Network television is no stranger to borrowing ideas. So it’s something of a surprise the major broadcasters haven’t done more to crib from TV’s biggest hit, AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” even as their new series continue to join the ranks of the just-plain dead, the latest being NBC’s “Ironside” retread and the sitcom “Welcome to the Family.”
Still, it might not be too late. After all, the whole point of zombies is that they rise from the you know what. So perhaps with a little creative tinkering – current departments, this is why they pay you the less-than-insulting bucks – some of the programs the networks have already buried could walk again.
Wading through a list of the new season’s prematurely deceased, there are small changes that could be made to incorporate a touch of zombie-mania into the proceedings. Just think of zombies as the ultimate TV accessory – what black and then gay best friends were a few years ago.
We Are Men: Not only are three divorced guys living at what looks a whole lot like the Oakwood Apartments, but their efforts to meet babes are complicated when a new zombie on the block – dumped by his fiancée, because he died shortly before their wedding – joins their ranks. Sure, he’s a conversation starter at bars – a wingman with a lot of heart, just no pulse – but he’s a little awkward when it comes to women, frequently less interested in seducing them than eating their brains.
Ironside: So that shot in the back, the one that originally left Chief of Detectives Robert Ironside wheelchair bound? Turns out it was fatal. But a freak jolt of electricity has brought him back to life, more determined than ever to convict criminals, starting with finding and eating the one who murdered him.
Welcome to the Family: A middle-class white couple is happy their daughter got into college, while a Latino family is thrilled that their son is headed to Stanford. Everything takes a wildly hilarious turn, however, when she’s inadvertently transformed into a zombie — and bites him, too! So much for those plans to have sex in the daytime and sign up for Pilates classes. Now both mismatched broods have to come together, if only to prevent the neighbors from shoving a crowbar through their kids’ foreheads when they start making horrible noises at the chain-link fence.
Lucky 7: Seven co-workers are in a basement scratching lottery tickets when the zombie apocalypse strikes. Congratulations, they’re still alive – but also the last seven normal people on the face of the Earth. Or are they?
As for those who are still waiting to see whether the network is going to give them the heave-ho, why procrastinate? Besides, a title like “Sean Saves the World” is practically ready-made for a zombie invasion, and what could be more of a “Betrayal” than finding out your lover is harboring a really dark secret?