I don’t really think BBC-A has a hit on their hands here. Despite them plugging the heck out of this show, I sense no buzz, I hear no chatter, I feel no furor like I did with shows like “Life on Mars” or even “Primeval.” What little I hear out of the UK is not particularly critical, but not particularly impressed either, and that lack of an impression roughly dovetails with my own.
As you may recall, my review of the premier wasn’t exactly glowing. While there was some good stuff to be found in there, the episode was overblown, overlong, and basically kind of dull. The good news is that episode two - cleverly entitled “Episode Two” - is better. The name is actually cleverer than it would seem at first because - get this - this is the *Second* episode of the series! Now, I’m not sure if that’s by accident or design, mind you, but that’s exactly the sort of amazingly clever kind of thing they’re doing here: showing us the second story and telling us it’s the second story, and once it’s all said and done, the impression that we’re left with is that there’s a whole bunch of stories here and, yup, this was the second one! How clever is that?
Which is, of course, my belabored and insulting way of pointing out that there are really *no* clever ideas here, it’s all just a bunch of stuff that happens. Even still, better than the debut:
PLAY BY PLAY
It’s shortly after the apocalypse. Our heroes have set up shop in what looks to be a small manor house in the country, and they’re foraging for food in town. While in a grocery store, they find a dead body strung up and wearing a sign that says “Looter.” Everyone freaks out and starts to run, but then a guy named Dexter shows up like he’s the lord Humongus or something, and blithely claims he owns everything. Since he’s got a rifle, our heroes leave.
(NOTE TO ENGLAND: Your stringent anti-gun control laws mean that law abiding citizens will be at a disadvantage in a post apocalyptic world! We hope this show has helped you realize it, and that you’ll change your repressive stance on this subject. Conversely, when the apocalypse comes, America will still have the largest fleet of heavily-armed pickup trucks in the world, and thus we shall rule the world while you guys are getting indiscriminately killed over bottles of water at the English equivalent of the Hoggly Woggly. Think about it.)
They go home and decide to break up into forage parties that’ll take the scrounging-for-cans-of-sardines thing a bit more seriously. Meanwhile, the pretty doctor lady decides not to tell anyone that she’s a doctor. Psycho Killer agrees not to share her secret.
Suburban Mom thinks she saw the guy who took her son to the hospital with Dexter’s crew, so she and Psycho Killer head to town, and basically honk their horn until he shows up. They just want to talk, but he puts a gun to Suburban Mom’s head and scares the crap out of her, so her bad plan goes badly. Whoda’ thunk it.
Greg, meanwhile, has been sent to a supermarket restocking warehouse, where he runs in to a horrible, and kind of dim, human being named “Sarah.” She’s been rescued, she says, by the warehouse manager, a guy named Bob, who takes care of her in exchange for sex. (With her) Bob’s gone and broken his leg and gotten an infection, and Sarah’s spent the whole night doing nothing to help him, and she’s all out of ideas. Greg reluctantly agrees to help her, frees Bob, sets his leg, splints it, and then checks out the Physicians Desk Reference at a bookstore to find out what meds to give him. Sarah talks Greg in to staying the night, and tries to seduce him, but Greg refuses since he doesn’t want to be like Bob.
The next morning, Sarah says Bob’s gonna’ die, and she wants Greg to stay with her, but Greg refuses.
Rich Idiot and Muslim Boy inadvertently kill a candy shop owner while foraging for food. Rich Idiot feels really badly about this, and breaks down crying while catching chickens.
Suburban Mom gets to worrying bout Greg, so she goes to find him. Psycho Killer gets to worrying about Suburban Mom, so he follows her. This is a good thing, as