What if the animals decided to bite back?
It’s an answer the premiere of CBS’ new summer show Zoo poses in full-pack-of-lion force. Or tries to.
The whole premise, when you think about it, is just completely unrealistic. There’s a reason lion attacks are rare. It’s like a rabbit attacking a fox. The lion knows we would win. It knows instinctually it’s the inferior species. Thanks to our enhanced intelligence, it isn’t a competition. But Zoo would have you think it could be one. The pilot just didn’t quite get me there, unfortunately. Especially given the supernatural craziness on other summer mysteries like The Whispers and Wayward Pines, Zoo just feels underwhelming.
Even with the obvious undertone about the need for change in our current environmental conditions, Zoo would fit better as a PSA for animal rights rather than a summer thriller we can sink our teeth into. The suspense was seriously lackluster.
Maybe I just don’t have a fear of lion attacks. Especially when the logical human response would be to pick up a gun and defend yourself, not try and work out the lion’s feelings by studying its “defiant pupil.”
But, looking at the cast, it’s hard to dismiss this show entirely. The ensemble is worth the double take. I’m especially a huge fan of Nonso Anozie, and if you watched Dracula on NBC, you know why. He’s a star on the rise and Zoo is just the role that could put him in the official star spotlight.
Other notables include Billy Burke, who’s had a soft spot in my heart since Twilight and sells it perfectly as the lovable nerd, Mitch. And Kristen Connolly as Jamie, who’s the headstrong woman every show these days hinges on.
All in all, a show about lions turning on humans seems trite and already done. Way too many times. Which makes the pilot feel predictable and underwhelming.
The cliffhanger gives me hope. Because it promises a world turning on humans rather than just the cats. And that could lead to some really interesting moments. But how long will it take for the show to get there?
Also, before all the characters jump to thinking the cats are mutating to hate humans, maybe they should just update their rabies vaccinations.