A few things you need to know about the new CBS summer series, Zoo:
- It is based on a best-selling book by James Patterson.
- It is about animals around the world rising up against humans.
- The series premiere ended with, I swear to God, a tree in Brentwood filled with menacing runaway housecats.
- Society’s only hope is Bob Benson from Mad Men.
Also, it is TERRIBLE. Oh my. It is so, so bad. But, like, the greatest kind of bad. Did you see the bullet point about the tree filled with cats? I can’t stress strongly enough that that happened. The whole show is like if someone walked into a television executive’s office and said “So it’s Jurassic Park, but instead of the dinosaurs, it’s normal, regular-sized animals,” and the executive was like “YES. GREENLIGHT.” And the dialogue! Oh God, the dialogue. Vulture did a whole thing about how painful it was in the premiere, and then this happened in the second episode.
Two important things about that line: One, the reason it’s subtitled like that is because the character is speaking French, which means at least two different people had to write it down and look at it at some point. And two, I DON’T KNOW WHICH WAS WORSE, BEING ATTACKED BY LIONS OR DISCOVERING MY SISTER IS SLEEPING WITH MY FIANCÉ. What an incredible television program.
But the real reason I am bringing this to your attention is because this week’s episode featured easily — EASILY — my favorite scene of 2015. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “are you saying this is better than the thing from CSI: Cyber where James Van Der Beek saved a clearly fake baby from drowning after the car it was in launched itself something like 100 feet into a pond?” Yes. Yes I am saying that.
The background: An aggressively British couple is in Slovenia to adopt a tiger-obsessed 4-year-old. In an attempt to entertain him while they wait for the paperwork to get processed, they take him to the circus. After the circus, the kid sneaks away to get a closer look at the tiger cages. The implication here is that, since we’re coming off more than a full episode about lion attacks and housecats plotting world domination from the branches of a tree, someone is getting eaten by a tiger. BUT NO. His new dad finds him and whisks him away, buying him a small stuffed tiger to keep him happy. Disaster averted.
An adorable Jack Russell terrier that has been hanging around the lobby of their hotel grabs the plush toy in its mouth and runs off. The dad, being a good dad, gives chase to get it back.
The doggy leads him through the Slovenian streets, stopping periodically to make sure the dad sees him, then zipping off down another alley or side street. The chase comes to an end in what appears to be a dark, abandoned warehouse.
Phew. Well, he got the toy back. Looks like everything’s gonna be just fin-… Wait a second. Dark, abandoned warehouse. Creepy lighting. Ominous music. This looks kind of like… no. It can’t be.
OH MY GOD YES IT CAN. IT WAS A TRAP. THERE ARE BODIES EVERYWHERE. WHAT KIND OF MONSTER WOULD TRAIN A DOG TO LEAD PEOPLE INTO THIS KIND OF SICK CARNIVAL OF GORE? WHAT KIND OF SOCIOPATH EVEN THINKS LIKE TH-… Hold on. What’s that sound? Is that… is that growling?
DOG AMBUSH! THE DOG USED A PLUSH TIGER TOY TO LEAD THE DAD INTO A DOG AMBUSH. IN SLOVENIA! A SLOVENIAN DOG AMBUSH. THAT IS SOMETHING THAT HAPPENED ON TELEVISION. I CAN’T BELIEVE IT. I WENT INTO THIS EPISODE THINKING “WELL, THERE’S NO WAY THEY CAN TOP A TREE FULL OF CATS,” AND THEN THEY WENT AHEAD AND DID IT. WITH A DOG AMBUSH LED BY AN EVIL JACK RUSSELL TERRIER. YES. YES.
This settles it. We are all watching Zoo.