TV review: "Dead Set"

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Reality TV is one of my pet peeves, and zombies are one of my pet loves. So "Dead Set" - a five-part British miniseries about a fictional "Big Brothers" cast and their producers getting caught in a zombie apocalypse - initially left me both annoyed and smitten.

As eviction night approaches in the "Big Brother" house, the crew frantically prepares for live broadcast while the housemates nervously await the outcome.

Then all hell breaks loose - the live audience and behind-the-scenes crew are mauled by a horde of the undead. The housemates remain unaware of the carnage outside.

Producer Kelly (Jaime Winstone) and her dickish boss, Patrick (Andy Nyman), avoid the zombie attack. The crux of the series is how these characters, along with the housemates, interact and try to survive.

"Dead Set" doesn't add anything new to the zombie genre other than reality TV archetypes. It's your typical gory tale with heroes and scoundrels, but it's well-scripted and mostly well-acted.

By far the most excellent - and surprising - aspect of "Dead Set" is its extremely dark tone. The end of humanity isn't usually depicted with cheeriness, but it's especially disheartening here, and builds to a horrifying crescendo.

"Dead Set"

12 a.m. Monday-Friday, Oct. 25-29, on IFC

3.5 stars out of 4