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Life’s Too Short: Zoo (2015 – )

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Patterson Of A…

This one will be short because, frankly, James Patterson. That cow is long overdue milking, and as much as is unfair the whole written work of that parade poodle of American airport authors contracted in two equally awful stinkers, Along Came A Spider and Kiss The Girls, when Michael Crichton or, hey, Robert Ludlum got the full Hollywood massage therapy, well, “go figure” would be one’s advice.

One thing is in favour of Patterson against say, Crichton, though. His novels are made of a myriad of three page chapters printed in the biggest font possible before being market-cornered as “for the visually challenged” and boldly acknowledges, on the cover and in gold-embossed letters no less, when someone else did most of the work. His more successful literary rival most probably employ a team of researchers, explaining why his novels taste so much like a bottom shelf pâté de foie gras, with masses of regurgitated pork surrounding a few shreds of dubious goose.

Having to choose between endless copy-paste dialogue exposition and a series concept written on a napkin, one guesses that you would opt for the later: so here you are watching the Zoo pilot, aka “what if animals revolt against the food chain as it is established, and start developing a grudge against men?”. Wait, this is way too long for a paper napkin, let’s go for “smart animals vs. stupid men”. This one is a winner, right?

Welcome to Bostwana, suspiciously looking like Indiana. Apart from the good-tempered natives, catering for the safari urges of white or evil Asian customers, here’s your stock American hero, son of a whistle-blower preaching animal revolt (can you see it coming already? If not the voice-over will guide you!) and his love interest, happening to be a French blogger betrayed by her use of the word “ergot”. Zut alors.

Ergo, those two just have half of the time generally devoted to hate each other in the rom-com template before getting trapped in Bostiana, digressing about “when do you die when you are getting eaten?”. Fast forward, she’s hurt by a lion, first bourbon, then the first aid kit, then another lion damages the radiator in order for our heroes to demonstrate than even wounded, a French blogger can list bullet points on lion attack, then outrun the king of animal to find shelter. All three lions of Bostiana, one means, since luckily they got to eat of couple of locals so the white bwanas can escape.

Anthropomorphic to the point of ludicrous, Zoo‘s pilot has the frankness of making absolutely no promises. The dreary parallel editing between “Bostwana” and LA, the fact that an experienced shooter can miss three times a lion in a van, lines like “the birds, the bees, the bears, the barracuda”, nothing at all commends it to our attention. Thank you for that, James Patterson, really, because you know, life’s too short.

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