Released last week, Daybreak is Netflix’s new comedy drama, following teenagers in a nuclear apocalypse which has killed anyone over 18, those adults who did survive became ‘ghoulies’ – zombie type creatures.
Or did they?
The apocalypse is a genre that has been looked into a lot recently – some might say it’s been done to death. But Daybreak is a breath of fresh air. It is humorous but at the same time deals with real life factors that most shows don’t delve into.
One of the most notable character moments was when the 10 year old Angelica, “a genius with a tendency for pyromania”, gets her first period. It’s a raw moment that highlights the devastating consequences of all their parents being gone. At the same time the show manages to lighten the mood slightly through her interaction with one of the other characters and a tampon.
The show is The Walking Dead meets Lord of the Flies, but funny and with a dash of Mad Max in it too. Despite these many influences it works with ease. Nearly every character is interesting and engaging, both before and after the bomb that changed everything.
Daybreak is also unique in how the narrative is followed. Rather than having an omniscient narrator, it is the characters themselves that tell their stories. Whether it is through breaking the fourth wall, voiceover, or the style of kung fu movies, it allows the audience to know the characters through more than what they’re saying. They see what is important to them, what they love and hate. How they choose to present themselves versus how others see them is integral to the show.
For most of the characters, the journey through the show becomes less about surviving and instead trying to live. They become very aware of the fact that they’ve lost the future they should have had. However, instead of fighting about it and remaining in the cliques (turned gangs) of high school they choose to try and create something new, whether it’s friendships, relationships or homes.
Overall, Daybreak takes a premise that is well known to the audience and shakes it up, doing new things and exploring the changes.
Image Credit: SvenKirsch via Pixabay