Fall 2014, which kicked off with the dystopia of Utopia, was better served by the zombies of Z Nation and the concept of Love Prison. Here’s what else was on in September.
Utopia — A reality show doubling as a social experiment? What is this, 2014? Anyway, this disaster is how Fox kickstarted its season, a $50 million investment where 14 “pioneers” tried to live together and create a new society. It could have worked, except this is Fox and casting is…not their strongest skill. The cast was so intensely hateful that the show was instantly unwatchable. Fox pulled the plug weeks into what was to be a year-long run, missing an opportunity of having the compound be a place where those requiring Ebola quarantine could go for three weeks.
Love Prison —Long-distance relationships are tough, especially if the participants have interacted exclusively online. A&E tried to help couples get better acquainted IRL with this show, putting a couple in a house on an island for one week with cameras everywhere. What resulted was a fascinating look at the superficiality of online dating, a dissection of the concept of intimacy, and what happens when any two people are marooned for seven days. We stuck with this show even when it was punted to online and last-minute Saturday afternoon airings, it was that good.
Z Nation — Zombies are having a moment and SyFy wanted to get involved. This show adds a road trip to the zombie apocalypse concept, moving the action across the middle of the country as our group of intrepid survivors tries to get to California. In some ways, this show rivaled the Walking Dead in terms of quality and zombie research.