was a decent showcase of what might happen in this situation.

In terms of things falling apart, there was chaos and confusion. It did get rather silent quickly and towards the latter part of the brief season it got rather silly. At one point they’re pulling off a heist almost randomly and then it twists into some massive gunplay which was so weird. It looked fake at that point with people walking in front of fire, or the lines of sight for individuals that were firing at zombies. Basically, people would mostly be shooting other opeople.

For the most part the gore and violence was well done, they should have kept things more intimate over the progression of the season. I did find the use of chapters to be a fun addition, to give context on what was happening. A lot of this was rather silly, the school portion and the end as I’ve mentioned previously.

The Conclusion

Black Summer Season 1 delivers some well developed zombie apocalypse scenes, while coming across as silly at times. It should have kept things smaller, more closed off and that would have worked better. When it gets larger in scope, it doesn’t make much sense and it’s just weird. It was great to see some local spots, hardly anything is shot around here. That doesn’t factor into the scoring or anything, just something neat to mention I suppose.

The characters were plentiful and unsafe, they mostly felt empty though. There’s no development, but a diverse group for sure. That layered into some neat perspectives and the change-up of following different individuals really worked here. I just wish the content had more substance to it, it felt rather light at times. The camera is also rather shaky in style, but that makes sense due to the constant movement. There are many intense chases, and the zombies feel like a threat for the most part. I wish the color wasn’t drained so much, it made the world look too dreary and unrealistic across the show.

I’m not sure what else they could do with this one, things wrap up well and perhaps they would just show new characters. Despite the well done violence, the slight realism of situation, I wasn’t too thrilled by this. They definitely could have done better with this one, the potential was there.

Black Summer Season 1 Review at Home with Streamed Viewing
Content Access was Provided by Netflix

Rating Overall: 5.0

Gamerheadquarters Reviewer Jason Stettner