Sunday, January 10, 2021

Girls Save the World in This One, by Ash Parsons

June and her friends are super psyched about attending ZombieCon! They've been saving all summer for the passes and this is going to be the last major blow out before they go their separate ways for college.  Zombies have been June's favorite thing for years and she's super psyched to meet her heroes - the stars of Human Wasteland -- in the flesh.

Despite some snafus accomplishing their goals and some run-ins with a former friend, the Con is turning out to be everything they hoped it would be.  However, something seems off.  A few of the cosplayers seem a bit too realistic. And then during the full cast panel discussion, the girls find themselves in the middle of a real life zombie attack!  As the infected attack the convention attenders, June and her friends team up with the cast of the Human Wasteland fighting from ballroom to atrium trying to save their lives.

As the girls call upon their fan knowledge of their favorite show, proving to often be savvier than the cast members, there are lots of little Galaxy Quest moments, but not nearly as many as one would have expected.  Instead, Parsons plays this mostly straight.  Part of the reason for that is that the story is really torn between two directions:  June's ambivalence about growing up (and a side story about a falling out with her ex-BFF) and the whole saving-the-world-from-Zombies thing.  The stories are distractingly different and Parsons only real solution is painstakingly attempting to connect them.  This leads to pretty jarring shifts in pacing.  In the end, I just wasn't invested enough in June and her friendships to follow the drama and focused instead on her slaying of the infected rotting corpses of her fellow fans.  Overall, a clever concept full of unrealized potential.

No comments: