Zombie Book Club

Kingdom (Netflix series) | Zombie Book Club episode 23

November 26, 2023 Zombie Book Club Season 1 Episode 23
Zombie Book Club
Kingdom (Netflix series) | Zombie Book Club episode 23
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Get ready to embark on a whirlwind journey through the captivating world of the Netflix series, "Kingdom." Dare to venture into the realm of the undead as we unpack the historical Korean zombie series. We promise you a mind-bending exploration of power, leadership, and fear of the unknown in a world gone rogue - a world where the dead rise, and the living fight for control. From splendid visuals to shocking plot twists, and the cultural significance of the show, we take you on a riveting ride, dissecting the quest of Crown Prince Lee Chang for truth and power.

We examine the major themes and their relevance to the current political landscape. Social inequality, corruption, and power dynamics are explored in depth as we navigate the murky waters of a society in chaos. Brace yourself for a deep dive into the portrayal of gender roles and patriarchy in Korean society - an exploration that calls for cultural relativism and open-minded interpretation.

As we wrap up our thrilling journey, we find ourselves in awe of the unique elements that set Kingdom apart from other zombie narratives. Muskets as weapons, solar-powered zombies, and an intricate depiction of historical Korea - Kingdom is a treasure trove of innovation. Despite a few minor criticisms, we give Kingdom a hearty 8.5 Zed words out of 10. Join us in celebrating this remarkable series and its contribution to the zombie genre. Stay tuned for our next episode in the Zombie Book Club - an experience you won't want to miss.



Follow our linktree for social media links, and links to all the places you can find our podcast! https://linktr.ee/zombiebookclub



Speaker 1:

Kingdom on Netflix didn't just walk into the realm of zombie fiction. It rode in on a horse decked out in full historical Korean garb, waving a sword and ready to redefine the whole genre, said in the Josieen period. Oh, I wrote down Josieen, josieen period. I practiced this, I promise. It's a mashup of Game and Thrones and the Walking Dead, steeped in rich Korean history and political intrigue. The story kicks off with the Proud Crints Li Chang investigating a mysterious plague. Let's try that again Li Chang investigating a mysterious plague. That's reviving the dead, and it's not just a casual hobby. His own father, the king, you might have guessed is ground zero for this undead nightmare. Kingdom isn't content with just garden variety zombies. It throws in a twist that's as brilliant as it is horrifying. These zombies nap. During the day, they're solar powered zombies. The day is for political backstabbing, plotting and stunning period costumes. The night, on the other hand, belongs to ravenous, fast-moving hordes of the undead. It's a relentless, heart-bounding split between sunlit drama and moonlit terror, giving us no respite from the tension and the visuals Cinematic gold with sprawling landscapes, opulent palaces and scenes that are literally crawling with the undead. Amidst the zombie chaos, kingdom layers in a feast of political intrigue, social commentary and character development that's rich and complex. As the show's historical backdrop You've got the crown prince, a beacon of moral fortitude, and sea of corruption and ambition. There's political scheming that would make Machiavelli blush, showcasing a royal court as deadly as any zombie horde. This isn't just a show about surviving flesh-eaters. It's an exploration of power hunger, both a literal and metaphorical kind, and what it means to lead in a world gone mad. Kingdom is a visual feast that reanimates the somewhat tired bones of zombie lore, giving it a new pulse-pounding life. The show doesn't just capture your attention, it seizes it, drags it into the royal court, then tosses it into a horde of undead, leaving you breathless and begging for more, more. Season 3, please. Welcome to the Zombie Book Club, the only book club where the book is on Netflix. And Netflix is in 1800s, korea, and the zombies wear really cool hats, extremely cool hats. Hi, I'm Dan and I'm a writer, and when I'm not screaming into the void, asking how I'm not still laid off yet from my seasonal job, I'm writing a book about a teenage girl doing her best to keep her family alive during a zombie apocalypse, dragging her conspiracy theory, obsessed stepfather, despite as many failures to do anything useful at all. It doesn't go well.

Speaker 2:

Just let him die. That's what I say I might. I might find out.

Speaker 1:

I haven't figured that out yet.

Speaker 2:

And I'm Leah. I'm a washed up former anthropology professor and now just a couch princess. I do have a day job, just not teaching, but I still love to apply anthropological concepts to zombie media and especially reality shows, so I can sound smart and justify how much time I spend watching them.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, we release episodes every two weeks on Sundays, about nine o'clock in the morning on Sundays. Eastern standards so be awake at that time. Make sure you join the club by subscribing. Hit the subscribe, do it Subscribe or follow it. Whatever the thing is.

Speaker 2:

Whatever that button is, there's no better book club this one you don't have to leave your house. You know you have to have read the book.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you can pretend like we do.

Speaker 2:

Usually me. So, dan, what's going on in your personal life?

Speaker 1:

Personal life update Leah, so I'm still not laid off. I said in the last episode I had like two weeks before I was getting laid off. It still hasn't happened yet. It's been three weeks. I mean this week I worked like an hour and six minutes.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, why they have not laid you off. They're just gonna like not have you work for a week, I guess.

Speaker 1:

So yeah, that's the plan, I suppose. But yeah, it's the Giffings weekend. You know the one, you know that holiday where we murder turkeys. That's the holiday that we're recording during celebrate the genocide, yeah, genocide everyone we love it. Everybody loves a good genocide. That's still going on. I haven't moved on to my afterlife of not having to work there anymore. But also I got to last. Literally last night I pulled out my laptop for like the first time in eight months and I said I'm going to get back to writing. I know I say I write every episode. I don't write during the work season.

Speaker 2:

You just think about it in your head while you drag it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah which I consider writing. But I break down all the things that I wrote last year. Think about it really hard. And then this year I plan to implement those ideas, which will of course change. But yeah, so I pulled out the old Lappy Tappy and went to go to Tappin' and no Tapps came out no Tapps. No, Well, at first I had just gotten done being lecturing somebody on threads about how I get over writer's block.

Speaker 2:

Really, I didn't know this part.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. And then I'm like, well, I better get started, I suppose. And then I couldn't even decide which document to open and I just sat there and I'm like I can't do this. So then I wrote about how I don't have writer's block, I have open document block, but there is. I became triumphant by the end of this story, which is I applied my writer's block technique, which is I decide to write the worst thing I've ever written.

Speaker 2:

That's a good one.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so I just opened it up anything. I opened literally anything and I'm like I'm going to write something in this document, any document, blank document and Excel spreadsheet. I don't give a shit. And I'm like this is going to be utter garbage and I'm going to delete a link. And then I wrote 690 words and they actually weren't bad words. They, they, some of them were bad words but like, yeah, there's a few other ones. I would never say those words no that's just my job. Yeah, leah says all the words for me.

Speaker 2:

So you didn't write the worst thing ever, but you just told yourself you would write this thing yeah.

Speaker 1:

I mean, it needs editing for sure, but but I wrote some pretty good, pretty good words when they are added up into a story. Oh, and the best personal life update news of all time Many months ago, I gave money to a Kickstarter and that Kickstarter was the Walking Dead RPG and they finally sent out books and I received them. I have. I have my core rulebook. I've got a little tiny rulebook, I've got some dice, I got some maps, I got some character sheets. It's a. It looks like a lot of fun and we want to do an episode on that game, kind of like what we did with All Flush Must Be Eatin'. Does it stack?

Speaker 2:

up, I think it'll be better. Yeah, yeah, and I mean I had to do a little bit of roleplay and that was my first roleplay, wasn't it yeah?

Speaker 1:

In All Flush Must Be Eatin'. I've never done it before, but I will say I'm excited for Walking Dead.

Speaker 2:

Hopefully that a couple of folks that are friends of ours will play with us, particularly shouting out to you, Eric, you know you want to play with us.

Speaker 1:

Eric wants to play. Yeah, you may remember Eric from episode 21.

Speaker 2:

Zombie Ween. Game Show Zombie Ween. He was real funny yeah, so he's a lot of fun.

Speaker 1:

That's what we want. We want funny. Bring the funny.

Speaker 2:

And I can't bring that, so we need other people.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, leah, what's your personal life update?

Speaker 2:

Do you notice that you just agreed that I'm not funny folks. I was like, yeah, we're moving on, it's true. I'm like recovering overly seriousness. That's my personal life update. By being with Dan, I have become a much more much funner. Dramatically incorrect, much more radically incorrect.

Speaker 1:

Much more funner Person than I was before.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I wanted to take life not quite so seriously, but still pretty fucking seriously. Let's be real. If you ever saw my personal Instagram stories, you'd just be like. This person is really depressed because all I do is post about all the terrible things in the world. But, in good news, I have the week off. As Dan said, this is the giving week, also the week of the day of mourning, so you get a whole week off by only taking three days off of work for my paid time off. So it was worth it. I've spent it doing it as little as fucking possible, especially after my mom left because her and her partner came to visit. Her partner actually made us a zombie theme song that we may or may not try to incorporate into an episode one day. It's highly interactive and very funny. Love her partner, but mostly what I appreciated for my mom's visit was all of her unsolicited advice. We need the bdumptsh sound now.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, there we go, perfect.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, what was your favorite unsolicited advice? Dan?

Speaker 1:

Oh for me.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Oh well, you know, some people might know that I've been growing mushrooms for many years. One day I'd liked mushroom growing to be a business that I do, so there was a lot of really good unsolicited advice about a guy that she talked to once that sold mushrooms, and I should call that person and ask him all kinds of questions. You know, as if I've never done research before, so I'm going to call up a random stranger and be like hey, do you know anything that I don't know?

Speaker 2:

You know this is going to be a future zombie ween episode question. Which is what's scarier a mother with unsolicited advice or a zombie?

Speaker 1:

A zombie with unsolicited advice.

Speaker 2:

What would a zombie's unsolicited advice be?

Speaker 1:

Would you rather have your mother's unsolicited advice or solicit advice from a zombie?

Speaker 2:

I mean, a zombie does get brains.

Speaker 1:

You're welcome.

Speaker 2:

Thank you, but yeah, that was that was great. Love my mom I really do, but you know it gets tiresome. Let me know how you feel about unsolicited advice. Please tell us on Instagram. In other news, I have a very kind yoga teacher who did a personal class for me because I have some physical issues that I've been dealing with really for like four years now and a couple of them come to a head and impacted my ability to do stuff I really love. So I don't want to give her name because then you'll definitely know where I live. There's only one yoga teacher in this very small town. But I just want to say like yay, yoga I'm a fan. I think it'd probably be one of my talents that I could somehow apply in the apocalypse. I'm not sure yet.

Speaker 1:

Flexibility.

Speaker 2:

I am very flexible. In fact, my hyper mobility is part of why I have problems, and hyper mobility is connected to ADHD, so it's fun.

Speaker 1:

And that's why I limit my mobility.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and then the last thing I want to say on a personal life update is that my husband, dan, is extremely sexy and you know it's. The hottest thing you can do as a man is when your family sends the annual happy Thanksgiving group text, you, as the man, responds with a gift of Wednesday Adams saying burn all the fuck down from. Was that from the movie the original Adams family?

Speaker 1:

This the sequel. Adams family values. It's the. It's when, wednesday, adams tricks the entire summer camp that she goes to into thinking that she's playing along and being nice and turns their pilgrim slash Native American feast play into an absolute nightmare by tying up all the children and setting fire to the set and telling a long, long monologue about how, how white pilgrims came to this land and destroyed the Native American culture and then and it was their time now to rise up and take revenge.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I'm a fan, I loved it. So that was extremely hot because I and I just didn't say anything. But yeah if you don't really know the history of Thanksgiving or if you only have the one that you learned in school in America, probably time to go look that up. I hate to say we've all been lied to. I certainly was lied to. I didn't even know indigenous people were still around, probably for the first 15 years of my life.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you know, I think it was that movie when I was a kid. Yeah, that like challenged my view of it because, like I grew up like, oh yeah, the meat flower and the pilgrims and they became friends, but for some reason then, after there was a whole lot of fighting, it was never. That part was never really explained. They're like, yeah, they were best friends and the Native Americans really helped them out, and it's like OK, so why did they? Why did the pilgrims kill them all?

Speaker 2:

like a year later, yeah, what was the thrill of tears all about Like I don't know.

Speaker 1:

What a worldly living, but so yeah that, that movie, when that happened, I'm like wait a second. Not everybody loves Thanksgiving.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's taken me a long time to acknowledge that maybe I don't want to celebrate anymore because I love. I love food and getting thanks sounds so nice, like what a wonderful way to literally whitewash. Yeah, that's true. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

I always tried to separate my enjoyment of the holiday with what actually happened. But you know, now it's just I know too much. You know, yeah, I've. You know, I I'm. I escaped the matrix.

Speaker 2:

But matrix of white supremacy. As a white man, yeah.

Speaker 1:

I'm out of it now. I'm totally not white. I'm cured, I'm not, I'm not a part of it anymore. Well, let's, let's dive into this story, which is not about white supremacy.

Speaker 2:

No, not at all. In fact, I think you might have guessed it from Dan's intro.

Speaker 1:

It is about imperialism, though it is.

Speaker 2:

It is a totally different constant.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, but you know what we're for it? Because it's not about white people. It's just boring. Now, I hate white supremacy, it's so boring.

Speaker 2:

It is interesting, like I think I'm really enjoying this upsurgeance I can't say resurgence of Korean zombie film. It's really good and it's fun to just watch a different cultural point of view. I don't know, I love it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I mean, these are all things that I did not know at all.

Speaker 2:

About Korea.

Speaker 1:

About Korea, like the Jo the Josuin period. I had no idea that was a thing. I think it's Josie Josie, but we're probably with more Josie between the two animals. Yeah, I'm fucking this up. Be sure to correct this. Yeah, it's okay, I welcome it.

Speaker 2:

But, anyhow we are, we are talking to the kingdom today and as usual, dan, we got to give the folks a synopsis because we got a ruin list for you from the very beginning.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

But highly recommend you watch it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, this is a high recommendation and if you haven't seen it and you're curious about it, we're going to get into some things that will probably ruin it for you. But if you want to watch two whole seasons of Kingdom, and then come back and continue listening. We'll wait.

Speaker 2:

I mean holiday season's coming, Just binge it. We did binge it.

Speaker 1:

It's a good binge. Buckle in because this synopsis is a lot. This is two seasons of like, basically what is Korean Game of Thrones.

Speaker 2:

Oh my god, this is a lot. I'm scrolling through our notes, okay.

Speaker 1:

I'm off, I may edit this out later, but for now I'm just going to tell you about the main characters, because maybe it's helpful. I don't know where this conversation goes later. Anyways, main characters the first one, crown Prince Lee Chang, serious protagonist, who battles the zombie plague and political intrigue to uncover the truth about his father's illness and claim to a rightful place in the air of the throne. His father's a zombie. His father's a zombie. We'll get to that, sobie, kind of like the beverage from the early 2000s. Do you remember Sobie?

Speaker 2:

I do, but honestly I don't know why they said her name. I thought they were saying zombie. I did too.

Speaker 1:

I'm glad to know that, but then I thought they were talking about the beverage and then I realized that they weren't, and then I was like those were good beverages, so sugary. Yeah, so much sugar. I love the sugar A dedicated physician who plays a crucial role in investigating the origins of the plague. I'm just going to shorten this up. I've got a lot here. Chakoo Cho Huk Choo, the Chief State Counselor and the Queen's Father. He's a primary antagonist. He's a bad dude, he's an asshole. He's deeply involved in the palace's political machinations. I can't say that word Machinations, machinations, machinations. Shin Young is a cool dude.

Speaker 2:

I'll just leave it there. Shin Young is the backward. It's young Shin.

Speaker 1:

You know maybe that's how you say it he is a mysterious and skilled fighter who joins Lee Chang in his quest. He has a personal vendetta against the zombies and a significant backstory that gets revealed later.

Speaker 2:

He's a good one yeah.

Speaker 1:

The Queen consort, cho the ambitious Queen, who's determined to secure her power in the palace and protect her family's influence, regardless of the moral costs. Mu Yong Lee, chang's loyal bodyguard and friend, also a cool dude who accompanies him through his dangerous journey and provides both support and combat skills and I didn't write this, but it's also kind of like his moral anchor. He's always the one that's like are you sure you want to do this? Are you sure you want to do this? Are you sure you want to do this? Anyways, bum Pal. Bum Pal, that guy. He's a governor, somewhat comical yet important figure, nephew of Cho Hak-ju. He becomes involved in the events due to his family connections.

Speaker 2:

And he has the most growth as a character.

Speaker 1:

He does you think that this guy's going to die right away? Because he's just a total piece of shit, bumbling fool yeah.

Speaker 2:

Who only cares about his own immediate needs.

Speaker 1:

But then you know, then he just grows and then you're like I like this guy weirdly enough.

Speaker 2:

Through the positive influence of So-B. All right, so-b.

Speaker 1:

Let's get into season one.

Speaker 2:

There's two seasons.

Speaker 1:

There's two seasons. This is. I'm not looking forward to this synopsis. All right. Discovery of the king's illness. Crown crown crown. Prince Li Chang discovers his father. The king is gravely ill and secluded, sparking suspicions of his death. Then Li Chang and his bodyguard, mu Young figure out. Figure out who the physician Li Sun-hui answers this is bad, leading them to the Ji Hu Yan Clinic. At Ji Hu Yan, they encounter horrific scenes of villagers resurrected as zombies after eating soup made from the flesh of one of the king's victims.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, they find a finger and then everybody becomes a zombie real fast.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, they all get sick, and then they get, then they get dead.

Speaker 2:

Then they become undead.

Speaker 1:

Back in the palace, the queen and her father, the chief state counselor, plot to secure their hold on the throne, exploiting the king's illness. His illness is that he's dead.

Speaker 2:

Well, he's a zombie. Yeah, but they made him a zombie, because they didn't want him to die, because the queen needs to have his child, his child.

Speaker 1:

They have to name her child as the crown prince instead of the one who's already the crown prince, because apparently he was born out of wedlock very scandalous. Apparently yes.

Speaker 2:

So if there's an in wedlock son, then they win. I don't fully understand that, but yeah.

Speaker 1:

The undead outbreak spreads rapidly across the province, with Li Chang fighting his fighting for survival and trying to protect the people.

Speaker 2:

The average people.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. It becomes revealed that a mysterious plant used for resurrection properties is the source of the zombie epidemic. Li Chang faces betrayal from within the court and struggles to claim his right to the throne amidst growing chaos. The physician so be it, not the beverage who understands the nature of the plague, searches for the cure while uncovering more about the resurrection plant. The group faces terrifying nighttime attacks by the undead, learning that they are dormant during the day and active at night. At first, I thought that this would make it less scary. It made it more scary. It made it more scary.

Speaker 2:

Honestly, single lunches, sleeping zombies like crammed into crevices, yeah, like the light was creepy as fuck.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, the first season builds to a climax involving a deadly showdown with zombie hordes, the unveiling of royal secrets and Li Chang's efforts to save his kingdom and expose the truth behind the outbreak. Season one ends with a huge twist, big spoiler alert. Cover your ears if you don't know yet, but at the end of season one, the zombies come out during the day.

Speaker 2:

Can I say why?

Speaker 1:

You can.

Speaker 2:

Because it gets cold and they weren't afraid of the sun. They just don't like heat.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, they don't like it when it's hot.

Speaker 2:

Winter comes and it's a fucking zombie. Endless nightmare. And these are some fast ass zombies.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, they're fast, fast ass zombies.

Speaker 2:

They run like Naruto.

Speaker 1:

Season two begins where season one left off, with the daytime zombies, the defects of Shang Zhu, li Chang and Sobe and their companions defend the city of Shang Zhu from a massive zombie attack. Showcasing tactical ingenuity, li Chang beheads his zombie father and reveals the truth about the king's condition and the queen's deceptions to the public and the royal court. The pregnant queen in the palace continues her scheme to secure her power by producing a male heir, regardless of the true lineage. She collects dozens of pregnant women, including Mu Yong's wife. You know the cool guy who's helping Li Chang.

Speaker 2:

The guard of the conference.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, the guard, our best friend, and she kills the, the pregnant mothers, when they give birth, until one of them produces a male child.

Speaker 2:

Didn't she kill that one too?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, well, no, well, she tried.

Speaker 2:

Oh right, there's, there's a lot going on here.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, but the idea was to kill all of them. But yeah, she's looking for a male. Sobe and her companions searched the frozen valley believed to hold the answers to the origin of the cure of the plague or origin and cure of the plague. Sorry, I fucked that one up. The group discovers a mysterious man selling the resurrection plant, indicating a wider knowledge and usage of the plant than previously thought. A massive horde of zombies threatens Han Yang, which is a city leading to desperate efforts to protect the city and its inhabitants.

Speaker 2:

Those are some pretty great scenes.

Speaker 1:

They are. The group discovers that the zombies are inactive in cold temperatures, a crucial piece of information for their survival and battle strategies in active and cold temperatures.

Speaker 2:

That's that's wrong.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you know what? That should have been infected bodies or submerged in cold water. That was written wrong, yeah, so let's back up. Cold water makes the zombie worms come out. There's worms. There's worms in the plant. They ate worms. The worms are taken, the worms make them zombies and when they put them in cold water, they come out, which it's weird that they want cold temperatures, cold air temperatures, but you put them in cold water comes out. The whole thing could have been solved by people taking cold, cold showers.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, easy cure.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, in general, they don't like water. In a critical turn of events, the queen gives birth, but her deception regarding the child's lineage comes to life. She doesn't actually give birth. She pretends to give birth because she wasn't actually pregnant.

Speaker 2:

I think she might have been pregnant at one point.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, she miscarried.

Speaker 2:

But is no longer pregnant. That's when she had her diabolical scheme to collect unwanted pregnant women.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, ones that didn't have families and would disappear easily. Yeah, she had a miscarriage like four or five months before, and they found out because she was taking a special herbal supplement that they use for people who are suffering from postpartum situations.

Speaker 2:

Miscarriage specifically, I think.

Speaker 1:

Specifically miscarriages, yeah, yeah. But they're like, yeah, a pregnant woman would not be taking this. I don't know what it was, but apparently they knew what it was, so that was a thing. A dramatic showdown at the palace unfolds as Lee Chang and his allies confront the queen and her faction, seeking to end her tyrannical rule. She really was a tyrant. She was not fun to be around.

Speaker 2:

She was, but why. We'll get into that later maybe, but I have questions about her. Why?

Speaker 1:

The season concludes with revelations about the plague's origin and a foreboding scene of a resurrected individual in a foreign land, hinting at the spread of the infection beyond the Joesun Korea.

Speaker 2:

And by resurrected individual you mean a zombie, not Jesus.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, not Jesus.

Speaker 2:

Not Lazarus a zombie.

Speaker 1:

So if we're talking about what types of zombies we've got going on here, these are parasitic zombies. We haven't talked about parasitic zombies yet.

Speaker 2:

I don't know if I've ever seen a parasitic zombie.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I can't really think of one right now, except for this. I know that they're out there.

Speaker 2:

It's unique and it was so awesome because you submerge them in water and then all the creepy fucking worms crawl out of wherever the bite was, which means that when they're biting you, they're transmitting worms. Yeah, they're like worms are shooting out of their mouth and into your wounds.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, they got mouthworms I don't totally get the mechanics.

Speaker 2:

Mouthworms, oh god. My great aunt told me about having her, that she had a tapeworm once and described in great detail how long it took to evacuate it. So now I'm thinking about tongue worms.

Speaker 1:

Oh, boy it was back in the day.

Speaker 2:

All right, it's my great aunt. She was old even at the time.

Speaker 1:

So yeah, they are parasitic zombies, highly motivated. They're fast moving.

Speaker 2:

They're extremely fast.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

And they do run like Naruto.

Speaker 1:

They run like Naruto, they are really. They're like faster than people, yeah, and they get sleepy. I wrote down sleepy during the daytime because I didn't want to give away the twist, but we already gave it away.

Speaker 2:

And their hair looks like my hair if I haven't washed it in a week. It's really intense.

Speaker 1:

I, you know, when I, when I, when I watch this show, like there's been a lot of of like zombie movies and TV shows coming out of Korea and a lot of like all of these shows have really good zombie acting and also like really good zombie effects, yeah, and I I kind of wonder if there is a company in Korea that like just they just have zombie actors and their whole thing is like we train zombie actors, we have zombie actors. If you need zombies for your show, you call us, we supply the zombies. Is that something that I should do? This is my what I'm. Should I give up truck driving and start a zombie?

Speaker 2:

Maybe Actors Guild. We should probably get a sponsorship from this company because this sounds right up our alley.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, join the zombie actors Guild.

Speaker 2:

They definitely look like they're. What's the word? Stunt doubles or stunt artists too, because they, whether they like, resurrect themselves Is defies average humans, like the way they get up off the ground is. I could not do.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, like if you, if you watch very closely World War Z, like everybody that plays a zombie, like in front of the camera, has a very different idea of what a zombie. They didn't agree. Yeah, like they're. They're not getting the same instructions as everybody else. And then the visual effects zombies, like in the big hordes, act a completely different way of than every zombie on screen. Whereas in Korean shows. There seems to be like like a standardization of zombies.

Speaker 2:

I know that we're talking about but I have to say I'm still stuck on the parasites and I don't know if folks have seen the snails that get parasites. But like I'm picturing a human being that's a zombies that has the parasite and it's little heads lighting up like the snail heads light up and the lights go back and forth.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that'd be really funny.

Speaker 2:

The only zombie that genuinely scares Dan is the snail zombie.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I mean, this little thing is just like whipping around inside of his eye stalks and I don't like it.

Speaker 2:

I know, but how cool would it be if that was people's heads that became trans.

Speaker 1:

Depends on who it is, I suppose.

Speaker 2:

That was good, the shit out of you.

Speaker 1:

These zombies have weaknesses of a fire. Water, specifically cold water, but all water they're pretty much not a fan of.

Speaker 2:

Even if it's like a spoonful, they don't like it.

Speaker 1:

They don't like it. No water for these zombies and also beheading is the typical zombie weakness. But also these guys just seem to go down if you stabbed them in the neck.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, they don't. It doesn't seem to be dominant only in the brain. It's not like there's any beheaded zombies that are still alive, and that was distinct for me.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I can't remember a single moment where they had a still alive, beheaded zombie.

Speaker 2:

No, I remember thinking that was kind of strange.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so this show had some interesting themes. Would you like to go through some themes with me, leah?

Speaker 2:

I would love to Dan. I'll do number two if you do number one.

Speaker 1:

I'll do number one Power and corruption. The series delves into how the pursuit of power and political ambition can lead to moral corruption and societal decay, as seen in the actions of the Queen and Cho Hock Ju, her dad.

Speaker 2:

You know I was thinking this is what I was talking about earlier. I was really thinking about this and I still don't understand why they wanted the power so much Like. I know they wanted it for power's sake, but I feel like in oh my God, I'm forgetting what it's called Game of Thrones. There it is. I feel like in Game of Thrones, even though it was obviously incredibly self-serving, it just seemed more clear to me why they wanted, like, why Searcy wanted to maintain power. But maybe that's just me. Did it seem obvious to you?

Speaker 1:

I think it's very much like the Game of Thrones, where if you are somebody who has the ability to claim the right to a throne, you become a threat. As a threat, you face possible execution, assassination, or it might just be the downfall of your family because the powers that be might just push you out. The series is all about the Cho clan and how they are trying to hold onto power. They're a very powerful clan already, but what they haven't had up until this point is the royal power.

Speaker 2:

That's what they're going for.

Speaker 1:

They built themselves to get to this royal power. This is a many generations plan, I feel.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, what I like about this power and corruption is that there's an interesting twist to me anyways, which it seems like the queen just wants it for herself and her father, who at first appears to be the mastermind you realize is actually really not. She has a whole other plan. He's completely unaware that his heir is actually not going to be biologically related to him. When he finds out, he's fucking pissed and he would rather throw all power away than keep it through an heir that was not actually his blood, which I thought was really interesting and maybe a cultural difference that I don't know enough about.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it does seem like you get the feeling that he'll do anything to increase his political power, but then there's also moments where he seems to have lines that he won't cross. That was definitely a line.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think she was just like any means to power. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, she wanted her own power. She didn't want her dad's power.

Speaker 2:

Which is fair, because in her society, what power does she have?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, making babies.

Speaker 2:

Making a baby, yeah, a male baby, specifically.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, only a male baby.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and the power and corruption really blends into the next major theme that I thought was so interesting, which is just the class struggle or the social inequality at hand. You see all the royals doing extremely well, and then the common people are so fucking hungry that they end up chopping up the first zombie and not knowing it and eating it. Food is a problem everywhere if you are not part of the world class.

Speaker 1:

We should say that these people unknowingly eat a human corpse because one of the characters decides to make the choice to take this corpse of somebody who's already dead and make a stew out of it because they're starving. There are people that are already sick and they're trying to help them get better, but they're not going to get better if they're starving.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and it's interesting because they clearly don't trust any royal. They're just like you don't give a shit about us. Until Li Chang, the crown prince, shows up and like at first you can kind of see he's conflicted, but at some point he decides he doesn't want to be like other royalty, he actually wants to be touched by the people and then people actually like learn to respect him. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Tradition versus change. The clash between traditional values and the need for change is a recurring theme. Characters challenge status quo to address current crises. This comes up when they are trying to decide what to do with the sleeping zombie corpses at the clinic. They have an opportunity to just burn all of the zombies at the clinic, but there's people that are like you're not going to burn my family members, and some of them are nobles and others are peasants. Peasants can be burned. They decide to separate them by who is wearing cloth and who is wearing silk. The ones who were wearing silk didn't get burned. They burned the ones who were wearing cloth. But then some of them wanted to take their loved ones home, so they loaded up a ship. Well, actually they loaded up a ship to escape, that's right. And one person decided to put their loved person in a box on board and didn't tell anyone. Hilarity ensues.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, absolutely hilarious for the massacre of people but kind of like deserve, because they just abandon all of the poor people to save themselves.

Speaker 1:

And I don't know enough about Korean history, but this is about the time that the, the Joseon period, ends. From what I've read, like roughly around the time that it ends Like it started in, like the 1300s. It's going until the late 1800s. And I wonder if this is like a comparison of what happened during that time, where they decided to go from this very traditional thing that's been going on for hundreds of years and start a new empire with new traditions.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, patriarchy specifically.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, well, they kept that.

Speaker 2:

Well, no, you'll learn in a second. That's not the case. Oh, oh, oh. Surprises for you coming up.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you want to take the next one.

Speaker 2:

No, because I don't know what you're talking about.

Speaker 1:

Oh no, the edibles are kicking in.

Speaker 2:

No, I just wouldn't have had to disappear.

Speaker 1:

Fear of the unknown. The zombie plague represents the fear of the unknown and how people react to things they don't understand, often with fear, prejudice and exploitation. Yeah, so I mean this. This is something that happened between the people that were on the outsides of the walls versus the people inside the walls, and there was opportunities for them to help people on the outsides of the wall, because the zombies were out there. There was people who were infected. They didn't. They were afraid, they were in fear of the unknown and they wouldn't let those people in.

Speaker 2:

Sounds. Sounds maybe a little politically familiar.

Speaker 1:

Are you saying that there are some political lines to be drawn here and that align with what's going on in our world A little bit.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean, these are some really common human themes.

Speaker 1:

That's never happened in a zombie series.

Speaker 2:

Well, I know that it's not comparing it to what I am which is, like our whole, like fear of people from South Southern countries below the United States. I don't think you're talking about that, but at my point, is that the same idea of like people? Fear the unknown, we create walls.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

We don't like people who are not like us. Yeah yeah, pretty common, unfortunately.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

I yeah, I don't want to talk about the next one either.

Speaker 1:

Worship and responsibility. The series explores what it means to be a true leader, focusing on Lee Chang's journey to understand the outbreak and fulfilling his responsibilities to the people. Yeah, I mean when we, when we start off like Lee Chang is not. He's not the leader that he is. At the end he makes jokes about killing his friend's wife because he is a lower class in him. He's like I could have your wife executed if you don't do what I say. And then they kind of joke about that.

Speaker 2:

That's pretty fucked up.

Speaker 1:

And throughout, throughout the series, he like he's, he's mixing with the common people. He's learning their struggle and he's living it with them and through that he's learning to be a true leader. He's learning to not just be out there looking for the answer to the problem of him taking the throne next, but rather he's looking for a way to help the people survive this thing.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, another like I think for me it goes beyond just a theme of leadership, as it is that when you're in any position of privilege, whether it be based on your race, your class, your sexual identity, all of the above language, whatever religion, that when you take an opportunity, or you happen to have an opportunity, or reexposure to the fact that there's people that are living quite differently, with a lot of struggle because of something that is not like a chosen trait which, by the way, class is not really a chosen trait it's really hard to change classes, almost cast sidebar. But like I'm high, hold on, please hold, while I become less high.

Speaker 1:

You're talking about class in cast changing class.

Speaker 2:

Oh, just like. I think it's really important that people take an opportunity to step outside of their own experiences and learn about other people's lives, because that's usually when you learn like oh, you know, for one, you can learn how to do things differently and more positively in your own life based on the examples of others. But you can also be like wait a second, why is?

Speaker 1:

it that I.

Speaker 2:

Leah, am afforded so many privileges as a Canadian, but when I visit a place like Jamaica, there are people who are living in a garbage dump, literally, and making their homes out of garbage. Like how'd that happen? It definitely didn't happen from my own bootstraps. Yeah, colonialism.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and the crown prince. You know the first, the first. When he first decides to leave the palace, his guard tells him that he's not going to have access to the delicacies that he requires as a prince, and he chooses to say that's fine, I don't need those. I need to go out and find answers. But you know, along the way, like he doesn't want to eat the beef jerky or whatever it is that they brought with them for food, and then it gets to a point where he sees how everybody else is living and starving and he gives away the food that he has to others so that they can live. Which goes into my next thing sacrifice. Many characters are faced with choices that involve sacrificing their personal desires for the greater good. Yeah, so a crown prince gives up his beef jerky for one, many other people sacrifice their lives and in the end spoiler alert the crown prince sacrifices his crown.

Speaker 2:

He sacrifices his crown. When did that happen?

Speaker 1:

That's the very end.

Speaker 2:

All right, it's been three weeks since he washed it. I told you this would happen.

Speaker 1:

Yes, and finally the nature of true monstrosity.

Speaker 2:

What is true monstrosity? I don't think it's the zombies in this case.

Speaker 1:

Questions what constitutes a monster? The undead or the living who show inhumane cruelty and greed, blurring the lines between monsters and men?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think the monsters are definitely the ruling class.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, they're pretty monstrous yeah.

Speaker 2:

Particularly the queen, but then I think is the queen really a monster or is she a? Yeah, but she's also a product of being a woman with so little power, but the access to potential power because of her marriage to the king.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

And she's also a powerhouse and the opportunity to grasp power that is usually not available for someone like her, thus making her much more desperate to have it.

Speaker 1:

But so was Sobi, and Sobi had far, far less resources. I'm not saying it was the right choice, it's a hero.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I'm not saying this is the right set of choices.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I agree. I'm just saying that I can see how it happened.

Speaker 2:

Oh yeah, it's her origin story of evil.

Speaker 1:

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Speaker 2:

And we're back. So I think it's time for my favorite segment the Colonial, capitalist, racist, homophobic Patriarchal Massage and the Living Dead.

Speaker 1:

That is my favorite part too.

Speaker 2:

There's not really capitalism, but there is some sort of hierarchy. Racism not so much homophobia, just absence of any person. That's not overly straight. Definitely patriarchal misogyny though.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's kind of the foundation Today.

Speaker 2:

Yeah so you know, we use the base three tests the Bechtel test, the Vito Russo test and the race test. And we're really going to talk primarily about the Bechtel test today because, like I said, spoiler alert a lot of patriarchal misogyny in this in this?

Speaker 1:

what is this not a movie, TV show?

Speaker 2:

So the Bechtel test is a measure of the representation of women in fiction. To pass the test, a work of fiction must meet three criteria. It has to have at least two women in it. Check Okay.

Speaker 1:

There is two, there's the queen and. Sobie.

Speaker 2:

Sobie, fuller opposites of each other and a couple other in the background. Two, they have to talk to each other and three, there's something other than a man. Damn, does it pass?

Speaker 1:

I don't know, I don't think so, you know what? There is one moment where there is a room full of pregnant women and they talk to each other about being pregnant.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and what are they talking about?

Speaker 1:

Being pregnant.

Speaker 2:

Hoping they'll have a son. Yeah, so they're talking about a man.

Speaker 1:

Some of them are just talking about food. They're talking about chicken. They love that chicken.

Speaker 2:

All right, I'll give you that. Maybe it kind of sort of barely passes.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it barely passes In one scene.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's real hard for it to pass the beckville test.

Speaker 1:

In 12 episodes.

Speaker 2:

There was one scene, yeah, and the only two female characters of any interest are the queen, and again, her only way of getting true power is by having a male heir, otherwise she's useless. And then the village healer doctor. I don't think she's a doctor, because she was working for a doctor.

Speaker 1:

She's a nurse, but also you know they refer to her as a physician.

Speaker 2:

Interesting.

Speaker 1:

So I don't know if they have the same medical command structure that we do, but she is a nurse, but she is also a physician.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, je ne comprends pas, I don't know.

Speaker 1:

Maybe she's not allowed to be a doctor.

Speaker 2:

Otherwise, she does healing stuff that I can't do, yeah, and she's really good at picking out herbs, which I aspire to in the woods, but really she's at the forefront of defense, which is very, very cool and seems like kind of an awesome and rare thing, unfortunately, in zombie literature, but she's in the most stereotypical female role possible. That's true. And when she's not focusing on that, she's the love interest of the nephew royal guy.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, but you know what? That's more of a comical thing because he is pursuing her and she is making fun of him.

Speaker 2:

Yes, and my point is she's either a source of male heirs or sorry, that's women. Women are either a source of male heirs or a caregiver or an object to be desired. Those are your three options. Anyhow, so clearly barely passes the vector test. But there is a lot of sexism. But I think the sexism in the show primarily is portraying the historical moment in time. We're in a deeply patriarchal society, dominated by men. Women have extremely limited power and it's deeply internalized, as all misogyny is, because one of the conversations they have is just being like oh please, god, I don't want a daughter, like they all laughed about it, I'm like you are. How do we make more of us?

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

What do you want to do without daughters? I don't know.

Speaker 1:

One of them said that they don't care if it's a daughter, they're just happy.

Speaker 2:

That's nice. I forgot that. The one that liked the chicken, yeah, okay. Yeah, because they didn't have names, they were just mom's.

Speaker 1:

Chicken lover one and chicken lover two.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, but I have to say, before I go further, that one of the things I was really thinking about during the show and I'm curious if you are too, dan is how much of my white Western lens is impacting my interpretation of what's happening and like am I using my own values and moral code and my own Western vision of feminism to like apply to this completely different cultural context? But what's interesting is that I think it's legit. I thought about it some more, I did a lot of reading and I'm going to pull back my anthropology professor hat and put it on my head for like half a second. If you're an anthropology buff or sociologist, you might know these terms, if you don't welcome to my class. So there's a term called cultural relativism and that's basically this concept that no culture can be judged by the values of another culture. Period. So whatever another culture does not yours to judge. What do you think about that?

Speaker 1:

Dan. I think it makes sense because cultures can vary so greatly that if you just go and say hey, you guys don't put out silverware the same way that we do, you use sticks instead of forks. That makes you lesser than us because you didn't learn how to be civilized like we did. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

So, yeah, cultural relativism does have some benefit in terms of realizing that your way is not necessarily the highway. It's okay if there are different ways, but when there's power imbalances involved, that's when cultural relativism is not really a fully adequate framework, because if that were the case, you could watch this show and be like oh, this is totally fine. Women have no power. This is great. Within their own cultural world, even the women themselves are saying it's fine, or at least appearing to be, for the most part, saying that it's fine. I think they're showing some resistance in a few different ways, but that's why critical cultural relativism is important. So the first thing you want to do when you're learning about a new culture is try to apply a culturally relativist approach and notice where you're like oh, I don't like that, because that usually says something about your own cultural values more than it does about the culture that you're learning about. So you want to try and take a step back and be like what are the values of this culture? And then you can start to ask the questions of power dynamics how is this culture giving some people more power and others less? And is there harm? Is there tangible, notable harm here? And that's critical cultural relativism, so I tried to approach it from that point of view when I was watching it. Any questions? Dan student.

Speaker 1:

Well, I think that these are valid points and also I think that when you're doing, when it's a work of fiction that you're doing, that's a period piece I don't think it's inaccurate to portray these things. I don't think that you have to write and produce the show to reinforce these things, but to depict it. I feel is I'm not sure exactly how to phrase what I'm trying to say but I don't think it's accurate criticism to criticize a work of fiction for portraying the way that things are in a certain point in history. But I do agree that the writing of the show could have portrayed people differently, in a more three-dimensional way, through their character development. It doesn't mean that Sobi isn't a nurse, because likely, if she wanted any control over her life, she would have had to pick a profession, and I feel like you have seamstress, midwife and nurse.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, oh, and wife, or probably sex worker. I'm assuming sex worker existed in Korea this era.

Speaker 1:

I don't know Sure, of course, but it's been around everywhere.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I don't disagree with that, dan. This is what I thought about is I think the show does a good job of historically being accurate. I thought about exactly what you said. One, there could have just been more women existing in this world. Yeah, it was extremely dominant through the male gaze, which is itself problematic. And two, there could have been so many more opportunities where you could have just demonstrated the ways in which this particular society overtly harmed women. I think that it was there. You had to look for it in terms of the Queen's rationale, but I think that could have been more overt, and those are the kinds of things that I like to see. It's not that it shouldn't be historically accurate, because that's the truth of it. But I would like to give a very basic, probably not even 101 pre-101 history lesson for Korea, because the first thing I Googled while I was watching this at some point I paused and I was like this is really interesting, because one of the things that you grow up with if you are a person who's a socialized female, coming from Western culture, is this belief that all cultures everywhere are inherently patriarchal and just like this new thing that women, people, but in actual fact, patriarchy and colonialism are shocker. I feel like I'm constantly spoiling how colonialism just fucks us all. But anyways, it's Thanksgiving. Yeah, colonialism exported. Happy Thanksgiving. Colonialism exported patriarchy, or at least a Western vision of patriarchy, to pretty much everywhere that are colonized, and then in many places, like the Navajo for example, they are traditionally a matriarchal society, which also spoiler alert typically more peaceful. Why might that be Anyhow? So, my point being that I just made an assumption as like, okay, maybe Korea was, like always patriarchal. But then I was like, well, I don't really know the colonial history, or like the European versus Korea history very well, admittedly, and so I was like, okay, was that at all part of the story here? And that's actually not the case. So free ye dynasty, which is before 1392, korea was matriarchal, so inheritors were passed on from mothers to daughters and husbandhood into the homes of their wives families. But then neo-confucianism arose in the 1890s and that's when patriarchy really took or, sorry, not in the 1890s, around the 1400s, and that's when patriarchy really took hold in Korea. So it actually was a traditionally matriarchal society, which I did not know.

Speaker 1:

You know patriarchy's kind of like been a bummer for me growing up. The patriarchy's been a bummer in general, Because ever since I was a kid, I was expected to be like this provider person, without emotions and like. It's like you have to go and work every minute of your life. You have to never complain and you have to like never show emotion or fear or displeasure about anything whatsoever. If your arm gets cut off, you're supposed to just wrap it up in a dirty rag and get back to work.

Speaker 2:

Drink a beer at the other hand.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that just means you could only hold one beer at a time. And I got to say, whenever I learn about matriarchal cultures I'm like that sounds so much nicer.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it typically is. It is really true that it's not like the patriarchy harms only some people, it harms everybody. It's just some folks get to maintain power and authority in that harmful system. But I hope that you can cry now, dan. Well, many are encouraged to experience one emotion, which is rage and anger. That's an okay outlet, but to be sad is so dangerous for men in our society? Again, I don't know if that's what patriarchy looks like, necessarily in the Korean historical context. So again, it still shows up differently. I think it is, but at the end of the day, emotions are bad. Yeah, interesting.

Speaker 1:

I mean, this is my limited scope of Korea a lot of Asian cultures in general, which is like the male role is usually just to be stoic as fuck and never, ever acknowledge anything. Well, here's the interesting, the only feelings that you feel towards your children are either pride or disappointment.

Speaker 2:

That's fucked. That's very fucked. But I have good news about Korean society and patriarchy, because it has matriarchal roots. It's actually been reembracing some of those roots most recently, such as in the global context of intersectional feminism coming up. The Me Too movement really showed up in Korea and there are more and more women who are doing better in national exams, that are actually like actively a part of economic activities, particularly ones that were traditionally male, but they still most of the power to take top with male CEOs, which is not that different from here. But it's changing and they had their first female president in 2013,. But then she was what's the word? Executed? No, not as bad as that she was. There was a scandal and she got kicked out.

Speaker 1:

Oh, one of those things yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, one of those.

Speaker 1:

So again, proving that, like you're, a thing that we try to do to Trump your gender and your other forms.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that thing. What is that thing? Whatever, she was no longer the president. Yeah, my point being that your gender does not determine whether you're going to be a good leader or not, but I think your gender conditioning in terms of got to be mad, but never sad, could make you a shit. It could be, yeah, but, in short, not really much to talk about there with race not a lot of racial diversity, because Korea is not the most racially diverse, but there were definitely no LGBTQIA characters and I don't really know the cultural context around acceptance of those things. So I'm going to Google that and get back to you. Yeah, I don't remember seeing anything either. In the show. Yeah, I love Google. What a world we live in. Well, this is from Wikipedia, so I'm not reading that. Apparently, there was a narrow but significant win for LGBT rights in South Korea actually February 23rd, but nearly six in 10 South Koreans opposed same sex marriage. I'm not sure the narrow win was, but that's interesting. I mean this is. I'd be curious to know what the history of that is as well, but that's another podcast, not about zombies. Again are zombies worse than people.

Speaker 1:

Not sure. Zombies, I feel, are better than people. Why is that? They're unified, they all agree.

Speaker 2:

Some of them even have a high find.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

And they're more honest about their intentions. You know, like you know, what a zombie wants.

Speaker 1:

They're a人.

Speaker 2:

They have strong level of predictability. They're honest.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, they don't lie to you. No they have never been lied to by a zombie.

Speaker 2:

And they're not on social media.

Speaker 1:

They are not on social media. That's true. Where are we? Are we onto the things that we loved? Yeah Leah, what did you love about this show?

Speaker 2:

The fashion, the hats. The hats, the different kinds of hats, all the different kinds of robes that I was trying to figure out most of the time, like they obviously signified different positions within society. Yeah, it took me a while to figure out most of them, but mostly the hats and their robes would sometimes have like intricate murals on the back. Oh my god, they were so beautiful.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, European Western clothing is just like let's wear black. Let's wear more black on top of black. Let's look as drab and fucking depressed as we are.

Speaker 1:

We're going to have black with a little bit of white underneath, but then in the middle black.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, oh wow, brown shoes, you're really pushing it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you know what you know. I agree that Obama's tan suit was going too far.

Speaker 2:

So, yeah, that was really fun to watch and learn about. What about for you, dan? What is something that you really loved?

Speaker 1:

You know I love a good zombie story that really like takes a jab at societal norms and the whole critique of class, the division between the wealthy and a royal class and the poor. There's such a clearly defined line between people that are just like we just want to survive and people that are like we don't want to lose the good stuff we have.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, and that's so key to our society as well. Yeah, eat the rich.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, what else did you like?

Speaker 2:

It's not on my list, but I was thinking about the end scene of how they all end up, like all the zombies end up on this pond and they finally break through the pond and, like the zombies either die or the ones who are recently infected have the worms come out. It was actually kind of cinematically beautiful.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's in all the worms.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and it kept my attention. I'm just going to go straight to my. This is for later technically, but I'm going to say it now. Lee's attention span test pass.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, solid, 9 out of 10.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and it was like really enthralled the whole way through. Another thing I was really enthralled with is Shocker. As an anthropologist, it was really interesting to me to see this sort of traditional Korean culture, because there's a lot of things I didn't know and there were just lots of subtle things that I had to like. My brain had to be like wait what's happening here, because even body language was different. One of the first things I noticed was that in any of the scenes where they're like debating what to do, particularly the noble dudes one of those official title noble- dudes they weren't looking at each other. I thought, like, how different. Like, if you were to play a comparable scene from Game of Thrones, the eye contact and body language would have been completely different. So of course I googled it, because Google knows all, google is God and Koreans historically believe that direct eye contact during conversation actually shows boldness or hostility.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Which is the case in many cultures. Eye contact is not that.

Speaker 1:

I also feel that way.

Speaker 2:

As I stare deeply into your eyes. Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 1:

It's an intimate thing to stare deeply into someone's eyes, and I don't want my boss doing that.

Speaker 2:

It is. It takes a minute.

Speaker 1:

You know, one thing that I really loved and this is something that I usually would not like the change of zombie rules. But I like it because it was a reveal of the zombie rules as opposed to them changing the rules Like the last season of the Walking Dead.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's true.

Speaker 1:

When we believed that these things slept during the day and the zombies then woke up at night. That was a creepy thing, because you could be walking to the woods during the day, think that you're totally safe. Then all of a sudden that night you're surrounded by zombies. There was. You would realize that you are much more surrounded by zombies than you actually are, because you would see them packed in under rocks and under trees. But then they revealed that it was actually the heat of the sun that they were getting away from, and as they go into winter, things got colder and they came out during the day too.

Speaker 2:

And they never stopped. They're like really up the ante.

Speaker 1:

So they were preparing this massive defense, and they prepared all day. Then they waited all night and not a single zombie showed up. And they're packing everything up. They're like all right, boys, let's go to bed. We know how these things work.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, the zombies are sleeping now.

Speaker 1:

They're sleeping, let's pack everything up. And while they're in the middle of packing up, the doors are wide open to their defense. They have nothing in place. Zombies come running out of the woods during the day and they are like what the fuck On mass? We thought we knew what we were doing. They broke the rules. This is against the rules. That's unfair, and I love that moment because it made us believe something was true. And it's not that it changed what was true. It's that they revealed what was actually true instead of what we believed.

Speaker 2:

That's too deep for me.

Speaker 1:

Another thing is that I typically don't enjoy zombie stories as a period. Historical period piece.

Speaker 2:

You didn't love crime, prejudice and zombies.

Speaker 1:

No, right, right right, I didn't, but because of how unique this was and how well it was done and the way that was done, I did enjoy this. I typically love zombie stories because it's a way to take a modern story that's happening now and remove technology and society from it and peel back all the layers until all you got left is a bunch of desperate people, and this kind of did the same thing, but just during a period piece.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, we're technically like in this world. They don't have the same things that we have in terms of technology, so that's not actually the issue.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, they don't lose electricity and frankly, people are already starving. They're already. They're not like we're out of bullets, they're like, no, we have swords.

Speaker 2:

That's right, the muskets. We got to talk about the muskets.

Speaker 1:

Well, that's in the things that I didn't like.

Speaker 2:

Oh well then let's get into it. Why didn't you like the muskets? First of all, they were muskets.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, young Shen. It's clear that he's a skilled fighter. We all know the guy. He's the cool guy, the mysterious man that joins the crown prince and fights with him. It's clear that he's a skilled fighter and has a mysterious past that backs it up. But they make his weapon choice a musket.

Speaker 2:

I thought it was cool.

Speaker 1:

It was kind of cool, but I believe that in this era, that this weapon is entirely useless against a horde of zombies. If you have a small band of fighters and they're armed with muskets, that means you have like what? Between three and six shots.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I guess the thing to remember is like in this show they were always hordes. You didn't have like a stray zombie, except for maybe the one on the boat that one time.

Speaker 1:

Very few.

Speaker 2:

But like they're always running in hordes really fast and they just seem to inherently know where people are, which I find odd, so you don't really have time to be reloading your musket. This is true.

Speaker 1:

So I mean, they show this guy fighting a lot, Especially at the beginning. It seems like every time he wants to barge into a court decision, that's going on. Soldiers try to stop him and he's just throwing him out of the way like, yeah, my way, I'm a good fighter, just like throwing people on the ground, nobody can stop them. And then they put a musket in his hand and I feel like that, just it took the fight out of this guy. They made him less effective, even though, like they're like oh, he knows how to use a gun. Nobody knows how to use guns, he's the only one, he's the only guy with a gun.

Speaker 2:

See, this is an example of like. As a person who understands gun, this is an idea, but for me I was like this is so interesting. I haven't ever seen anybody load a musket before. Wow, this takes a really fucking long time. Yeah, it does, and also like when did muskets get invented? And also, is that what?

Speaker 1:

was happening, 1500.

Speaker 2:

Were there only muskets in the Second Amendment moment where we got right to bear arms.

Speaker 1:

Yes.

Speaker 2:

Wow, that is very different than AR-13.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I got to give you like a history lesson on guns one day, because we didn't have cartridge weapons until like the late 1800s.

Speaker 2:

I don't think I'd retain anything. You told me, though, yeah.

Speaker 1:

Sorry, no, I mean I don't think you've had that information.

Speaker 2:

No, I know almost nothing about guns.

Speaker 1:

I wish that he stuck with like melee weapons, Like if they're like he was really good with a spear, like nobody was using spears, Spear would have been a great weapon to use. If it was revealed that he was really good at just fighting in general, that would have made him like really valuable or a bow. But what I think would have been the most useful is if he had knowledge about fighting as a unit. You know they come across armies as they move across the country. They gather more and more people. If he was a guy, that was like hey, I know how we can all use shields and spears and we can like hold off the zombies like a wall and we stab them through the shields Like that would have been valuable instead of an individual with an individual skill of marksmanship. And with a musket, your marksmanship is limited to like 50 meters. It's not a long distance weapon, it's. It's not better than a bow.

Speaker 2:

I'm so confused why you're using the metric system right now.

Speaker 1:

Because I was in the army.

Speaker 2:

Right, I'm also using the metric system. I don't know where it's like. How many feet is that?

Speaker 1:

But, yeah, I felt like they. They tried to focus on this individual skill of marksmanship as opposed to like something that would be valuable to a group of survivors, like being able to ban people together, even if it is muskets like let's train other people to use muskets, yeah, and then we form a firing line of 50 people.

Speaker 2:

So this is how you could do it better.

Speaker 1:

I could do it better you would have mounted a better defense. I would have gotten everybody and all the muskets. We would have had a line of firing line of 20 people in the front and then another row behind them and a third row behind them, and as the first line fires, they drop back to the back line and the middle line drops down and then they fire and then you keep on rotating while the people in the back are reloading their rifles, they just keep on going through like that. Just have this wall of rifle smoke that's blocking all of the view of all the zombies and you're just dropping rows and rows and rows of zombies.

Speaker 2:

Yes, that would be really effective, but for dramatic intrigue, chaos with muskets was much more entertaining.

Speaker 1:

I mean, that'd be pretty dramatic.

Speaker 2:

It would be cool to see that it is true. You should be like maybe that's your like. Calling Dan is to be a zombie fight consultant.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I think so At least, at least like a technical consultant, so that, like you know, if somebody is using a Glock in a movie and and they have a show off, a show down, you know like, you know, like we need to make sure that the audience knows that he's serious. So we, we're going to put in a cocking sound A cocking sound yeah. And it's like well, the Glock is strike or fired and doesn't have a hammer, so you can't do that.

Speaker 2:

I'm always interested in all the things that really annoy you that I do not notice. It makes me wonder if we should have an episode one day that you do solo. That's about like the top five zombie fight scenes and why you love them versus the top five bad ones. But I know that I would have a hard time focusing. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, but I think it'd be a good one.

Speaker 2:

Other people would like it.

Speaker 1:

Leah, what did you hate?

Speaker 2:

Two things. First of all, the moment. Ok, well, I got to take a step back. I love the moment where they figured out that they could use a tunnel to get to the people that were behind the walls of this one Not a kingdom City, City, yeah To help them and get them food. What I didn't love was when one dude a very ancient, wise dude, so it was a heartfelt moment Decided to sacrifice himself and chain himself to a gate that somehow just his body and this like flimsy gate kept thousands of fucking zombies from breaking through.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so the? So there was a chain around this, around this gate. They had to bust the lock off. So they got a lockless gate and and it's open. So this guy, he's like I'm going to sacrifice myself to close this gate. So he's, he just closes the gate, like on his shoulders, wraps the chain around both sides of the gate and his torso and then takes his sword and puts it through the chain and stabs himself through the stomach and that holds back thousands of zombies. It was the dumbest thing. And this like I don't like. I feel like there's like a thing in Korean TV that this happens a lot, because this happened in train to Busan as well, like when the main character in train to Busan had to face his the, the zombie boss, the CEO guy. There's this whole thing where you know, the zombie boss is walking towards him on the train and then the main character grabs this again, a chain. He grabs a chain from the side of the train and then does this thing where he swings around on the chain and wraps it around the zombie's neck but then he wraps it around himself and throws himself off the train with the zombie and then is holding on by like his fingertips like I'm going to fall and it was so pointless, just throw the zombie, just throw him up. It's upsetting.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think that you have to be a consultant on these shows. I feel like you would upload all the entire zombie genre.

Speaker 1:

Like I understand that Korea didn't invent their own brand of martial arts but, like Asian culture in general is permeated with martial arts, a simple hip toss of a zombie off of a train should have sufficed, yeah but that wouldn't have been as dramatic.

Speaker 2:

I don't care, I don't think it needed drama.

Speaker 1:

I don't think, and I don't think that this scene with the door and the chain needed the drama.

Speaker 2:

I mean that's true, it was like one of those overly drawn out moments that was emotional, but then again not like really overly emotional, at least by my Western eye, so maybe I was missing it.

Speaker 1:

I don't know. Just close the gate, wrap the chain around as much as you can, then put the sword through the chain without a human being in the middle of it.

Speaker 2:

He didn't have to do that. Also, he could have. Also somebody could have killed him so that he wasn't like being slowly eaten by zombies. But you know, that's what I do.

Speaker 1:

Yeah Well, he killed himself, he disemboweled himself.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, but he didn't die right away.

Speaker 1:

No, he died eventually.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, exactly.

Speaker 1:

He didn't become a zombie, though.

Speaker 2:

I think efficiency of death is really important if you're doing it to yourself.

Speaker 1:

That's what I'm saying.

Speaker 2:

I will add my last thing. Any historical piece or any piece of horses is watching people who don't know what the fuck they're doing on a horse jerking its face around with a bit in its mouth, and the horse looks like it's having a very bad time.

Speaker 1:

Which seems like every show.

Speaker 2:

Every show with horses is pretty much the case. There's a few, that's not so bad.

Speaker 1:

I have one last thing I hated.

Speaker 2:

What's that?

Speaker 1:

The second to last episode felt super rushed. It did so. They blow through so much in this episode that it's almost impossible to keep up with what's actually happening and it loses its emotional impact. It felt like Season 8 of Game of Thrones, where major plot points are resolved in a few scenes instead of a few episodes. There was things that required a lot more time to explain and it just seemed like they were just blowing through it Because they're like we got to get to the last episode.

Speaker 2:

I don't know why they did that, because there is a Season 3 coming. Yeah, I don't know, it's unnecessary.

Speaker 1:

It kind of feels like also like a zombie verse, where the first three episodes were great and the last four or five were progressively worse and worse.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

And maybe they just run out of money and they're like you don't have enough money for as many episodes as you planned for. So figure it out, yeah, figure it out, tough guy.

Speaker 2:

And then it just becomes really bad. But I also just double checked and I'm incorrect. Netflix has yet to confirm our release for Kingdom Season 3, but there is a movie we haven't watched yet.

Speaker 1:

Oh yeah, that's right, there's a spin-off movie.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I don't remember what it's called, but there is a movie.

Speaker 1:

So, Leah, how many Zed words do you give this show? Solid eight.

Speaker 2:

You lose a point for the lack of self-awareness around misogyny, and you lose a point for the rushed episode.

Speaker 1:

Wow, a whole point for that one episode. It did almost ruin it.

Speaker 2:

That's why I also gave you that 9 out of 10 for my attention span, because I'm pretty sure it started waning right around then.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, which is why it should be most riveted at the end. I feel like there's this belief, and this is what we discovered during Zombieverse. Is that there's this belief that if they just give you all the information, that'll hold your attention better? But I don't think that's true.

Speaker 2:

No, it's still got to feel like it's a natural plot.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, they're wrong Right.

Speaker 2:

What about you, Dan what would you rate it?

Speaker 1:

You know I was going to give it 9 Zed words, but I think you're right 8 and a half Zed words.

Speaker 2:

All right. Yeah, we have to have some differentiation. What's your half a point for?

Speaker 1:

Oh, I just, I don't know. I don't think that the fuck, I don't know. Don't ask me to explain myself.

Speaker 2:

That's why you should never play Katana against me. Yeah, I don't know.

Speaker 1:

I'm pretty sure I played Katana against you once and I won.

Speaker 2:

I probably let you. I'm kidding, I don't know, I probably didn't.

Speaker 1:

Well, there you have it. That is our episode about the show.

Speaker 2:

The Kingdom, the Kingdom, watch it yeah.

Speaker 1:

Even if we just spoiled everything for you. It is a visual feast, it is a great story.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, let us know what you think. You've already watched it.

Speaker 1:

Oh, and the dubbing is good.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, the dubbing is good, but don't do it. We did, which was put the dubbing and the subtitles on because we're to the subtitles. Clearly subtitled it before the dubbing.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

So it was very confusing.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it was saying entirely different things. I mean, what is going on?

Speaker 2:

It actually just shows you how versatile language is and that it's really impossible to have like a one to one translation, because they were saying essentially the same thing, but it was always just a little bit off and really disorientating. But anyways, it was a great show. I highly recommend you watch it. If you've gotten Netflix, tell us what you think.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and if you want to be a part of the Zombie Book Club and actually the book, the club we are reading for episode 25, we are reading Clay's Ark by Octavia Butler. We're going to hear all my opinions about this book.

Speaker 2:

Apparently are very strong and I already know I don't agree with all of them. But I will give a content warning that Dan gave me because I've not as far along in the book as in. He's finished it and I'm on chapter four. I still have like four hours of the audiobook left, but it's really good. I'm actually like committed to finishing this one Content warning. It does have sexual assault in it, apparently quite a bit. There's a lot of allusion to it at this point in the book for me, but it is not yet.

Speaker 1:

I'll just say it happens. Yeah, it happens at some point and it's jarring. It's a bit jarring.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

But anyways, don't forget to subscribe and rate and review.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, thanks for folks who have been writing reviews lately. We love you, is that?

Speaker 1:

creepy. Yeah, no, I love them too. Leah's high. I was just thinking of this.

Speaker 2:

I don't get high often, but I talk about it so much on the show Everybody's gonna think that I'm a hothead.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, we only record this episode like once every two weeks.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and that's pretty much the only time I consume a netable, which probably should be the only time I don't consume it.

Speaker 1:

It motivates us to finish recording quickly.

Speaker 2:

Anyhow, love you all for listening. Follow us on Instagram and threads. Follow at Dan Zombie.

Speaker 1:

Writer.

Speaker 2:

He's a Dan the Zombie Writer.

Speaker 1:

Yes.

Speaker 2:

He's a Dan the Zombie Writer and Threads. He says quite a bit more on there. It's very entertaining. Yeah, I mostly lurk and check out our link to it in the description, but please, I'm really really super stoked about this Octavia Butler book. I'm really down with the ET Zombies, so read it. I want to talk with you all about it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Is it Zombies? It is. I stand strongly by this, Dan. That's a much.

Speaker 1:

Well, you know what? I've read a different book that changed my opinion. Wow, yes.

Speaker 2:

I'm going to pretend that you still have that opinion for this episode.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, let's pretend.

Speaker 2:

Let's have a marital spat.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, we're going to have a spat. Yeah, if you want to be a part of that.

Speaker 2:

Dan will be sleeping on the couch if he doesn't admit that there's zombies.

Speaker 1:

Thanks everybody for listening and we'll see you the next one.

Speaker 2:

I think he's trying to get me to stop.

Speaker 1:

Bye, everybody Bye.

Netflix's Kingdom
Immigration in TV Show Kingdom
Zombie Outbreak and Political Intrigue
Themes in Kingdom
Cultural Relativism and Depiction of Women
Gender Roles in Korea
Zombie Apocalypse and Weapon Choices
Review and Recommendations for 'Kingdom