Netflix’s Reality Z Was Inspired By Another Zombie Invasion Across The Pond

Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
Zombies have been a mainstay of the horror space since the creation of the very first zombie flick in 1932 (White Zombie), but the undead have not lost their appeal as the years passed. Netflix is diving headfirst into the genre — blood, gore, and all — and the streaming platform's newest series is taking a page out of a zombie takeover based out of the United Kingdom.
Reality Z is an upcoming Netflix show about a mysterious pandemic that hits Rio de Janeiro, causing a major portion of the population to become flesh-eating zombies. For the contestants of a viral Brazilian reality series Olympus, the timing of the invasion couldn't be worse; as the army of the undead wreak havoc outside, the group of people lives unaware of the chaos that awaits them. But their blissful ignorance doesn't last too long, and their studio suddenly becomes the center of the battle against the bloodthirsty creatures.
The new Netflix series is as gross and bloody as one would expect — it's a show about flesh-eating zombies, after all — but it's not the first of its kind. In fact, Reality Z is a remake of Dead Set (2008), another show about a group of reality stars going to war against a horde of zombies while filming their own real-life cult favorite series: Big Brother.
Dead Set's plot is reminiscent of the recent Big Brother Germany contestants who had no idea that the coronavirus had developed into a global pandemic or the 2016 Big Brother housemates who didn't know that Donald Trump won the election to become the President of the United States — but with killer zombies.
For anyone unfamiliar with the show, Big Brother places a number of contestants in a house for an extended period of time, cutting off their connection to the outside world with the potential of winning a large cash prize. The isolated nature of the popular reality series comes in handy for the premise of Dead Set; the housemates' separation from the public essentially keeps them out of the loop of disastrous current events and renders them unprepared for the danger that awaits them just outside of their front door.
When the U.K. experiences its own devastating outbreak, the Big Brother cast and crew are among the last civilians to be turned. As the humans-turned-monsters come upon the house, the set descends into utter chaos, and spoiler alert: a lot of people die. But you could've guessed that.
If zombie invasions are your thing, and the gruesome first season of Reality Z whets your appetite for the undead, you won't have to look too far to keep the apocalypse going. Although Dead Set is not a Netflix original (it aired on British channel E4 year ago), all five episodes of the series are now available to watch on the streaming platform. Try watching both titles one after the other if you dare.
Happy screaming!

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