Netflix May Have Just Revived The Zombie Genre

Netflix May Have Just Revived The Zombie Genre

Santa Clarita Diet takes a new spin on an overexposed genre.
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The recently release Netflix original Santa Clarita Diet may not just be a gory spin on the suburban sitcom, but the future of the zombie genre.

It all started in 1968 with George Romero's Night of the Living Dead. The controversial little B-movie captured the public consciousness like few films have in history. After a long hiatus, Romero returned to the genre he created with 1978's Dawn of the Dead and 1985's Day of the Dead. Zombies dominated 1980s horror, from surreal gorefests like The Beyond to horror comedies like Return of the Living Dead. After years of growing popularity, the genre almost ceased to exist by the end of the decade.

In 2004, the genre was suddenly revived by the back-to-back hits of Shaun of the Dead and Zack Snyder's Dawn of the Dead remake. Just a year earlier, a little comic called The Walking Dead had been launched as well, the TV adaptation of which proved to be the peak of the genre's popularity. After years of sustained dominance in movies, comics, video games, and books, zombies have developed something of an overexposure problem.

For every creative project like Max Brook's World War Z, there's a dozen derivative cash-grabs.The Walking Dead remains immensely popular, but its audience seems to have reached its limit, having peaked two seasons ago. The sequel to 2013's World War Z (an adaptation of Brook's novel in name only), once scheduled for release this summer, has been put on hold indefinitely. It seems that the genre may be on the verge of a collapse as it was at the end of the '80s.

This is where Santa Clarita Diet comes in. The show follows married couple Sheila and Joel, a pair of Californian realtors. After coming down with a strange illness, Sheila wakes up with a sudden craving for flesh and no heartbeat. While the characters avoid the term zombie as "inherently negative," that's clearly what she is.

Romero's zombie films were innovative at the time, but innovation becomes cliche after being copied several hundred times. The only way for zombies to survive is to branch out a bit. Screenwriter Max Landis once related a statement from his father, director John Landis, about rules in fiction. Giving the example of how to kill a vampire, he argues that a creator can make up whatever rules they want about fictional concepts. Screenwriters and novelists are not bound by the rules of previous zombie stories, only by the rules they make for their own stories.

Santa Clarita Diet is a great example of how zombies can be done. It ticks enough boxes (undead, eats flesh, etc.) for the protagonist to qualify as a zombie, but it makes up its own rules. This kind of zombie remains intelligent after death, but returns with a lack of impulse control. She still has a conscience, and tries to only eat people that have done something to deserve it. It approaches the tropes of zombie stories from a unique angle, rather than simply using them as a gimmick.

The real problem is not the genre, but a lack of imagination. If zombies continue to retread familiar beats, people will lose interest. The key, as usual, is to convince people why they should care about a given story in particular, rather than solely relying on stories that have come before.

Cover Image Credit: Netflix

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30 Things I'd Rather Be Than 'Pretty'

Because "pretty" is so overrated.
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Nowadays, we put so much emphasis on our looks. We focus so much on the outside that we forget to really focus on what matters. I was inspired by a list that I found online of "Things I Would Rather Be Called Instead Of Pretty," so I made my own version. Here is a list of things that I would rather be than "pretty."

1. Captivating

I want one glance at me to completely steal your breath away.

2. Magnetic

I want people to feel drawn to me. I want something to be different about me that people recognize at first glance.

3. Raw

I want to be real. Vulnerable. Completely, genuinely myself.

4. Intoxicating

..and I want you addicted.

5. Humble

I want to recognize my abilities, but not be boastful or proud.

6. Exemplary

I want to stand out.

7. Loyal

I want to pride myself on sticking out the storm.

8. Fascinating

I want you to be hanging on every word I say.

9. Empathetic

I want to be able to feel your pain, so that I can help you heal.

10. Vivacious

I want to be the life of the party.

11. Reckless

I want to be crazy. Thrilling. Unpredictable. I want to keep you guessing, keep your heart pounding, and your blood rushing.

12. Philanthropic

I want to give.

13. Philosophical

I want to ask the tough questions that get you thinking about the purpose of our beating hearts.

14. Loving

When my name is spoken, I want my tenderness to come to mind.

15. Quaintrelle

I want my passion to ooze out of me.

16. Belesprit

I want to be quick. Witty. Always on my toes.

17. Conscientious

I want to always be thinking of others.

18. Passionate

...and I want people to know what my passions are.

19. Alluring

I want to be a woman who draws people in.

20. Kind

Simply put, I want to be pleasant and kind.

21. Selcouth

Even if you've known me your whole life, I want strange, yet marvelous. Rare and wondrous.

22. Pierian

From the way I move to the way I speak, I want to be poetic.

23. Esoteric

Do not mistake this. I do not want to be misunderstood. But rather I'd like to keep my circle small and close. I don't want to be an average, everyday person.

24. Authentic

I don't want anyone to ever question whether I am being genuine or telling the truth.

25. Novaturient

..about my own life. I never want to settle for good enough. Instead I always want to seek to make a positive change.

26. Observant

I want to take all of life in.

27. Peart

I want to be honestly in good spirits at all times.

28. Romantic

Sure, I want to be a little old school in this sense.

29. Elysian

I want to give you the same feeling that you get in paradise.

30. Curious

And I never want to stop searching for answers.
Cover Image Credit: Favim

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10 Places From Movies And TV You Can Visit In Real Life

It's like stepping into Hollywood!

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I am constantly so enamored by the world of Hollywood and by going to visit places I have seen on screen. It's always such an unreal feeling to see where my favorite pieces of entertainment were shot. Here are 10 places from some of our favorite movies to see and visit in the real world!

The High School from "10 Things I Hate About You"

If you have ever wanted to dance on the same stairs as Heath Ledger or just stand in the same courtyard as Julia Stiles then you're in luck! Along the water in Tacoma, Washington, Stadium High School is located which was used both inside and out as the high school from one of the greatest teen movies of all time. This school is massive and so beautiful it's almost Hogwarts level stunning.

Pacific Coast Academy from  "Zoey 101"

Growing up I always dreamed about going to Pacific Coast Academy and being best friends with Jamie Lynn Spears and one of those things can (kinda) become a reality! Located in Malibu is a beautiful campus called Pepperdine University and it is the school they used to shoot scenes of Zoey and the gang at PCA. It is a christian based college and is prestigious in it's own right so if unlike me you are smart enough you can live out my dreams.

Central City Police Department from "The Flash"

Have you ever wanted to show up to Detective Joe West's place of work? Well head to the Vancouver City Hall in Vancouver, Canada and you will recognize your surroundings as the Central City Police Department! If you are lucky enough to show up on a filming day, you might even seen the man himself — Barry Allen.

Forks High School from The Twilight Saga

Personally, I am more invested in Bella and Jacob but for all my Team Edward ladies (and gentleman) you can visit the real-life school where Bella and Edward first met and their love blossomed into whatever obsessive weird thing it was. They also used the parking lot at this school to film the infamous scene where Edward saves Bella from getting crushed by a car. The school is called Kalama High School and is located in Kalama, Washington

Max And Dani's House from "Hocus Pocus"

Anyone with taste loves the movie Hocus Pocus — that's just facts! And I have some good news for fans of the film...you can visit the infamous Denison house! Located in none other than Salem, Massachusetts you will find this beautiful home where my favorite siblings once lived.

Silent Hill from "Silent Hill"

I will say before talking about this place that visiting it is EXTREMELY dangerous as just like in the movie the town as been burning from below for years and years. This small town is called Centralia and is located Pennsylvania and has a roaring population of about four people.

Hobbiton from "Lord Of The Rings"

I am personally not a fan of Lord of the Rings but I know a lot of people are so I wanted to include this super cool place on the list. If you ever find yourself in New Zealand you can visit Hobbinton from the movies and spend a day living like your favorite characters.

Platform 9 3/4 from the Harry Potter Series

Now this place will unfortunately be packed with muggles of course but you can find it at King's Cross Station in London! If you are anything like me and are obsessed with these magical movies this is a dream destination just don't run too hard at the wall if you're a muggle it will probably end in a concussion.

East High from the High School Musical Saga

Located in Salt Lake City Utah is the real life East High that was used in the filming of all three High School Musical movies. It is my absolute dream to attend this high school and walk the halls of the greatest high school of all time. They used both the outside and inside and the school so every inch of the school will remind you of these great teen movies.

Gus and Hazel's Bench from "The Fault in Our Stars" 

If you ever wanted to visit the site of this kiss between star crossed lovers you're in luck! Located along a canal in Amsterdam is a bench that is clearly marked by all the fault in our stars graffiti. Recreate this cute picture with your significant other and use a quote from the movie — then you'll just win in life.

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