All of us are dead is a good zombie drama

I’ve watched two episodes of All of us are dead, a Netflix 12-part drama about a zombie virus outbreak in a South Korean high school. So far I’m enjoying it.

It’s very difficult to do anything new with the first day of a zombie plague. All that can happen is everyone runs around screaming; after a while the same old story gets boring. Despite that, there was plenty to keep me interested in the first two hours of All of us are dead.

Writers Kim Nam-soo and J.Q. Lee have done a great job of introducing characters who feel like real students, parents and teachers. Scenes about friendship, crushes and bullying quickly add together to make the characters feel familiar.

Look away now to avoid spoilers.

Picture of a dwarf hamster

Of course, one thing that’s different in almost all zombie dramas is the cause of the outbreak. This is often where the writers get to do something half-way original. Over the years we’ve had viruses buried in the ice, parasitic worms, chemical leaks, and even genetically engineered sheep.

In All of us are dead, the cause is a science teacher who wants his son to stand up to bullies. He injects him with a hormone distilled from animals but the experiment goes terribly wrong.

The school’s bullying problem is severe. The first episode even includes a horrible scene of male students assaulting a female student. Two other recent Netflix K-dramas, Squid Game and Hellbound, have carried a strong element of social commentary in their stories. I wonder if All of us are dead is going to do the same thing.

All of us are dead has received a 100% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

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