Syfy's Z Nation Vs. AMC's The Walking Dead

Syfy’s Z Nation was supposed to be The Walking Dead's cheaper version. In reality what we got was a series that is light-years behind the original TWD in every single parameter that the shows can be compared in. It seems that Syfy managed to copy the zombies perfectly but that was the only thing Syfy managed to do right.
When people ask why is The Walking Dead is so successful?
People might say there’s bunch of zombies and the main characters butcher them in various ways. Sure it's always fun to watch zombies die but if for one second you think that The Walking Dead is so successful because of the various ways zombies get killed, you are terribly mistaken. The Walking Dead is successful because they got great script that transformed into an appealing story, a fantastic cast of actors who do their job and look believable in this post-apocalyptic world. Every character on the show looks interesting with its own baggage that looks genuinely logical and interesting. TWD don’t dwell on solving the world’s problems (until the last season), they present you the Zombie new world as it is without explaining why and how the apocalypse happened they just run for their lives trying to survive and it works. Z Nation’s creators apparently was one of those guys that thought to themselves that TWD is successful because it’s fun watching Zombies get killed, unfortunately you can’t make a successful TV series around that.

Let’s compare The Walking Dead to Z Nation:

Debute scenes

Now if we look at Z Nation it's a completely different story from the get go. we open with a hospital where a bunch of scientists try creating cure apparently by injecting the same formula to 3 people  without changing a thing (who eve3r thought about that brilliant idea shouldn’t  work on TV anymore). Strangely it worked for the 3rd patient and voila we got a cure. If we ignore the stupidity of the entire thing and focus on comparing between TWD and Z Nation opening scenes we see that they have similar environment (hospital) but so different in all other aspects. While Z Nation tried fixing the world, TWD presented a situation where the main character was inserted into a completely new reality with the audience.


Majority of TWD cast were pretty much unknowns when even the familiar faces were not actors that could be really recognizable prior to TWD. Hardcore TV fanatics may remember Andrew Lincoln from the first season of Strike Back, Michael Rooker, Laurie Holden and Norman Reedus from bunch of unimportant stuff. Now if we look at Z Nation the only star power the show had was Harold Perrineau and DJ Qualls. This is an interesting point because before the show aired its main trailer featured Harold Perrineau as the lead man in this Syfy brand new show, and when we watched the pilot episode we were wondering how exactly is it that Harold (who was in Oz, Lost and the Matrix films) ended up in Z Nation? And then he died. After the initial 5 second shock suddenly everything was clear. Syfy pulled a fast one on its audience, convincing them to tune on for Z Nation to see Harold Perrineau but probably lacked the money to pay him or Harold Perrineau lacked the will to continue appearing in this series and the only losers from the entire thing were the viewers that were tricked watching the pilot, whether it’s for Perrineau or the resemblance to The Walking Dead. Great Job Syfy, I bet half of the viewers turned off their TV sets in the first 10 minutes, while the other half did it when Perrineau dropped dead. So the biggest name Z Nation has to offer is DJ Qualls, yea you heard me right it’s the goofy DJ Qualls !!! In the defense of DJ Qualls he is what he is. The problem is the remaining cast of unknowns that was probably picked off the streets of ... I can’t even imagine where can you find people with so little acting ability. The saddest part about the entire pilot was watching Perrineau messed up, bleeding out and a second later watch the camera shift to a bunch of characters that were horribly presented by bad actors and saying to yourselves in the back of your mind “No, I’m not tuning in watching those guys in episode 2”

The script and the story

TWD focuses on character development of all the characters on the show, the original ones and the characters that replaced the ones who died during the 4 seasons. Z Nation focuses ... it’s a hard one ... I don’t know what the hell is Z Nation’s main focus is. Except maybe bashing Zombie heads with maces, shovels and other creative weapons that you can find on the road. The Zombies are a secondary element in TWD while in Z Nation Zombies are everything mainly because there is nothing else, no reasonable script, not decent plot and on top of that horrible acting by everyone who is involved.

If you are a Walking Dead fan like us who thought to yourselves "Hey this Syfy's Z Nation series looks like TWD. Cool another Zombie show and Harold Perrineau from Lost is here, let’s check it out"
DONT spare yourself the pain and agony from a horrible script unbelievable story and atrocious acting. The Walking Dead season 5 is around the corner, take another few weeks to get a quality Zombie series and don’t waste your time on a show like Z Nation.

The Walking Dead Season 1-4 DVD's


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About Sasha Shapiro

Sasha is the founder and editor of Cool Reviews Rule. He is very passionate about Movies, TV Shows and some Books. His favorite genres are: Action, Fantasy, History, Horror, Sci-fi and Adventure.
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  1. Z Nation was originally promoted "in the tradition" of SyFy's hit Sharknado. The over the top, stupid fun thing. However; it is indeed a rip off of The Walking Dead.
    I've watched the episodes so far, I'm not impressed, but still watching. I don't know why.

  2. I watched the first two episodes, the first because of Harold Perrineau, the second ... i dont know why. I dont think im going to watch the 3rd, its just bad on so many levels that ... , again i dont even know why i watched it.