The French have reinvented the undead genre

It's French, bitch!  (Any Colbert fans out there?)

It’s French, bitch! (Any Colbert fans out there?)

I saw a preview for a new series coming to ABC called The Resurrection, and it looked promising.  From what I gathered from the 60 second commercial, the premise is that the dead start coming back to life in some unnamed American town.  They aren’t zombies.  They come back as they were before they died.  I immediately thought this is a series I could get into if it not for the fact that it is slated to air on network television.  If the rise of cable original programming and internet based shows has proven anything, it is that network television sucks at producing truly innovative and quality original programming.  ABC will either air a terrible or serviceable show that in the end won’t be worth watching.

So, I did what most people do these days, I googled the show to find out more about it.  I came across a few blogs that claimed it was based on a French TV show called The Returned.  It just so happens Netflix had just included The Returned to their streaming of offerings, subtitles be damned, I decided to give it a try.  And I’ll be damned if it ain’t a spectacular bit of storytelling.  The French have reinvented the undead genre.  It was spooky and compelling without zombies clumsily chasing the living around the darkened streets of a post-apocalyptic world.

Digging a little deeper, I discovered that the French show is based on a movie titled They Came Back, and the American show is based on a novel by Jason Mott titled The Returned. Confused yet?  They have the same conceit.  They just draw from two different sources. The early word by reviewers is that The Resurrection is so-so.  I’ll give it a try, but I do not have high hopes.

In the meantime, I urge you to check out The Returned (the French TV show).  It is what they call a genre-bending experience.

QUICK UPDATE: Word is that A&E is doing a remake of the French TV version.  That is promising.