Series Review: Hot Skull (2022)

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Hot Skull is an interesting take on the zombie genre. While the series may not feature the traditional zombie, it does feature the traditional tropes. The series is in Turkish, but there is dubbing in multiple languages. I always recommend watching shows in their original language, but the English dubbing for this is pretty good.

Hot Skull takes place in the middle of a global pandemic. The world fears a contagious disease that transfers through audio. People affected will start rambling endlessly, slowly forgetting who they are. People will turn to ramblers if they are exposed to rambling, so people live their lives wearing noise-canceling headphones. The government has taken advantage of the chaos and uses the pandemic to control its citizens. In a world without a cure, hope falls to Murat, the only person immune to the disease. Now the race is on to find a cure before the government silences Murat forever.

I enjoyed Hot Skull, but it isn’t without its faults. The series looks great and has a decent story, but some poorly written speeches were hard to sit through. It wasn’t bad enough to give up on the series, but I did zone out a few times. You notice it a lot whenever it deals with the peaceful protest group, but you can always skip around.

What I liked about this series is how it criticizes authoritarian governments. Hot Skull does a good job of showing how the government took advantage of the situation. Travel becomes restricted, curfews are set in place, the public narrative is heavily edited, and the government is not afraid to use excessive violence on what they consider to be dissidence. Civil unrest brews in the shadows because people no longer have control of their lives. I just wish they did a better job with the rebels. The group seems a bit lazily written and only exists to move the plot forward at points. 

I enjoyed Murat as a protagonist. Murat is the only person who is immune to the disease, but he spends his time in hiding. As he becomes exposed to the cold reality around him, he becomes more involved in the revolution. It is cool to see his transformation as he becomes more active in finding a cure. His transition to heroism may not be fluid, but it was well enough for what this is. 

The only complaint I have about this series is that it slows down halfway through. As Murat gets more active about his role in the pandemic, the series gets bogged down with a lot of revolutionary ideology that I didn’t have much interest in. It might be a translation issue, but there are a lot of sappy speeches about freedom and martyrs I didn’t care for either. The pacing picks up eventually, but not until I was ready to give up on the series.

Overall, the series stands pretty well. There was a good amount of suspense and tension. It handled a lot of its themes and criticism well. It may not be the best story, but it will pass the time. While I don’t see myself rewatching this series or waiting for a second season, I’m glad I watched it. I’d say that if you like the zombie genre and want to see something different, give this series a try. It’s better than the recent resident evil movies. Otherwise, wait till you have nothing to watch.

It is available for streaming on Netflix.

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Image by Daniel from Pixabay

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