Netflix ‘Daybreak’: Offensive, Mindless, Apocalyptic Millennial Fun!
I’m kinda pissed right now.
Someone took two of my favorite things and mashed them into ONE awesome series. Those two things are ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ and a zombie apocalypse.
And this new thing has a name, and it’s called DAYBREAK! 😀
Which is Dope asf and I’m pissed I didn’t think of it myself!!
Netflix’s DAYBREAK is one of those great little finds that pop up when you least expect it, kinda like finding crumpled dollar bills when you’re doing laundry. It’s a story about Kids left behind in a world after a nuclear fallout turns all adults into mindless zombies. How to best describe it??
Think, one part Saved By The Bell
One part Zombieland
One part Scott Pilgrim
and one part Mad Max
If you’re a fan of ANY of those you will like Daybreak 😉 It rocks a great cast with a hilarious script and ridiculous sight gags and this series is funny from start to finish!
The story centers around students from Glendale High somewhere in SoCal. All the elements of High School life are here: the slackers, the stoners, the jocks, the cheerleaders, the cool kids, the cliques, the losers, the nerds, the drama club, the band kids, etc… Plus nuclear fallout and MINUS parents. You’d think everything falls to shit but actually, the kids do a decent (and hilarious) job of keeping things running!
The main guy is high school loner Josh Wheeler (aka ‘Just Josh’) -a slacker who makes the MOST of the apocalypse by scavenging and maintaining his anonymity. Early on he boasts about how awesome his life is during the apocalypse – But things quickly turn dangerous when he goes on a quest to save his missing girlfriend, social butterfly Sam Dean.
Along the way Josh meets his (more interesting) supporting cast who joins him on his quest…
Wesley Fists – reformed jock/samurai ronin warrior (yep)
Angelica Green – 10-yo genius pyromaniac
Eli Cardashyan – wannabe socialite/ survivor/would-be dictator
I must say that Angelica, introduced early as Foul-mouthed Girl Who Loves to Start Fires, turns out to be THE standout character. In fact [**SLIGHT SPOILER**] her episode narration is IMO, the highlight of the entire series! That, plus the PERFECT guest star in Matthew Broderick (THE Ferris Bueller!), who plays the high school principal. His appearance adds another twist to the plot!
When Daybreak is on point it kicks SO MUCH ASS (“badder and more asser!”).
The satire is razor sharp and the sight gags are hilarious. There is a lot of self-referencing and breaking the 4th wall, which becomes a staple throughout the series. The show also uses clever Flashbacks and OVERLAPPING flashbacks and crossover narrations. It’s a bit confusing at first, until you realize that the show is actually poking fun of itself by trying to be overly-melodramatic in the middle of all the ridiculousness lol
When the series sticks to being outrageous, it SHINES (all the different school cliques form tribes. Cheermazons? – Brilliant.)
It’s only When the series tries to tackle social issues that it feels a bit awkward (outdated ’80s references and gay-jokes? Hmmm, idk…)
EXHIBIT A: [**Slight Spoiler #2**] At one point the mood shifts into ‘SHOCKING GAY REVEAL’. But You kinda already knew the character was gay and it was a bit unnecessary. Once he openly comes out, the gay jokes start flying. The rhythm of the series feels forced. I was thinking, ‘For kids who survived a nuclear war and zombie parents, being Black (gasp!) and GAY (shock!) is… kinda beside the point??’ *shrugs*
(NOTE: the Black Gay male protagonist angle was first explored 22 years ago, waaaaaay back in 1997. Kevin Smith’s tiny masterpiece ‘Chasing Amy‘. I’m just sayin’)
Overall, the series is excellent! Dark comedy, plenty of sight gags, vicious humor, and at times downright offensive! Daybreak borrows a few ideas from other shows (Z Nation, Zombieland) but manages to create its own unique universe, its own vibe, and its own language. Each episode is roughly 25-minutes long, perfect amount of time to never get boring.
A few times it slows down to get all YA-drama on us, but for the most part Daybreak is so creatively bizarre that just when you THINK you have it figured out, it swerves off the rails – which is a good thing!
All that, plus a great ending that sets up for an EPIC sequel.
I will be there 🙂