As anyone familiar with Charlie Brooker's work might expect, the writing is sharp, scathing and funny. His Big Brother housemates are at once recognizeable, grossly caricatured and sympathetic. It also has the perfect villain in Andy Nyman's Patrick - possibly the most unpleasant character ever committed to TV. It's to the series' credit that they actually managed to create an individual more unlikeable than the programme's real-life contestants. But there are so many great characters in Dead Set that it's unfair to pick Patrick as 'best' by any means. I also enjoyed the sympathetic chav, Jaime Winstone's sympathetic Kelly, hippy Joplin and especially Zombie Davina McCall. Its character work is perhaps the series strongest point.
This is the definition of a gushing review, but there's so much to love about Dead Set - especially when approached from the perspective of a horror fan. The amount of gore and violence on display is a shocker when you consider this was broadcasted on national TV - and the action easily rivals that of 28 Days Later or the Dawn of the Dead remake. And in a grotesque sort of way, the ending is just beautiful; the perfect ending to such a story and the perfect peice of commentary on our Idiot TV Nation.
This year, as I've done every one since 2008, I won't be tucking into the final series of BB. I daresay it'll be back in some form sooner or later, like the proverbial bad penny it is. No, I'll be showing the zombie apocalypse some love with Charlie Brooker's Dead Set. I always hoped there would be a jungle-set riff on I'm a Celebrity/Zombie Holocaust sequel. Until that happens, I'm Dead Set on re-watching this outstanding little piece of genre TV.*
* Shi-iit. That makes this the third post in the row ending on a title based pun. This place really does suck.