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Reality Z Review 2020 Tv Show Series Season Cast Crew Online
Stars: Ravel Andrade, Carla Ribas, Ana Hartmann
Opening Shot: Over the strains of Pink Floyd’s “Fat Old Sun,” we sweep over the mountains around Rio de Janeiro and focus in on the city.
The Gist: We start in an apartment where a woman has to lie to her son that she’s watching a reality series called Olympus. But when she turns to the channel, we see what the show is all about. It’s a reality series along the lines of Big Brother. A group of strangers live in a house-like TV studio, except with this show, all the housemates have to dress and act like Greek gods.
Outside the “house”, there’s going to be a big elimination episode, where three housemates are up to get the ax via the voice of “Zeus” — actually, Brandão (Guilherme Weber), the executive producer. The crowd is gathering outside the “house”, and everything is ready to go. Two problems: A person who is going to pull a surprise on a housemate is still in transit, and the show will potentially be preempted by breaking news of vicious attacks in the city.
As the car carrying the surprise guest pulls over to witness an accident, we see what’s really going on: An undead person is chewing the guts out of someone else, turns to the driver, and attacks. As the producer and the guest speed toward the studio to get the driver to an ambulance, he dies, awakes and attacks, as well. Meanwhile, Brandão is determined to get the latest episode on the air, as is his host Divina (Sabrina Sato), who quit acting gigs to take what she hoped would be a job that would make her nationally famous.
While all this is going on, a congressman named Alberto Levi (Emílio de Mello) makes a speech defending himself to the rest of Congress, and, while the city burns around him, he and his assistant commandeer a police car to get him out of town; that car is transporting someone the cops just arrested. Back at the studio, a production assistant named Nina (Ana Hartmann) is dealing with her own drama; a video of her and her boyfriend Lucas (Jesus Luz) having a threesome with another woman. He comes in and promises that it’s just between the three of them, then the woman comes in so they can all start anew, in the production office. Nina is called to get nicotine gum for Brandão but Lucas goes instead.
But once the now-undead people in the car arrive at the studio, havoc ensues, as zombies attack, and the dead become undead. No one is safe… except for the people inside the house: TK (João Pedro Zappa), Augusto (Leandro Daniel), Marcos (Gabriel Canella), Teresa (Luellem de Castro), Madonna (Wallie Ruy) and Cristina (Julia Ianina). Brandão somehow escapes the initial wave by using a guy in a wheelchair as a human shield, and Jessica (Hanna Romanazzi), the just-eliminated housemate, survives, as well. Nina, who is trapped in an inner office overnight, and has to stab an undead Lucas in the head with scissors to escape, is also trying to figure out how to get past the biters. Meanwhile, the remaining cast wake up the next morning, hungover, and realize there is no one there watching over them, but not much else.
Our Take: Reality Z is based on Charlie Brooker’s 2008 miniseries Dead Set, where he has zombies invade the set of Big Brother. João Costa, who created Reality Z, has upped the ante by making the Big Brother-style show have the housemates portray Greek gods, though we’re not sure how far that gimmick will go once all everyone is in survival mode. What we’re concerned about is that the show has got too many places to go and is not giving enough time to any one story to make us care.
As we all know now, zombie apocalypses and pandemics spread in very similar fashion, which is quickly. So, by the end of the first episode, many of the characters we’ve already been introduced to are either dead or undead. And, while we got to know Nina a bit, we don’t have much insight into any of the other characters, especially the contestants in the house. The idea is that Nina and the contestants are going to fight the zombies, with Brandão directing it all for audiences at home, at least those that have survived. But there are so many threads that are barely explored by the time the zombies overtake the studio, that it’s hard to figure out just what is going on.
There’s the story about the congressman that we have no idea how it connects to the larger story. Then there’s the older lady who’s a fan of the show, who we assume is Ana Schmidt (Carla Ribas), and her son Leo (Ravel Andrade), who we only see very briefly. At some point we’ll see their stories further, but after the first episode we have no idea how they’ll tie in.
Yes, zombie shows are largely ensembles, that tend to show different situations unfolding at different locations. But, with the idea of the reality show studio being one of the last bastions of safety against the biters, why was there any need to introduce any other characters? That’s what has us scratching our heads.
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