There is one show and ONE SHOW ONLY that you should concern yourself with binge-watching on Netflix this week, and that is THE RETURNED! Season 1 is already available in its full glory, and Season 2 will FINALLY arrive beginning tomorrow (2/17) // MUCH EXCITE!
Called Les Revenants in its native French (and not to be confused with the myriad shitty knockoff versions that have popped up on US networks), the show is about a mountain town where formerly-dead people randomly come back to life without having aged a day, and without having turned into zombies. (Yet, anyway.) Are they completely normal? No, they’re pretty much always hungry (for like, sandwiches, though, not human flesh), and they can’t really sleep, but they can still totally take shots and have sex, aka all of the things that really matter in life. And while most of the people that come back are friendly, you’ve also got the odd serial killer here and there who enjoys stabbing women repeatedly in the stomach at night in tunnels. (But I mean, we’ve gotta keep it spicy, right? RIGHT?!)
The previously-dead get a mixed welcome from their families; one guy is mega-freaked out, tries to kill his resurrected wife, and then kills himself, while other people are like, COOL LET’S PICK UP WHERE WE LEFT OFF LOL. Tunes start changing when shit gets weird in the town, though, like when the power shuts off and the quarry dries up and the animals start drowning themselves…THEN people are sort of like, okay, what is even happening right now.
WHOA DEAD ANIMALS WHOA WHOA WHOA.
And while it becomes clear that the people who’ve been brought back to life can’t be re-killed, things aren’t all great for them, either; for instance, their skin starts getting super gross (like you-can-peel-it-off-in-big-chunks-in-places level gross), and some of their personalities go a little nuts. But that’s the least of everyone’s problems considering there’s apparently a weird satanist version of the resurrected people that have been wandering around in huge droves, and which for some reason no one noticed until it’s kind of too late to do much about it.
On top of that, no one can leave the town. Like, it’s physically impossible…it’s like in American Horror Story Season 1 where Violet keeps trying to run out the door after she’s dead on repeat. So I don’t know what that’s all about, but I do know that everyone is super French and super good-looking, which is #IMPORTANT. Plus, while most shows (like AHS and The Walking Dead) become (in my opinion) less scary as time goes on and desensitization kicks in, this one gets progressively more unsettling with each episode, to the point that you will likely want to sleep with the lights on by the final episode for the first season. (Not to mention the impending terrors of the second season, which involve some sort of hybrid demon baby and some spooky AF non-chill previously-dead people wandering the streets of the town.)
What are the other benefits of watching this show? All your basic international bonuses, like nudity and excessive cigarette smoking and words that sound pretty even if they are ugly. AND Mogwai did the soundtrack, which definitely counts for something, AMIRITE?! Bottom line: prepare to render yourself immobile starting basically immediately so you can 1. cram in Season 1 before tomorrow, at which time you can cram in Season 2 and ALL OF THE SPOOKY SCARY SEXY FEELINGS.