Blogger from the 9th Floor of the Tower
Impressions after first two seasons (some *spoiler-warning*)
yesterday I did it - I passed episode #24 and therefore concluded the second season of WA; and I also listened to episode #25 as an opener of season 3.
And I still am impressed. I don't remember havin' listened to anything comparable - except, maybe, the audio-book-version of "World War Z".
But truth also is that I have no rich podcast-drama/ audio-drama-background so far. Normally I listen to different podcasts covering space-travel and space-sciences-related things or things about the modern new world ... But anyway:
During the first season I really was nearly paralyzed (positive understanding) by the shocking and awesome background, the many questions and riddles it provides, the stories evolving and behind the main characters and the huge variety of problems and issues that were meant to be solved in the very beginning - like for example producing food on the roof, water-supplies, means of protection. Although some characters are very stereotypical or archetypical (Sgt. Michael, Burt, Pegs in some ways at least, Kelly in the beginning), I am very glad to see characters that stretch beyond this. The mixture of both "types" of characters is really great and adds a certain spice to the complete show. Truely: +1
I admire the kind of plausibility behind WA. Although "Zombies" are only "plausible" within the scope of the chosen fiction, anything else in WA is so near to real-life problems naturally occurring if things start to go south and beyond that ... This is true for the traffic chaos, the struggle for survival, the breakdown of almost any infrastructural thing and therefore as well as foremost the deflation of supplies, which is kind of most important for anyone - regardless, if it is about water, food, medicine, protection, actually power (i.e. energy) and communication.
The atmosphere of WA season #1 covers anything between hopelessness, struggle for survival, total isolation and nearly total annihilation of human kind (in a certain region?).
Along all of this the characters describe perfectly well - in their monologues as well as dialogues - how their small world looks like and how they try to deal with it. Besides plausibility the WA show provides a certain amount of authenticity. Amazing!
I was really excited to get into WA season #2. And the first two episodes were a real blast. I especially like the scenes around the firefighter-truck in the middle of the mayhem ... Up until now this is my most favorite part in this attack - between so many others I really enjoyed.
In this season the audience learns a lot more about other survivors, although The Mallers already appeared in season #1. They tend to be the real pain in the "bottom" showing up anytime you really wouldn't expect them to do so. Although they seem to be kind of a group of crazy mad(wo)men, and although they seem to be appropriate for any surprise, with the ongoing season you learn more and more about their plans and background. True: One major motivation for them is wrath and revenge - especially impersonated in Scratch; also the "real" intentions behind their activities is not revealed or explained, what makes The Mallers kind of an stuntmen-crew Mad Max-style with some serious sh1t and mystery around them. But putting together the pieces in seasons #1 and #2 the audience may realize that actually The Mallers have or have had major plans and strategies which were/are very fragile and which were actually interfered with by the people of The Tower. And that all of a sudden explains many things very well.
Also the episodes around the new places, new characters, the strange "North-Corean-style"-survivors in the south ... All these elements are brilliant and fit in very well into the complete scenery and setting. And this shows all the different ways people deal with the situation - either on their own or in different kinds of somewhat "organized" structures. I enjoyed this complexity and the simplicity about it a lot.
What impresses me a lot are the small bits and pieces about the Zombie-Apocalypse thrown in every now and then. During season #1 the audience learns about the massive attack by huge masses of people gone crazy; and Sgt. Michael actually forbids speaking of Zombies at first; also the information trickles through that the hospital was kind of focused by those masses. This is supported by the massive attack on the Hospital, when a few survivors try to get the Helicopter on the building during season #2. With the help of the reports by the people of The Tower and a map the leaders realize that there seems to be kind of a pattern in the movement of the zombie-hordes. Besides this there is a certain area right in the middle of the city which creates nausea and which seems to be kind of an important location in this whole zombie-theme.
Later you learn about the arena and the different behavior of the zombies about survivors - like either devouring them or kidnapping them for whatever purpose. With the research attempts by Lizzy it becomes kind of obvious that the creatures are still kind of living beings reacting to "the sweat-bombs" and that all of this does not seem to be kind of a magical experiment. Speaking of which: During the ambush in season #2 against the "Mallers" a 'person' in a 'pinstripe suit' observes the attack, which may hint at some kind of "Umbrella Corporation"-thing or something else.
Finally there are different kinds of Zombies around, which is not explained in any way.
All in all any information or description about meeting zombies leaves many questions and offers plenty of room for speculation and theories along these lines:
What makes some zombies different from others - like the runners, jumpers, big ones, little ones, smart ones and colored/tattooed?
Why do at least some/ few have numbers tattooed on their arms?
Who was that guy/ thing in the pinstripe suit? Is all of this kind of a project or field-experiment? Or even a combined chem-bio-weapon attack? What master-plan and mischievous mastermind is behind all of this? And what was the purpose of all of it ...?
Why do zombies react so soon to the sweat-bombs, but almost don't react to people wandering around? Same with the noise?
The big bang at the end of season #2 was really amazing and left me awed. The writers of the story had thought things through - very thoroughly thought through. There is a series of really astonishing plot twists in the end alone which result in splitting up the people of The Tower, in leaving at least few of The Mallers alive and a lingering threat and in putting a heavy burden on the shoulders of the audience.
Besides all this being cool and awesome - and I look forward to jumping head-on first into the third season so far -, I need to mention a few things I have some trouble with.
At first I am not very satisfied with the ending of season #2, in which all of a sudden many people are simply killed; this may be another burden for the few survivors and a great source for the questions around personal guilt; but this also killed many options for new characters to show up or to evolve around the main-characters. But more important: This also means that one major pillar of the struggle for survival is gone as well, which would be the re-creation of some kind of a "new home" or the "foundation of hope" or something; but I do see the point in creating new room for new opportunities for the story ...
What I did not like so much was the ever smaller role of the zombies in the story. While they were an everlasting and always present threat in the first season, the second season gained ground or distance to the zombies; for the people of The Tower they were less and less important and only showed up in order to create some suspense in a specific scene, but the overall threat of them was literally gone; also the Mallers were able to perform a major assault on the zombies, what dwarfed the threat in the beasts to some degree. Ok, I acknowledge and like it a lot that other survivors or groups of people get involved into the whole story more and more; but is it worth it when the general "theme" is reduced to some degree?
Finally I am kind of suspicious where all of this leads - Saul and Victor on their personal survival tour, Lizzy, Angel and Burt dead or prisoners of the survival-war in the hands of the Mallers that have fled to an unknown area, many survivors dead anyway (see above) and just seven who were able to flee with an helicopter - along with "Lady"; and what with "Mr. Whiskers"?
Besides these three concerns I am very happy with the show. And I am very glad that I was pointed into this direction. So ... Am looking forward to listening more about WA ...
All the best!
Last edited by LiamKerrington; Aug 4th, 2012 at 02:50 AM.
Reason: minor corrections