Of all of the genres of horror (ghosts, zombies, monsters, beasties and bad men), zombies are the only ones I actually like. I have no idea why. Perhaps because they are predictable, slow, easy to kill. Put it this way, I don’t worry about a zombie apocalypse. Mainly because it’s unlikely, but also because I think I’d be pretty good in that type of emergency. I’m not good in all emergencies. The frustration of an unopenable jar of jam can tip me over the edge, but at least I could use it adequately to cave in the heads of the undead.
I have to like one of the horror genres. My fella likes them so this way we have a little crossover. Zombies and comedy… and The Apprentice ’cos it sometimes feels like a cross between the two. Cinema visits are often a compromise. My fella said he likes to see a film he doesn’t know anything about. Because that way, “you don’t know if it’s a monster or a man with a sword”. Or one of the many other types of film, of course.
We’ve watched The Walking Dead from the edge of our sofa from the start. It’s excellent television. They have just the right balance between the fascinating formation of a new community and “Ooh, no, there’s one behind the door!”
So with intrigue, we tuned into The Returned (Sundays C4), the spooky French drama about people coming back from the dead. But these zombies are not the usual, shuffling, poorly looking brain-munchers. They just look like French people: stylish and dismissive. Forgive me but I’ve been tutted at in Paris a fair few times and I still don’t know if it’s because I was wearing Asda jeans or had the temerity to order food in a restaurant.
The Returned requires a little concentration (don’t dare look down to load up your spoon as you’ll miss the subtitles and be lost for ever – we eat our tea, THEN watch it), but it’s expertly done. The music, the acting, the writing are all so good, you almost immediately forget that you can still remember eight French words and are crossing your fingers that they go to a boulangerie soon.
Compared to recent cinema release World War Z, for example, which is relentless from the get-go and the zombies are all fast and teeth-chattery, The Returned is very still and creepy. The sort of programme that makes you put all the lights on when you go for a wee in the breaks.
But having someone you love return from the dead is a great idea for a show. I’d opt for my Granda, given half the chance. A kind man who made bread and made us laugh.
Sarah’s stand-up DVD, Thoroughly Modern Millican Live, is available at radiotimes.com/dvdshop