by J. Ellmers
** 2 Stars
Did she become an expert fire-handler, triggered by the apocalypse? Or was she already a flamethrower wielding pre-teen before the bomb went off?
Actors: Colin Ford, Alyvia Alyn Lind, Sophie Simnett, Austin Crute, Matthew Broderick.
Take Mad Max and cross it with Zombieland. Then take that, add a sprinkle of Diary of a Wimpy Kid humour and a dash of Twilight dialogue and you’ll find yourself with Daybreak. It’s 6 months into the apocalypse, and Josh Wheeler’s (Colin Ford) sole reason for surviving so long is to find his English ‘not like the other girls’ girlfriend Sam Dean (Sophie Simnett). All the adults have disappeared, or turned into ‘ghoulies’, presumably because nobody could come up with a better name for zombies after The Walking Dead coined ‘walkers’ already.
Immediately, Josh cements himself as a fourth-wall breaking narrator, which in a series about the end of the world, feels a little out of place. He is constantly speaking directly to the audience, delivering, quite frankly, cringe-y lines which high school students definitely wouldn’t actually say. The dialogue is not the only aspect of the show which is incredibly unrealistic, the Mad Max-esque cliques which include the Jocks and Cheermazons are run entirely by 17 year olds (and below) and are fully on board with murder only half a year after adults are annihilated.
Josh begins to tell his story to the members of the golf team, who stupidly agree to spare his life if he entertains them. The leader of the gang deems Josh’s story as lame, which is most likely the most teenager-y line spoken throughout the entire 45 minute duration of the first episode. Josh saves Angelica (Alyvia Alyn Lind), a 10 year old genius and pyromaniac from the golf team and they move on. The existence of Angelica makes this even more ludicrous. Did she become an expert fire-handler, triggered by the apocalypse? Or was she already a flamethrower wielding pre-teen before the bomb went off? In which case I have to question the sanity of her parents and their child-raising methods.
Josh’s consistent ‘I’ve fallen in love and I really need to find my girlfriend’ gets old quickly and his pining starts to become annoying, as surely he may possibly have other things to worry about, and surviving the apocalypse and avoiding being impaled by notorious gang leader, Baron Triumph should be the main one. A major inconsistency of this however, is the ever shifting range of language used. To say the least, there is copious amounts of expletives used in this episode, even by 10 year old Angelica. But in the next scene, the teens will revert back to childish insults like ‘loser’ or ‘sucker’. It seems as though they attempt to highlight the youth within an adult situation, yet it falls flat and morphs the tone back and forth between serious and light-hearted, and not in a good way.
Daybreak is currently available on Netflix and was rated 15 by the BBFC.