It is an unfortunate fact Hollywood has a dismal record when it comes to the representation of people of color on screen - especially in genres involving speculative fiction.
Which is why I did a fist pump upon finding out the new zombie apocalypse web series Surviving (formerly Surviving The Dead), by actress/writer/producer/director Reagan Gomez, had finally debuted.
What sets Surviving apart from so many other projects with similar themes is its voice and main protagonists.
The story is told from the perspective of a Black family who serve as the central driving force of the plot.
This is starkly unlike other zombie tales, where the few people of color present are easily disposable cardboard characters, superfluous to the main narrative.
Those characters typically exist without any agency of their own; whose sole purpose is to further the dramatic journey of their White counterparts (looking at you The Walking Dead).
Together, they embark on a quest to find their missing father and survive a world gone mad.
Fortunately, Shayla is not only a physician, but has also been trained in self-defense and wilderness survival since childhood - at the insistence of her father (portrayed by the distinguished character actor Phil Morris).
Did Shayla's father have some foreknowledge about the zombie apocalypse? Was he somehow involved?
This mystery is skillfully woven into the show's main dramatic thread, creating a captivating tapestry of suspense, action, and horror.
The series also boasts outstanding production value on every level.
Produced by Gomez - who also directed - along with her husband Dewayne Turrentine for their RGP Productions company, Surviving has a dynamic, gritty tone that immerses you right into the center of the drama. It also helps that each episode seems to end on a exciting cliffhanger!
Check out the series trailer here ...
As of this writing, two episodes of Surviving have been released with five more to follow. A new installment is available every Tuesday on Gomez's YouTube Channel.
Please help support the show - which includes plans for a second season - by visiting RGP Productions.
Surviving is a tense, compelling zombie apocalypse story told from a refreshing perspective and visionary voice.
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