Cat-astrophe: ‘Zoo’ is plodding and monotonous


Two stars

Zoo Tuesdays, 9 p.m., CBS.

The big reveal at the end of the first episode of Zoo involves a bunch of house cats in a tree, which gives you a sense of how unsuccessful the show is at creating the kind of tension and menace it aspires to. Deadly serious when it ought to be at least a little campy, Zoo envisions a world in which animals have begun to coordinate deadly attacks on humans, and only a handful of people realize what’s going on. Those people include a zoologist turned safari guide (James Wolk), a plucky newspaper reporter (Kristen Connolly) and a curmudgeonly animal pathologist (Billy Burke). As they track lion attacks in Botswana and missing kitties in Brentwood, they witness the beginning of a global catastrophe (or cat-astrophe, if you will).

Based on a novel by the ultra-prolific James Patterson (co-written with Michael Ledwidge), Zoo is set up as a blockbuster event, but it feels disappointingly limited, with a handful of characters standing in for what is meant to be a worldwide epidemic. The animal attacks are more cheesy than scary, and the hints of a conspiracy storyline are already tiresome after a single episode. Zoo could have been silly, over-the-top fun, but instead it’s plodding and monotonous.


Josh Bell

Josh Bell is the film editor for Las Vegas Weekly, where he's been writing movie and TV reviews since 2002. ...

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